Saturday, September 11, 2010

They Make Commercials

Get Out Your Buckets And Be Prepared To Use Them

I was in a laundromat early this morning; its owners unlock the doors at about 6:00AM, daily, turn on a local TopPop radio station, and leave until 10:00PM. While loading up the washer, I listened to a commercial for a local supermarket chain -- a woman's voice, telling me how certain produce items remind her of her childhood, of "the smell after my dad cut the lawn ... how my mom made lemonade... it all just reminded me of times and things you could count on."

We live in times when Citizens in the trenches are manipulated, daily, for our vote, our support; our money. This commercial was attempting to link buying things at Safeway™ with the idea of safer, more secure times, with childhood fun, mom and dad, and the smell of fresh-cut grass.

Safe And Secure, With The Smell Of Fresh-Cut Grass:
Memories From Everybody's Childhood -- Aren't They?

You know, childhood -- I mean, for those lucky enough to grow up in a house, with both a mom and a dad, and an actual lawn. Not like growing up in an inner-city housing project with Food Stamps, people smoking Rock on the stoop and fifteen-year-olds turning tricks, gang-bangers fighting for the Turf you live on and schools where pat searches happen every day.

I listened to the commercial because I didn't have a choice, and looked around for a bucket to throw up in. Then, on the Intertubes, I found something worse.

Nissan motors has recently released a teevee commercial (see it here) for it's newly-released electric auto, the 'Leaf'.

It features a big and cuddly actual Polar Bear, actual melting ice caps; a long journey, and a knowledgeable Consumer, whose smart "Earth-friendly" choice makes a friend out of Little Knut Of The Berlin Zoo, thereby proving that the motivations of animals are really just as reasonable and well-considered as our own.

Part of me thinks it's a well-made piece of commercial teevee work, knowing something about Maya and 3DMax, alpha-channel and traveling mattes, and I'm impressed with the result -- even more impressed that anyone has been able to train a Polar Bear, the largest land carnivore on the planet -- our 21st Century version of a furry T-Rex in the animal world.

The spot ends with the cute 'n cuddly Polar Bear giving (all right, I'll say it) a bear hug to the Consumer for purchasing a 2010 Nissan 'Leaf' electric car. Another part of me expects that the Polar Bear would rip the Consumer's face off and eat it.

The human being in me thinks this commercial is a typical corporate response: Identify the problem (solutions to which can affect our sales of, uh, 'hydrocarbon-based transportation delivery systems') with something cute and cuddly (therefore making it less 'serious' and more 'managable'). Then, identify the product in the mind of the viewer / listener with 'cute 'n cuddly'. Finally, use catchy images or phrases that will get people talking and go viral, and thereby boost sales, leading to profits, and I want to puke in a bucket.

"How's This? Cute And Cuddly Enough For You? Huh? Huh?
And By The Way -- You Didn't Even Taste That Good!!"

Has Nissan announced that the threat of Global Warming is so serious that they are immediately terminating their production of internal-combustion-engine vehicles, and will now produce nothing but electric automobiles for sale? No? Well, then this is just a cute, imaginative come-on from the propaganda arm of The Capitalist Structure We're Immersed In, and the big problem it references still exists.

Satellite View Of Southeastern Coast Of The United States,
With Projections Of Results Of 15-Foot Rise In Sea Levels
-- But, It's All Hippie Crap, And Anyway We'll Be Dead
(Image Based On 2007 NASA Report By Dr. James Hansen)

I'm only a dog, and no one listens to me. No one listens to the bears, either -- and sadly, they'll go extinct before Nissan does.

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