Beep’s Back to Buzz or Bug

Turner Fernandez Turner generated buzz last year with its “Pardon our dust” advertising campaign for the Georgia Department of Transportation.
In those ads, the state transportation department said it was sorry that traffic would suffer while Atlanta-area highways were expanded.
This year it’s the beep that’s getting the buzz.
A radio commercial to promote high-occupancy vehicle lane use, set to the tune of “Puff the Magic Dragon,” includes the lyrics: “Johnny the
lonely commuter wouldn’t group commute/He’d rather waste his gas and time and let his car pollute/Now Johnny he was stressed out, stuck in traffic’s grip/If only he had rode with friends, he wouldn’t feel like [car horn beep].”
It’s the beep–or more precisely the word that is most likely beeped out–that has bugged some radio listeners. The commercial was pulled from the airwaves for a week the day after its debut on Sept. 20. Last week, however, “Johnny” went back into heavy rotation.
“We had 12 taxpayers who complained,” said Vicki Gavalis, director of communications for the GDOT.
Creative director Rudy Fernandez said the Atlanta shop has more tunes in its repertoire, including “Sounds of Silence” (“Hello brake lights, my old friend . . .”) and “Rhythm of the Rain” (“Listen to the screeching of my worn out brakes/As I sit on 85”).
A television spot, with a hippie narrator, is running on select regional cable systems.