NEW YORK Attention must be paid to the untimely passing of Robert Goulet, who set a new (and unlikely) standard for Emerald Nuts pitchmanship: if you recall in last year’s ads, if you didn’t keep your blood sugar and energy on an even keel, the turtlenecked crooner would arrive at your office at 3 p.m., wearing various shades of maroon outerwear and a gold necklace and “mess with your stuff.” I’m happy to report that despite the loss of the beloved mustachioed entertainer, the agency, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, has extended the strategy to new (and ever more surreal) heights. Two new spots (one using a version of the pale robotic models from the “Addicted to Love” video, and the other a takeoff on Swiss Family Robinson) have been released, and both are hilarious, but my vote goes to the ’80s Fembots. It’s the combination of tones that’s so hard to pull off: a parody of 1950s-style advertising, mixed with the resurrection of an improbable icon and a dead-on business strategy (nuts as mid-afternoon picker upper.) In this case, Robert Palmer’s video from 1985, with its lineup of identical over-made-up, tight-haired, mini-skirted women strumming electric guitars, and invading your backyard at 3 p.m. if you didn’t have your snack, makes for an awesome visual. Plus, given the song’s lyrics, there’s a new subliminal takeaway: “Addicted to nuts.” I’d give the two spots salt-soaked thumbs up. And Bob, I’m shredding a few almonds in your memory.
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