Rate the Ad: Lenovo: Troll

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Last week, Rate the Ad served up a viral that leaned precariously toward the soft porn aesthetic and, literally, into the toilet. "A Girl, Her Tongue and a Hotel Room" for hotel chain Extended Stay America features a blonde licking various items in a hotel room with her enthusiastic, lingering tongue. After she's sampled the toilet bowl and seat, she proclaims the room "very clean" and flashes a URL scrawled in marker on the palm of her hand.

From agency Mullen, the viral is sure to turn a few stomachs and crease several brows, all while taking its place in the internet's canon of disturbing and surprising stuff. But strange sometimes means good, right? When asked how they received this seemingly amateur spot, Rate the Adsters all but threw up on our shoes (and truly hoped that the licker got seriously paid). Commenter "bestbuy" says, "The only thing dirtier than this idea is the production value. And speaking of value, the only kind this spot has is shock. I wouldn't leave the light on for whoever did this, because it was targeted at themselves, instead of Extended Stay America's actual customers."

Even the warmest of reviewers, "kskelley1976," wretches slightly before pointing out that this sort of video could only live on the internet: "As disturbing and gross as I find the spot, I couldn't stop watching it either. Also, I have to note that the whole morbid curiosity side of me can't help but wonder if the rooms are really that clean, as well as even being slightly interested in hotel itself. I think the only medium this is good for is web/viral though. I can't even imagine what the parent organizations would do if they got a hold of this on network or even cable television."

This week, we pluck a bizarre :30 from the vast collection of Olympics 2008 work. This Ogilvy, New York spot for Lenovo, the computer manufacturer that bought out IBM's PC division a few years back and worldwide partner of the 2008 games, is conspicuously missing the de rigueur athletes, tear-inspiring stories and soaring patriotism. Instead, we have two American men in an airport, a time portal and a pint-sized singing faun with a fruit basket. The only mention of Lenovo's Olympic partnership comes at the end with a quick logo and one sentence voice-over.

Apparently, Dude #1's ThinkPad is one of the PCs that are powering the Games. The Beijing-based company has provided more than 30,000 pieces of computing equipment, 600 engineers and technicians, and PCs and lounges so athletes can stay connected to home. But, the troll was too busy singing to mention any of that.

Can we even call this an Olympics effort? Is it a welcomed respite from the other epic, drama-tinged, actually sports-related spots from other sponsors? Is it refreshing that Lenovo feels no need to tout their contributions to the Games? The Olympics aside, does this strain of wacky work for computers? Or, has someone been watching too many left over Skittles reels from awards season?
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