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19 September 2009 @ 10:56 am
Rabi en Rose! Buuu...  
Sometimes I don't know what to title my blog entries, so random phrases pop into my head. That phrase is from "Di Gi Charat," an anime that doesn't make a whole lot of sense, even for anime standards.

I am just bored. I want to write but I only have an hour or so to kill. So I will hijack something I started writing on Ars.

Someone named "Gulielmus" suggested that he wanted to "stab the BMW commercial guy in the face," speaking of the smugness of the recent BMW ads which I will admit fell off my grump radar. Smugness to me was those Infiniti I30 ads in the mid 1990s with that smug British person who claimed just because the ashtray was the perfection of design, the car must be an group orgasm of nubile lesbians squirming in your bed. His incessant smug demeanor describing the BOSE sound system and rolling a marble along the body panel gaps while he tossed back his long, graying hair exposing his bald spot made me want to punch him right in the gap of his blazer and turtleneck. SNL spoofed the ads perfection, with Mike Meyers using the same ad style to describe the non-stick surface of the Infiniti Toilet.

The standard fellow cranky-pants nerds at Ars took subduing blows at the most obvious flaw, the commercials audacious premise, "Americans are always finding ways to be... more responsible." First, I won't attempt to add my reply to this, except to say the best response was from "hderycke" who blew out a line worthy of Lewis Black, "Really? On what fucking planet?"

Thank you. Yes.

But I can't say this is unique. While this 40 year old virgin in a microfleece sweater over his gray dress shirt, who probably has an apartment filled with 4000+ jazz records on pressed vinyl and a reel-to-reel as a centerpiece to his living room, makes up crap the cue cards tell him... I can't say his approach is unique (although my pet peeve is that that many CF bulbs would NOT give that kind of light and definitely not turn on that quickly in succession). Commercials have been using false premises as long as I can remember. Usually, they create problems that aren't really problems and then sell you the solution. My biggest pet peeve is I see a lot of these ads:

Narr: Tired of those boring ties? [waaamp waamp] Standard silk ties are old, unattractive, and sometimes down right DANGEROUS.

[cut to man who gets his tie caught in a trunk lid, banging his head in an exaggerated manner that got him an F in stunt acting school]

Man: Aaah oww!

[stock film of silkworms with a grainy filter and text that says "Actual footage of silk production 2009-07-12: Silk Farmers International"]

Narr: Silk ties are made from foreign factories that are SWARMING with insects!

[cut to man looking cartoonishly shocked, repulsed, and confused]

Man: Do you mean my tie was made by BUGS???

[cut to business meeting where a very attractive but disgusted woman with flyswatter swats the man's tie]

Narr: Don't wear a BUG tie...

[cut to lovingly in sterile American factory with lots of glass and white panel decor. Everyone wears safety goggles, lab coats, and clean work helmets. ]

Narr: Rayon is a manufactured cellulose fiber, made right here in America.

[cut to stock footage of corn fields, farmer wiping sweat from his brown as he looks at a sunset]

Narr: Rayon is produced from naturally occurring polymers, a semi-synthetic fiber, the kind used by Germans in engineering spacecraft.

[cut to German men in work helmets looking at samples of cloth in front of a war plane, and shaking hands with American scientists]

Narr: Its high lustre quality gives it a bright sheen. Rayon contains only the most natural chemical elements carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, and this, is naturally stain-free...

[cut to man spilling coffee on his tie, but laughing it off in front of his boss, wiping it clean with a cocktail napkin]


Note that the actual problem they created (ties getting caught in things) is not actually solved. Often the problem I see in these ads are that the people portrayed in them should not be allowed to be unsupervised without 24 x 7 nursing care. Of course, in the case of the BMW ads, the approach is simple: they start with a false premise that tugs on an American's need for flattery. In my example, such a commercial would be:


"You're a smart man, who knows a good tie. You always want to look your best and know a good tie will help you achieve that goal. Instead of being hampered with ties made from old techniques that haven't changed since the middle ages, find out why more and more people are switching to Rayon ties."


Car commercials have always been full of lies. They latch onto popular terms quicker than 40-something year old suburban moms trying to convince their teen children they are still as hip as they thought they were in the 1980s. "Your mom is not a space cadet, young man! I am completely tubular! So go gag that on a spoon, mister I-don't-put-towels-in-the-hamper!" The Nissan Cube is such an attempt.

"MYSPACE AND FACEBOOK AND IPODS! YOU LIKE THOSE WORDS! WE KNOW, WE HAVE STUDIES!"