RadioShack gets weird, as in Weird Al Yankovic

Fort Worth’s RadioShack Corp. may have more than a few challenges, but when it comes to commercials they’ve found gold lately. The latest is a Christmas season commercial starring Weird Al Yankovic, rock parodist, video pioneer and accordionist.

In a new commercial available on YouTube, Yankovic stars as a RadioShack salesman who sings a song about the retailer’s toyland as the place to get gifts, “for girls and boys and even cousin Bob, who’s 43 and lives at home.” At the end of his pitch, a drone flies down and lands on Yankovic’s falconry-gloved hand.

Also actress Alison Becker, who appears often on NBC’s Parks and Recreation and has a dog named Dignan after Owen Wilson’s character in the Texas-filmed Bottle Rocket movie, appears in the commercial. At the end of the ad, she asks about batteries and Yankovic acts, well, like he’s very excited to discuss the topic.   The ad was posted on YouTube on Nov. 7 with the tag line: “The holidays are getting weird at RadioShack. And by weird we mean awesome. And by awesome we mean get up to 50% off all smart gifts. #GiftSmart with RadioShack.”

RadioShack received some praise, along with some criticism, for its 2014 Super Bowl commercial titled “The Phone Call.” The spot featured icons from ’80s pop culture who show up to reclaim the technology of their decade. RadioShack’s advertising and media partner, Austin-based GSD&M, produced that spot as well as the Yankovic ad. While RadioShack is working on its turnaround, Yankovic has accomplished one of his own. The star of ‘80s rock music video parodies such as “Eat It,” and “I Lost on Jeopardy,” released his album Mandatory Fun in July and earned his first No. 1 on the Billboard 200. – Robert Francis,