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STARBURST'S REALLY WEIRD MARIACHI BAND AD

And Other Current TV Commercials of Note

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Chewing Up the Mariachi Band
Marketer: Mars Masterfoods
Brand: Starburst
Title: "Fiesta"
Agency: TBWA/Chiat/Day, New York

Ranking near the top on the wow-that-was-really-weird scale is this TV ad for Starburst's new Baja California flavor. To evoke the candy's Hispanic essence, Starburst built a gigantic human mouth in which it placed a mariachi band. Viewers get to watch as band members are chewed up by enormous teeth and swallowed down a gullet as wide as a subway tunnel.

Killing Ancient Kings
Marketer: New York Lottery
Brand: New York Lottery
Title: "History of Kings"
Agency: DDB Worldwide, New York

Now here's a theme you haven't seen much in TV advertising: a documentary of how several ancient kings died very strange deaths. And what does this have to do with anything? It promotes the New York Lottery's King of Cash instant game.

Show Me the Chicken
Marketer: Bojangles Famous Chicken & Biscuits
Brand: Bojangles Chicken
Title: "Show Me the Chicken"
Agency: Eric Mower & Associates, Charlotte, N.C.

Spoofing the 1996 movie 'Jerry Maguire,' in which a football player demands from his agent 'Show Me the Money,' Bojangles has its own player who demands his rep to 'Show Me the Chicken.'

The Fruit Guys
Marketer: Fruit of the Loom
Brand: Underwear
Title: "Fruit Guys"
Agency: Richards Group, Dallas

Currently evoking laughter on couches coast to coast is this spot for Fruit of the Loom. Set up to appear as a country western music video from a band called 'The Fruit Guys,' it featueres a melancholy song with the plaintive refrain 'You Can't Over Love Your Underwear.'

Paygoist Church
Marketer: Virgin Mobile
Brand: Virgin Mobile
Title: "House of Paygoism"
Agency: Fallon Worldwide, New York

This spot is real collector's item of sorts -- one of the last produced by Fallon's New York office, which last week announced it was shutting down. The latest in the zany 'Paygoist' series of ads for Virgin Mobile, this one takes place inside a storefront 'church' that suddenly becomes a stage show.

Live Like an Emperor
Marketer: Ceasars Palace
Brand: New Augustus Wing
Title: "Shade"
Agency: R&R Partners, Las Vegas

It's really not about losing your money at the slot machines but rather about experiencing the opulence of how Roman emporers lived. That's the basic message of this ad for the new Augustus Tower complex that opens at Ceasar's Palace in Las Vegas next month. Along with all the other standard casino accoutrements, the place includes three wedding chapels and a 35,000-square-foot spa.

Fantasy Auto Track
Marketer: Toyota
Brand: Scion
Title: "What Moves You"
Agency: Attik, San Francisco

Designed for play on a huge cinema screen, this special-effects theater ad offers a spectacular vision of a new kind of auto racing and endurance testing track. It's part video-game fantasy and part rust belt factory machinery. That makes it perfect for the audience of young game geeks and retro heads that Scion targets in its marketing.

Giant Hole in One
Marketer: Progressive Insurance
Brand: Progressive Insurance
Title: "Golf"
Agency: G Whiz, New York

This spot's kicker of a golf hole as large as a swimming pool is one of those images you'll remember long after you've blanked on the name of the insurance company that paid for it.

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