The other day, I mentioned a couple of my favorite commercials that have been running during the Olympic coverage. (Hey, when you watch the coverage for about 10 hours a day, you see a LOT of commercials, and repeatedly, and come to look them as close family members.) At the other end of the spectrum are two ads that have me scratching my head.
To be clear, none of these are ad about the Olympics, that those other "best" were. These here are just ads that are running during the Olympics.
One is for the Chevrolet Malibu. While I've finally figured out after seeing this ad about a dozen times, I still don't understand their thinking why what is being said makes any sense. This is the ad where a guy is driving three of his co-workers and asks, "So, where do you want to go for lunch?" No one answers -- they're engrossed on their Smartphones -- and then one of them looks up and asks, "So, where do you want to go for lunch?" Not only isn't not nearly as hilarious as Chevy probably thinks (and sort of annoying by the third viewing), but the driver's comeback, "Don't say salad," just strikes me as a seriously wrong way to sell a car. (What I've figured out is that they're selling the car as the "new mobile device" compared to a Smartphone, I guess. And while it probably was a clever concept around the table, it does NOT work in action.)
The other ad is one that I've seen about 20 times now, with Larry King promoting his new talk show on RT, whatever RT is. Apparently, it's some cable channel. That's fine, you have to promote the little known somehow, and this does that. But the ad has clips of Larry supposedly "asking the tough questions no one else asks," and one of them is him leaning forward and, with the most intense seriousness, wondering to his unseen (and I assume, non-existent) guest -- "Do we lead the media, or does the media lead us??" I watch this every time and scratch my head -- "Us? Us????" What in the world does he mean by "us?" Larry, you ARE the media. That's the whole freaking point of the TV show you're promoting. I suppose he wants the viewer to think of him as standing in for Every Man. He's supposedly "us." But again, he's got a TV show. He's not "us." He's The Media and has been The Media for over half a century. That makes Larry King about as much in the creamy nougat center of the media as a person can get. He's the very point of The Media, and whether he leads actual-us. If this is the level of questions he has, no wonder he's asking the things that no one does does.
One commercial I'll include in the "like" category is the one with skier Ted Ligety for Citi. It doesn't make the Fave list, but I like that it lets an Olympic athlete actually act, but also he has fun with himself and lets himself come across sort of foolishly. (Ligety gets bonus points, too, for an interview he did a couple days ago on the Today Show with Meredith Vieira. As she was trying to keep up with him, slipping and sliding across the icy snow, asking him about his nicknames, she asked what nickname he'd give her. Without skipping a beat, he replied. "Bambi." It actually took me a moment to think of the famous scene from the film, but then I burst into laughter. So, he gets a honorable mention here.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
Feedspot Badge of Honor