The Buzz

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It's not TV...It's H2O? Leave it to Time Warner pay-channel HBO to create a spoof spot that claims its Sunday night programming has single-handedly revived the water cooler industry. With 124 prime-time Emmy nominations this year for shows such as "The Sopranos" and "Angels in America," HBO clearly has something to brag about.

The spots, produced in-house, show a variety of terminally unhip executives from the water cooler business thanking HBO for giving people a reason to fill paper cones on a more regular basis.

HBO is almost as well known for its advertising as it is for its shows. Print work for "The Sopranos" was shot by fashion photographer Annie Liebowitz. The company also works hard to make its on-air promotions as thought provoking as possible; a recent spot shows characters from shows "Curb Your Enthusiasm" interacting with "The Sopranos" or characters from "Sex and the City." According to HBO reps, however, this is the first time the marketing department has created what might be regarded as a spoof advertisement.

Eric Kessler, HBO president-sales and marketing, thought the commercial was something of a giggle; it seems water cooler operators are taking it more seriously. They've asked HBO if they could borrow the ads for internal training purposes.

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