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And Other TV Spots of the Week

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68 Degrees of Seduction
Marketer: Sierra Pacific Power
Brand: Sierra Pacific Power
Title: "Winter of '68"
Agency: R&R Partners, Las Vegas

In a TV push urging customers to conserve energy by keeping their thermostats at 68, Sierra Pacific Power has created a reprise of 'The Graduate's Mrs. Robinson scene. Think of it as 68 degrees of seduction.

Unsuccessful Suicide
Marketer: Partnershp for a Drug-Free America
Brand: Anti-Drug Campaign
Title: "David"
Agency: JWT, New York

Now here's some grim reality. David, a former methamphetamine addict explains that while high, he attempted suicide with a gun -- but only succeeded in blowing part of his face off. The camera then pulls back to reveal his mutilation.

Sonic Restaurants
Marketer: Sonic Corp.
Brand: Sonic Drive-ins
Title: "Denied"
Agency: Barkley Evergreen & Partners, Kansas City, Mo.

Now really, who had ever even THOUGHT of Sonic restaurants before these wonderfully wacky commercials from Barkley Evergreen & Partners hit the TV screens earlier this year? The two junk-food-and-sports geeks who star in them are so effective because they are so like some of the oddball people you actually know. The characters are played by actors TJ Jagodowski and Peter Grosz from Second City in Chicago who improvise each scene -- there are no scripts or directors involved in producing the spots.

Chrismahanukwanzakah Reloaded
Marketer: Virgin Mobile
Brand: Virgin Mobile
Title: "Help Line"
Agency: Fallon Worldwide, Minneapolis

Two weeks ago I posted Virgin's first 2005 Chrismahanukwanzakah spot and panned it for being so one dimensional in comparison to last year's. But, it turns out, I didn't know that spot was just the FIRST of 2005's. Here's one of the others and it has all the loveably zany characters and merry absurdities as last year's best.

Air Jordan
Marketer: Nike
Brand: Nike/Jordan
Title: "Frozen Moments"
Agency: Wieden & Kennedy, New York

Michael Jordan's unique presence on the court always had as much of the balletic choreographer as the masterful ball handler about it. This spot is like visual haiku capturing one of those moments. It is an ad as well as a true piece of kinetic art that wants to be watched over and over just for the joy of knowing that such gifts of power and agility actually do exist.

Flu Monster
Marketer: Novartis
Brand: Theraflu
Title: "Office"
Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, New York

Got that germ-infested, monstrously out-of-sorts, trying-not-to-sneeze-on-your-co-workers flu kind of feeling? Here's a spot that captures the true spirit of the thing.

Tony Sinclair in Lapland
Marketer: Diageo North America
Brand: Tanqueray
Title: "Lapland"
Agency: Grey Worldwide, New York

Ficticious liquor celebrity Tony Sinclair is back, this time doing a Christmas party in a tent pitched in the middle of a desolate expanse of Lapland. But where else could you see a British naval officer playing 'Deck the Halls' on a musical instrument constructed from a rotating tabletop of crystal glasses of Tanqueray?

Turn Up The Volume, Dude
Marketer: Toyota
Brand: Scion xA
Title: "Phantom"
Agency: Attik, San Francisco

This TV spot is part of the larger campaign designed to drive young males to for similarly frantic graphics and throbbing music. The Scion xA is a vehicle that can serve as a rolling sound studio for those sorts of young individuals who turn up their iPods so loud that one can hear the earbuds buzzing and banging from ten feet away.

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