Friday, May 21, 2010

Post for May 24

Hello All,

Monday's post is an easy one.

1. Choose a commercial that appeals to you.
2. Provide a link to the commercial through youtube.
3. Briefly explain why that commercial appeals to you.

I'll get you started.

One of my favorite commercials is the Geico caveman. The tagline's fairly stupid--"Even a caveman can do it"--but the execution of the commercial itself never fails to make me laugh.

My favorite of all of these is the one with the song "Let Me Be Myself" playing. It's pretty funny that the song advocates individualism, but the commerical is trying to get everyone to be the same (by buying Geico insurance). Here's a link to it.

What gets me the most, though, is the satire of the "being true to oneself" narrative. This archetypal plotline occurs throughout television and movies as well as song: a person has adopted a Persona that isn't "true" and must reconnect with his or her roots. In this case, our caveman has tried to be someone he's not; his setting, clothes, and facial grooming imply that he is trying to climb the social ladder and has betrayed his soul . . . But in the commercial he is able to break free and return to his Self, which of course occurs in a bowling alley (I am also a fan of the film The Big Lebowski, so that may be another reason I like this commercial).

I especially like the visuals of this commerical: the lonely escalator, the scattering doves, the ripping off of the shirt, the buddy-bonding at the bowling alley. Again, these are all images that other films and commercials have used, but they are usually meant to indicate "deep" emotional connections and experiences. Here, of course, it is a caveman who is having this epiphany. The disjunction between the expectation (seriousness) and the reality (humor and caveman) is the perfect image of irony.

Finally, I like the commercial because it makes me laugh at myself. I, too, struggle with remaining true to my vision for my Self (i.e., "What should I be doing with my life?"), so this is a great way of making me laugh at myself as well.

...But I don't have Geico insurance...