Area Man Disappointed To See Short Version Of Commercial

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Issue 3729

Friend's Wife Encountered Twice A Year

GERMANTOWN, TN—Local resident Wayne Beller has encountered Dennis Sharp's wife 12 times during the pair's six-year friendship. "For some reason, it's always twice a year," Whitman said Monday. "So far, I've run into [Sherri Sharp] once this year, when I returned Dennis' Roto-Tiller in early June. I'll probably see her again at some party around Christmastime, and that'll be it." Beller added that Sherri "seems nice enough."

Partygoers Drunkenly Recite 4-H Pledge

MISSOULA, MT—The 4-H pledge was drunkenly recalled Saturday, when a trio of former 4-H members recited the international youth organization's oath between swigs of beer at a house party. "I pledge my Head to clearer thinking, my Heart to greater loyalty, my Hands to larger service, and my Health to better living," shouted a heavily intoxicated Benjamin Brower, 29, who was active in 4-H from 1984 to 1986. "Holy shit, I can't believe I still remember that." The nostalgic group chant was followed by an attempt to recall what "Webelos" stands for.

Semiotics Department Accuses University Administration Of Anti-Semiotism

PROVIDENCE, RI—After years of budget cuts and downsizing, Brown University's Semiotics Department lashed out at school administrators Monday, accusing them of "blatant anti-semiotism." "How can such shamefully anti-semiotic acts be condoned in an enlightened society?" asked professor Don Frisch. "It deeply saddens me that in the year 2001, there are still people out there who discriminate against a group of people just because they engage in the study of signs and symbols, especially as elements of language or other systems of communication." Frisch said he is outraged that his department has been relegated to the academic ghetto.

According To Nutritional Information, Local Man Just Had 16 Servings Of Fritos

WAUKESHA, WI—According to the nutritional information on the back of a bag of Fritos, area resident Jerry Ploeg just ate 16 servings of the popular corn chip. "Wow, I didn't realize there were so many servings in there," Ploeg said Tuesday, moments after finishing off the bag, which contained 220 grams of fat and 1,200 percent of the USRDA for sodium. "How big is a serving, anyway?" Ploeg then washed the Fritos down with five servings of Dr. Pepper.

Bank Robbers Fail To Consider O'Reilly Factor

PITTSBURGH, PA—Would-be bank robbers Anthony Nesco, 34, and James Dumas, 36, were foiled Monday after failing to take into account the O'Reilly Factor. "Before they charged into [Fidelity Savings Bank] waving their guns, those two creeps should have thought about me and my tough-talking, straight-shooting, no-nonsense style," said Bill O'Reilly, host of Fox News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor and author of a best-selling book of the same name. "Normally, I take no prisoners, but I'll make an exception in the case of these two crum-bums: Lock 'em up and throw away the key, I say." O'Reilly added that it's absolutely ridiculous, the money these moddycoddled pro athletes make these days.

The Clone Wars

Across the U.S. and on Capitol Hill, debate is raging on the issue of human cloning. What do you think?

The Teacher Shortage

America is suffering a severe shortage of schoolteachers. What incentives are being offered to draw more people to the profession?
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Area Man Disappointed To See Short Version Of Commercial

CLEWISTON, FL—A shortened, 30-second version of a one-minute Nike commercial disappointed local bicycle mechanic Paul Hobish Tuesday.

Hobish reacts with displeasure to the truncated version of a favorite Nike commercial.

"What the hell is that?" asked Hobish, 30, upon seeing the shorter version of the popular Nike "Freestyle" ad, in which various basketball players dribble balls in a dimly lit room. "Normally, all these guys are dribbling and dribbling and doing all these cool tricks. The thing must go on for, like, two or three minutes. It's so awesome. But this time, it was, like, 15 seconds, and it didn't even show a bunch of the best tricks."

Continued Hobish: "I've been telling all my friends how much the commercial rocks. But if they see the short version, they're going to think I don't know what I'm talking about."

Hobish, who doesn't consider himself a commercial aficionado but watches "a lot of TV," said this is not the first time a favorite spot has been disappointingly abridged.

"I used to be really into the Pentium 4 one where the Blue Man Group guys fling the paint at the wall," Hobish said. "But then they stopped running the full-length one, and it's just not the same without the whole set-up. Why do they always stop running the long versions of commercials after the first few weeks?"

Other truncated commercials have not only disappointed Hobish, but also caused confusion.

"During the Super Bowl, there was all this hype about the Britney Spears Pepsi ad," Hobish said. "When it came on, I thought it was pretty good. But after that one big premiere, it was always shorter, and Bob Dole would say, 'Down, boy,' to his dog, which isn't what he said in the original. I don't remember it being better or worse than, 'Down, boy,' but for some reason, they changed it."

"Maybe the first version got them in trouble," Hobish continued, "but I'm pretty sure I remember seeing the shortened one within a half-hour of the premiere, so it's not like they would've even had time to change it because of complaints."

Brett Jaglund, a creative director at Leo Burnett advertising agency, said he understands Hobish's disappointment, but stressed that cost considerations make shorter versions necessary.

"A one-minute spot that goes into heavy rotation is a pricey venture," Jaglund said. "Often, a commercial will be shortened to save money. What many viewers don't realize is the level of skill and artistry required to take a perfectly realized one-minute piece and edit it down to 30 seconds without losing its essence. It's a subtle and demanding art. Yes, sometimes we have to cut out a cute thing an animated polar bear says, but it must occasionally be done for the sake of economics."

Though Hobish understands that a one-minute commercial costs significantly more to air than a 30-second spot, he said that airing the full-length versions only during the Oscars and other major events is unfair to regular TV viewers.

"You're only going to see the long version of the Doritos ad where the sexy woman puts the Doritos in the tennis-ball machine during something big like the Super Bowl," Hobish said. "By doing this, Doritos is sending the message that they don't care about the little people who watch King Of The Hill or Becker. They only care about the Super Bowl people. That's not right."

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