Ellen DeGeneres showcases zig ads

Toronto creatives tell MiC that having one of the funniest women on the planet feature two of their most humourous TV spots on her talk show was a terrific - and free - media payoff for their client.

Aaron Starkman and Stephen Leps, associate CDs at Toronto’s zig agency, say they’re having quite a week. On Monday, talk show host Ellen DeGeneres told the millions of viewers who dote on the Ellen show about her favourite TV commercials. When she rolled tape of the six spots, two of the duo’s funniest efforts were among them.

In fact, the comedienne named zig’s commercial for Vim cleanser as her number-one fave. Dubbed ‘Prison Visitor,’ it features a woman who appears to be in jail. But when the camera pulls back, it becomes apparent that she is actually serving a lengthy sentence cleaning her bathtub – because she hasn’t tried Vim. The other zig spot that tickled DeGeneres’ funny bone was ‘Rug’ for IKEA. Also created by Starkman and Leps, it depicts an oversized carpet causing havoc on the highway by sticking out of a car’s windows as the happy purchasers head home with their bargain.

Both spots featured on Ellen are multiple award winners. ‘Prison Visitor’ was honoured at the Marketing Awards, the Andy’s, the Clios, the One Show and the D&AD, and was runner-up for a Grand Prix at Cannes – the best showing ever for any Canadian ad. ‘Rug’ took gold at the Bessies and the Advertising and Design Club of Canada awards. It was also voted third by the American public on The World’s Funniest Commercials.

Even so, the masterminds behind these triumphs tell MiC that ‘having them shown as pieces of entertainment on Ellen’s show is far more rewarding for us personally than being recognized by the industry. And we’re thrilled for our clients that these spots were seen by a captive audience of millions with no money spent on media in the US.’