Wednesday, July 13, 2011
In these two cell phone commercials, each for a different product produced by a different company, we get the long-awaited confession from the cell phone industry: that their products, while useful for talking and texting, are now filled with pointless add-ons that you don't really need at all, but that they've been spending years trying to convince you that you can't live without.
In the first ad, the snarky narrator bleats some BS about downloading important sales charts and graphics and what-not in between admitting that what you'll really want to do with this phone is play a pointless, life-sucking video game. This company has so much respect for it's customers that in this commercial the narrator all but TELLS us that he thinks we are witless, drooling losers who may, for the sake of appearances, like to pretend that we are being productive, but in fact are only interested in playing games featuring cartoon birds throwing bombs at pigs ( I think this is what's happening in the game, I've only seen it played once. And that was plenty.) If this offends you, I suggest a good dose of cable news, where we are treated to regular comforting doses of "The American Worker is the Most Productive in World History" backed up by no statistics.
The second ad is confusing and pointless on so many levels, it's actually a little hard to get a handle on. A woman who is apparently auditioning for a spot on "Hoarders" has embarked on a career in entering radio call-in contests (what is this, 1975? Do stations still do this kind of thing?) and cheating by looking up the answers on her phone. Can someone explain to me why one would need a phone which allows you to talk and "surf" (have I mentioned lately how much I hate this century?) at the same time WHILE I AM AT HOME WHERE MY LAPTOP IS? What is this woman doing that could not be done by someone sitting at a home computer? What am I missing?
Also, the woman in this ad clearly gets zero joy out of winning these contests. She looks like her soul quit her body some time ago. She's already won all the cheap crap there is to win. She doesn't like what she already has. She doesn't want any of the prizes. So why does she keep calling in to answer the questions? For the thrill of competition? Um, no- because she CHEATS!! I mean, what the hell?
Maybe we should set aside the content of these ads and just appreciate the fact that cell phone companies are finally willing to admit that they make and market stupid, expensive toys for adults which have very little actual utility in the real world. It's been years since I've seen a cell phone commercial in which someone used a phone to do something important or even mildly helpful, one which made me think "wow, this product really DOES make life more manageable!" I've always suspected that it's because even the people whose job it is to pimp this crap can't come up with a practical use for the downloading, "video sharing," and "gaming" (ugh, can it please be the 20th century again?) capabilities they insist on adding to these phones in an attempt to justify their price and the monthly charges.
This calls for a celebration. Flash Mob at 12? Or 12:30?