Chimps impersonating Michael Flatley get me every time…

So I can’t deny that I’ve got somewhat of a fascination with primates, and monkeys of any sort in commercials always amuse me (like the Cadbury Gorilla). The newest Arby’s commercial, created by Merkley + Partners, and produced by Tool of North America, is one of the first Arby’s commercials that I’ve loved, and continue to laugh at, over and over. It’s not the classiest humor, and sure, it’s a bit crude, but there’s just something about chimps riverdancing a la Michael Flatley that really makes me pay attention.
Sure, you can aruge it’s not one of the greatest commercials of all time, but it makes me laugh every time I see it. And I actually find myself paying attention to an Arby’s commercial.

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4 responses to “Chimps impersonating Michael Flatley get me every time…

  1. Hahaha. That’s hysterical. Do you think they are similar to those Wendy’s commercials that have that same idea of being in a different mindset then everyone else… then the whole logo-floating-over the head thing is similar to the red hair thing too. Either way, I like this spot and love the Wendy’s campaign.

  2. Chimps riverdancing? Are you serious? If you’re really so fascinated with primates perhaps you should research how being used for entertainment affects primates. “Many trainers will admit that they beat their performers during training. In many cases the abuse is horrendous.” —Jane Goodall

    Apes on television and in the movies have something in common with their human costars—their wide, toothy grins. The apes, however, are “smiling” in terror. To them, acting is strange, upsetting, and often torturous. Most people do not know that the chimpanzee “grin” so often seen in movies and on TV is actually a grimace of fear or a carefully choreographed response to a command. Dressing chimpanzees and orangutans in suits, shorts, or dresses and forcing them to perform silly tricks lulls viewers into forgetting that these are rare, endangered animals and falsely conveys the idea that these sensitive primates enjoy performing confusing, repetitive tricks for our amusement.

    Funny, I have the exact opposite reaction when I see primates in commercials. It just makes me feel sick that people are so shallow & arrogant that we exploit them to sell our crap like arby’s or wendy’s (which I wouldn’t eat if you paid me).

  3. are you serious? have you ever heard of Computers? Computer Generation? Animatronics? Costumes? Those chimps are entirely costume/computer generated – it’s a dancer in a chimp suit, lightly digitally manipulated imposed onto a digital background.

    “Believe it or not the dancing chimpanzees are not actual chimps. The production team shot a dancer with a body double in a chimp suit. Rhino VFX then put it all together in Inferno, manipulating body proportions so each looked unique – tracking different textures on the chimp’s body for more realism. There was some very light CG enhancement of the primates faces, but very little.

    The chimp suit was created by The Character Shop and featured anatomically correct proportioning, including elongated arms, and incredibly faithful coloration and hair density. Specially designed chimp feet/dance shoes allowed the actor to be nimble on his toes, even though they had opposing thumbs! Character Shop hosts Arby’s Chimps as a quicktime video.”

    (text borrowed from http://www.duncans.tv/2007/arbys-sandwich-animals )

    I don’t agree with forcing animals to act. I find it despicable, and incredibly inhumane. That’s why it’s rarely done in commercials. Neither this Arby’s commercial, or the Phil Collins Cadbury commerical have any animals involved. It’s absurd to assume, in today’s society, that a high profile client like Arby’s would even contemplate using animals.

    Do your research before you comment. please. It just fuels myths and misconceptions, and certainly doesn’t help any causes.

  4. Yep, I know the cadbury gorilla was someone in a costume. I think the Wendy’s one was real–and loads of other commercials are real as well. And yes, primates are often used in commercials by companies like Pepsi, Puma, and auto dealers including Chevrolet and Ford. And that conditions people to seeing them perform silly tricks to amuse us. Glad to hear that you don’t like real monkeys, only fake ones. Unfortunately, companies don’t always draw that fine line. And unfortunate also that so many primates are kidnapped from the wild as infants and kept as entertainers to that end. Until they mature sexually and are sent to research labs…

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