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Commercialism — The Intern’s Revenge Thursday, January 17, 2008

Posted by Greek McPapadopoulos in Greek McPapadopoulos.
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Sometimes it’s the little things that make for a memorable commercial.  These things may be so little that their existence is purely unintentional, yet are key to you remembering anything about the commercial itself.  Usually these little details are hilarious, especially if they represent true cluelessness on the part of the advertiser.  The ability to point out such details is a worthwhile trait to have, and as a service I am providing one such example today.  Then you will be amaze and astound your friends with your amazing perceptive abilities, and members of the opposite sex will fall down at your feet as they praise your keen observation skills.

All this can be yours, if you continue after the jump.

What is the concept: There are more things in life that should be voice-activated.  The fact that I can’t yell “Television, On.  Pornography!” and be instantly sated upsets myself and Tracy Jordan alike.  Some product called “Sync” is ready to fill that void, at least when it comes to handling the music in your car.  As an added safety bonus, this is sure to prevent tens of accidents from occurring as people will no longer search desperately for that Debbie Gibson CD that fell between the seats (while the car is driving).

What does this commercial get right: Sometimes comedy is simple.  People running into things = funny.  If they get injured (but not really), then it’s an added bonus.

What went wrong: Simply put, I’m going to point the blame on this one on a smartass intern.  I’m sure there was a production meeting in which Executive #1, who thinks it’s still 2001, asks “What is hip with the kids these days?  Oh, that Julian Casablancas kid–Get me a Strokes track, pronto!”  So they leave it to some college intern to find the specific track that they need, knowing that no one is really checking up on him.  As a result, we have the unmistakable opening of “You Talk Way Too Much” hitting the car stereo once the driver asks for “Artist: The Strokes”, therefore subtly destroying the message that they were trying to convey.

This reminds me of another similar situation, when I was watching MTV’s True Life.  At this point most of you realize that all music has been relegated to just 7 second snippets that are just background to the important action on-screen (usually hot teens getting it on), with little attention paid to the connection between song-and-scene.  However, in a program that was talking about religion and young people, someone decided to get fancy and selected a quick 15 seconds from the Dandy Warhols’ “Godless” (just chords, no words), thinking that they were pretty freakin’ clever.  Of course, considering that 13 Tales from Urban Bohemia  probably didn’t even reach Gold sales status (even though it’s actually a fantastic album), few people would recognize the genius of such a maneuver.  Even more frustrating is the fact that most of the people who could recognize that the tune was in fact “Godless” would realize that the title of the song is not literal–it’s no meditation on atheism.  But it makes for a great story about MTV’s incompetence!

Conclusion: Unintentional Irony is awesome–if they had no idea what the song they picked actually was, I have to applaud the advertisers for choosing one whose title undermines the basic principle of their product.  If this was not the case, screw them for giving me false hope.



1. DougOLis - Thursday, January 17, 2008

Was this inspired by last time and UPS using The Postal Service?

I liked Ford’s use of Band of Horses’ “The Funeral” in their Edge commercial.

2. Greek McPapadopoulos - Thursday, January 17, 2008

That was kind of in the back of my mind, but I was initially inspired because I cracked up when I realized what song they used and didn’t see anything written about it.

And “The Funeral” is a great use of a song–it always gets my attention. However, I have a friend that goes apoplectic when watching that commercial over the girl and her creepy eyes–“she’s mesmerized by a sunroof?!?!”

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