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JEEP'S DISASTROUS COMMERCIAL

And Other Current TV Commercials of Note

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Jeep's Disastrous Ad
Marketer: DaimlerChrysler
Brand: Jeep Grand Cherokee
Title: "Murphy's Law"
Agency: BBDO, Detroit
This spot is disastrous for two reasons: 1.) It is visually organized around a string of horrible mishaps; and 2.) It tightly integrates the Jeep brand with the concept of 'Murphy's Law,' which dictates that anything that can go wrong, will. Given that many viewers recall only key elements of an ad, one wonders why the marketer would go with a spot whose two high points were 'Jeep' and 'Murphy's Law.' They congeal so easily into the confused but lingering sense that the vehicle is somehow associated with everything going wrong.

Tears for a Work of Art
Marketer: Alcon Laboratories
Brand: Pantanol
Title: "Work of Art"
Agency: Foote Cone & Belding, New York
A takeoff on a 17th-century Vermeer painting as well as the Lion's Gate film 'Girl With a Pearl Earring,' this spot brings tears to the eyes of the Dutch Master's lovely. But, no problem. She's hung on a wall near a handbag that contains a vial of the allergy eyedrops Pantanol. All becomes quiet smiles and soft light again.

John Mellencamp's Wife
Marketer: Revlon Consumer Products
Brand: Almay
Title: "Girl Friends"
Agency: Deutsch
Almay gets a twofer with its new spokeswoman. Not only is she a fetchingly attractive model but she's also the wife of rock star John Mellencamp -- a point the company stresses in its publicity. Elaine Irwin-Mellencamp is not particularly unique in her looks or performance -- but think of her as a cover girl with a built-in backbeat. Who can look at her and not immediately start humming the melody of one of her husband's hard-rock paeans to small-town life?

Making Dustin Hoffman's Audi Spot
Marketer: Audi
Brand: Audi A6
Title: "Making the A6 Spot"
Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, Frankfurt
Last week we brought you the secret Dustin Hoffman Audi spot that he and the marketer don't want America to see. This week we have the two-minute behind-the-scenes making-of documentary the Audi A6 spot. You're not supposed to see this one, either. (To watch the Dustin Hoffman German A6 ad, click the 'Previous' link near the 'TV Spots of the Week' logo at the top of this page.)

The Smell of a Good Shirt
Marketer: Procter & Gamble Co.
Brand: Bold Laundry Detergent
Title: "Zoe's Shirt"
Agency: Grey Worldwide, London
Is there anything that can bond a daughter to a father better than the smell of a good shirt? Bold laundry detergent poignantly addresses that question with this U.K. commercial equating love and security with the gentle scent of a father's fabric.

Triumph of the Nimrods
Marketer: ESPN
Brand: ESPN Without Sports
Title: "Big Game"
Agency: Wieden & Kennedy, New York
ESPN's 'Without Sports' campaign has dramatically changed the world of a school in the far reaches of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. After featuring the 78-student Watersmeet High School and its homey Nimrods basketball team in national ads, ESPN created an instant market for 'Nimrod' products. The school has received more than $40,000 worth of orders for logo athletic items and the checks keep pouring in. Makes you suddenly wonder where the world would be without Nimrods.

Saddled Up
Marketer: Old Navy
Brand: Old Navy
Title: "Spring Break"
Agency: Old Navy In-house
Well, yes, it's another cheesy Old Navy commercial but the public loves this mediocre pap so why fight it? This will probably be next month's top spot for consumer recall -- its equally cheesy predecessors have set something of a record in this regard.

WEEK'S MOST REMEMBERED SPOT
Robert Duvall Direct
Marketer: DirecTV
Brand: DirecTV
Title: "Still Single"
Agency: Deutsch

In the last spot of this campaign Robert Duvall is the final celebrity to appear on an empty stage to dramatize a hokey letter from a DirecTV fan. This spot received the highest consumer recall score for the period of March 1-14 in the bi-weekly Intermedia Advertising Group survey.

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