TV Ad Roach Frightens Viewers
ATLANTA (AP) _ That cockroach crawling across the screen isn’t ON your television. It’s IN it.
Many viewers have felt like suckers after being frightened by the roach in a commercial for Orkin Pest Control. Two viewers even asked the company to repair sets that they damaged when they hurled objects at the bug.
``Apparently, when you’re sitting in your darkened den it seems pretty real,″ said Michael Lollis, executive creative director at the Atlanta office of J. Walter Thompson, which created the ads, titled ``Fake Out.″ They began airing, mostly at night, on March 1 in 90 percent of the country.
Orkin and the ad agency say they have received dozens of calls from people who reported being frightened, amused or both by the commercial, which starts as an ad for a fictional fabric softener.
A woman from Greensboro, Md., said she woke up two neighbors late at night to come to her house to hunt and kill the roach. One of the neighbors quickly figured out the bug was from the commercial.
``I felt really stupid for getting my neighbors out of bed in the middle of the night,″ Darlyn wrote. ``You really got me!″
An irate Tampa, Fla., woman who tried to kill the roach by tossing a motorcycle helmet at it and instead broke her TV set demanded that Atlanta-based Orkin buy her a new one. Another man said his set was damaged after he threw a shoe at it.
Sorry, the Orkin Man doesn’t do TV repair.
Lollis said the spot required ``lots of little technical tricks.″ The creators added a slight glow around the edge of the bug so it would appear to be sitting on the screen.