Due to the baseball playoffs, we've accidentally seen a lot of TV commercials and we offer these thoughts:
1. The lady in the Symbicort asthma-inhaler commercial has a nice set of lungs. Literally. The rest of her is in silhouette, but her lungs light up, E.T.-ishly (perhaps to distract you from the "asthma-related death" disclaimer). Still, we can't look away. Yikes.
We Will Not Tone It Down|
Marketer: Miracle Whip
|A badge of defiance? Hardly.|
3. The "All you need is love" spots are irresistible. The female breakdancer is fabulous. And the fashion designer does more good acting in six wordless onscreen seconds than Al Pacino has since the Clinton administration. But, in terms of fulfilling your creative dreams, BlackBerry is relevant ... how? Sort of preposterous -- albeit, on the weekend preposterometer tally, by no means the champ. For we have witnessed ...
4. ... something that had inexplicably eluded us for months. It's an anthem. A manifesto. A generational declaration of defiance. Some excerpts:
"We will not be quiet!"
"We will not try to blend in, disappear in the background, play second fiddle!"
"We're not like the others, we won't ever try to be!"
"And we will not tone it down."
Whoa! Attitude! You've seen this sort of thing before, from such varied advertisers as Nintendo, Nike, the U.S. Army, Camel filters, Stroh's beer and Dr Pepper, all trying to flatter their prospects into imagining themselves as a breed apart, heroic iconoclasts who find the ultimate expression of their singular boldness in, you know, a mass-produced product.
Manufactured goods also like to lay claim to our highest earthly aspirations. This we've learned from such great spirit guides as Lincoln-Mercury, Levis, Johnnie Walker, Gatorade and Brother, the Dalai Lama of color printers. Of course, if you think a printer or a jug of sugar water or a smartphone or even a bloated luxury car is inspiring, then you are what we in journalism call "a douche bag."
Yet, as the Marlboro cowboy has demonstrated for about 50 years, this approach can be phenomenally successful. You'd think there'd be a backlash for marketers who think you're such a douche bag that you can fall for this malarkey, but au contraire. Like we said: Marlboro, Nike, the old Beetle ... it works, and from this we can conclude only one thing:
There are a lot of total douche bags out there, douche bags so douche-baggy they don't even realize they are treated like douche bags by the very brands they think are cool.
But now we as American face the ultimate insult to our self respect, via the "We will not be quiet" anthem sampled above. Because the advertiser is ...
... Miracle Whip.
That is correct, the salad dressing/sandwich spread/middle finger to the Man.
Or at least to the mayonnaise.
The commercial is filled with attractive but slightly grungy young people of no mind to accept mere mayo, because obviously mayo is ordinary. Mayo is establishment. Mayo is surrender. Whereas Miracle Whip is Che Guevara in a jar.
Was this conceived during 'shroom day at McGarryBowen?
See, in non-psychedelic reality, Miracle Whip is not a badge of defiance but rather the quintessence of middle-American déclassé, the turquoise pants suit of condiments. To assert the opposite is just a slap at our collective intellects, our collective honor, our collective non-douche-baggery.
If this succeeds, ladies and gentlemen, we do indeed surrender. If Miracle Whip is cool, the terrorists win.