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Penguins helping items fly off shelves

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Penguins must be flying high. People are flocking to see them on the big screen, they star in ads all over the little screen and they're splashed across advertising circulars and packaging for a scad of products.

Emperor penguins are hawking batteries in commercials with Duracell-powered "penguin cams" strapped to their backs, and, in a Capital One TV spot, they surround a shivering couple vacationing in Antarctica because their credit card miles program blacked out flights to warm resort locales.

Penguins also are strutting on packaging for Minute Maid lemonade, Entenmanns gingerbread cookies and more, and on Web site banners, such as at the Mystery Guild book club. Hallmark is offering a discount, with the purchase of greeting cards, on its animated penguins-decorating-a-tree decoration.

And Coca-Cola has resurrected its ad showing penguins making friends with polar bears (never mind that they live in different hemispheres) by offering them a Coke.

Several penguin logos and characters have been around for years, from those on Penguin Books and Munsingwear clothing to the Linux computer operating system penguin and Opus, the loony comic strip character introduced in "Bloom County."

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