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#1
Old 07-19-2016, 10:05 AM
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Commercial Oddities

There are two things I noticed recently, both related to television commercials, that I was wondering about. Feel free to comment on either or both (or neither!).

Observation#1: The Verizon "can you hear me now?" guy now plugging for Sprint? Has there every been another case of a well-known spokesperson jumping ship to a competitor? And he directly references his work for Verizon, its not just "hey, I got another job". It seems weird to me, as if Sprint is desperate or something but I can also see how they could see it as a "coup" to have "converted" the spokesperson.

Observation #2: I recently saw a commercial for Febreeze, where a mother is telling her teenage son that they need to "wash" his room because it stinks and he has company coming over. But it is the exact same situation, exact SAME DIALOGUE, as a Febreeze commercial that first aired a couple years ago, just with different actors. Why "recast" and re-film a commercial and not add or change anything otherwise?

Just wondering if anyone had any thoughts on either of these observations of mine.
#2
Old 07-19-2016, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by turtlescanfly View Post
Observation #2: I recently saw a commercial for Febreeze, where a mother is telling her teenage son that they need to "wash" his room because it stinks and he has company coming over. But it is the exact same situation, exact SAME DIALOGUE, as a Febreeze commercial that first aired a couple years ago, just with different actors. Why "recast" and re-film a commercial and not add or change anything otherwise?
Commercials are frequently shot in blocks, sometimes on the same set or location, with different actors. The usual reason was race: P&G, for example, didn't want to be accused of racism by using only white actors, so they'd shoot a black version of the same commercial, and in recent years, Latino or other variations. Time was that the black-actor commercials wouldn't be shown in the south. These days, it can come down to different regional accents - while California would giggle at a commercial with Nwingland accents, Nwinglanders would feel recognized by it.

For a long time, major advertisers stood on their white/black/your-race-here commercial blocking to prove they were multicultural. Then someone noticed that there was never a mix of races in a commercial, so they cut together commercials that showed one white family and one black family... but still not interacting. It's quite a recent thing to have mixed races interacting in major ads, and they still shoot multiple versions both for regionalizing/market targeting and to keep the basic campaign fresh by not seeing exactly the same commercial as many times.
#3
Old 07-19-2016, 10:37 AM
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Note: I work in advertising.

Quote:
Originally Posted by turtlescanfly View Post
Observation#1: The Verizon "can you hear me now?" guy now plugging for Sprint? Has there every been another case of a well-known spokesperson jumping ship to a competitor? And he directly references his work for Verizon, its not just "hey, I got another job". It seems weird to me, as if Sprint is desperate or something but I can also see how they could see it as a "coup" to have "converted" the spokesperson.
Just to note that it's been five years since Verizon ran the "Can You Hear Me Now?" campaign, or used him in any of their ads. So, while Sprint clearly is employing him for his recognizability, and his former role, it's not like he's jumped directly from Verizon to Sprint.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_M...rtising_career

And, yes, Sprint is kind of desperate; they're #4 in the U.S. mobile phone market, well behind AT&T and Verizon: http://fiercewireless.com/specia...top-8-carriers

Quote:
Observation #2: I recently saw a commercial for Febreeze, where a mother is telling her teenage son that they need to "wash" his room because it stinks and he has company coming over. But it is the exact same situation, exact SAME DIALOGUE, as a Febreeze commercial that first aired a couple years ago, just with different actors. Why "recast" and re-film a commercial and not add or change anything otherwise?
Assuming that it's 100% identical, it could be any of a number of reasons. Off the top of my head:

- The actors' contracts with the advertiser (and the ad agency) are usually not open-ended; many such contracts are in force for a limited amount of time (perhaps only a year or two), since very few ads air for very long. If an advertiser wants to continue to run a spot after the contracts with the actors lapse, they need to re-negotiate, and one of the actors might have refused to re-up the contract.

- Typically, an actor's contract includes a clause preventing them from making an ad for the advertiser's competition. It's possible that, after the contract for the Febreze ad lapsed, one of the actors may have gone on to make an ad for a competitor.

- One of the actors might have had some sort of personal issue (such as being arrested, or saying something very stupid on social media), and the advertiser no longer wanted that person to be associated with their brand.

It's also possible that the ads are similar, but not 100% identical -- they may have changed a claim in the ad, or wanted to say something slightly differently (or even shown a new version of the package), which would have required a re-shoot.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 07-19-2016 at 10:41 AM.
#4
Old 07-19-2016, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by turtlescanfly View Post
Observation#1: The Verizon "can you hear me now?" guy now plugging for Sprint?
I would never have noticed if he didn't mention it himself in the ad. All phone commercials are the same blahblahblah to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by turtlescanfly
Observation #2: I recently saw a commercial for Febreeze, where a mother is telling her teenage son that they need to "wash" his room because it stinks and he has company coming over. But it is the exact same situation, exact SAME DIALOGUE, as a Febreeze commercial that first aired a couple years ago, just with different actors. Why "recast" and re-film a commercial and not add or change anything otherwise?
I've noticed the same thing with this Symbicort ad, it used to star a little boy. Now it has little girls, but other than that, I don't think they've changed one single word.
#5
Old 07-19-2016, 03:21 PM
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They had an article in the Kansas City paper a while back about Sprint snapping up the Verizon guy. (Sprint is based in KC.) They had a quote from someone at Sprint expressing surprise that Verizon hadn't contractually locked this guy up for life, and decided to hire him when they found out he was available. I agree though that it does feel like a desperation move.
#6
Old 07-19-2016, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by turtlescanfly View Post
. . .Has there every been another case of a well-known spokesperson jumping ship to a competitor? . . . .
I think in the 1980s Glenn Frey and/or Don Johnson jumped from Pepsi to Coke (possibly the diet versions).
#7
Old 07-19-2016, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by turtlescanfly View Post
Observation#1: The Verizon "can you hear me now?" guy now plugging for Sprint?... And he directly references his work for Verizon
I have noted that the mentioning of the leader in any field clearly marks the one making the commercial as second place (at best).

Burger King compares its products to McDonald's (4 out of 5 prefer our fries to McDonald's).

McDonald's never mentions Burger King.

Lexus and Infiniti have both shown BMWs and Mercedes in their commercials, in some cases mentioning them by name.

Mercedes and BMW show their cars.

Dennis
#8
Old 07-19-2016, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by mixdenny View Post
I have noted that the mentioning of the leader in any field clearly marks the one making the commercial as second place (at best).
Well, yes, because if you're the market leader, you don't generally *have* to make competitive claims like those.

Claims like those are fairly uncommon, and are usually made when the "second place" brand actually can make a superiority claim (i.e., "consumers prefer our product"). Uninformed consumers will tend to assume that the "leading brand" is probably also the best brand, and if another brand actually has a better product, a claim like that can actually be pretty powerful.

Such claims also need to be backed up by fairly stringent consumer research, which is another reason why you so rarely see a brand make a direct, named comparison against a competitor. If Burger King makes a claim like "4 out of 5 people prefer our fries over McDonalds" *, McDonalds would immediately file a claim with the regulatory authorities (likely the Federal Trade Commission), and Burger King would need to either provide substantiation, in the form of the research study which demonstrated this result, or they would need to pull the ads.

* - a claim that they have actually never made -- the actual number was 57% preferred BK, and that campaign was nearly 20 years ago.
#9
Old 07-19-2016, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Amateur Barbarian View Post
<snip> For a long time, major advertisers stood on their white/black/your-race-here commercial blocking to prove they were multicultural. Then someone noticed that there was never a mix of races in a commercial, so they cut together commercials that showed one white family and one black family... but still not interacting. It's quite a recent thing to have mixed races interacting in major ads, and they still shoot multiple versions both for regionalizing/market targeting and to keep the basic campaign fresh by not seeing exactly the same commercial as many times.
This is not a value judgement or anything, just an observation: I've noticed lots more commercials showing what strikes me as the token friends. For example, a party full of white people with one black couple, or three women lunching together - one white, one black, one Asian, or a black family having a cookout with their one white friend.

These ads make me shake my head - they seem so blatantly manipulative to me. On the other hand, my husband was surprised when I pointed it out to him - he'd never noticed. To be fair, tho, he generally reaches for the remote when a commercial comes on.

I've also noticed more mixed-race families and same-sex couples in ads. I think I'm more aware of them because I noticed the demographics once, and now it's just glaringly obvious. I'd love to know what went on in the planning meetings for these commercials.

And for the most part, these ads fail with me because I have no idea what they're selling - the messengers distract me from the message.
#10
Old 07-19-2016, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by turtlescanfly View Post
Has there every been another case of a well-known spokesperson jumping ship to a competitor?
Well, Marlboro cigarettes had a series of ads featuring the Marlboro Man (there were several). At least one of them did PSA on the dangers of smoking after he was diagnosed with lung cancer.
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#11
Old 07-20-2016, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
Well, Marlboro cigarettes had a series of ads featuring the Marlboro Man (there were several). At least one of them did PSA on the dangers of smoking after he was diagnosed with lung cancer.
Who is this mysterious "Marlboro Man"? Tom Selleck was a Marlboro Man. Last I heard he was perfectly fine.

Last edited by furryman; 07-20-2016 at 02:07 PM.
#12
Old 07-20-2016, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by furryman View Post
Who is this mysterious "Marlboro Man"? Tom Selleck was a Marlboro Man. Last I heard he was perfectly fine.
From Snopes: at least two "Marlboro Men" (neither of them Tom Selleck, clearly ) later participated in anti-smoking efforts once they were diagnosed with smoking-related diseases.

http://snopes.com/radiotv/tv/marlboro.asp

Last edited by kenobi 65; 07-20-2016 at 02:35 PM.
#13
Old 07-20-2016, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by furryman View Post
Who is this mysterious "Marlboro Man"? Tom Selleck was a Marlboro Man. Last I heard he was perfectly fine.
There were several, as was stated previously: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marlboro_Man#Controversy

Quote:
Four men who claimed to have appeared in Marlboro-related advertisements—Wayne McLaren, David McLean, Dick Hammer and Eric Lawson[22] —died of smoking-related diseases, thus earning Marlboro cigarettes, specifically Marlboro Reds, the nickname "Cowboy killers".[23] McLaren testified in favor of anti-smoking legislation at the age of 51.
There's no mention of Tom Selleck. I can't find any images online of him in Marlboro ads, either, though he was in some ads for Salem cigarettes.
#14
Old 07-21-2016, 04:32 AM
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Elton John used to do Diet Coke commercials in the 90s.

This century, he's done spots for Pepsi.

--

In Japan more recently, Japanese pop group AKB48 did:

- promo videos for Tokyo Disneyland in 2013.

- live shows at Universal Studios Japan in 2016.

Last edited by JpnDude; 07-21-2016 at 04:33 AM.
#15
Old 07-21-2016, 08:14 AM
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I was wondering about the Febreese commercial myself. They played the hell out of the first version so I was very familiar with it, then suddenly I see the same commercial shot word-for-word with entirely different actors. I said something to my wife, but she didn't notice any difference. Very twilight zone-esque.

I buy the contract dispute theory over shooting for different ethnicities/demographics, since if I recall correctly both sets of actors were all lily-white. Still, it seems strange- if you could no longer show a certain commercial because of a contract dispute, you'd think you'd start with a new script and fresh approach. Maybe the commercial did so well they didn't want to change a thing.
#16
Old 07-21-2016, 08:44 AM
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What about the Realtor.com commercials that use Ty Burrell as their spokesman, but he's in character as Phil Dunphy from Modern Family?

Has there ever been a case where a brand used an actual character from a TV show or movie (not the actor wink-wink, nudge-nudgeing to their character) as a spokesperson?
#17
Old 07-21-2016, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by solost View Post
Still, it seems strange- if you could no longer show a certain commercial because of a contract dispute, you'd think you'd start with a new script and fresh approach. Maybe the commercial did so well they didn't want to change a thing.
That'd be my guess. P&G would undoubtedly have done copy testing (market research) on the original spot; I would guess that they were very happy with it, and wanted to keep the new version as close to the original as possible.
#18
Old 07-21-2016, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Sir T-Cups View Post
What about the Realtor.com commercials that use Ty Burrell as their spokesman, but he's in character as Phil Dunphy from Modern Family?

Has there ever been a case where a brand used an actual character from a TV show or movie (not the actor wink-wink, nudge-nudgeing to their character) as a spokesperson?
I haven't been able to find it in a few minutes of Googling, but Tony Randall and Jack Klugman did at least one commercial for the board game Yahtzee, on the Odd Couple set ( or a reasonable fascimile). I don't recall if they actually called each other Felix and Oscar, but the implication was certainly there.
#19
Old 07-21-2016, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by MrAtoz View Post
I haven't been able to find it in a few minutes of Googling, but Tony Randall and Jack Klugman did at least one commercial for the board game Yahtzee, on the Odd Couple set ( or a reasonable fascimile). I don't recall if they actually called each other Felix and Oscar, but the implication was certainly there.
The two of them also did a series of ads for Eagle Snacks (a line of chips and pretzels originally introduced by Anheuser-Busch). While Tony calls Jack by name in the ad, their demeanor and outfits clearly are meant to represent Felix and Oscar.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=84Pp1oeG-pU
#20
Old 07-21-2016, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
Well, yes, because if you're the market leader, you don't generally *have* to make competitive claims like those.
An amusing thing I noticed when visiting Ivy League universities: At Yale, people were always telling me about the many wonderful advantages that Yale has over Harvard. At Harvard, no one ever mentioned Yale.
#21
Old 07-21-2016, 12:04 PM
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Sir T-Cups
What about the Realtor.com commercials that use Ty Burrell as their spokesman, but he's in character as Phil Dunphy from Modern Family?

Has there ever been a case where a brand used an actual character from a TV show or movie (not the actor wink-wink, nudge-nudgeing to their character) as a spokesperson?
This absolutely hilarious Jeno's pizza roll commercial with a cameo from Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels. Apparently he did some General Mills commercials in character as well.
https://youtube.com/watch?v=gEfx9epJKEg

Last edited by furryman; 07-21-2016 at 12:08 PM.
#22
Old 07-21-2016, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Sir T-Cups View Post
Has there ever been a case where a brand used an actual character from a TV show or movie (not the actor wink-wink, nudge-nudgeing to their character) as a spokesperson?
Does Fred Flintstone count?
#23
Old 07-21-2016, 01:34 PM
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In the latest spots for Intel, is it Jim Parsons or Sheldon Cooper?
#24
Old 07-21-2016, 02:42 PM
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I find odd the unrealistic way people eat fast food in commercials. Like the model holding the giant burger in one hand and smashing it into her face, or the people who hold sub sandwiches vertically with one hand and nothing falls out of it.
#25
Old 07-22-2016, 03:43 PM
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I find odd the unrealistic way people eat fast food in commercials. Like the model holding the giant burger in one hand and smashing it into her face, or the people who hold sub sandwiches vertically with one hand and nothing falls out of it.
Did anyone else but me notice that the burger they're eating in the Burger King commercial is about three times the size of a real whopper?
#26
Old 07-22-2016, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas View Post
In the latest spots for Intel, is it Jim Parsons or Sheldon Cooper?
I would classify this as my "it's the actor, but he's wink-winking to his character" definition.

That's interesting about the Odd Couple though. I guess it proves that even if this isn't the first time this has happened, it's quite rare.
#27
Old 07-22-2016, 04:11 PM
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The characters from The Adventures of Superman did a whole slew of commercials for Kellogg Cereals in the 1950s.

All except for Lois Lane. The writers couldn't come up with an innocent reason for her to be having breakfast with Clark or Jimmy.
#28
Old 07-22-2016, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Sir T-Cups View Post
Has there ever been a case where a brand used an actual character from a TV show or movie (not the actor wink-wink, nudge-nudgeing to their character) as a spokesperson?
I am pretty sure some of the early TV programs staged ads right in the live performance, with the cast in character. I couldn't say if they addressed each other as characters or actors, but when it comes to Luci and Desi, there's not much difference.

For those who have never seen them, shows of the late 1940s and 1950s would just have the cast stop and share cigarettes or coffee or whatever, right there on the set and in the middle of the show, and then (with or without another commercial break of any kind) continue with the program.
#29
Old 07-22-2016, 04:42 PM
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Days of Our Lives just a few years ago would have characters in-scene telling us what made a particular brand of Chinese food, or Cheerios, so good.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=gCh4gnIcJEM
https://youtube.com/watch?v=JPJpgjfFJpc
#30
Old 07-23-2016, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Amateur Barbarian View Post
I am pretty sure some of the early TV programs staged ads right in the live performance, with the cast in character. I couldn't say if they addressed each other as characters or actors, but when it comes to Luci and Desi, there's not much difference.

For those who have never seen them, shows of the late 1940s and 1950s would just have the cast stop and share cigarettes or coffee or whatever, right there on the set and in the middle of the show, and then (with or without another commercial break of any kind) continue with the program.
I often wondered why you don't see reruns of Jack Benny or Burns and Allen on TV. Turns out most of the early programs were just one long commercial.
#31
Old 07-23-2016, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Sir T-Cups View Post
Has there ever been a case where a brand used an actual character from a TV show or movie (not the actor wink-wink, nudge-nudgeing to their character) as a spokesperson?
"Austin Powers" selling Pepsi.
#32
Old 07-23-2016, 04:48 PM
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Back in the 80s elderly actress Clara Peller became extremely famous for her, "Where's the beef!" series of commercials for Wendy's (Walter Mondale even famously used the phrase in his 1984 presidential campaign). She eventually did a commercial for a spaghetti sauce that was very 'meaty' and had her saying, "I finally found it!". She was fired by Wendy's soon after.
#33
Old 07-23-2016, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by furryman View Post
This absolutely hilarious Jeno's pizza roll commercial with a cameo from Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels. Apparently he did some General Mills commercials in character as well.
https://youtube.com/watch?v=gEfx9epJKEg
So I'm guessing that the smoking, first guy who asks about the use of The William Tell Overture represented a cigarette company that also used the theme? Any idea what brand that was?
#34
Old 07-23-2016, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Amateur Barbarian View Post
I am pretty sure some of the early TV programs staged ads right in the live performance, with the cast in character. I couldn't say if they addressed each other as characters or actors, but when it comes to Luci and Desi, there's not much difference.

For those who have never seen them, shows of the late 1940s and 1950s would just have the cast stop and share cigarettes or coffee or whatever, right there on the set and in the middle of the show, and then (with or without another commercial break of any kind) continue with the program.
I have a DVD set with many commercials from this time, including I Love Lucy ones, and I think they stayed in character. It seemed very common back then, but the sponsor more or less owned the show, unlike today where they buy up ad slots.
#35
Old 07-23-2016, 05:31 PM
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This is a commercial for IAMS pet food. At the very end, the boy is standing next to the car at the beach and encouraging the dog to jump in the back seat.

The thing is I remember that scene at the end of a Subaru commercial, preceded by the same scenes of the boy growing up with the dog. So I thought it was an example of two companies using the same footage in commercials for different products. But I can find no mention of this, so perhaps I'm imagining the Subaru commercial?
#36
Old 07-23-2016, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Hail Ants View Post
So I'm guessing that the smoking, first guy who asks about the use of The William Tell Overture represented a cigarette company that also used the theme? Any idea what brand that was?
Larks?
#37
Old 07-23-2016, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Son of a Rich View Post
Larks?
https://archive.org/details/tobacco_ipv08h00 At 4:30.
#38
Old 07-23-2016, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Rick Kitchen View Post
Days of Our Lives just a few years ago would have characters in-scene telling us what made a particular brand of Chinese food, or Cheerios, so good.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=gCh4gnIcJEM
https://youtube.com/watch?v=JPJpgjfFJpc
They also did an in-show Midol ad in 2014 that's too painfully awful to link to.
#39
Old 07-24-2016, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
So I thought it was an example of two companies using the same footage in commercials for different products. But I can find no mention of this, so perhaps I'm imagining the Subaru commercial?
Wow. I've never seen the Iams version before, but I was rather charmed by the Subaru version, and remember it well. They're using the exact same footage.
#40
Old 07-24-2016, 05:12 AM
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Wow. I've never seen the Iams version before, but I was rather charmed by the Subaru version, and remember it well. They're using the exact same footage.
Similar idea, but different commercials
#41
Old 07-24-2016, 05:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
This is a commercial for IAMS pet food. At the very end, the boy is standing next to the car at the beach and encouraging the dog to jump in the back seat.
They're both sweet, but this longer version is a real tear-jerker

Last edited by Wisp00; 07-24-2016 at 05:18 AM.
#42
Old 07-24-2016, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by furryman View Post
I often wondered why you don't see reruns of Jack Benny or Burns and Allen on TV. Turns out most of the early programs were just one long commercial.
You need to get some rabbit ears and check out Antenna TV. I'll bet you haven't seen My Mother The Car in a while either.

Last edited by Harvey The Heavy; 07-24-2016 at 12:58 PM.
#43
Old 07-24-2016, 03:12 PM
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Back to the OP... what I love about this commercial is that they clearly state that they are within 1% of Verizon's service level.

I can't help but remember the "If 99.9% was good enough" that went around some time ago...

http://msgboard.snopes.com/cgi-bin/u...7;t=000474;p=1

One percent would mean only 20 planes crash each day at O'Hare. (Don't ask for a cite because I don't have one)
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