Ad of the Day: Cape Cod Potato Chips

Flock of Seagulls' songs are always best when sung by actual flocks of seagulls

Full disclosure: I like Cape Cod Potato Chips. I am ambivalent about Flock of Seagulls and mostly like their hair. But I am quite bullish on this new Cape Cod ad from Baltimore agency GKV, which features a flock of seagulls performing "I Ran" by their New Wave namesakes.

There's always talk about the uncanny valley whenever CGI video makers try to compete with the real world. But for some reason we've been a lot more successful with computer-created animals than humans in recent years. The gull knocking over the cymbal and his frontman appearing to squawk rather than sing make this spot particularly funny. Are they actual gulls trained to play Flock of Seagulls, maybe?

No. They are not. But they are some talented algorithms nonetheless.

As always, it's the little things that get me. I remember a couple of years ago when the Coen brothers' A Serious Man came out and the pair revealed in an interview that they'd removed the odd tree from the background to make the place look a little more like 1970s Minnesota, with which they'd had extensive personal experience. That is the only way I can explain the appearance in the background of the lighthouse that looks exactly like the lighthouse on the bag of chips, unless there's some isolated beach on an island privately owned by Cape Cod where they build lighthouses and grow potatoes. It's borderline creepy, but the placement is so expertly done that it's hard to pick on director Tony Petrossian for it.

All this is to say that soon we will be coming up the J curve on the uncanny valley, and if you thought Fred Astaire dancing with the vacuum cleaner was chilling, wait until Cape Cod recruits Tippi Hedren for the sequel to this spot.


Client: Cape Cod Potato Chips

Agency: GKV, Baltimore

Chief Executive Officer: Roger Gray

Chief Creative Officer: Jeff Millman

Associate Creative Director, Copywriting: Dave Broscious

Creative Team Leader: Mark Rosica

Senior Vice President: Dan Collins

Vice President: Chuck Fischer

Senior Account Executive: Jeremy Grein

Senior Broadcast Producer: Kelly Gould

Business Broadcast Manager: Sara Russell

TV Production Company: Rhythm + Hues

Director: Tony Petrossian

Executive Producer: Paul Babb

Producer: Jon Derovan

Editing: Rhythm + Hues

Editing Producer: Caroline Heyward

Effects, Titles: Rhythm + Hues; Mark Rosica, GKV

Mixing: Clean Cuts

Music: Flock of Seagulls

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