Ever since 'Team America' used the concept of Gerry Anderson's Thunderbirds - marionettes from the sixties, many companies started using marionettes in their ads. A US website selling airline tickets (You can watch the commercials here!) jumped on the bandwagon, but why they did this, besides wanting the cute factor, amuses me. In my humble opinion, everything they, and '3' Australian mobile phone service provider, have done with puppets in their ads, is better suited to doing with actors! This takes me back to a question I'm always asking myself and my students: Why Puppetry? Okay, you might answer 'why not?' but surely puppets are better used to create situations and tell stories that actors (or live people) cannot. We go back to the big 'M' word - 'Metaphor'... Puppets can break down barriers and get through to humans, without prejudice, tackle sensitive topics, which people often have difficultly discussing. I realise that humour and imitation of real life is their strong point, but these commercials using puppets, and often badly so, makes very little sense to me! Please feel free to argue this point... or enlighten me!
Update: Thanks Jonathan for your response! Read it below..