Will Arnett, Jason Bateman create 'dirty' commercial
Will Arnett and Jason Bateman are together again in a comedy project, but it's not a tease for the long-awaited and perhaps-scuttled "Arrested Development" movie. It's a commercial for chewing gum.
The actors, who formed a production company called DumbDumb this year, have launched their first webisode. And since the new entity is a partnership with product-placement aficionado Ben Silverman's Electus, its reason for being is to create sponsor-driven content. So far that means a digital short video for Wrigley's Orbit gum, the first of three vignettes revolving around the brand's promise to clean up dirty situations.
Arnett and Bateman star in the five-minute spot, which they also created, directed and executive produced. It peeks into a parent's waking nightmare -- huffy teenage daughter (played by master eye-roller Aubrey Plaza from "Parks and Recreation") argues with overprotective mom and dad (Bateman and Rachel Harris) on prom night. And that's even before her date arrives. When it turns out that her "soulmate" is also her social studies teacher -- Arnett wearing a cheesy mustache and calling her "barely legal" -- well, the stuff hits the fan.
In line with Orbit's intentionally tongue-in-cheek tone, everybody chews gum, everybody gets his/her mind out of the gutter and everything works out just fine. They all end up with a "clean feeling, no matter what." Not at all coincidentally, that's the gum's tagline.
The other two DumbDumb webisodes are set to debut later this month across a number of sites, including YouTube and CollegeHumor.com. The first short premiered Thursday night as part of Internet Week in New York, with a party at Barry Diller's IAC headquarters (Silverman's Electus is part of the Diller empire).
DumbDumb, which hasn't billed itself as a traditional ad agency, nonetheless has put out the call to the marketing community that it's available to produce content for TV, the Web and film. Electus has exclusive distribution rights for all of the company's work. Because Silverman's ties to the ad world are so deep from his former production company, Reveille ("The Biggest Loser," "Blow Out") and his current firm, he's a natural liaison to blue-chip marketers.
Advertisers, meanwhile, just want an edge in reaching consumers who are bombarded with commercial messages. Famous faces go a long way, and giving them creative duties can help seal the deal.
Orbit has linked itself closely with entertainment, including the recent MTV Movie Awards, where it had its hands full trying to freshen up the potty mouths of the frequently bleeped participants.
-- T.L. Stanley