Thursday, June 21, 2007

Computers? No thanks, I have my slide rule

Isn't it enough that a pathetic majority of advertisers are talking to us like we're dumb? Now we have Century 21 just flat out telling us we're dumb:

Graphic: Can a computer do it all?

This sounds like one of those pamphlets weirdo fundamentalists pass out on the street, "Humans... descended from monkeys?"

Oh, no! The "Com-put-er"! Demon machine! Boxy, noisy plaything of Satan! Don't let it eat your tiny brain, American television viewer! It's not even helpful, anyway.

Realtor (smugly): Some people think they can do it all on the computer

"Some people. People who think they're smart. People who went to college, or something gay like that. But don't worry, they're just as stupid and helpless as you. Thankfully, there's help -- in the form of a realtor taking a 6% commission."

Realtor (almost indignantly): Find a home, sell a home.

Find a home. Sell a home. Well, there's two things that can be done on a computer, and there's more, believe it or not. Maybe Century 21 is talking about a computer that isn't hooked up to the internet.

Realtor: Except the computer can't do what I do at Century 21.

If finding a home and selling a home are what you do at Century 21, then you're wrong here. That can be done on a computer. It can be done easily. It could be done by someone with a middle school education. It could be done by someone who is barely literate. It could be done by an immigrant from a developing nation who took a computer class through a junior college at night while he worked for $5 an hour for ten hours during the day. In short, it could be done by an American, commonly known to you and other advertisers as a chimpanzee.

Realtor: Understand your needs

My computer doesn't need to understand my needs because I understand my needs, and I'm the one sitting in front of my computer. The computer is not a Turing machine or something where I ask it to complete a task and it gives me one answer. I have the ability to use my own intelligence and judgment while I'm operating the computer to enhance its computational functionality. For instance, when I'm looking for properties I might want to buy, I can tell my computer to ignore anything listed by a Century 21 agent.

Realtor (choppily, as though completely bullshitting): The subtleties of the market, the neighborhood

"Subtleties of the market"! Nice one, girl! You pulled that one out of where the sun don't shine. Sadly, once again, the computer's got that one covered.

The neighborhood? Hmm, you may have stumped me there. Unless it were a Jetsons-style computer that unbundled, expanded, grew wheels and drove you around the neighborhood.... oh wait, what? We don't need that? You mean we have web sites, map tools, detailed map tools, and even more, detaileder map tools that border on violating the right to privacy?

Realtor: The schools, the process

Schools? Wrong. The process? Whatever, you'll need a lawyer anyway, and s/he will know the process cold. Alternatively, there are web sites that can walk you through how to make an offer, or a counter-offer, sign a mortgage, or whatever.

Realtor: To watch your eyes when you walk into a home and know right away that you're in love with it.

(Walking up to a listed house with a Century 21 agent)
Agent: So, this next house I really think you're going to like. Especially since, as a Century 21 realtor, I understand your needs.
Buyer: Hmm, thanks. Strangely, I also understand my needs. And do all Century 21 realtors talk like that?
Agent: I would describe the market as riddled with subtleties right now.
Buyer: Not really, it's just a down market while we're coming out of a massive, unchecked housing bo-
Agent: The neighborhood here is really nice, too.
Buyer: I know. I looked it up at home on my compu-
Agent: The schools here are great. Take my word for it.
Buyer: Actually, I checked out the district on the internet, and the ISAT test scores were below state aver-
Agent: Let me talk to you about the process...
(Entering home.)
Buyer (looks at home for first time): Hmm, this is kind of nic-
Agent: You're in love with it! I knew that right away! I can do this thing? Where I watch your eyes, and I can tell right away when you're in love with a house!
Buyer: Why are you even here?

Realtor: No computer can do that.

Man, the luddites at Century 21 better have their baseball bats ready this fall when IBM introduces the new InstaProperty-Approval Retinal Scantron DX. They're gonna be pissed.


Tyler said...

If Century 21 was looking to make this a real test of them versus computers, they'd remove the searchable database of house listings on their website. I don't see them doing that anytime soon.

Quivering P. Landmass said...

What a joke. In fact, why have a website at all? In FACT, they should take their clients around in chariots and write up offers on stone tablets.

Windier E. Megatons said...

This deserves to have the "obsolescence" tag on it, since clearly the idea of being rendered useless by computers and the people using them has Century 21's agents crapping their pants. I await the more desperate successor to this commercial in a few years where the woman notes suggestively that "computers can't give you sexual favors during the walk-through like I can - and WILL."