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Couched in the truth 

What on earth makes the corporate suits of Gardner White think we want Bill Bonds to sell us a couch? What made the furniture company think the sight of Bill Bonds in a steel gray suit and hair-hat would call up visions of fun family gatherings? In the locally aired television commercial, Bonds sits confidently and with vigor, at the edge of his seat in a furniture warehouse showroom. He explains — presumably as naturally as he can while following cue cards — that Gardner White is really top notch. He even interrupts himself to exaggerate the overwhelming authenticity of his point. Local celebrity Bonds is supposed to represent reliability and class … or maybe just a leathery look. But imagine having him in your living room, sitting on your couch: Can’t you feel the cold-sweated "have-another-seltzer water" tension already? It’s not like Gardner White chose the charmingly poised Carman Harlan to pull in customers. Bonds’ biz has trained him, for double-digit years and a triple digit salary, to act as naturally as possible. But who really buys it? And will it make them buy a couch? What grabs your attention? E-mail

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