Thursday, June 27, 2013

Smirnoffs Night of Mixed Messages

Ok, let's start with the "you walk your cat" and "Rufus is a dog's name" bit.  Even before we switched to the women, I had this instant, sick feeling that this was some idea of Guys Acting Like Girls.  Some sick Male's idea of Guys Acting Like Girls, that is.

And why are these guys talking about cats named Rufus?  Because their women have not yet shown up.  They are late.  What are they doing?

Ok, that's enough about the guys.  They aren't really all that important to this commercial, and I don't want to put more thought into their conversation than the writers did.  Let's move on.

Turns out that they are in an apartment, guzzling vodka and putting off the inevitable, unpleasant Meeting With the Guys.  One of them makes up a story about being stuck in traffic, or something, and the guys totally buy it (and get back to talking about cats, I imagine.)  Having "bought another hour," the girls get back to getting smashed on Vodka.  And we are left with the powerful impression that soon, they'll all head off to meet the guys.  Drunk.

(Is this someone's idea of "Girls Acting Like Guys?")

Besides the immense blanket of Stupid that smothers this entire mess, I have a specific problem with this commercial for Smirnoffs.   My problem is that it's message completely negates the second commercial for Smirnoffs- the one that I kind of like.  The one that shows women acting responsibly.  It's almost as if Smirnoffs wants to give "both sides" to a situation, and endorse them both.  Yes, getting hammered at your friend's house before meeting up with your date is a lot of fun.  But so is getting hammered at a bar and then taking a taxi home.  Either way, as long as it involves consuming large quantities of our favorite Vodka.

Maybe the message we are supposed to get is that the guys in the first ad are so boring, so painful to be with, so depressingly dull with their arguments over cat names and the like, that the Women in their Lives can only bear to be with them if they are plastered.  Maybe.  But I still think the "let's keep drinking a little while longer before we have to be with them" theme more than a little off-putting, especially since we don't see these women climb into a taxi at the end of the ad.  Pity, because the second commercial is actually pretty cute, besides providing a positive message that doesn't really come down all that hard on men, and shows drinkers doing the Right Thing by taking a cab home.

So, hit and miss, Smirnoffs.  You are batting .500 in my book- much better than most companies, I must say.

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