Saturday, September 4, 2010

From the people who brought us Sarah Palin

There is just so much to love here, staring from the opening bell. The narrator tells us that his name is Jason, that he lives in Fairbanks, Alaska- a bleak, dark, lifeless tundra bathed in a gloomy twilight- and then gives us the hilarious line "you don't come here to stay indoors." Say no more, Jason! I mean, the pictures tell it all- when I see endless fields of ice barely illuminated by a weak sun and imagine subzero temps, the first thing that I think is "Wow, I'm heading outside!"

"There's snow machining...sit on your buttcheeks (I'm pretty sure this is what he says) ice-fishing....." let me finish your thought for you, Jason. "There's drinking, there's bowling, there's hockey, there's drinking, there' fishing. Drinking. Bowling. Did I mention drinking?"

There's also watching the Travel Channel, and pretending you live somewhere, anywhere else....

And then we get to Jason's "passion," Curling, and the point of this overlong ad. Jason tells us that he's suffered from heartburn in the past, which prevented him from "concentrating" on "the task at hand"- at this point, forgive me for mistaking this commercial for an Onion News Parody the first time I saw it. "The Task At Hand?" It involves doing something on a slab of ice. Just like everything else one does in Fairbanks, Alaska, I suppose, including ice fishing, drinking, hockey, drinking....

It's Day Seven of Jason's new life on Prilosec OTC. Unfortunately for him, it's Day God Knows How Many But It Feels Like Eternity of Jason's old life in Fairbanks, Alaska, a place one does not go unless one wants to be outside, for obvious reasons I don't feel the need to repeat here.

One more point I'd like to make about this ad- I'm always impressed at the ability of agencies to convince clients to spend money traveling to out of the way places to film a commercial which could just as easily been thrown together using people living right down the street from the studio. How did these guys sell Prilosec on the idea of flying a camera crew to Fairbanks, Alaska? That being asked, why Fairbanks, Alaska? Is there something about the cold and dark that aggravates heart burn symptoms?

If not, why didn't the agency scour the letters for a heartburn sufferer from Jamaica, or Paris, or Australia, or some other cool place that one might spend a few days? You know, someplace not populated by bored out of their minds overweight dopes who are trying to convince themselves that they like the cold and dark and that Curling is a "task" that needs to be performed well, or is worth performing at all?


  1. What a bizarre commercial. ITA with your assessment. Just... Huh?

    Here's a somewhat embarrassing confession. Until very, very recently (as in sometime this year), when I heard "curling team," I envisioned a bunch of guys with barbells or dumbbells, competing to do the most curls or curls with the heaviest weights. One day, I was channel-surfing and went to a sports channel that happened to be featuring a women's curling event. I gawked at the TV and thought, "THIS is curling? It's like a cross between shuffle board and ice hockey! Why... Who came UP with this?!?" ;)

  2. Scotsmen looking for something to do during the winter, that's who. Since there are a lot of them up here and it does get sort of cold, the past time is fairly common and respected North of the border. Think of it as frozen NASCAR;)

  3. Embarrassing confession 2.0; I grew up watching the sport so I'm more or less acclimated to it; it's the same deal as someone from California being used to dealing with earthquakes or, for that matter, anyone from anywhere being used to unavoidable inconveniences.

  4. OK, "snow machining"???? I have never heard snow mobileing called snow machining. It doesn't even make any sense. If you told a blind person from Florida who had never benn around snow before that I was going snow mobileing they could basically understand what I was going to do. Ride on some kind of a snow car. If I told them I was going snow machining they would think I was going to make some fake snow like they do at a ski resorts. And I can't stand that he uses phrases like "the task at hand" when describing what he considers a fun, enjoyable hobby. What dull, robotic, lifeless people must come from Alaska. Also Jason may want to actually work on fixing the root of his terrible heartburn. Like maybe changing his diet or exercising a little? Now he can curl pain free right up until the inevitable heart attack at age 55. And apparently Alaska is also the wrong place to be if you enjoy plant life of any kind, colors aside from endless white and all black clothing or smiling. He never once shows any kind of emotion. Even at the end when he tells us how much better his life is now he looks like his puppy just got run over. I would rather commit suicide then move to Fairbanks.

  5. We called them "snow machines" sometimes in Vermont when I was growing up, but it was always "snow mobiling." And yes, I agree with the "task at hand" comment- a hobby is not a freaking task, this guy takes himself way too seriously.

    And YES- want to get rid of your heartburn? Step One- stop eating the kind of food that leaves you a hundred pounds overweight. Masking the symptoms with meds isn't going to help. And no, playing shuffleboard on ice or sitting your ample ass down and "snow machining" does NOT count as exercise.

    "Even at the end when he tells us how much better his life is now he looks like his puppy just got run over"- classic. I guess "a better life" is all relative when you live in Fairbanks, Alaska.

  6. As someone born and raised in Fairbanks, we do spend most of our winters indoors. It's not even all that pleasant to race snow machines like the Palins did, at 40-80 below.

    That said, the other seasons people are definitely outdoors way, way more than is the norm down in the States.

    Also, although Fairbanks helped put her over the top for governor, technically Wasilla "gave you" Sarah Palin, though I would put that off on John McCain or his campaign staff, personally.