Monkey business

Executives at Cincinnati’s WonderGroup figure the networks aren’t monkeying around when it comes to monitoring violence in kids’ commercials. So the shop didn’t take any chances when casting its TV spot for a laser tag game.
A chimpanzee is the hero of the new ad for Toymax International’s Laser Challenge Radar Extreme. In the spot, which breaks this week, “Max” and a fellow chimp face off against two toy store clerks.
Having professionally trained animals ape humans playing laser tag focuses on the fun of the game, not the violence, said group account director Dave Townsend.
“It’s a little softer than having two kids shoot each other,” he said. “Obviously with the Columbine incident and everything else, there was a sensitivity to any violence or aggressiveness.”
While watching for violent overtones in the script, agency staffers also were wary of assertive overtures. The trainers warned people to keep their distance from the furry stars.
“They’re wild animals so they can be aggressive,” Townsend said.
–Jenn Godd