COMPUTER BUG STEALS THE SHOW

Spring is here, the bugs are back. J. Walter Thompson’s new television spot for Orkin Pest Control turns that tired premise into a wacky soap opera.
“Fake Out” opens as a pitch for “Sierra” fabric softener. A housewife is doing the laundry when a roach skitters across the TV screen, a computer-generated image visceral enough to send slippers flying across America’s living rooms.
“Hi there! Got bugs?” It’s the Orkin Man who enters the fray, zapping the invader.
“It was a given that the roach would walk onto the screen,” said director David Dryer at Sun Spots Studios in Los Angeles, “but a lot of thinking went into the choreography.”
The bug steals the scene, coming perilously close to the woman’s face before taking a Nureyev-like swan dive.
The 30-second spot, part of a $10 million national buy, will appear on network and major cable channels.
But don’t look for a similar themed sequel, according to Michael Lollis, executive creative director at JWT in Atlanta. “Return of the Roach” is not a message Orkin is interested in delivering.
–Vincent Coppol