Thursday, February 5, 2009

Commercial Dexterity

There’s a commercial I see every once in a while which features a paper-cutting board. You know, one of those ones where you put the paper onto the board and then slice it with the little roller thing. Assuming the paper is aligned correctly on the board, the cut will be a perfect 90 degrees. Pretty much all the schools have them nowadays, rather than the ‘pirate specials’ where instead of the roller thing, there was an actual blade you guillotined the paper with (and, if you weren’t paying attention, cut your hand off as well).

NOTE: If you happen to remember the ‘pirate specials,’ did you ever heft one of those blades when it wasn’t attached to the board? Those things were murderous! If there had ever been a zombie attack at my high school, I would have grabbed one and started looking for a cheerleader to save.

Anyway, the commercial in question has a line like ‘tired of being unable to cut a straight line?’ and shows a pair of hands with scissors cutting a piece of paper. However, instead of cutting a marginally crooked like (like most of us would), the person attached to the hands apparently had an epileptic fit and just massacred the paper.

This is an example of ‘Commercial Dexterity,’ where an otherwise mundane task is demonstrated in the most ludicrously ham-handed fashion possible. There’s another one for a vegetable peeler, where the hands use a butcher knife to carve huge sections out of a potato (and yet, don’t cut themselves). I would be willing to bet a pirate with a blunt cutlass and a wooden leg on deck during a hurricane could peel a potato better than the hands did.

I’m waiting for a commercial where a pair of hands attempts to mop a floor ‘the old-fashioned’ way and the mop actually explodes, setting the house on fire. Which, frankly, would be a pretty cool commercial.

It just amuses me that the commercial people think that they need that to sell their product. Y’know, if it’s a good product and it works, just show us that!



TX_val said...

Good point, not sure I've seen the the cutter commercial, but I think i've seen the peeler one.
Since you brought up mops, my favorite lately has been the one where the mop is sending the woman flowers and candies, and they play love songs like "baby come back," you see the mop hiding behind a tree, or the bushes.
If you can't have the house exploding, at least they can be comical.

Kammorremae said...

Don't forget: products of the past are so ill equipped to deal with the problems of today, that they are rendered in black and white.

Jerron said...

That makes sense. Good thing you're in programming and not advertising.

Anyone finds out you're trying to make sense, in a TV commercial, you'd be blacklisted for sure.

Also, the cool commerials, don't sell as much (in my opinon- I have no data to support this.) For example, the guy I ride to work with and I were tooling along the eway, when both of us noticed a big billboard ad. It consisted of a bunch of words, next to a nicely filled bikini top. The comments went something like, "Did you see that?" "Yeah, I'd totally buy that." "What was it for?" "I dunno... she had the letter 'M' on each one, wanna stop for some M&Ms?"

Which just proves, cool ad, but even after the second (or maybe even third) time past that billboard, neither one of us still has a clue what they're trying to sell...

Jason Janicki said...

Yeah, those commercials are rather clever. There was one a while ago for some cell phone where the mother and daughter are screaming at each other, bu they're screaming nice things. "I love you so much right now!" That one always made me smile.

Oooh, right. 'Cause everything made in the past is terrible, like the wheel. The wheel is passe, we need something better! The consumer has spoken!

But the ad didn't actually work! It made you crave well-filled bikinis, but didn't actually deliver the message. Unless, of course, there's some sort of 'well-filled bikini' delivery service, in which case it was perfect :)

Jerron said...

There's a delivery service?! Sign me up!

(Just deliver when the wife's not home, please.)

And no, I still haven't seen what the ad is for. Despite my resolve to the contrary. It's one of those changing ones, with several messages, and it hasn't hit on that particular one when I was in view again. (Maybe somebody complained, and litigation ensued?)

Jason Janicki said...

If only -sigh- :)

Gillsing said...

We still have those bladed papercutters where I work, though the blades are way too short and lightweight to make good weapons. Though you do get to use bigger ones as weapons in the 'bum fight simulator' Condemned: Criminal Origins.

As for the mystery commercial, are you saying it wasn't for M&Ms?

Jason Janicki said...

Y'know, upon reflection, I think somebody got killed by one of the old-style paper cutters in an old slasher movie I saw. This is gonna bug me until I figure out which one . . .

No, but it seemed to make you want to buy them . . . :)

Jerron said...

I'm pretty sure it wasn't for M&Ms. Although, those Ms did look mighty nice... ;-) Well, at least the filling did.Give me those over the chocolate filled ones any day. :P