Thursday, February 12, 2009


In August later this year, we'll be celebrating the 70th anniversary of the movie version of 'The Wizard Of Oz'. And as far as commercial tie-ins go, the celebration has begun a little bit early.

GE has a blipvert using the vocals of Ray Bolger singing "If I Only Had A Brain" while a wired-up scarecrow dances on an electrical grid. (Not sure you want little kids getting ideas from that....)

The Wicked Witch of the West has a new BFF, a girl named Vicky, as seen in the new spot for Orange, a French-based mobile phone service over in the UK*. There's also a cameo by Nikko, the Flying Monkey. (And for you fans of 'Gavin & Stacey', James "Smithie" Corden does the voice-over at the end.)

And then there's my favorite of the batch - the batch of cookies, that is. Even in the Wonderful Land of Oz, Chips Ahoy cookies aren't safe from human-sized munchkins! This ad has incredible detail in the little realm of Munchkinland as well.

Who knows what else we'll see as the anniversary gets closer.....?

Toby O'B

* I thought Orange was a cinema chain; the commercial still doesn't make it clear for those out of the loop, like me. But thanks to Medium Rob for alerting me to my mistake!


MediumRob said...

Don't want to build up a rep as "the guy who only comments to nitpick" but there's no such thing as the Orange chain of cinemas in the UK.

Orange, the mobile phone company (which is French, mind), has this offer where if it's a Wednesday (or at least it used to be just on Wednesdays, because it was "Orange Wednesdays"), you can text a certain number, they'll send you a code back and if you give the code to the cinema ticket seller, you get two tickets for the price of one.

That works in all the major cinema chains (Odeon, Vue and Empire), although I'm not sure about independents - they have some kind of electronic doohickey at the point of sale to type the code into.

Toby O'B said...

Thanks, Rob. Being a total outsider to Orange, I totally misinterpreted what the commercial was about.

I'm going to watch it again with that in mind and see if that's easily understood. Because now I'm thinking that if the commercial can't successfully splain that bit of business, it failed - no matter how cool the commercial was.

Toby O'B said...

Okay, just watched it again, and even with a caption about texted ticket costs, nothing made the point it was about a mobile phone service. It still plays as though they're talking about something offered by a cinema company.

But thanks for letting me know, Rob. I'm going to change it now before Marie and the others see it and get on my case. LOL! (As if!)

MediumRob said...

Orange are about as well known here as Verizon and Sprint are in the US. They're one of the big four (O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone - Virgin and 3 are stragglers but are relatively well known), so there's a certain degree of brand awareness going on already. Here's the original Orange Wednesdays ad.

Plus you can't go down the high street without seeing an Orange shop and any film you see at a major chain is usually prefaced with one of Orange's "don't let a mobile phone ruin your movie" mini-films that have starred the likes of Carrie Fisher, Steven Segal, Rob Lowe, Patrick Swayze, Spike Lee, Angelica Houston, etc.

Toby O'B said...

Well, like I said, for outsiders that would never have been clear. But I liked the analogy to the awareness saturation of our Sprint and Verizon companies. However, it is pretty clear in their ads that they are talking about mobile phone services.....

I'm going to have to look around for those mini-movies online. They sound like fun!

Mercurie said...

You forgot one commercial that references The Wizard of Oz. That's the Pillsbury ads with the slogan "Home is calling" with people closing their eyes and clicking their heels, just as Dorothy did in the climax of The Wizard of Oz.

Toby O'B said...

Not forgot, Merc. Haven't seen it yet. But thanks! I'll keep an eye out for that!