Tuesday, February 1, 2005


While watching 'Monk' this past weekend, I came across this week's crossover. But it wasn't connected to 'Monk' at all. It was a commercial that played during the episode.

Ol' Lonely III, the Maytag repairman, was sitting at his office eating from a box of Cheez-Its. When the phone rang, there was a frantic woman was calling in with a plea for help - her Maytag washer was broken and flooding her house.

"Is the water over your head yet?"

"Um... no...."

"Well, make sure you hold your breath when that help happens." After he hangs up, Ol' Lonely shouts out, "Nice try, Rookie!"

And then we see that the Maytag novitiate is in the back room with a cell phone, foiled in his attempt to get the box of Cheez-Its.

And the familiar voiceover for the Cheez-It company says, "Get your own box."

Usually, Ol' Lonely, played by actor Hardy Rawls, and the Apprentice, portrayed by Mark Devine, are found attesting to the dependability of appliances made by Newton-based Maytag.

The commercial, directed by Jim Gartner of Gartner Films, is not the first time the two repairmen have been used to promote another company's product. In 2002, they appeared in a spot for the Chevrolet Impala. That ad was created by Chevy's lead agency, Interpublic Group's Campbell-Ewald in Warren, Mich.

Kellogg says it likes seeing its product promoted by "two much-loved and instantly recognizable characters."Maytag gets a kind of subliminal plug, too, because when viewers see the two Maytag men, they're going to think of, well, Maytag.

The 30-second Cheez-It spot will air on national network and cable television through spring.


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