Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Large Degree of Failure

There is so much wrong here, it's hard to know where to begin. I think I'll just take the commercial's many flaws in order of appearance.

First, we see something I'm pretty sure I've never seen in a commercial for deodorant before- a guy actually applying the stuff to his armpit. Hey Degree, did you think that maybe there's an adult out there who doesn't know how to use your product? Is this something you thought we'd really appreciate seeing? I can only hope that the makers of Preparation H don't copy this really bad idea.

Just in case you aren't getting the subtle message- um, guys? We know how to apply deodorant. Thanks anyway.

Ok, next, we see our rugged, manly hero tumbling down the side of a mountain on his bike and mysteriously losing his front wheel. This has never happened to me in almost forty years of riding a bike, and I've never even watched a video of someone putting a bike together. So in my life I've managed to apply deodorant AND ride a bike without having an accident. I feel so accomplished right now.

Now things get REALLY stupid. Our hero continues down the mountain on one wheel, chasing the front tire as he goes. The disclaimer reads "Professional Stunt. Do Not Attempt."

Hold it right there, degree. There is no "stunt" being performed here. Just fancy camera and computer manipulation and special effects. It's not as if this guy is really chasing his tire down the mountain, after all- any possibility of conning the most gullible of viewers into believing that what they are seeing has any basis in reality (and therefore qualifies as a "stunt") is erased when the bicyclist bounces across a stream- what is the errant front tire doing during this time? Bouncing in one place, waiting for him to catch up? And then proceeding down the hill when it senses our hero is ready to resume the chase? Um, no, YouTube droolers. Really not possible. Thanks for playing, though.

The front tire and the bicyclist finally come back together again on a stretch of highway- no tools needed, which at least partially explains why the tire fell off in the first place. At this point Degree AGAIN attempts to pass this off as some kind of amazing stunt, as the bicyclist throws his arms up in triumph- yeah, congratulations, buddy. You've managed to appear in a crappy deodorant commercial. Other than that, kind of hard to see what you've actually accomplished here.

I don't mind trick photography and special effects in commercials. I don't mind cool stunts in commercials. What I mind is when a company has so little respect for it's customers that it is comfortable in conning them with a commercial which features special effects and calls it a cool stunt.

Oh, and when a company thinks it's customers don't know how to use it's product and need to have this demonstrated. Even when it's deodorant.

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