Sunday, December 11, 2016
American Aviator: Because we are living a Post-Shame Era
This one's gonna take some work. Like frame-by-frame work:
"Hi, I'm Rick Harrison, and this is my Pawn Shop..." Rick Harrison is the "star" of "Pawn Stars," which I think is one of those atrocities The History Channel developed when it decided it was all done showing us "History." It makes a lot of sense to buy a watch from a guy who runs a Pawn Shop, because....um, Reasons, I guess.
"I knew when I introduced the American Aviator Watch, the public would like it...but it's actually becoming a Symbol of American Patriotism and Pride." Well, yeah, says right there- "Symbol of American Pride," right on the screen. But who is saying this? Who is being quoted? I mean, name one person who calls your cheap knock-off of a WWII-era watch a "symbol of American Patriotism and Pride," Mr. Harrison. Just one. And no, you are not allowed to include yourself, because you're kind of biased.
The Aviator Watch was developed as a precision instrument to be used by pilots so they could drop their bombs on their targets. That watch is not being made available by Rick Harrison through this commercial, just his version of it- which, I gotta say, doesn't look a hell of a lot like the original. Seriously, it's a totally different watch; I'm surprised we get to see them side by side. Maybe Mr. Harrison wasn't fortunate enough to have multiple old veterans coming in to his shop to pawn their watches so he could examine them more closely and make his knock-offs more authentic-looking?
Ah, but they cost "a lot less money." Adjusted for inflation, I guess?
Then we get the sad old veteran (I suppose) tell us that when he sees a non-veteran wearing one of these pieces of cheap junk, he sees it as a "wink and a nod that he cares, and that he understands, and that he gets it." Um, really? Not that the watch owner just saw this commercial, thought that the watch looked pretty cool, and ordered it? How exactly does buying a watch make you more patriotic or knowledgeable about veterans, again? Later another vet will tell us that wearing this watch shows "you know what it means to serve your country." Seems to me that all it shows is that you know how to give your credit card number to Rick Harrison, but what would I know, I'm not a vet...
And then we get another sad veteran- "Dean R.," who isn't quite proud enough to share his entire name so he comes off like the people who give testimonials for Publisher's Clearing House or Sham-Wows. Dean is proud to have served his country in Desert Storm, which he seems to remember as including a lot of crawling through wheat fields. He's also proud to have this junky watch. which "honors our American servicemen"- again, no idea how.
Ralph M, a veteran of the Korean War, tells us that not only will he wear his knock-off of what was probably a cool watch from now on, but that he'll "always stand for the National Anthem." Um, thanks for your service and for the non-sequitor, Ralph. Or are you saying that owning this watch is just like standing for the National Anthem- if you don't do both, you are Un-American and don't care about sacrifice and should just go back to Russia? What the hell?
Then Rick Harrison brings us back into very familiar territory, telling us that we "could spend a thousand bucks for a watch like this." Yeah, and I could blow my paycheck on scratch-off tickets, too. What's the point- that your bad copy of a classic watch isn't as expensive as other people's bad copies? Anyway, this thing costs $39.95 plus shipping and handling and comes in a "classic collector's case" (a cardboard box with a picture of a plane and the words World War II on it) plus a brochure he probably copped from a museum somewhere. Oh, and an official certification to assure you that this is a genuine knock-off. Oh, and Mr. Harrison doesn't quite have the guts to admit it, but they throw in a keychain flashlight, too. What, no Ginzu knives or ID-safe wallets?
Well, there you go. Almost two solid minutes of "if you're a real American who loves the troops you'll buy this watch, oh and you'll stand for the National Anthem, too." I'd like to say I was surprised that after all this "support our vets" blather we don't find out that a portion of the profits goes to organizations which actually support vets- but I'm not. I'm sure Rick Harrison figures he's doing more than enough by selling the watch. I mean, it's got a laser-etched American flag on the back and I'm sure Mr. Harrison has a Support Our Troops bumper sticker on at least one of his cars. And after all those cars, like Freedom, isn't free!