LAUGH IT OFF; ALMOST LIKE REAL LIFE

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Contest #445: Jay Leno and Doritos. Steve Martin and Nike. Jerry Seinfeld and American Express. Now, Paul Reiser and IBM. Why is it that funny people just aren't funny in commercials? Surely agency copywriters can write funny copy. Because if they can't, we can. T.N.T.ers: come up with the next marketer to make a FUNNY commercial starring a famous comedian.

And now for the results of Contest #441: we asked you for the next marketer to launch a soap-opera-like, serialized ad campaign:

First Prize: The first spot in a campaign for Bayer Aspirin shows a couple ready for bed and the husband eying his wife lustfully. He asks; she says no, citing a headache. He then gives her two Bayer Aspirin. In the next spot, she complains of a backache. He gives her Bayer Aspirin-backache formula. Campaign runs through the entire Bayer product line. Jim Sabo, commercial producer, Brose Productions. Tarrytown, N.Y.

Second Prize: Preparation H hires O.J. Simpson juror number 7 to keep a journal of his problem hemorrhoids and report to America day-to-day during spots that air during tabloid TV shows. Unfortunately, the significance of times, dates and eyewitness testimony, hairs, fibers and DNA are lost on a man who sees everything through the clouded, hazy prism of rectal itch. But after three months, the verdict is...cured! Jack Huber, proofreader, Kings-wood Advertising, Ardmore, Pa.

Third Prize: A real "cereal killer," told in tantalizing "Twin Peaks" fashion: A corn-fed blond from Battle Creek, Mich., is found face-down in her bowl of cereal. Witnesses recall hearing a snap, crackle and pop not long before her demise. Subsequent spots will reveal: Was it bovine growth hormone in the milk? A boyfriend mad that she read the sports pages over breakfast? Or consumed after the expiration date? June Fletcher, editor, Homes Today, McLean, Va.

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