SPORT utility vehicles are beastly, or at least beastlike.
That is the message of a new public service campaign from the governments of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The $27 million campaign, paid for with settlement money from a lawsuit against the Ford Motor Company, starts this week and is aimed at informing young men in particular about the rollover risks of sport utility vehicles.
This latest dent to the aura of the S.U.V. stars "Esuvee," who looks like a cross between the Star Wars characters Chewbacca and Jabba the Hutt, with headlights for eyes and a grille for a nose. Esuvee - pronounced "S.U.V." - also rides like a bucking bull.
In a 60-second commercial that is part of the campaign and will appear before movies in theaters, young men mount Esuvee, "buckling in" to the back of the hairy beast in a sort of mock bull riding championship. A gate opens and they hang on for the ride. As the first rider vaults out of control, the camera settles on a seasoned rider offering ringside advice.
Original link is here: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/02/business/media/02adco.html
EsUVee link is: http://www.esuvee.com/flash.html