Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Enter The Invisible Monkey

Who would have ever thought that those car commercials that we are bombarded with when they're having a "special event" would turn out to be rather amusing? Enter Dodge and enter PETA and you've got yourself a recipe for a wee bit o'hilarity ensuing. The hilarity ensues immediately after the annoyance over the emergence of PETA subsides, by the way.

See, Dodge made an ad that promoted their Dodge tent event. I don't know when the practice of erecting a tent became equated with a good deal on a shiny new vehicle, but it has been that way for quite some time now. They mention what a great deal you can get yourself on a brand new Dodge Charger, Dodge Journey or Dodge Grand Caravan. (What's a Journey? Is it named after the band? Shouldn't they have had Steve Perry in this commercial? I'm pretty sure he's not doing anything these days.) Not only that, they'll give you sixty days to see if you want to keep the vehicle. (There is, of course, no mention of the eight gazillion strings that are inevitably tied to such an offer. Things that I would imagine might include not having driven the car over 30 miles in those 2 months and never having turned on the air conditioning.)

That's when voice-over guy (the lovely and cancer-free Michael C. Hall) says that this whole thing could not get more amazing. He soon realizes that he is wrong when a little monkey wearing an Evil Knievel jumpsuit comes out and presses down on one of those ACME detonator things that Wile E. Coyote was always using to try and do in that sneaky roadrunner. The monkey pushes it down and a bunch of confetti blows out of somewhere. Voice-over guy deadpans, "I stand corrected." Not bad. Funny. I liked it. Maybe you will, too. Behold!

But who did not like it was PETA. PETA doesn't like anything having to do with cute animals being mistreated. I know. I know. All the monkey did was push the lever. But that is bad, according to PETA, because that little monkey had to be taught how to do that. (It's also bad because the little monkey is really a chimpanzee and there is, apparently, a difference. I don't know if it offended the chimp, but it really seemed to rile up PETA.) According to the website "Where's the Monkey?" in which Dodge tries to explain why they altered their commercial, they informed them "...about the poor conditions of working animal "actors." They told us how these animals are usually separated from their mothers at a young age and are usually discarded at seedy roadside attractions after they get too old to act." What sort of "seedy roadside attractions"? The only seedy roadside attractions around here are taco trucks and fruit vendors. None of them have monkeys. I'm not saying that what PETA is saying is false, I'm just saying I want more information of these primate abusing attractions that allegedly congregate roadside.

Dodge said that this made them sad and they took the spot off of the air. They also said that "Dodge is firmly committed to never using great apes in our advertisements again." While I suppose that is good, they don't mention anything about never using mediocre apes in their advertisements, so...fingers crossed!

But, wait! There's more! They took the ad off of the air and tweaked it just a little bit. They removed the chimp from the footage. Oh, don't get me wrong. They left the jumpsuit and the walking over to the blowy-uppy thing and the confetti that booms out from somewhere. That's still there. There just is no monkey. The monkey is invisible. Wait. Invisi....? Behold!

Most awesome! Very amusing! I'm glad that Dodge didn't completely ditch the ad. I'd like to see Dodge keep the invisible monkey in upcoming future ads. I'd also like to see PETA burn off of the face of the earth. I'm all for animals not being mistreated. And with everything that you can do digitally these days, there's probably no reason why Dodge can't just make a cyber-monkey instead of using a real one. But I'm never for PETA making an appearance. From what I can tell, they do one thing really well, and it's not caring for animals. It's their own attention whoring that they're so successful at.

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