On November 20th of 2000, Leo Burnett released a commercial into the airwaves for a scrappy UK fish canner by the name of John West. Using a delightful blend of ursine humour, animatronic costumery and street-smart martial arts, the spot soon took off all over the Web, ending up in a plethora of in-boxes around the world. Then, in late January of 2001, three surprisingly similar concepts swam across the pond and leapt into the living rooms of America... (Would you like to know more? WARNING - four films in one go fast lines only!)
Check out the four bear vs. man spots (There may be more - Keep looking!) and let's compare...
1) John West Salmon (hit the PLAY button to start film)
2) (again, to start hit PLAY) Toyota Tacoma
3) Smirnoff Ice (like...play)
and 4) (last time to play!) Wendy's Quick Service Restaurants
AND NOW, A COMPARISON...
I. Aesthetic appeal of bear John West: Incredibly realistic-looking bear from Jim Henson's Creature Shop Toyota: Incredibly realistic-looking bears from US National Park Service Smirnoff: Incredibly realistic-looking bear from the old Grizzly Adams show Wendy's: Incredibly fake-looking bear from local costume shop
II. Object of affection John West: Salmon Wendy's: Nuggets Smirnoff: Booze Toyota: Salad
III. Bear versus Man - Who wins? John West: Man wins Toyota: Five men win Wendy's: One man wins, one man loses Smirnoff: One man wins, one man loses
IV. Is there violence? John West: Hell yeah! Toyota: Hell yeah! Wendy's: Hell yeah! Smirnoff: Heavy squirting!
V: What sort of sounds do the men make? John West: Braveheartian scream of aggression Toyota: American footballian roars of courage Wendy's: Cowardlian whimpering, possible pants-wetting Smirnoff: Au pairian scolding turning to shrieks of panic
VI: Film style is remniscent of... John West: Nature documentary Toyota: Buddy action movie Smirnoff: Daytime Blair Witch Project Wendy's: Live-action Dudley Do-Right skit
VII: Price of product the spot is selling: Wendy's: $0.99 John West: $2.00-$5.00 Smirnoff: $11.00-$25.00/case Toyota: $18,000-$26,000
VIII: Memorable spoken lines in spot John West: "Oh look! An eagle!" Smirnoff: "Bad bear!" Toyota: "Jus' can't mess with a man's salad." Wendy's: "He wants your nuggets."
IX: Humor level John West: Damn funny Toyota: Damn funny Smirnoff: Damn funny Wendy's: Trying too damn hard to be funny
X: Who wins? John West: Gold Toyota: Silver(tie) Smirnoff: Silver(tie) Wendy's: Carbon