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Target Ads Not 'Lost' In Translation

While Lost's finale was the final chapter completing a six-year metaphysical journey, it was also a helluva moneymaker for ABC. Those constant commercial interruptions during the episode titled, "The End" were not 'lost' on me.  Assuming that Target's 15-second spots exhausted the majority of its 2010 ad budget, when all was said and done, not only did Jack Shephard and his posse come to a blissful end, the producers of the show reaped a very lucrative sunny golden light of their own.

Jack BenderJack BenderThe director that directed the finale is not only to be credited for that episode but for whatever favorite episodes of Lost you enjoyed over the course of the last six years - as he had a good hand in most of them. Oddly coupled with that, it also looks like Jack Bender lent his skillful talents to a series of Target commercials as well.

While every finale does not tie up every loose end nice and neat, what wasn't included in the final script may have found its way into the Target commercials. So, if you're one of those viewers who was worried about what happens to the Smoke Monster in the hereafter, you can be comforted in the knowledge that he's already been handed his next assignment. Yes, good old Smokey is now shilling for Target department stores.

According to The Drill Down, ABC pre-sold the 30-second spots at $900,000, and while the "TiVO ad-skipping" crowd may have tuned them out, you can be sure that the YouTube "viral" community will be tuning them in for the weeks and months to come. The commercials that Bender put together incorporate themes familiar to Lost fans such as 'Smokey,' the Swan computer and hunting for local island wildlife.

With each spot, Target ties in one of its off-the-shelf products, along with its reasonably-priced cost.

First Alert Smoke detector - $10


Computer Keyboard -$23


Kraft Original Barbecue Sauce - $.99




And as with all savvy advertising campaigns, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Here you have two commercial parodies that tie in Kate and Sawyer's heated love affair and Kate's subsequent wedding sequence.

Trojans - Spoof #1 $5.49


SpeedStick - Spoof #2 - $3.99




This final one is slightly 'off target,' as it actually places a price tag on Walt Dawson (Michael David Kelley), the son of Michael Dawson (Harold Parrineau). This father and son duo eventually became estranged in the States, only to have Michael return and get killed off on the island. Why the videographer of this spoof decided to put a price tag on the kid's head is lost on me (maybe my readers will be able to parse a meaning here?)

Dawson's Son Missing - Spoof #3 -  $85,999




And for those that can't get enough of these types of commercials, here is one that Kentucky Fried Chicken aired nationally during the height of Lost's first season (at probably a lot less cost than the $900,00 per spot finale fee).



And here's Bud Light's take on Lost that aired during the 2010 SuperBowl.



So if you also believe like Target, that "life's a moving target, why pay more" perhaps Target targeted the right audience for its Lost commercials. Bull's eye for them!

Now we would like to hear from you. Please take a moment and join in our "Ads & Spoofs Not 'Lost' in Translation POLL" and let us know your favorite Lost commercial or parody.  And if you've found any others I missed, please leave us a comment with a link below.

[POST-NOTE --something else that was not LOST in translation: The series first episode began with a close-up of one of Jack Shephard's eyes opening after the plane crashed on the island the very first time. It ended with that same eye slowly closing, as the plane carrying the remaining survivors is departing the island. Comparable to the ingenious Bob Newhart TV Show finale ending for those that remember, the Lost opening and closing were the best pair of bookends of any TV drama ever.]

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Ron Callari
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