Discovery's "Eaten Alive," which planned to show an anaconda "devour" snake-lover Paul Rosolie, generated a lot of heat among TV watchers in the run up the show's broadcast this weekend.
It turned out Rosolie ultimately didn't become serpent chow (he complained his arm hurt), but the advertiser did draw 4.1 million viewers. During the broadcast, one advertiser also bit at the opportunity to run a funny ad mimicking the show's premise. Even before the show was announced, agency Pereira & O'Dell had produced a spot for 1-800-Contacts featuring an animal control officer and his partner in an unknowingly perilous situation involving a giant snake. It was set to run in January, but once agency and client heard about the show, they pulled a clever media buy during the broadcast.
First, they had to make certain that Rosolie had survived the stunt, and once they found out they revised the VO to contextualize it with "Eaten Alive."
"I hope this makes me famous," says the officer who wasn't as lucky as Rosolie. The ad was directed by Phil Morrison out of Epoch Films. 1-800-Contacts also tried to fuel excitement over the ad on social media.