Monthly Archives: December 2012

Sweet Tooth and Mall Santa

Christmas is already here and to conclude this year of articles i will conclude 2012 with one more Twisted Metal commerical for the time being. There are other great ones but I’ll do articles on those another time, plus the ad for the Twisted Metal game for PS3 isn’t that old as of yet. This one is mainly an ad for not just Twisted Metal but a few other 989 Studio games that were new at the time this aired on TV during the holidays. I remenber this Twisted Metal ad more clearly than the older ones for some reason. Probably cause of the holiday theme it has with it in a dark way. So let’s review the summary of the commercial.

The ad starts at a typical Mall Santa area that every mall in America has that parents take their kids to cause they believe it’s really Santa. So that way the kids can tell the “Santa” what they want and afterwards they believe they will be getting that gift for Christmas cause they told it to “Santa”. The only down side about these Mall Santas is that the only customers they won’t get are kids who know there isn’t a Santa cause either their parents told them or they know that Christmas is really the celebration of Jesus’s birthday not an immortal saint who travels around the world delivering toys in one night. Not to mention this type of business doesn’t go well with kids who don’t celebrate Christmas but other holidays that aren’t as commericalized as other popular holidays. I’d love to do an article on a Hanukkah theme commercial, but the problem is that there’s hardly any in exsistence other than a 1990 Hallmakr channel involving a Jewish Grandpa receiving a Hanukkah card from his whole family which is heart warming but it’s too long and not gimmicky for this blog. So Hanukkah ads are a no go if they’re hard to come by. Anyways back to the subject, the Mall Santa askes the boy “So what do you want for this year son?” and the kid answers “I want a bike”. The Mall Santa replies in disappointment “A bicycle?” during this chat we see some one peeking behind the curtain who is observing the Mall Santa and boy.  Who is revealed to be Sweet Tooth the clown, and wouldn’t you know it it’s the same actor from the Twisted Metal 4 commercial, you know the gas station one? Well I’m not certain if it’s the same guy but it’s the same make up and outfit for Sweet Tooth from that ad though. The Mall Santa then says “Well wouldn’t you preffer something like…” he pauses for a moment and sees one of the Mall Elves being dragged away into the curtain where Sweet Tooth was. The Mall Santa then finishes his sentence with “Cool Boarders” which is a game by 989 Studios. The kid however says “I want a bicycle”. The Santa then glances over the curtain where he now sees a circus miget wearing the elf costume that was previous worn by the elf who was previously there. Recognize this guy? It’s the same circus migdet from Twisted Metal 4 commercial who didn’t know where the hood switch was. I guess he already served his punishment and Sweet Tooth allowed him to participate in this shady scheme.

Are you starting to see what’s going on here so far? Apparently the Mall Santa is being bribed by Sweet Tooth to get kids to buy more 989 Studio games. And by doing so is by keeping a watchful eye on the Mall Santa in case he tries to pull off anything funny. As the Mall Santa now sees that what used to been a regular miget portraying a Mall Elf is now portrayed by a circus midget. So the Mall Santa talks to the boy again with “No, you want Jet Moto that’s what you want”.  The kid still not interested answers with “I want a bicycle”. The Mall Santa is now becoming frantic and tries to name another game that a kid would buy from 989 Studios and says “Syphon Filter?” “What about Twisted Metal? you like that wouldn’t you?” As the Santa tries to convince the kid to go with the selected video games as gift choices. We see what’s behind the curtain where Sweet Tooth is present. Here we see a small backroom with Sweet Tooth still spying on the Mall Santa and behind him is another circus miget tying up two mall elf migets up as hostages. The kid won’t accept any of the games Santa mentions to him and firmly says “I want a bicycle” The Mall Santa has now completely lost it and grabs the boy by shouting “Look do it for Santa! Take it! Take it! Take it!” Sweet Tooth wasn’t impressed with the way the Mall Santa is doing his job in trying to convince kids to buy more of 989 Studios games. So he closes the curtain cause he’s fed up with observing what is going on and then simply says in a disgusted tone “I hate Mall Santas!” We then see the ad conclude with the 989 Studios logo and thus end of commercial.

Like the Twisted Metal 4 commercial, this one really makes you think. Which is a lot of fun when it comes to commercials that speak for themselves. Let me give you my interpratation of what the situation is. Apparently Sweet Tooth some how got a Mall Santa to try to convince kids to get 989 Studio games for Christmas. Either by black mail or the Mall Santa got Sweet Tooth in a bad mood and the only way to get himself out of it is by doing him a favor. Much like the plot for the Batman the Animated Series episode “The Joker’s Favor”. I wonder how Sweet Tooth and his goons got access to that back room. Did they snuck into the back door area of the mall and knocked out and tied up the mall security or did the Mall Santa helped them into the mall where they got in with disguises? Really makes you wonder doesn’t it? I’m also curious what became of the Mall Santa afterwards, he’ll clearly get the ax from the head of the Mall after abusing a boy at a public mall. Specially when there’s clearly an open crowd in the beginning of the commercial and I’m sure the boy’s parents aren’t too happy that the mall would hire a Mall Santa who forces kids to get Playstation 1 games for Christmas instead of a bicycle. Most of the games Santa mentions I can’t imagine being appropriate choices for any parent to get their kid for Christmas, unless they’re alright with their own kids playing T rated and M rated games. I also bet that Sweet Tooth ended up robbing the poor Mall Santa afterwards after not being pleased with the way he tried to get more kids to play 989 Studio games. That would make another nice headline in the papers: “Mall Security & Mall Santa gagged and tied up in the backroom of a mall. Mall elves stripped of their own clothes. Work of clowns expected as the cuprits”. That’s a headline worth putting next to the nuked station wagon.

Anyways for next week will be something non-holiday related until Easter comes close by. Some time ago I discovered this series of old Salsa commercials that are so amusing that I decided they will be for the first 2013 article of this blog. Be sure to check that out sometime in the first week of the new year. So Merry Christmas to all and if you don’t celebrate it then Happy Holidays to all and a good night.

Verizon with the Misfit Toys

If you’re reading this then it means that the rumor of the end of the world happening is now officially a hoax. Those who predicted the reason for why the Mayan calender only went up to Dec. 21 2012 is a mystery. With that outta the way it’s almost Christmas time, I’m preparing the final article for this month which hopefully will be published on X-Mas day the latest. I haven’t been able to publish these recent articles on time the past few weeks due to long hours at my job. So here’s the final Rudolph commercial I can found unless there exsists another one. Instead of insurence, the subject for this one is cell phones.

The commercial opens up with the Isle of Misfit Toys containing almost all of the original characters. The ones visible are Charlie in the Box, Spotted Elephant, The Doll, Square Wheeled Train, Sinking Boat, Ostrich Riding Cowboy, Fish Bird, The Plane, Scooter, Bear with a tail feather, and the other toys that act as background character or aren’t that interesting to mention. They’re singing their own main song from the TV special until Charlie in the Box notices an AT&T cell phone and says “Hey! check out the new guy!” as all the other toys now notice the phone in plain sight. Spotted Elephant askes the phone “What are you doing here? You can download aps and browse the web”. While the doll says “Yeah, people will love you”. The phone however shows a hologram of the 3G coverage it can provide in the country of the USA. Which indicates it only has 3G  coverage in mostly California, Texas, Floride, and New York. But hardly any coverage in the midwest, Alaska, and Hawaii. The toys gave a big “Ooooh” all in a disappointed mood after relicising the real reason why the phone is on the isle in the first place. The toy plane then cheers the phone up by saying “You’re going to fit right in here!” Giggles and falls flat in the snows. Then we see the scene change to a different scene with the annoucer explaining that Verizon has more 3G covarge than AT&T does. A lot more coverage since Verizon has 3G coverage in most of the mid-west, Hawaii and a little bit in Alaska. Those living in Alaska would find neither of these phones to be any good and might as well just stick to radio communication instead.

This commercial is just like the Aflac commercial which uses stop motion puppets in the same fashion as the original TV special. It aired back in 2009 around the time when aps became a new feature for cell phones at the time. Thus came the whole cell phone coverage wars where every cell phoner company tries to improve their own phones in order to stay in business. It’s still going on today as eventually we’ll have cell phones capable of being used in any part of the globe with no hassle. Only then will there finally be no more “my cell phone has better coverage than yours” arguments. The one thing odd about this ad is that a touch screen cell phone was accepted to the Isle of Misfit Toys, despite that King Moonracer made it clear that only toys that aren’t loved anymore by kids are permitted to the island. A lot of cell phones today are the new “toy” for kids so maybe he made an exception when the cell phone with low 3G coverage isn’t loved by people who prefer cell phones with more 3G coverage. Though in my book, a cell phone is catergoried in electronics rather than toys, cause that be like referring to a Nintendo DS as a toy. But that’s an argument for another time.

Hope you’ll enjoy the commercial below, for next week it’ll be one more Christmas ad for this year until I decided to do more by next year. For January I got some really good articles in mind to do including some video game ads. Expect something like that month of Atari console commercials only I’ll focus on other platforms like Sega and Playstation. Then by April I’ll see about trying to do a couple Easter commercial articles. There isn’t many good ones to go by other than the original Cadbury Egg commercials which will be the likely choice for the holiday. Be sure to check those out within the next several monthes.

Aflac Duck with Cast of Rankin Bass Rudolph

Here’s another Rudolph ad only this one aired back in 2007, which is a awhile ago so it’s worthy to be on this website cause I don’t think they air this one anymore on TV. The Aflac Duck is still a common character to be seen on ads so he’s not on my to do list unless the Aflac company gives the duck the ax in the same fashion as Daffy Duck being a victim of becoming someone’s roast duck. There was an aflac ad revolving on Daffy but let’s discuss that one another time. This is Christmas time so let’s do some Christmas ads for this month.

The ad starts up with the front of the reindeer cave which cuts to the inside of Rudolph suffering from a cold dressed in a robe  while laying back on a recliner with a coffee table that has a box of kleenex on top. Funny I didn’t think reindeer needed furniture or clothing, course Comet the coach Reindeer wears a hat so this is excusable. By his side is his girlfriend Clarice, and just entering the cave is Yukon Cornelius carrying a bowl of soup for Rudolph and Hermey. How nice it is to have friends that care specially with all those adventures they had in the high north, evading the Abominal, and visiting the Isle of Misfit Toys. Rudolph gives out a sneeze and says “I hope I don’t miss work this Christmas”. Clarice agrees with him and says “Yeah how will you pay for things like food, electricity(upon saying electricity we see the Abominal putting up a star on Rudolph and Clarice’s tree cause he proves to be handy with doing that)” Hermey cuts in and says “Dental bills” which I’m not sure if Clarice is consern about her and Rudolph’s teeth care since reindeer don’t need to brush. Cornelius then says “Gag zooks! You need a back up plan!” Cornilus then hears laughter which turns out to be Santa(who is slim again isn’t a little tidius to gain weight on every Christmas and slim down afterwards? he should consider just sticking to being slim and wear a fat suit cause obesity is today’s silent killer). So Santa walks into the cave and says “That’s why we have Aflac!” Then Rudolph says “So I have cash, to help pay bills!”. We then see Charlie in the Box spring out of his box and says “Great! But what if you’re still not better by Christmas?” Rudolph then imagines who could take his place which turns out to be the Aflac Duck leading the sleigh shouting out “Aflac!”. The ad then ends with the Narrator saying “Alfac, ask about it at work” which we then see the Aflac logo on a christmas tree that resembles the opening of the original Rudolph special. We then see Rudolph all well for work as he’s leading the sleigh that’s parked on top of a house. One of the other reindeer say “Ruldoph’s better!” And the other says “But now Blitzen is sick!” Revealing that the Alfac Duck took Blitzen’s place who ends up slipping off of the icy roof.

I love the idea of this ad, specially when they had the time to recreate the original characters with stop motion techniques. The one who does Rudolph’s voice is Melissa Hutchinson who is a frequent voice actress for Telltale Games you might know her best as Girl Stinky from Sam and Max and Trixie Trotter from the Back to the Future Games. The other voices actors are unknown but they do nail the voices right. I originally believed it was the same cast who did the voices from the semi-sequal titled “Rudolph & the island of Misfit Toys” which could have been a great sequel had it been not for the non-memorible songs and characters that look like they belong in other holiday specials. But since the cast of that special consisted of mostly Canadian actors, it’s doubtful. Though it would have been cool if Scott McNeil did reprise his roles as Hermey & Cornelius just for this commercial cause he did a great job as the replacement voices for those characters. Anyways next week will be one last Rudolph related commercial for this year, until I find any other good ones for this blog. Enjoy the commercial below.

Genreal Electric with the Rankin Bass Elves

Last December I didn’t do any X-Mas articles, so like what I did for October, December will be X-Mas theme from this point on. To start off a month of Christmas articles, I decided to do an article on a Rankin Bass Rudolph commercial. Which is three General Electric commercials that aired the same time as the TV special did back in 1964. These were filmed in Black & White cause most people back in 1964 still own a color TV set. It’s very evident cause the Brady Bunch didn’t own a color TV set till Season 1 Episode 15 which was back in 1970! But keep in mind that back then if you own a color TV set you were regarded to be rich. Course today watching something in color is no big deal specially when I was born when everyone own a color TV set. It was most amazed with the introduction to extended cable cause back then having more channels to watch on TV was mind-blowing. Anyways If you were curious about the first Rankin Bass Rudolph commercial, you can’t go older than this one. There’s a good number of uploads on this ad, so it’s common to find but I never heard anyone talk about this one compared to the more recent ads made in recent years. So let’s talk about this series of ads.

The ad starts up with one of the anonymous elves wrapping a present and gives it to the Head Elf(the one dislikes the idea of elves making career changes) who wraps the present with a ribbon and then hands it over to Hank(least in the CG sequel his name was Hank) who tries to put it on top of a towering pile of presents which collapse on him. Also why is it that Hank is the only tall elf of the entire Rankin Bass Elf group? While he doesn’t play a big role, he just stands out too much when most of the elves look the same and have the same height. He’s a lot like Bernard from The Santa Clause who is slightly taller than the other elves. Anyways after Hank gets up the logo for Electric General bounces off his head and it then lands on the palm of the Head Elf’s hand. Which we then get introduced to the first product which is a retro hair dryer. Keep in mind that back then it was more common to see hair dryers as vacuums as oppose to the hand gun shape version we know today. After the intro of the product the Head Elf sucks it up with a vacuum. Which turns out to be the second product a portable vacuum cleaner. It does all the duties that would eventually be done by a dust buster. Then the elves observe the electric toaster oven, cause it’s neither an oven or a toaster. It’s simply both which handles both jobs perfectly well.

Speaking of 2 in 1, Hank shows off the can opener/knife sharpener which is a great idea for a product by saving people time to not buy a knife sharpener when they can settle with a can opener that can sharpen knives. After that we see the Head Elf trying out the hair dryer, even though he hardly has any hair. And says that both the hair dryer, and after he says that Hank then says the vacuum, and the other elf who is wearing shades while laying on the toaster oven like it’s a tanning bed and says toaster oven and can opener which the scene cuts to him sitting on a can being opened by Hank. Then all three of them said “You’ll agree!” which the sentence is finished with background singers that go “the most efficient gifts from General Electric each year” upon hearing that part the elves put the General Electric logo on top of a pile of presents like it’s a christmas tree. The next scene we see Hank playing a piano who stops playing it to help out the other elf who is carrying some ornaments towards a tree where the Head Elf is a top of a ladder in order to decorate it at a higher altitude. The Head Elf then advertises the electric knife from General Electric. Next Hank introduces the electric blanket, and the other elf introduces the coffee maker(which looks like a tea kettle with a knob on the bottom). With those items aside the Head Elf shows off an item that the whole family can own which is an automatic tooth-brush with four replaceable heads. In today’s era it’s called an electronic toothbrush, but back then more people used basic tooth brushes. After that’s advertised, the elves placed each of the newly introduced item in a row of presents which forms the letters G.E. for General Electric of course.

The three elves are no gathered around a giant hour-glass. And then we see a tree instantly populated with presents and the General Electric logo is placed on the tree to let you know it’s decorated by the company. I wonder if General Electric ever did made any tree ornaments, cause you see them as much as their products for these commercials. Hank opens up a present which is revealed to be clock shaped like a tea kettle. Nothing special, it looks like something you can get at any clock store like the kind that sell the really fancy grandfather clocks. We now see the Head Elf trying the mix batter in a mixing bowl. So the other two elves give him a portable mixer, which is mandatory to use for baking in today’s era rather than trying to bake like bakers from the 19th century. So footage of the product’s capabilities is demonstrated and an add-on is included which sharpens knives. In case the can opener/knife sharpener wasn’t enough you now have a mixer that also sharpens knives. The next item if a buffet skillet perfect for catering and BBQs. The Head Elf is now seen skating on a frozen lake and remarks that another great gift is a spray steam/dry iron which we then see Hank and the other elf(makes me wish he had a name) ride on a giant dry iron which bumps the head elves sending him flat on his bottom. I hope they don’t turn that thing on or they could end up being several feet under icy water. The iron is demonstrated and comments it comes in two different colored handles. After the introductions of those items the three elves placed the items in separate boxes ready to be wrapped as presents. After finishing wrapping the gifts they are then placed under the G.E. Christmas tree and after all that hard work the elves sat by the tree knowing they did good. The ad ends with the ornament of the G.E. logo that’s still on top of the tree.

These ads were very well made and even give you the idea of what people bought back in 1964. As well as what was being advertised when the original Rudolph TV special originally aired on NBC(aka the Peacock channel). Which would lead to the success of later Rankin Bass productions for another 20 years down the road. The ads themselves were animated by the Rankin Bass company themselves proving they did commercials as well as movies and tv specials. The real shame is that they went out of business by 2002 due to the box office failure of the 2-D animated version of the “King and I” and the poor performance of their final TV special “Santa Baby”(based off of the song). The company was one of a kind and accomplished tons of memorable movies and TV specials. Even though the company is no more their good titles continue to inspire and entertain newer generations for years to come. Rudolph is one of their most important titles and anyone who likes a great holiday special or a stop motion animated feature will no doubt enjoy the TV special itself. Keep in mind that regardless of it being a G rated TV special it’s something everyone should be allowed to watch regardless of how old you are. With that speech out-of-the-way, here’s the ad and be sure to see the Afflac ad next.