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PEPSI'S SUMO CHICKEN WRESTLERS

And Other Current TV Commercials of Note

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Pepsi Sumo Chickens
Marketer: PepsiCo
Brand: Pepsi
Title: "Sumo"
Agency: BBDO, New York

Here's one we'll all be talking about for a while to come. Envisioning a deli poultry counter as a sumo venue, Pepsi presents two burly rotisserie chickens doing the ritualistic moves of Japanese wrestlers. Having proved itself, the winning bird is the one ultimately selected by an incredulous but impressed customer.

Real Man Drink X-Factor
Marketer: Quaker Oats
Brand: Gatorade X-Factor
Title: "Alphabet"
Agency: Downtown Partners, Toronto

This Canadian commercial celebrates how real men -- the kind that have something to prove and don't flinch in the face of extreme danger or pain -- drink Gatorade X-Factor. Drink it or not, the face wound on this hockey player is still going to hurt like hell for quite some time.

Horror Ball
Marketer: Minnesota State Lottery
Brand: Powerball
Title: "Road Trip"
Agency: Colle & McVoy, Minneapolis

Using horror movie suspense techniques, the Minnesota State Lottery tries to pump up its Powerball game. Yes, the whole thing is a bit hokey but, on the other hand, it did make me view a standard-issue red rubber ball as a threatening presence.

Gunking Up Bottled Water
Marketer: Kraft Foods
Brand: Crystal Light
Title: "Shake"
Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, New York

OK, let's get this straight. Years ago consumers were persuaded to move away en masse from colas and other flavored water beverages in favor of the 'purer' health experience of bottled water. And now Kraft is selling little packets of flavored gunk for consumers to mix into their bottled water?

How Would We Escape?
Marketer: ESPN
Brand: ESPN Sports
Title: "Running Away"
Agency: Wieden & Kennedy, New York

The latest in its classic 'Without Sports' campaign, ESPN gives us a multitasking suburban wife, mother, executive and consumer who outruns her task makers to pose the question 'Without sports, how could we escape?'

Hungry Sage
Marketer: Ford Motor Co.
Brand: Ford Ranger
Title: "Sage"
Agency: JWT, Denver

Struggling to climb a steep mountainside, a devotee finally reaches the rocky ledge on which resides his revered sage. The holy man notes how stupid it was to climb the face of the mountain when the adherent could have used a Ford Ranger instead. The old man invites the devotee for a ride in his. The two ride the Ranger down the mountain's rear road on their way for Tex-Mex takeout.

Dripping Metaphor
Marketer: Britvic Soft Drinks
Brand: Tango Clear
Title: "Metaphor"
Agency: Clemmow Hornby Inge, London

In a wacky bit of British humor, Tango Clear demonstrates its refreshing taste with a spraying fire hose, an ice-water-dumping Eskimo and two Polynesian servants who fan a female office worker with palm fronds. We'll let you figure out what the penguin is doing.

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