Thursday, February 16, 2012
Unfunny Role Reversal by Vonage
The first time I saw this ad, I had the oddest feeling that something wasn't quite right with it. I didn't know why, but it left me feeling confused and a bit disoriented.*
So I watched it again to try to find what it was about this commercial which seemed off-kilter. It's not the appearance of the "dad" here- he looks appropriately scruffy, as if he just rolled out of bed a few moments ago and it's not one of the two days a week he shaves or combs his hair. It's not the "mom"- she's appropriately flat in her manner and speaks in the monotone usually reserved for harried women with two kids (one which has to be pampered, fed, and constantly catered to, and the other which wears diapers.)
At around the third viewing, I finally got it- in THIS ad, it's the GUY who seems genuinely taken with his offspring (even using that grating old "blessing" cliche.) He isn't distracted by the Big Game on the Big Screen, and he isn't juggling the kid and a phone conversation at the same time. He isn't bitching about the economic burden the "blessing" is putting on Mom and Dad. And he doesn't look as though the kid is in constant danger of being dropped or otherwise injured by Thoughtless, "What is this thing I'm carrying" doofus dad.
Now of course, dad is STILL the nitwit here- he seemed to miss the part where Mom pronounced judgement on the Phone-Cable "bundle" and instead quickly assumes that she's talking in dismissive, cruel, bloodless tones about their child. "My bundle? Isn't it OUR bundle?" Still, he seems to care and be genuinely concerned that Mom wants to "dump" the baby. In pretty much every other commercial featuring a Mom, a Dad, and a Baby, the guy would be blathering about expensive "bundles" while the woman wrapped her protective arms around the "blessing" and protested. But just the image of a loving dad is a step in the right direction, seems to me.
Now, if these two nitwits would stop referring to their baby as "the bundle," as if it's just another piece of freaking furniture, we'd really be getting somewhere.
*of course, the cause of my disorientation might be the simple fact that the baby's blanket, the towel on the mommy's shoulder, and the room's curtains all seem to be cut from the same cloth. Maybe the reason Dad doesn't put Baby down is because if he does, he may never be able to find him again.