The funniest, most surprising commercials on TV these days are the ones NBC is using to promote its low-flying sitcom Wings. The spots parody those too-hip commercials for Obsession perfume: In each one, Wings actors Tim Daly, Crystal Bernard, and Steven Weber are sleekly coiffed and attired in the manner of pouty model-types. They stare at each other sullenly and make haughty, nonsensical pronouncements (”Shave me!” ”Put on this tie!”). The non sequiturs are capped by a discreet plug: ”In the kingdom of laughter, the ruler is…Wings,” murmurs Bernard, her wet-look lipstick gleaming.
”The cast just loved doing these,” says Jim Vescera, a director of on-air promotion for NBC, which produced the spots. ”The idea of doing something so different really excited them.” Do these witty ads work? Well, Wings continues to get hammered every week in the ratings by ABC’s Heather Locklear showcase, Going Places. But the ads are so good, they’re bound to make some viewers give Wings another look. I certainly did. And? Well, I wish the show were as funny as its commercials…