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QUEER EYE FOR THE STRAIGHT DOG

And Other Current TV Commercials of Note

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Queer Eye for the Straight Dog
Marketer: Hartz Mountain Corp.
Brand: Hartz Pet Products
Title: "Pet Makeover"
Agency: Kirschenbaum, Bond & Partners, New York

Think of it as 'Queer Eye for the Straight Dog.' With two actors vying to out-Carson Carson Kressley in over-the-top gay humor, this spot for the previously conservative-minded pet products marketer Hartz is quite a surprise. But that, of course, is the point of this commercial, designed to cut through the clutter by piggy-backing on Queer Eye's edgy appeal.

The Aliens Among Us
Marketer: Independent Film Channel
Brand: Volkswagen
Title: "Aliens"
Agency: Mad Injection, New York

Made to promote both Volkswagen and Cablevision's Independent Film Channel (IFC) show 'Escape from Hollywood,' this B-movie send-up chronicles one woman's pursuit of space aliens through a local gas station. The spot is running only on IFC, which specializes in independent films that avoid the formulaic drama of Hollywood's movie factories. Oscar Thomas of Driver in New York produced the spot.

Steel Trap Hurdles
Marketer: WildAid
Brand: Endangered Species Protection
Title: "Traps"
Agency: J. Walter Thompson, New York

In a pro bono project with J. Walter Thompson, the global conservation group WildAid has enlisted Olympic athletes in a campaign against the illegal wildlife trade. One of several spots in the group, this one features U.S. gold-medal hurdler Allen Johnson running a track studded with human-size steel traps. The tagline is: "If our athletes faced the kind of hurdles our endangered animals face, the finish line would come all too soon."

Shop 'n Save Race
Marketer: Shop 'n Save, Pittsburgh
Brand: Shop 'n Save
Title: "Fixed Horse Race"
Agency: Ten United, Columbus, Ohio

Shop 'n Save grapples against Wal-Mart, Giant Eagle and a slew of other grocery retail competitors. Its latest strategy is to use online -- rather than print -- sales circulars to begin its weekly sales on Saturdays while the other guys wait until Sunday. This shopping-carts-out-of-the-starting-gate spot emphasizes that Shop 'n Save customers win the race to weekly bargains.

WEEK'S MOST REMEMBERED SPOT
Twisted Crust Grandma
Marketer: Pizza Hut
Brand: Twisted Crust Pizza
Title: "Twisted"
Agency: BBDO, New York

Ripping and dipping her twisted crust, this grandmother sings the praises of gut-buster family dinners from Pizza Hut. No South Beachers need apply. This spot received the highest consumer recall score for the period of Aug. 2-15 in the bi-weekly Intermedia Advertising Group survey.

Rocket Science
Marketer: U.S. Navy
Brand: U.S. Navy
Title: "Rocket Science"
Agency: Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich.

Making its point that rocket science is a hell of lot more fun when you have real rockets to play with, this ad glories in the launch of explosive projectiles. It portrays naval warfare as a slick video game -- the perfect message for luring those teenagers who spend too many hours a day at their Xbox consoles.

Split Screen
Marketer: Sony Ericsson
Brand: K700i Camera Phone
Title: "Search"
Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty, London

Using a visually mesmerizing technique of mirrored split-screen imaging, this spot tracks a young couple on a jaunt through an upscale London neighborhood. Both have a K700i, one using its phone features and the other its camera. In the end, the couple and phones come together, dramatizing the dual personality of the K700i camera phone.

Imagining Olympic Accidents
Marketer: Allstate
Brand: Allstate Insurance
Title: "Weightlifter"
Agency: Leo Burnett, Chicago

Literally one of the more heavy-handed ads airing during the Olympics, this Allstate spot imagines a potential Olympic accident. After a clean lift, powerlifter Shane Hamman drops his massive barbell to the mat only to have it crash through the floor to demolish a car in the parking lot two levels below. Maybe you have to be an insurance agent to appreciate the full humor of this.

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