Saturday, May 16, 2009

Dear Charlie:

You know how, when you go to the theater these days, you're almost as bombarded with commercials as you are watching television? Car commercials. Soda commercials. Shampoo commercials.

Does that irritate anyone else?

Oh, well. Anyway, so me and Jody went to watch Star Trek -- yes, again; for me, anyway, because Jody hadn't seen it yet -- and one of the pre-trailer commercials was for Sprite, disturbed the hell out of me.

Okay, so there's this urban-setting playground-type paved area with a basketball court marked off. Thanks to the lighting, you know it's hotter than hell, and everyone's just kinda lazing around and sweating. No one's playing. No one's having fun.

Then, one of the would-be basketball players shoots a penetrating glare at one of the opposing would-be basketball players, and they get up and run at each other. Spissssh! When they slam into each other, they erupt into a splash of clear fluid -- either water or, more likely, Sprite.

And those caught in the spray laugh and cheer and get it in their mouths.

Two more people run at each other and spissssh! And another two. And another two. It's practically raining people fluid, and while the people on the screen are obviously feeling refreshed and overjoyed by this outpouring, I couldn't help but think, "Don't eat the Soylent Green! It's people!"

I mean, seriously. Didn't the people who made that commercial think about it? At the very least, since they were at such great pains to insinuate that everyone's hot and tired, they should have made some effort to show that their actors didn't blow up into a great big sweat geyser. Egad.

It's like the old Northern paper towel commercial. The one where the three little old cartoon ladies are supposedly showing the young cartoon lady how to "quilt" the paper towels...while using knitting needles. Because you always quilt with knitting needles, right?

Geez, mon.

I haven't yet decided if advertisers think the American populace is stupid or if they honestly don't have any common sense. I mean, I can suspend disbelief with the best of 'em -- wouldn't love movies so much if I couldn't -- but there has to be some sense to it. And I don't think getting a mouthful of exploding person, even if it's clear, refreshing exploded person, is good advertising.

'Course, maybe that's just me. Maybe Soylent Green tastes like bacon-wrapped filet mignon. Maybe I'm letting the best of life pass me by.

And maybe you are what you eat. Heheh.

And, arguably, the commercial is something of a success. Most marketing is an attempt to ingrain product recognition into the consumer's head, so me remembering that Northern paper towels are quilted with knitting needles is probably better than me not remembering at all. No press is bad press, right?

Except for the fact that I won't buy Northern paper towels, even to this day. Because they're stupid. Or because their marketers think I am.

And the next time I want a decaffeinated soda on a plasma donation day (caffeine dehydrates you so I avoid it on days I know I'll be donating), I think I'll give Sprite a bypass. Because the can is green. A particularly soylent shade of green, you might say.

And the stuff inside is people.


At 11:29 AM, Anonymous Pesh said...

*facepalms* Oi.

At 6:32 PM, Blogger GutterBall said...

What? You didn't think that, too?


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