Dunderpedia: The Office Wiki

"Local Ad" is the ninth episode of the fourth season of The Office and the 62nd overall. It was written by B.J. Novak and directed by Jason Reitman. It first aired on October 25, 2007. It was viewed by 8.98 million people.

Cold open

Dunder Mifflin's corporate office has hired advertising consultants to create a television commercial. The office begins brainstorming ideas and Michael introduces the Ad Makers to them.


Michael is excited by the opportunity to exhibit creativity, but then dismisses the consultants when it's revealed that his input will be limited to the final five seconds of the commercial, when the branch staff are shown waving at the camera. Corporate accepts Michael's offer to fund and film his own, alternative commercial by the next day, with the proviso that, if they don't like it better, they'll use the consultants' version.

Pam, who is taking a computer animation class, makes an animated logo for the commercial. She stays overnight and falls asleep working on it. Phyllis tries to enlist author Sue Grafton, who is appearing at a book signing at the local mall to appear in the ad. Phyllis later cries after Grafton refuses their offer.

Andy struggles throughout the episode to recall the product name from the famous "Break Me Off a Piece of that Kit Kat Bar" ad campaign, substituting the final three syllables with the guesses "applesauce", "Chrysler car", and "football cream."

Headed by Darryl, a group of employees writes a jingle for the commercial, which is rejected by Michael. The singers include Kelly, Andy, Creed and Kevin. Darryl plays keyboards for the demo they do for Michael, and Michael's rejection hurts Darryl, as we see when he sadly trudges out of the office with the instrument.

Dwight has largely removed himself to the virtual world of Second Life, but has become Andy's confidante regarding his relationship with Angela. This is initially painful for him, until Andy confides that, during a makeout session, Angela said, "Oh, D!"; it was the first response he has gotten from their physical contact. While Andy interprets this as the second syllable of his name, Dwight is delighted, because Angela used to call him "D."

The office gathers at a local bar, Poor Richard's, to watch the commercial. Although corporate has rejected Michael's version of the commercial and aired the original, Jim slips the bartender a DVD of Michael's version, calling it a "Director's Cut." The positive response from the employees and others at the bar cheers Michael up, who later buys all of them another round of drinks.

Deleted scenes

  • Toby shares an idea for the commercial that Michael claims is a bad one.
  • Michael typecasts the other workers. Creed as Orville Redenbacher and Jim as Mr. Bean.
  • Pam tries to use a drawing tablet.
  • Pam animates Dwight's head exploding. Dwight plays Second Life and Jim tried to get his attention.
  • Jim talking head about Michael's creativity.
  • Michael talking head about hosting the Dundies with Chevy Chase.
  • Michael in the conference room saying Daryl can't do music because he is black and that might create a 'positive stereotype' that creates a 'celestine prophecy' that prevents the next Bon Jovi from 'picking up a piano.'
  • Various characters react to being in a commercial.
  • Michael makes Jim role-play as the "producer" of his commercial, and Michael is the visionary director. Jim shoots down Michael's crazy ideas, and when Michael gets upset, Jim threatens to hire Andy Bernard, who will do the commercial for half of the cost. Michael apologizes and asks for a second chance. Jim hires Michael back, and Michael leaves his own office.
  • In Second Life, Dwight uses a rocket launcher to win at paintball. They complain "Not fair!" but Dwight answers, "Life's not fair." Dwight returns to his virtual home and finds his rocket launcher in Jello. "Jim Samtanko" hovers outside Dwight's window. Watch it.

Amusing details

  • When Phyllis cries after reporting she was unable to get Sue Grafton, Michael says, "Can somebody give her a tissue please?" Kevin rips a piece of tape and gives it to her.
  • When Michael sends the finished ad to Corporate, the email reads
To: Dunder Mifflin Marketing
Subject: Commercial
Attach: Scranton_Comm.avi (490MB)


Here is the final final FINAL video of the Dunder Mifflin Commercial made by the Scranton Branch (Michael Scott, dir.) Feedback appreciated!

Michael Scott
Michael presumably had previously sent "video", "final video", and "final final video" before sending this "final final FINAL video." He is also quite proud of being the director.
  • One of the scenes in Michael's commercial is of a convict finding a second chance at Dunder Mifflin. The Scranton branch did not treat actual former convict Martin Nash well in "The Convict".


  • The advertising consultants Forrester and Koh were named for writers Brent Forrester and Ryan Koh. Even though they did not end up playing the roles, they kept the character names.[1]
  • One of the advertising consultants is played by Kyle Bornheime, who would go on to play recurring character Teddy Winters on Michael Schur's project Brooklyn Nine Nine. The other advertising consultant, Tim Kang, would go on to star as Kimball Cho in The Mentalist where the waiter, played by Drew Powell, would also star in a recurring role.
  • The actor in the corporate advertisement, Jeff Witzke, appears in every one of director Jason Reitman's projects.[1]
  • The tune to the first version of the Dunder Mifflin song was written by writer B.J. Novak's brother.[1] The second version was composed by actor Craig Robinson.[2] Lyrics:
Out of paper
Out of stock
There’s friendly faces around the block
Break loose from the chains
That are causing your pain
Call Michael and Stanley
Jim, Dwight, Creed
Call Andy and Kelly
For your business paper needs
Dunder Mifflin
The people person's paper people
Dunder Mifflin
The people person's paper people...
  • Describing a moment in his commercial, Michael uses the expression, Triumph of the Will, seemingly oblivious that this is the title of a Nazi-propaganda film.
  • When Andy discusses "D" with Dwight in the break room, he is drinking a Wegman's brand "W-Pop". On the snack machine is a sticker for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, the AAA affiliate of the New York Yankees, can be seen on the snack machine.
  • This is the first mention of the Nashua, New Hampshire branch, where Holly Flax will transfer from.
  • When Michael calls David, the first scene showing the phone has the clock in the upper left hand corner read 9:38. As the call finishes, the time reads 9:22 on the same date of 10/03/07.
  • The only other references to Jim playing guitar is when a guitar is visible in his bedroom in the episode Email Surveillance, and a brief moment of him playing his guitar in Vandalism.
  • Michael prank calls Ryan pretending to be Eddie Murphy. This started when Michael got Ryan's cell phone number in "The Fight," He pretended, in order, to be Michael Jackson, Tito Jackson, Mike Tyson, Saddam Hussein, and "your [Ryan's] girlfriend."
  • Michael mispronounces the word "coup."
  • Pam was Jim's ride home even though he has a car, loosely implying that they spent the night together or at least carpool.
  • The birth of Angela Kinsey's daughter was announced on Second Life by Dwight's alter ego Dwight K. Shelford.[3]
  • Michael arrives at Poor Richard's in a red PT Cruiser. He presumably traded in his Porsche Boxster (seen in the previous episode) to save money.
  • At Poor Richard's, the waiter compliments Pam's creative work (on Michael's ad) as a ploy to ask her out on a date. Ryan also uses the same tactic on Pam in Dunder Mifflin Infinity.
  • In Second Life, Dwight's position is "Assistant to Regional Manager." This is odd since he has always wanted to be considered "Assistant Regional Manager." This could be explained out of Dwight's loyalty to Michael. When he first made the Second Life account, he was still Assistant to the RM. Dwight says that everything is exactly the same, except for his ability to fly. So it would make sense that he would put his title as what Michael calls him and what his official title is.
  • While Jim is showing Pam Dwight's profile on Second Life, she notices that Jim's avatar is a sportswriter in Philadelphia. Spoiler: This is strangely close to the career he pursues in season 9, that of a sports marketeer in Philadelphia.
  • Dwight's avatar on Second Life is Dwight Shelford. Jim's is Jim Samtanko. Pam also has an avatar: Pam Brezoianu. Profile details such as group memberships can be found on this livejournal blog.
  • In the ad, Dwight's character tells Phyllis' character that he is her son. Spoiler: This could be seen as foreshadowing for Phyllis, who in season 7 admits that she had given up a child.

Cultural references

  • Phyllis suggests dancing babies for the local ad. The dancing baby is a viral video from the late 1990's. It is a computer-rendered dancing baby.
  • The full jingle lyric that Andy cannot remember is, "Break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar." Andy, however, at the end of the episode is sure that the song goes "Break me off a piece of that Fancy Feast" mistakenly referring to the cat food under the belief that the jingle should rhyme with "piece".
  • Andy tries Chrysler car as one of the possible lyrics. Chrysler is a major manufacturer of automobiles in the United States.
  • MTV is an American cable channel catering to young adults. The name initially stood for Music Television, but music is no longer its sole focus.
  • On crack originally meant "on the drug crack cocaine", but has developed a slang meaning of "gone crazy and out of control".
  • The term urban is often used by marketing agencies as a euphemism for "black".
  • Mrs. Butterworth and Aunt Jemima are mascots for two different brands of pancake syrup. Aunt Jemima is black. Mrs. Butterworth's ethnicity is unclear.
  • Michael suggests that the three accountants be presented as Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear, referring to the fairy tale Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
  • Second Life is an online environment in which players create avatars and interact in a virtual world.
  • Michael explains, "I don't get paid by the hour any more. I get paid by the year." Michael is a salaried employee, who is paid a fixed amount, not based on time worked.
  • Andy says that he and Angela have been necking, which is slang for amorous kissing of the neck. However, Andy clarifies that they have been rubbing necks together.
  • Andy wants to "fast track this to get to first base", combining fast track, an informal term for the quickest, most direct route to a goal, and "first base", which is part of a baseball-themed slang progression of intimacy. See "Boys and Girls" for details.
  • Michael pretends to be the comedian Eddie Murphy performing the voice role of the character Donkey from the movie Shrek.
  • Kool-Aid Man is the mascot for the Kool-Aid brand of flavored drink mix. Kevin's face is an attempt to mimic the character.
  • Sue Grafton is an author of detective novels.
  • The Steamtown Mall is a shopping center in downtown Scranton.
  • Michael edits the ad with Adobe Premiere Pro. This is odd given his previously established resistance to technology (the Dunder Mifflin Infinity website, PowerPoint)
  • The background music for Michael Scott's Dunder Mifflin Director's Cut Ad is the title theme from the movie Chariots of Fire, composed by Vangelis.


Main cast

Supporting cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast

  • Kyle Bornheimer as Adman
  • Tim Kang as Koh
  • Virginia Newcomb as Assistant
  • Drew Powell as The Waiter
  • Jeff Witzke as Commercial Actor