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So Is Chrysler's Invisible Ad Monkey Flipping Off PETA?

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Invisible monkey in Dodge's Year-End Tent Event Sale advertisement

Invisible monkey in Dodge's Year-End Tent Event Sale advertisement

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Annoying end-of-model-year dealer closeout ads have swarmed the airwaves, as they do every year around this time.

But Chrysler threw a touch of whimsy into its 30-second array of black cars in front of a tent with confetti, with the voice of Michael C. Hall--better known as the civic-minded serial killer title character of Dexter--intoning flatly, "This event could not be more amazing."

[pause]

"Oh, wait. There's a monkey. I stand corrected." Indeed, there was a monkey in an Evel Knievel suit, pressing a detonator to explode ... well, a very small shower of confetti.

Then People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals got into the act.

The group issued a statement saying, "Most top ad agencies in the country won't even consider producing an ad featuring a great ape these days given the well-documented abuse that young chimpanzees and orangutans suffer in the entertainment industry."

The statement went on in quite some detail, specifying the abuses. It ended by saying, "Dodge isn't going to dodge a bullet on this one. It needs to pull the ad--and we've contacted the company asking it to do just that."

But rather than pulling the ad, Chrysler has simply digitally erased the monkey. Hall now says, in the same monotone, "Oh, wait. There's an invisible monkey. Unbelievable."

Consumerist says, "The first one was just meh, monkey joke. The revision is an act of surreal genius, and a giant finger to PETA pantywringers."

We can't help but agree. What do you think? Leave us your thoughts in the Comments below.

DODGE TENT EVENT COMMERCIAL (with monkey):

DODGE TENT EVENT COMMERCIAL (sans monkey):

[Jalopnik via AgencySpy via Consumerist]

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Comments (69)
  1. I think Chrysler might be stumbling towards another own-goal on this... taking the mickey out of a chimp is somewhat facile, to say the least.
    I guess it depends who Chrysler is playing to: sophisticated 21st century buyers or hicks living in the boondocks?
    And if I had shares in Chrysler I'd want them concentrating on building good cars rather than picking fights with PETA!
     
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  2. I'm glad Chrysler had the balls to do this, not many companies would dare. certainly not GM/OM.
     
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  3. From an advertising perspective, I have to say: this is just terrible. If you know the backstory of PETA's complaint about this commercial, then sure, it makes sense. But I'd wager that the majority of viewers haven't heard about that conflamma, and to them, this is bound to come across as weird and confusing. A "screw you" isn't a "screw you" unless we know who the "you" is.
    _
    I don't know who cooked this up -- Dodge's marketing team or their creative agency -- but it reeks of geek/fanboy idiocy. Someone needs firing.
     
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  4. I appreciate Chrysler being smart with their money. This way they can continue to use the commerical with a minor investment. Now if they do a new invisible monkey ad, that is picking a fight with PETA. Let's hope they are brighter than that.
     
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  5. Oh, please, PICK A FIGHT WITH PETA!!! Sheesh, those morons need to be slapped down in the worst way. Especially one where you laugh at them to their face and just go on your way.
     
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  6. Absolutely brilliant! Instead of Chrystler pulling the commercial they made the best of it. Love the fact that 'Dexter' is the voice-over. I agree with PETA with regards to the original ad, and I think they could continue to use the 'invisible monkey' in future commercials. You go Chrysler!
     
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  7. PETA can kiss my ass
     
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  8. Anyone ever see PCU? PETA is a little overzealous in their efforts at times seem a little misdirected with their energies. It's ridiculous to think that we'll all stop eating animals and that there will be no animals in entertainment of any kind. If you follow their mission statement, then we shouldn't have any pets or feed them, etc. Domestication shouldn't even happen.
    Anyway, good job by Chrysler in addressing in taking a humorous stance. From a marketing standpoint, they should continue with the invisible monkey ads....that would be awesome, and newsworthy. And to PETA, "Lighten up, Francis."
     
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  9. If this was GM the CEO would be changed faster than model years and Obama would be at his prompter apologizing.
     
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  10. PETA needs to get the hell over themselves. It's a nice gesture to look out for animals, but come on. Soon they'll be throwing a fit over having -dogs- in commercials of -dog food- because OH NO THEY'RE A PET.
     
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  11. Brilliant! Forget about firing, someone needs a raise! Anyone who doesn't get the "invisible monkey" reference is just going to google it--yep, there's internet in the boondocks, too. ;-) Not to mention that everyone is talking about it now anyway. And they're probably going to get a lot of support in the boondocks for their "flip off" to PETA.
     
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  12. Ok, to everyone who thinks PETA is overzealous, here's why they protested. It's because the training methods used for these animal actors are abusive:
    "troubling training methods that can include abuse delivered via fists, sticks, and clubs. We also shared information from chimpanzee expert Sarah Baeckler's undercover investigation of a Hollywood training facility. Dodge officials were quick to decide to edit Suzie out of the commercial. And just like that, Dodge joins Travelers Insurance, AT&T, and Europcar, companies that have pulled or altered ads with great apes in just the last month after being contacted by PETA.
    There's still reason to be concerned about Suzie's safety: An anonymous whistleblower from the set of Lifetime's Drop Dead Diva contacted PETA after witnessing a trainer allegedly pulling on Suzie's hair and ears and yelling so loudly and threateningly that little Suzie cowered and tried to hide."
     
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  13. Most top ad agencies in the country won’t even consider producing an ad featuring a great ape these days given the well-documented abuse that young chimpanzees and orangutans suffer in the entertainment industry. This abuse starts when they are prematurely removed from their mothers and continues when they are trained to perform through savage beatings, denied even the most basic necessities, transported and housed in barren steel cages, and then discarded at seedy roadside zoos around the age of 8, even though they can live into their 60s. You won’t find a great-ape trainer without a history of Animal Welfare Act violations and a reputation for dumping animals when they’re no longer profitable."
    That's why!
     
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  14. There are a lot of tightly wound groups these days just waiting to be offended and PETA is one of them.
     
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  15. PETA's bite would have some teeth is they didn't pick so many foolish fights that are absurd. They've become a silly joke with their "Don't Eat Sea Kittens" campaign and similar goofiness.
    The great ape thing is truly cruel. These animals are treated horribly and become so bitter and dangerous that they have to be locked up when they are adults. It's not cool.....but PETA can't help anybody or anything. They are a joke now and people side against them just out of principle.
     
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  16. Richard Read....you're the kind of moron that puts on those Burger King and Hardees commercials arent you.
    Cindy and Jeff.....you're tree huggin idiots of the highest order. Get over yourselves.
    Awesome second commercial by Dodge. I hope PETA enjoyed their virtual bitch slap
     
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  17. I can understand PETA's concerns, but I think Chrysler's ad agency has done a brilliant job of alleviating (or at least side-stepping) those concerns. Not only have they removed the source of PETA's ire in an ingenious way, they've probably also saved themselves a pile of money by not having to re-script & re-shoot an entire ad. Who is Chrysler's TV spot ad agency anyway?
     
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  18. My friends and I are proud to be people eating tasty animals.
     
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  19. I was spanking my monkey when it suddenly became invisible!
     
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  20. Having worked in ad. design, I think this is a stroke of pure genius. Advertising is VERY expensive from concept to airing, it usually costs more than one of the cars in the video.
    The beautiful irony is, this retaliation from the PETA didn't only remove the monkey from the commercial (what they wanted), but it drew attention to Chrysler and the ad... so by modifying the ad to give the PETA what they wanted... not only are they fulfilling the demands...
    the exposure from PETA's ALWAYS histrionic and vocal lashbacks provided FREE ADs for the advertising.
    As for the debate on PETA's 'shoot then question' policy where the rounds are ALWAYS loud enough to be heard around the world, does anyone else remember the Bonsai Kitten fiasco?
    .Judging by the track record, PETA is a sure fire means of free advertising for websites and commercials. If companies were REALLY clever, they'd put more burrs under their saddle.
    In short?
    My opinion.
    Obsessive Altruism makes for excellent publicity.
    In these times of tight budgets, it's actually a blessing when they come a knocking, because their publicity is darn near priceless. Chrysler saw this, and made the best of it. Brilliant.
     
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  21. PETA murders dogs. By the thousands. They abuse them by the thousands. What shameful people!
     
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  22. Training methods used for animals are completely different than years ago, thanks to PETA, However to take an animial out of a great 30 second spot is REALLY, REALLY STUPID. Way to go PETA for shooting yourself in the foot, AGAIN!!! Good job Chrysler.
     
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  23. Sure makes me want to buy a chrysler!
     
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  24. Seriously PETA? I'm all for backing them in their abuse toward livestock that we eat and the unnecessary treatment they receive in the slaughter house, but come one! Why not write complaints to zoo to shut them down so kids can never have the opportunity to see wild animals (sure they aren't in the wild, but a lion is a lion)...hmm, why don't we do that? They are in cages and can't be wild.
    Why don't we write ranchers who ride horses all day. Humans have 2 feet and can run...cats and dogs had to be tamed at one point in their life to be considered pets, maybe write every pet owner for keeping animals in a home or in a small fence outside? What a joke PETA.
    This move by Dodge is amazing, and if I weren't an import person, I think I would definitely consider Dodge after this move! :)
     
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  25. Great for Dodge i own a Dodge if I had the money i would by another one and PETA can kiss the bricks for all the the so call "good" they have done . Sometimes they need get a life. By the way animals were out here by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to serve man if you dont believe me its in the Bible.
     
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  26. I'm not cheering Dodge on this one...they caved to the terrorists.
    PETA is to animal rights what Scientology is to religion. They're nothing more than a self-serving hypocritical for-profit organization that builds awareness for their brand through shock advertising. PETA killed 97.3% of their shelter animals last year.
     
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  27. PETA is an abominable organization. Of the pets that they "rescue" less than 2 % are ever placed. Many are immediately euthanized. People that think PETA is a beneficial organization should be made aware of this fact. They are actually closer to being a domestic terrorist group and bear watching. If they enjoy tax-free status, it should be immediately revoked.
     
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  28. STFU PETA!
     
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  29. if I was chrysler my next commercial would show cars driving around running over critters. the last animal to be run over would be some asshole wearing a peta shirt. then the car would stop and a monkey would get out and laugh at em.
     
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  30. Did the Monkey just make six figures by doing that commercial?
     
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  31. PETA needs to piss off. quit trying to drum up attention for yourselves cause your acting career fell through.
    http://www.fatcatspace.com/topic/15042.html
    this is how all peta protests should be handled. hahahahaha
     
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  32. This is just another PETA show of stupidity, the monkey probably has it better than most PETA members. It's well trained and well cared for. I know one trainer here in SATX who would hurt a human before one of his animals.Chrysler shows ingenuity in this add.
     
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  33. What PETA have done is jumped to the conclusion that just because monkeys have been abused by the entertainment industry in the past, automatically means this monkey has been abused too. How do they know that in this specific case. PETA, when animal rights activists stop planning to plant roadside nailbombs in the UK, I might take your downright PATHETIC little 'club' seriously. If you care about animals, adopt one of the UKs racing dogs that are systematically put down. Let me guess, you only care about animals in the USA.
     
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  34. If PETA wants to be taken seriously perhaps they should deal with the true number of animals they actually
    save" and the number they put down as they, PETA collect millions of dollars on a sham.
    Truth is Peta kills the majority of animals it claims to save and that leaves them with as much if not more of a burden to clean up their own act than a car company who uses a totally digital effect to create what is suppose to be an invisible monkey?
    I am sorry to break the news but if the invisible monkey were on the endanger list I must have missed that one and I feel it a bit more important to teach what we see on TV is NOT real, especially the lie that PETA saves animals when in truth they make millions in profits for themselves
     
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  35. PETA
    People Eating Tasty Animals
     
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  36. I like to believe that PETA really does have animal welfare in mind, so it's a real shame that they've become such a laughing stock that any truly important message they put out is almost automatically dismissed as "lunatic-fringe ravings". It's a modern case of the boy who cried "Wolf!" so often that people stopped believing him... They need to be more judicious in picking their fights and stop going off half-cocked if they really hope to make a diffence where it counts.
     
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  37. Chrysler and the ad agency are idiots, that's not a monkey (invisible or not), it's a Chimpanzee. Monkeys have tails, apes like us and the Chimpanzee in the commercial do not. Putting aside the politics of peta and the debate regarding this commercial, people should realize we share 99% of our genetic material with Chimpanzees. They are not "monkeys" to be objectified for our amusement, but empathetic and intelligent beings just like ourselves.
     
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  38. The ad makes me want to pull the trigger on a dodge! PETA is just annoying..
     
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  39. A huge thumbs up to Dodge. It is about time we enjoy poking fun at the idiots like PETA. It isn't the people with 99% of their genetic material common to chimpanzees that I disagree with. It is the ones that share 100% of their genetic material with our furry friends.
     
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  40. PETA is a joke and huge waste of time and effort by people who are bleeding heart 'save the world' fanatics. They do it more for themselves and their own feelings than for the animals welfare and should stay out of my hunting grounds or risk being shot themselves.
     
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  41. @Richard Read, you may be in advertising, but you seem to have a lack of imagination. How is an invisible monkey not more "amazing" than a monkey? Even if it's not a monkey. It makes perfect sense with the voiceover copy and tone of delivery.
     
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  42. PETA are the Nazis of animal rights groups, and I hate them with a passion. That being said this commercial is simply wonderful.
     
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  43. The only good thing about PETA is the naked women that are used for their ads. Love naked women, hate PETA.
     
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  44. This is brilliant the guy who said someone should be fired over this is out of touch with consumers. We love easter eggs and stuff like this. Even with out the backstory an invisible monkey is funny. But with it, it's brilliance. Past treatment of animals in commercials shouldn't make it so that animal can't appear in a commercial it should make it that future animals in commercials are humanely treated. Otherwise what is the purpose of PETA.
     
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  45. I think people who call PETA "pantywringers" are douchebags.
     
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  46. PETA is one big hypocritical organization. They receive millions of dollars to help animals and all they do is run smear campaigns, meanwhile the majority of animals they receive are put down. Fuck off PETA, do something worthwhile for once.
     
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  47. PETA should just shut up about the monkey, jeez, putting a monkey in an ad for cars is not promoting animal cruelty or anything.. oh and monkeys are awesome as are invisible monkeys, I don't need to know the story behind it to find it awesome.
     
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  48. that response was ingenious!
    great job dodge
     
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  49. I understand dodge also gives trucks to pro rodeo where animals have legs broken, necks snapped and outright die. So I guess dodge likes animal abuse and even supports cruelty to animals.
     
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  50. Just remember that PETA complained about the late Steve Irwin who has done so much good for conservation and wild care groups in Australia.
    PETA are just a bunch of latte sipping morons and should be treated as such.
     
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  51. I heard Alvin and the Chipmunks were beaten horribly throughout the making of their two movies.
    It amazes me that in general people like to beat and abuse their pets. If I had a monkey, I would spank it regularly!
     
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  52. This wasn't a middle finger to PETA, this was a B!TCH SLAP.
    AWESOME
    I am tired of fukcing PETA. As much as I don't wan't to see the extinction or injury of animals, people come first. I'd rather see activist efforts go towards finding cures for leukemia than getting pissy about a monkey in an evil knevil suit.
    Where was PETA when that monkey bit the face off the woman a few years back?
     
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  53. LOL!
     
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  54. So because no one likes PETA, they're not going to take the time to find out WHY they're against monkeys being used in this way? And clearly because it's an animal, who cares if the methods used to train it are abusive, right? It's just an animal here for our amusement, right? Everyone is jumping on the bandwagon of "It was so dumb for PETA to complain" but in reality, y'all are doing the same thing that you're complaining about PETA doing--not looking into the situation and trying to gather more facts and look at different sides of it. Even though I originally didn't get what PETAs problem with the commercial was, after READING their statement, I understand completely. Should they have ignored this just because people choose not to take them or this issue seriously??
     
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  55. Oh, and for everyone who thinks this is just a PETA thing-- I did some research and The Human Society has the same stance on the use of monkeys and apes-
    Fact: Despite attempts to train these animals, their intelligence, independence, and strength puts them in control—they determine whether they want to "cooperate" or not. The monkeys and apes seen on television and in movies are often very young infants. Their careers in show business are frequently short-lived because even professional trainers have difficulty handling them without using negative training methods. Beyond the infant and adolescent stage, when a monkeys or apes may be submissive, trainers cannot maintain control over primates without physical discipline or punishment. People who attempt to keep them as pets face the same problem, and attempts to neutralize the danger can be inhumane.
    You can see the link below for more facts. So again people, let's do OUR research and be thoughtful consumers of both products and information before jumping to a conclusion.
    http://www.hsus.org/wildlife/issues_facing_wildlife/should_wild_animals_be_kept_as_pets/fact_and_fiction_monkeys_and_apes_as_pets.htmlexact
     
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  56. Dodge posted thoughts on why they altered the ad today: www.dodge.com/invisiblemonkey.com
     
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  57. Here's your answer: no.
    http://www.dodge.com/en/invisible_monkey/
    and...
    http://blog.peta.org/archives/2010/07/victory_dodge_d.php
     
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  58. Great apes are highly intelligent animals who deserve to be with their families in the wild; not taken from their mothers, beaten and imprisoned just so we can jeer at them on television. It says more about our intelligence than theirs that we choose to do so. I'm glad Dodge recognized the importance of this issue and I appreciate PETA standing up for the vulnerable. Clearly someone needs to.
     
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  59. PETA can kiss my ...! Hell, I think I'll go kill a bunny just because of this...
    Here's how to make PETA & the tree huggers happy --- Kill all humans!
     
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  60. Wow Bubba, what an incredibly intelligent response. How about you respond to the FACTS about why PETA had a problem with the ad?
    Calling people "tree huggers" and saying ridiculous things like people that care about animals want to all humans to be dead is not a response. Honestly, a first grader could take a look at the facts and come up with a better response. If you disagree, why can't you do so intelligently and say WHY you do? Or is it that you know they actually have a point and it threatens you?
     
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  61. Wow, I hadn't heard of the PETA thing, but was surprised at the marketer's referring to a chimpanzee as a monkey. Chimps are apes, no closer to being monkeys than us bloggers are. I assume the writers went to college and were being condescending to the "dumb" audience.
     
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  62. when peta sponsors some legislation protecting the law abiding public from the unregulated importation of dangerous exotic animals that have literally flooded this country they will have a point to their existence.until then theyn should stfu
     
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  63. I hope they make a whole series of commercial featuring invisible animals...and I'd throw a few 'innocent' billboards in the background calling out PETA for their moron stands on stuff like this.
     
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  64. Sure makes me want to buy a chimp. They're delicious. Mmmmmmm
     
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  65. Comic gold. PETA might mean well, but their methods and implementations could do with serious rethinking. Having a good cause doesn't mean you're necessarily doing any good. Kudos to Chrysler for realizing it could take a third, very surreal, very funny option.
     
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  66. This has to be the most STUPID ad I've seen! Whatever ad agency came up with this nonsense should be fired! Any who at Dodge approved this crap?
    Come on... let's see some good creative... like the good old days!
     
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  67. Dodge's posting on their web site regarding their decision to change the ad was done with class. I love the commercial (with and without the chimp) and I will consider buying a Dodge/Chrysler when I'm shopping for my next car.
     
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  68. I never did see a Chrysler ad that comunicated anything about the product. Look at their latest ad, 2 vehicles going around in circles telling you nothing about it. Or, Maybe it is, it is telling us that they actually got one to move under it's own power rather than behind a tow truck. The next time you are driving and see a vehicle smoking, blue smoke, note the brand. I have noticed many newer 3 years old or newer, all Chrysler products, all smoking! Blue smoke = roached engine.
     
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  69. I eat vegetarians.
    kiss my ass PETA.
     
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