NEW YORK Fighting hamburgers. A feast fit for a Viking. An incredible shrinking woman. A desperate PR pitch. This month, the best spots offered a mix of eccentric new work that hooked, rather than harassed, and familiar executions that lived up to past hits.
Burger King served viewers another comical family drama starring meat. This time, the father burger comes home to find a raging party in his home and his teenage burger daughter getting hot and heavy with a spicy chicken sandwich. When inflated to such absurd proportions, the overused bad-boy-seduces-good-girl story line doesn't feel overdone.
In more fun with food, M&Ms introduced another Addams Family riff for its dark chocolate with peanuts candy. In this one, M&Ms are again cast as the morbid family, appearing as Morticia and Gomez having a sword fight, and Cousin Itt, whose woolly figure, like the others, sports the candy logo. I'm a fan of the spot's animation as well as the original TV show, and think this is another fitting tribute to the fabulous franchise, and is perfectly in keeping with the M&M characters' offbeat personalities.
Geico gave us another funny and eye-catching execution. The retro-looking footage features two Chatty Cathy dolls who, when their strings are pulled, talk about saving money thanks to Geico car insurance. (One of them also dares the unseen person to pull her string again.)
XM Satellite Radio produced more no-frills fun with a spot utilizing its yellow sound waves logo to cleverly showcase the company's college football programming. The logo becomes bulbs in the field lights, grease on a player's face and the pom-poms in a cheerleader's hands.
The most promising campaign debut came from Snickers, which introduced a series of ads about a "feast." In keeping with the brand's long-standing pitch as a satisfying remedy for a rumbling stomach, the first spot features a motley crew of men—a shirtless Polynesian dancer, a medieval king, a Viking, a toga-clad Roman and a Pilgrim—all brought together to eat Snickers. It's another funny candy spot that's short on logic, but tough to forget.
I'm not sure how Nike's new nikesoccer.com campaign will evolve, but if it includes more executions with The Office's hilarious Rainn Wilson, I'd be happy. Here he's looking for a job and trying to impress with a homemade video in which he pitches himself, awkwardly and pitifully, as a public relations exec. The character and the story line appear well suited for the actor—in fact, the spot relies heavily on his Office persona to carry the humor.
A new campaign for Weight Watchers injects some much-needed humor in the mostly guilt-inducing diet ad category. Standard-looking shots of a woman at work eating calorie-conscious portions and sticking a Post-it on her cubicle to remind herself she has five pounds to go turn funny in the spot's last moments. As she dashes for an office elevator about to close, she dives face first, like a ballplayer trying to steal home. Thanks to her weight loss, the woman's skirt pulls down, revealing her slip. Her diet's only downside: the need to buy new clothes, an inconvenience most dieters would welcome.