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TOYOTA'S MAN-EATING VENUS FLYTRAP AD

And Other Current TV Commercials of Note

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Man-Eating Venus Fly Trap
Client: Toyota
Brand: Echo Hatchback
Title: "Venus"
Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, Toronto
This is a bizarrely wonderful cinema ad for the new tongue-in-cheek Toyota Echo Hatchback tagline: "What goes in the hatch is up to you." There's even enough room in the hatch to fit a man-eating Venus flytrap plant. Here, we watch it suck in a hapless grocery store delivery boy. And the woman driver is even creepier than the plant.

Muscular Music
Client: Gap
Brand: Gap Jeans
Title: "Into the Hollywood Groove"
Agency: Laird & Partners, New York
Flaunting taut, ropelike muscles, 45-year-old Madonna teams with rapper Missy Elliott to prance and preen for the latest in Gap fashions. The unlikely duo's new song is also available in the clothing retailer's stores.

A Babel of Auto Envy
Client: Mercedes-Benz Tri-State Dealers (NY-NJ-Conn.)
Brand: Mercedes-Benz
Title: "Languages"
Agency: Merkley Newman Harty Partners, New York
"You may not know what they are saying but you know exactly what they mean" is the tagline for this striking commercial that uses language barriers to transcend language barriers. In essence, it speaks the universal dialect of auto envy.

All Toby All the Time
Client: Ford Motor Co.
Brand: F-Series Pickups
Title: "Toby Keith Field Trip"
Agency: J. Walter Thompson
Toby Keith plays all roles and sings the sound track in this ad for the Ford F-150 pickup. The campaign also kicks off a 60-stop concert tour for the country singer, who rose to national fame with "The Angry American," a controversial song about the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan after 9/11.

Urine Wind
Client: Parker Hannifin
Brand: Engineering Services
Title: "Baby Shower"
Agency: Brokaw, Cleveland
A urinating baby stars in this first of three TV commercials from engineering giant Parker Hannifin. Part of a $30 million marketing effort, the campaign strategy is to "humanize" engineering services and use consumer TV to reach industrial buyers.

Dancing Past the Chaos of Kmart
Client: Kmart
Brand: Kmart
Title: "Apparel"
Agency: TBWA/Chiat/Day
Watching this spot, one wonders why they are dancing so joyfully at Kmart. After all, the retailer continues its struggle out of bankruptcy; has had five marketing directors in two years; and the agency that made this commercial quit.

Spike Bares All
Client: SpikeTV
Brand: SpikeTV
Title: "Women's Field Hockey"
Agency: In-house
SpikeTV's launch ads are as laced with adolescent testosterone as its programming. This spot features a teenage male playing on a girls' hockey team. In an moment of after-play triumph, he pulls up his shirt to reveal his chest to the crowd. Speaking in boyish overstatement, Spike hails itself as "The First Network for Men."

Cardboard Mom
Client: Staples
Brand: Back to School Supplies
Title: "Soccer Mom"
Agency: Martin/Williams, Minneapolis
Too busy searching for the right back-to-school supplies to make the soccer game, a harried mother sends a cardboard image of herself instead. She should have shopped at Staples.

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