In 1902, while on a hunting trip in Mississippi, then US President Theodore ‘Teddy’ Roosevelt, refused to shoot a black bear that had been tied to a tree by other members of the hunting party. The incident became the subject of a Washington Post cartoon by Clifford Berryman, who created a modified version of the incident by illustrating a smaller, cuter version of the bear… and by not mentioning that the Roosevelt instructed the bear be ‘put out of its misery’.
Inspired by the story (and cartoon), Morris Michtom and his wife Rose created ‘Teddy’s bear’, and displayed it in their New York shop window. At the same time in Germany, the Steiff company were producing a stuffed bear based on Richard Steiff’s design. By 1906, the bears had become collectively known a ‘teddy bears’ and Steiff created the trademark ‘Steiff – Button in Ear’ to standout from imitators.
Now 110 years later, German film director, Denis Parchow has created a spec commercial for Steiff called ‘Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark’. If you are unfamiliar with the term, it simply means speculative, in some cases an ad will be created to help sell an idea, concept or the capabilities of a company or individual.
The spec ad features a young boy running through the forest pursued by a monster. After being cornered, he awakes to find his trusty Steiff teddy bear in his arms. When the monster appears in his room, the teddy bear springs into action slapping the monster with a pillow, then delivering a fight-ending karate kick. The ad ends with the message ‘Steiff: Protecting children since 1902’.
Is this an ad the company would have come up with on their own? Probably not, but I’m interested to hear about their reaction.