In one, a man and woman eye each other on an elevator and fantasize about marrying each other as the soundtrack plays a Partridge Family oldie (``I think I love you . . .'').
In the other, doctors and nurses dance around an operating room while their badly injured patient sings Soft Cell's 1982 hit ``Tainted Love'' (``I've got to run away . . .'').
Mischievous and memorable, both were nominated this year for the first Emmy Award given to a TV commercial. Another ad won, but it says something that out of hundreds of good TV ads, the Levi's wide-leg jeans commercials were two of the five nominated for the award.
Still, Levi Strauss' business is down, employees have been laid off, and Foote, Cone and Belding is minus one client.
Last year, raves raged for a Nissan Altima commercial that featured a toy soldier falling from the jaws of a dinosaur into the seat of a tiny sports car.
The Wall Street Journal ran an article about it, noting that Rolling Stone and Time magazines had cited it as ``best ad of the year'' and that Oprah Winfrey invited the admen from TBWA Chiat/Day who created it to be on her show.
But the article went on to say that Nissan car dealers hated the ad because it didn't move customers to actually buy the car.
That seems to say that just because an ad is entertaining, doesn't mean it's effective.
True enough, concedes Bill Donnelly, associate professor of advertising at Temple University. But it's also true, he says, that many ad campaigns are blamed for problems that are not their fault . . . such as ``the product stinks'' or ``the price is too high.''
``You have to be careful in drawing conclusions,'' Donnelly says. Take the Energizer Bunny ad campaign, also a TBWA Chiat/Day creation.
First launched in 1989, this series of commercials for Eveready's Energizer alkaline batteries has made the pink, sunglass-wearing, drum-beating rabbit who ``keeps going and going and going'' as famous as Bugs Bunny - maybe more so. And Donnelly doesn't hesitate to declare this ad campaign ``brilliant.''
Even so, Duracell batteries continue to outsell Energizer year after year. Does a recent Duracell ad leap to your mind?
As it happens, Duracell was first in advertising batteries on television. That campaign, which ran from 1975 to 1984, featured a roomful of toy bunnies beating on drums.
One bunny was powered by a Duracell battery, the rest by zinc carbon batteries and at the end of the commercial, only the Duracell-powered bunny was still active. The others had run down.
The original Energizer Bunny ads intentionally played off that ad - as if to say: ``You may be able to outlast zinc carbons, but can you outlast me?''
The public took the Energizer Bunny to its heart at once. Yet sales of Energizer batteries went down, not up.
There was speculation then that TV watchers still associated pink bunnies with Duracell, so the Energizer ads were actually helping the competition. But even if that explanation accounts for 1989 sales figures, it hardly explains why Energizer is still No. 2 today.
``You have to give the other guy some credit,'' says Donnelly. ``Advertising is only part of marketing. It isn't all of it. Even if the Energizer Bunny is as great an idea as the Jolly Green Giant, there are other factors to look at. Duracell was the first to put a battery tester in its package, for example.''
What you don't know, adds Donnelly, is what Energizer sales would be if it didn't have such an effective sales-bunny.
Rayovac, which also makes alkaline batteries, is a distant No. 3. Rayovac has just launched a $25 million TV ad campaign featuring Michael Jordan in hopes of catching up.
The point is: Advertising effectiveness is not all that easy to measure.
Donnelly says the makers of Maxwell House coffee discovered that to their regret several years ago.
``Maxwell House Coffee was outselling all other brands when its marketing people noticed that consumers had become so price-conscious, they only bought coffee if given a discount coupon,'' Donnelly recounted. ``So Maxwell House decided to focus on discounts. They dropped TV advertising, and Folger's [whose ads featured `Mrs. Olson' giving coffee-making advice] became the nation's best-selling brand.''
It's easy to gauge an advertisement's success when sales figures go up immediately following the ad's appearance on TV.
Two of the most famous examples of this occurred in 1984. Wendy's added the line ``Where's the beef?'' to America's vocabulary and sales of its hamburgers soared. A futuristic ad during the Super Bowl introduced Apple's Macintosh computers and 72,000 of them were sold in the next 100 days.
Clients walk away from ad agencies for many different reasons, notes Donnelly. The real reason is not always the one they state.
``Sometimes,'' he says, ``the ad campaign is just as bad as the client says. But just as in any other relationship, the client may say: `You don't listen to me. You don't care about me anymore.' Maybe the client just wants to blame somebody.''