Garfield's AdReview

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It sucks big time.

Not the latest commercial for Dyson's vacuum cleaner, which happens to be perfect, but the premium vacuum itself. This brand-the Subzero fridge of floor maintenance-sucks big time and doesn't get clogged, because it has no unwieldy bag or annoying filter in the immediate path of dust, debris, dog hair, Barbie shoes, etc.

Thanks to patented Root8Cyclone technology, duh.

Actually, the ads-from Fallon, Minneapolis-don't explain much about the technology of Dyson's cleaners, except that they rely on centrifugal force, the one that keeps the water in the pail while you are swinging it around your head because of ... whaddya call it ... physics. (Subsequent research clarifies: While the sucked-up stuff is swirling at the perimeter of the cyclone chambers, the chambers' center-where the suction is coming from-remains unobstructed.)

Turns out this isn't some ginned-up marketing gimmick, like Gardol or WMD, but a genuine advancement refined after thousands of prototypes by industrial engineer James Dyson. Having been shunned by the Hoover-Electrolux-Eureka Axis of Vacuum Evil, he decided, by Jove, if you can't join 'em, beat 'em. In the decade since, his unique vacuuming proposition propelled Dyson's cleaners to domination of the European market. And for the past year, with a rare and charming combination of self-effacement and absolute self-confidence, the founder himself has turned pitchman here.

Pitchman? Hell, he's damned near the Pied Piper. Dyson stops you, seduces you, sucks you toward the TV screen by simply explaining why he developed the better dust trap:

"Ever since the vacuum cleaner was invented, it's had a basic design flaw. Bags, filters: They all clog with dust and then lose suction. The technology simply doesn't work. So I spent 14 years developing one that does. The Dyson Cyclones create 100,000 times the force of gravity to spin the dirt out of the air. So nothing gets clogged-ever."

We are inclined to believe every word this man says, because he is rational, because he is persuasive, because he is low-key and, most of all, because he is standing there unabashedly selling his brains out-like Colin Powell at the U.N., only in this case with the actual goods.

From our perspective, Dyson's campaign is something close to a direct answer to prayer. It's as if God heard the plaintive pleas in our book about advertising (Now in paperback! Christmas is just around the corner!), voicing frustration at the industry's bizarre aversion to actually selling. Permit us to quote ourselves:

"If some fast-talking goof on the Atlantic City boardwalk can do this with a vegetable peeler, the greatest minds in marketing should be able to pull it off."

Dyson is neither fast-talking nor goofy, but he nonetheless embraces the huckster's formula: Command attention, make a compelling case and stand (literally) behind the product. We see this so tragically seldom. David Ogilvy claimed that, with a minute of TV time, he could sell anything to anybody. When he died, the very idea of it was laughable, ghettoized to infomercials and other lesser forms dependent on ... whaddya call them ... sales.

So, yeah, this brand sucks. And the most basic advertising in the world simply blows you away.


Fallon, Minneapolis

Ad Review Rating: 4 stars

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