Friday, September 22, 2006


Nowadays a commercial has at best 15 seconds in which to make its point. A 30 second spot is now considered the long form. (So those ads from the 1950s must seem positively epic in comparison.)

Fifteen seconds is barely enough time to get the brand seared into the viewer's mind, let alone tell all the details in its storyline.

So that's why Inner Toob steps in to fill in the blanks.

This time out, I'd like to take a look at the new Domino's campaign featuring the brownie mascot, Fudge-ums.

I'm still finding it difficult to reject the more fanciful splainins that come to mind in favor of a more simplified version. And that's what happened with my first introduction to the pizza company mascot. One look at his square, somewhat hairy body, with human arms and legs, and I envisioned the sort of troll that could be zapped up from Tabitha Stevens' picture book.

Too extreme, I figured (although part of my new splainin does incorporate a character from another sitcom that was out there.)

Focused as I was on Fudge-ums at first, I failed to notice the delivery boy. And that's where the splainin gets filled in......

It has been just over seven years since 'The Nanny' went off the air, but as with all shows in the TV Universe, Life goes on after cancellation.

Brighton Sheffield has grown up and is now attending college, one that is located just outside a small town. His father, Broadway producer Maxwell Sheffield, took the advice of his second wife (Fran Fine) and refused to coddle the boy. So if Brighton wanted spending money while at school, he would have to earn it.

So Brighton Sheffield works as a delivery boy for Domino's.

But the theatrical/entrepreneurial spirit which he inherited from his father burns brightly in Brighton, and he saw an opportunity to increase sales for his particular franchise.

So he called upon the help of a fellow classmate in the theater department. Together, they devised a costume to simulate the shape of a warm fudge brownie. And the friend accompanies Brighton on his deliveries as "Fudge-ums" to trumpet the new menu offering (for pay, of course).

Unfortunately, they began the campaign before the dye had permanently set in the costume and it transferred to the clothing of the customers hugged by "Fudge-ums". Luckily in that first commercial, it looks to me that the housewife has spent the afternoon drinking, and is incapable of being concerned about the stains.

Now, as to who that friend is......?

He's obviously a little person, and basically human, judging from the arms and legs that are visible in the costume. But he's obviously speaking in some strange tongue, yet one that is oddly familiar.

It's my belief that the college student inside that brownie costume is descended from Cousin Itt, a member of 'The Addams Family'. As it's about forty years on since we saw Cousin Itt, it could be his grandson (providing Itt fathered a child by the end of the series, and his son or daughter had a child by the time they were 19 or 20.)

Hey, not every little person in Toobworld has to be related to my favorite TV character, Dr. Miguelito Loveless of 'The Wild, Wild West'!

Nothing says that Cousin Itt's grandchildren - or even his own offspring - have to be just as hairy as he was (despite what we saw of their Cineverse counterparts in "The Addams Family" movie). Itt was kin to Gomez and yet Gomez wasn't covered in long hair. And the genetic contributions of the children's mother for both succeeding generations figures greatly in their physical appearance.

And for all we know, Brighton's fellow college student is quite hairy within that brownie costume; it's just that his arms and legs are normal.

One last point about these Domino's commercials. In the second one, Brighton and Itt's grandson are seen fleeing down a hillside with a mob of customers chasing after them.

Now, the Voice-over tells us in the blipvert that everybody loves the brownies and that's why they're chasing after "Fudge-ums".

However, we only have the Voice-over's word for the splainin of what's happening in that scene. But I find the Voice-over race to be untrustworthy and I would never let one marry my sister.

For all we know, the mob is angered by the stains on all of their clothing caused by that brownie costume. Or maybe Itt's grandson was copping feels during those hugs. Who's to say?

Obviously, all of my theories depend upon what lies in the future for this ad campaign of Domino's. But for now, that's my story and I'm sticking with it.


"You're doing a heck of a job, Brownie!"
President George W. Bush

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