MIEN MACHINE;EAGLE SNACKS GOES NUTS WITH A GUY WE DON'T MIND HAVING TO THE OLD BOD COUNTENANCE. THIS FACE FELLA AIN'T NO CHIP OFF

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IN A CLEAR-CUT CASE OF GOING from the pseudo-sublime to the thoroughly ridiculous, the current Eagle Snacks TV campaign from The Glennon Cos. in St. Louis bears close scrutiny. Somehow, the agency has managed to take the long-running TBWA series of Eagle Snacks "Odd Couple" rip-off spots, starring Tony Randall and Jack Klugman, and replace them with one of the weirdest concepts ever seen in the service of salty snacks. Two spots, produced earlier this year, feature a Michael J. Fox-type single guy and a disembodied character called, simply, Face.

When we first meet Face he's sticking to the ceiling of Joe's bedroom. Wearing a slightly crazed smile/sneer, he bellows, "Got anything to eat?" and flies off toward the kitchen. Joe gives chase and starts swatting at Face with a tennis racket. Face yells back, "Relax, I'm unarmed!"

Once in the kitchen, Face scampers down the counter and plants himself in front of a big bag of Eagle potato chips, where he bellows again, "Got anything to eat?" Joe shuts him up by pouring the entire bag into his wide-open mouth.

In "Date" we see a sexy woman in a black cocktail dress cooling her jets in Joe's apartment while his offscreen voice calls out, "I'll be out in a minute!" She hears muffled munch sounds coming from a kitchen cabinet and goes to investigate. Inside, she finds Face tucked in a corner, stuffing his head with chips (just how he got the bags open is not explained), prompting her to scream in horror and haul ass back home. Later, an irritable Joe asks, "Face, have you seen my date?" Face, sounding just a touch delusional, says "I had to take her down, she was getting a little too close to my chips."

Bob Cuneo, creative partner at the agency, says the campaign grew out of the realization that, while the young male target market for the product has a tendency to pig out when it comes to chips, research shows they don't particularly like the idea of being shown pigging out. So copywriter Diane Cuneo (Bob's wife) and AD Mark Ray took the concept of "stuffing your face" and transferred it to a communal alter ego; Face gets to represent the darker side of unbridled young males' overindulgence in snacks. In fact, his sole reason to exist is to eat Eagle munchies.

Director Kevin Donovan of Bedford Falls, Los Angeles, shot most of the Face effects incamera, using a combination of models, rigs and prosthetics touched up in post via Paintbox.

The spots haven't been very visible, owing to what Cuneo calls a fairly light media buy, mainly cable. While he says the reaction to the campaign has been good, Face's fate remains uncertain. A new marketing team has taken over at Eagle, and Cuneo suggests everything is being re-evaluated. "Obviously, Face is

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