Owen Wilson's brother and AT&T really outdo themselves in this latest cell phone commercial, which rips off an ancient Taster's Choice ad but far surpasses it in utter stupidity, while serving up a double dose of despair because in attempting to be humorous, it's probably painfully accurate.
Owen Wilson's brother is standing in a restaurant, and he tells the audience that "we've replaced these diners' great AT&T phones with lame non-AT&T substitute phones. Let's see what happens."
Groan. First of all, in a sane world, what should happen? How about this- none of the diners even notices that their phones have been switched, because after all, they are all sitting in a restaurant eating a meal. But because we aren't living in a sane world---
Customer # 1 groans "hey, I don't have any service!"
Customer # 2 bitches "hey, where are my Apps?"
Customer # 3 snaps "hey, what happened to my cool phone??"
All of the diners, feeling frightened, naked and helpless without their little toys, quickly reach their boiling points, lashing out at those around them, waving their arms and- from what we can hear in the background- throwing their substitute phones through the windows of the restaurant.
Of course, the truly horrifying thing about all this is, I don't think we are supposed to be especially critical of these witless choads. We are supposed to share Wilson's "hey, it was just an experiment" shrugged shoulders and sad face as meaning "serves you right for taking away their phones." Of course the diners acted like this- who wouldn't? I mean, what are they going to do now- talk to the people they are dining out with? Don't be ridiculous.
And here's the very worst part- this commercial didn't have to use a restaurant as the setting. It could have used a High School library. Or a family picnic. Or a baseball game. Or a movie theater- while the film was being played- and it would have been just as realistic. No one can EVER be without their phones- EVER.
This is supposed to be funny. I find it depressing- because it rings so true.