Look out, cousteau!

It is hard to associate laughs with the long-running public TV program Washington Week in Review. But a TV ad from August Lang & Husak uses a mollusk to combat its dry reputation.
The multimedia
campaign, helping to relaunch the political talk show with new host Gwen Ifill,
contains the tagline, “The most interesting conversation of the week.”
The program is syndicated on more than 300 PBS stations weekly. The ad features a viewer so enraptured by WWR that he does not notice a burglar in his house.
The crook accidentally knocks his loot into a nearby aquarium. While groping for it, he is attacked by the pet octopus of the owner, who remains glued to the tube.
“We wondered whether they’d go for it; it’s so different than anything they’d done in the past,” said the Bethesda, Md., shop’s principal, Mike August.
The spot, supported by national print and radio, broke two weeks ago and appears on CNN and PBS affiliates running through April 2000.
–T.W. Siebert