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TERMINIX'S NEW 'PSYCHO' COMMERCIAL

And Other Current TV Commercials of Note

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Terminix 'Psycho' Ad
Marketer: Terminix International
Brand: Terminix
Title: "Shower"
Agency: Stone Ward, Little Rock, Ark.
In a takeoff on the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock classic 'Psycho,' this new Terminix ad reprises the Janet Leigh shower scene, complete with the creepy Bernard Hermann movie music and a hand touching the wet shower curtain just before the true threat reveals itself. But this time, the horror isn't a deranged slasher but a spider. It is, after all, spider season, the Terminix voice-over tells us. The spot will air in May.

Women Shave It Bald for Truth
Marketer: American Legacy Foundation
Brand: Truth Anti-Smoking Campaign
Title: "Hair"
Agency: Arnold Worldwide and Crispin Porter & Bogusky
A bevy of young women line up on a crowded sidewalk to have their hair shaved off to dramatize the dangers of smoking. Then, we cut to a former smoker and lung cancer victim who is losing her hair, too -- as a result of her chemotherapy. Not too hard to understand why two of the largest tobacco companies -- R.J. Reynolds and Brown & Williamson -- recently said they aren't putting any more money into this hard-hitting, court-mandated "Truth" advertising effort from the American Legacy Foundation.

Manhattan Under Water
Marketer: Barclay's
Brand: iShares
Title: "Clean Slate"
Agency: Venables, Bell & Partners, San Francisco
In a mini-epic combining natural-disaster film effects with financial services hype, the bubble bursts and recession rains down. Torrents of water flood the streets. People are trapped in their offices. Communications go dead. All Manhattan is underwater and gloom among the survivors is as thick as the fog outside. But then, the sun pierces the heavens, the waters recede and streets again bustle as iShare beckons humanity to celebrate the beauty of resurgent life -- as well as the new joy of exchange traded funds.

A Sitcom That Isn't
Marketer: Verizon
Brand: Verizon DSL
Title: "Tent"
Agency: McGarry Bowen, New York
It is curious that Verizon's press release heralds this as the kickoff of a 'new advertising concept,' sitcom-like ads. Did they miss Nestle's 1990 Taster's Choice campaign or Procter & Gamble's 2002 Secret antiperspirant ads? Maybe the creatives and pr wonks had a bad connection on this one.

Morgan Fairchild Hustle
Marketer: Old Navy
Brand: Old Navy
Title: "Birthday Hustle"
Agency: In-house
Old Navy AGAIN? you ask. Two weeks IN A ROW, you say. Well, it is Morgan Fairchild and she is doing quite a hustle in her atomic purple dress. You think it's easy to make these hard newsroom decisions? But someone's got to do it.

Prescribe Your Own Medical Fix
Marketer: Middlesex Hospital
Brand: Middlesex Hospital
Title: "I Prescribe"
Agency: Cronin & Co., Glastonbury, Conn.
In its first foray into TV advertising, Middlesex Hospital of Middletown, Conn., turns the table on physicians. It gives their prescription pads to patients who are then shown prescribing their own desires in medical treatment, such as 'openness,' fairness,' and 'a partnership.' Only one local hospital, of course, is capable of fulfilling such unorthodox orders.

Follow That Apartment
Marketer: Infiniti
Brand: Infiniti
Title: "Apartment"
Agency: TBWA/Chiat/Day
This woman is moving down the street in her apartment when the room suddenly turns into car interior. Get it? A vehicle as comfortable as your home? We were glad to see the transformation happen so quickly, because too many apartments carooming around corners would make life on Manhattan streets so much more of a hell than it already is.

Color My Candy
Marketer: Mars Masterfoods USA
Brand: M&Ms
Title: "River of Chocolate"
Agency: BBDO, New York
Following up on the 'disappearance' of colored M&Ms that never fully happened, Mars Masterfoods heralds the reintroduction of the M&M colors with ads that go for the heavily artistic. This one features a lush orchestral update of Petula's Clark's 1967 song 'Color My World' and a psychedelic scene of undulating M&Ms. Makes you really miss the old M&M characters doesn't it?

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