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Naomi Snieckus and Matt Baram in an ad for Kraft Italiano cheese. (Kraft Canada)
Naomi Snieckus and Matt Baram in an ad for Kraft Italiano cheese. (Kraft Canada)

ADHOCRACY

The familiar faces of Canada's commercials Add to ...

Mr. Hamilton disagrees with that relentless drive for fresh faces in the industry. But sometimes all it takes is a dormant period, he said, before clients are comfortable with an experienced actor again.

“I like using the same people, and I don’t think the consumer cares,” he said. “If they do notice, it’s to say, ‘Oh, there’s that funny guy.’ ”

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I know that face...

  • Geoff Gustafson

 

Type: Affable, slightly odd, occasionally “dumb as a post”

You know him from:

Wiser’s whisky: Refusing to subject himself to the indignity of holding his girlfriend’s purse.

AGF: A surveyor discovers his true passion is fashion photography, even if the subject is his burly co-worker.

Visa: On vacation, he insists a manatee is just an elderly dolphin.

-Future Shop: reviews products and bests his co-worker’s 5 out of 5 rating with a 7 out of 7, declaring, “I win. AGAIN,” and miming a championship belt around his waist.

-Other ads for Future Shop, Volkswagen.

His other jobs: Teaching audition skills at the Vancouver Acting School; in a series about time-traveling dinosaurs called Primeval: New World on Space network beginning in October.

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  • Naomi Snieckus

 

Type: “The pony-tailed, glasses-wearing blonde lady,” the wife

You know her from:

Rogers: HD television is so easy to install, your husband won’t get to use his tools. “He’s so handy,” she insists in an effort to soothe his ego.

BMO: The traditional “worry dolls” a shopkeeper offers her on vacation can’t keep up with her worries over “investmentitos” and market fluctuations.

Kraft: She uses shredded cheese in a lasagna, her teenage son is mortified as her husband (Snieckus’ real-life fiancé Matt Baram, also an ad regular) reads out the names of the cheeses to her in a “seductive” Italian accent.

-Other ads for Staples, Verizon (U.S.), Canadian Tire.

Her other jobs: Recurring character on CBC show Mr. D, co-artistic director for improv troupe The National Theatre of the World, formerly with Second City.

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  • Jason DeRosse

 

Type: “Nonthreatening,” the goof-next-door.

You know him from:

Diet Pepsi: Ill-advised attempts to be “Forever Young,” including wearing a Thriller jacket on a blind date and photocopying his bare behind.

BMO: He washes his own clothes rather than use a dry cleaner that doesn’t give Air Miles. Shrunken hilarity ensues.

Whiskas: As part of a series where human actors play cats, he enacts a kitten clinging to a set of drapes.

-Other ads for Uncle Ben’s, Future Shop, McDonald’s and Canadian Tire.

His other jobs: Part of the current main stage cast at Second City in Toronto, did a season of the show Hotbox on the Comedy Network.

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  • Alastair Forbes

 

Type: “A high-status buffoon: a guy who thinks he’s smart but is actually an idiot,” sometimes a straight man.

You know him from:

Mitsubishi: He promotes a 10-year warranty and is horrified at the bald image of himself a decade in the future.

Tim Hortons: Eating breakfast sandwiches with his female colleagues, who have different ideas about what constitutes an active lifestyle.

Wiser’s whisky: Refusing to subject his nether regions to the indignities of a climbing harness.

Wal-Mart: Holiday season guaranteed price match – he raps about it.

-Other ads for Telus and Halls.

His other jobs: Part of the current main stage cast at Second City in Toronto, as well as work in Web series and writing.

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  • Jim Annan

 

Type: Non-threatening, babyfaced goof.

You know him from:

-Alexander Keith’s: Learns the lesson that “some things are not made to share,” including beer and your friend’s girlfriend.

-Verizon (U.S.): Was the spokesperson for its Fios service for two years.

-McCain’s: reviving a popular Superfries ad from the ‘80s, he says that was him 20 years ago. (That was not him. “I have friends who were like, ‘I didn’t know you were that kid.’ I’m like ‘I’m not, it’s television. You have watched television right?’ People get very angry when they find out they were duped.”)

-Other ads for Barq’s root beer and Mars.

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