Garmin “Nutcracker”

Ad of the Day 11/30/09

Garmin’s holiday commercials for the Nuvi 1690 are packed with hysterically random characters. Personal favorites include the mandolin-playing squirrel and, in this spot, “Nutcracker,” an incredibly scary-looking clown who seems to be stalking the Nutcracker as he makes his escape from the toy store for some holiday fun, including a curling tournament and snacks with hotties at a new hot spot. The ads are the first from ex-Fallon group creative director Brian Tierney, who managed to snag the business after the client parted ways with his former agency, and they are a holiday treat for those who like their Christmas pitches a little on the weird side. Like the brand’s past holiday efforts, spots offer oddball takes on the “Carol of the Bells, ” and TV viewers should appreciate their repeated viewing, if only to catch the lyrics. The future is challenging for GPS devices like this, which have seen their appeal dwindle with the advent of GPS mobile apps. But playful ads like these should keep Garmin at the top of shoppers minds, at least for one more holiday season.–Eleftheria Parpis