New orbit campaign abandons campy blond chick for Sarah Silverman (and her Spanish speaking compadre).

March 19, 2014

Orbit number one

Orbit numero dos

I’m not going to editorialize (too much) on Orbit gum’s new ad campaign, featuring comedienne, Sarah Silverman. It’s certainly watchable, though the brand and agency have arguably done better. Worth noting I’m not a big fan of anthropomorphizing objects like gloves and coffee cups.

Interesting, however, is the brand’s nearly total about face in protagonist -from longtime campy blond spokesperson (the so-called Orbit girl) to an edgy Jewish gal, Ms. Silverman. No two women could be more dissimilar! Not too long ago it would be the “ethnic” gal being dinged for the perky blond. Progress!

Adios, blondie.

Especially intriguing (or is silly a better word?) is the hispanic version of the same TV commercial I discovered while previewing the original. As far as I can tell, the two spots are virtually identical, save for the actors and language.

Over the years I’ve had countless pieces of copy translated into other languages, which typically means sending the work to a network office in another country. If print, then it’s simply a matter of transcribing the text. For obvious reasons, television is trickier. One requires a proactive strategy. For example, if you anticipate the need for a translated version, it behooves you to generally shy away from concepts featuring dialog, opting instead for campaigns relying on voice-over. That way you only need to redo the AVO, and not the film.

Orbit chose to completely reshoot the TVC. That’s an expensive choice. The client is doubling the cost for basically one execution. Other questions arise. For instance, I wonder if the Spanish-speaking actress is also a celebrity comedienne in her country or if she’s just commercial talent? Is the story the same in both spots? Looks like it is but I really have no idea. I’m guessing she and it are mismo. (Perhaps one of my Spanish speaking readers can help us out?)

In Hollywood, it is not unheard of for certain foreign titles to be remade for English speaking audiences, sometimes even shot for shot. The popular Mexican-made horror film, Rec was remade almost identically in English as Quarantine. Incedentally, I liked both pictures. There are countless other examples in TV as well as film. Stands to reason advertising would be no exception.

But still…

I found the foreign Orbit commercial unintentionally hilarious. I know I’m being childish. Wouldn’t be the first time. I also think it’s fascinating to view both films side by side, just to see the distortions and similarities. Kind of like seeing one’s reflection in a fun house mirror. Ay Carumba!


2 Responses to “New orbit campaign abandons campy blond chick for Sarah Silverman (and her Spanish speaking compadre).”

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