A Giant Termite Tries Stand-up Comedy in Orkin Ads, but Hilarity Does Not Ensue

When open mic night gets buggy


Wanna watch a bug bomb?

We thought Orkin had long ago exterminated the human-size talking insects that infested its commercials. After all, the animatronic oddities haven’t appeared in ads since 2012.

Well, at least one titanic termite survived, and he’s worked up a comedy act in a new digital campaign from The Richards Group. Hitting the stage for open mic night, our creepy comic goes SPLAT! By which we mean, he fails to raise a single laugh.

That’s probably not surprising, with material like, “Why don’t termites drink coffee?”

The answer, by the way, is, “The caffeine turns them into jitterbugs.”

Crickets … nothing but crickets.

During that groaner, our mighty mite trembles and makes freaky clicking/chewing noises. This helps drive home the ad’s ultimate message: “Termites aren’t funny. $5 billion a year in damage is nothing to laugh at.”

Also, they have terrible timing and feebly flat delivery.

“We actually shot it in a comedy club in L.A.,” Richards creative director David Morring tells AdFreak. “The club was so small, the termite was almost too big for the stage.”

Let’s hope Orkin sprayed between sets, because some really big roach’s pot humor could be a colossal drag.

Below are more clips proving that when you catch the comedy bug, sometimes it’s best to avoid the limelight. (Dude, stick a mandible in your wallet and take a class!)

Client: Orkin
Agency: The Richards Group, Dallas
Creative Directors: David Morring, Tim Tone
Copywriters: David Morring, Katie Bernet
Art Director: Tim Tone, Amanda Jackson
Producer: David Rucker
Director/Writers: Ben Hurst/ Dave Thomas
Production: Community Films
Post Production: Charlie Uniform Tango
Editor: Alex Campos
Mary Alice Butler – Producer
Dave Laird – VFX Artist
Visual Effects: Allen Robbins/Joey Waldrip/Artie Peña
Colorist: Joey Waldrip
Audio Mix/Sound Design: Russell Smith
Legacy Effects: Puppet termite creation/Puppeteers
Clients: Kevin Smith, Cam Glover
Brand Management: Pete Lempert, Jessica Walker, Kristin Trumble

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@DaveGian davegia@hotmail.com David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.