Wednesday, June 13, 2007

You dream it, I rag on it

I know, I know -- regular folks need to advertise, too. But why can't they just hire an agency once in a while? This example of local advertising comes to us from some Chicago-area brothers who had a dream one day of selling furniture to all of Chicagoland. The other part of that dream was annoying the shit out of anyone who watches television.

Smithe Brother 1: The Chicago Cubs have hired Walter E. Smithe Furniture to do an extreme makeover. Come on inside.

Cubs... furniture... Extreme Makeover... wait, which part of American culture are you trying to co-opt -- baseball, or the concept of "extreme makeovers?" Oh, both? In 30 seconds? And you're going to try to advertise furniture? This ought to be clean and elegant.

Smithe Brother 2 (through megaphone): Play ball!

Or... run onto the field in business suits not playing ball.

Smithe Brother 3: Tim, I'm really thinking of plaid on second base.
Smithe Brother 1: Brilliant.

Laying a piece of fabric on top of something? Man, this makeover really is extreme.

Woman: Should we update the seat colors to a sage?
Other Woman: Or a taupe?

They're already green, so "sage" wouldn't be much of an update. Also, this is stupid.

Some Other Woman: Mark, I've chosen this great red fabric for the visitor's bullpen.

Red would totally clash with taupe seats. I mean, come on.

Yet Another Woman: For the Cubs dugout, I want the players to feel comfortable, so we're going to do this great baseball leather and a red baseball stitching.

Ok, now I'm getting into the concept. Baseball+extreme makeover+furniture+pandering to local audience? How can this lose? Wait a second, I remember reading somewhere (I think it was Reader's Digest) that men aren't the only people who see commercials. In fact, women might be watching television, too. And they might account for 94% of all home furnishing purchase decisions. Well, I'm sure old white guys out on a baseball field advertising furniture works for everyone.

Also, Note the "SMITHE" ad in the bullpen. I'm sure this is there regularly.

God, Still Another Character In This Commercial: Based on the shape of the field, I think a diamond would look best.

Did you catch the pun there? That's a little bonus for the careful viewer. Does anyone else think these women are these guys' daughters and/or wives?

I'm Going To Stop Differentiating Between Characters: Tim, the bushes have to go.

Are you talking about the IVY? It's IVY, not bushes.

Did We Get Everybody Related To The Smithes In This Ad Yet?: I'm thinking this sporty red leather for the locker room and, does the ivy really have to be green?

Good call. The ivy could look a little too "Christmas-y" next to that sporty red. Can we get someone on this green ivy problem stat? Can't it be a nice coral instead?

Hey, before you guys wrap up the commercial, did you want to talk about a particular product, or a sale you have going on, or make a promise about the quality of your wares? Or mention where your store is? No? Suit yourself.


Windier E. Megatons said...

Not mentioning what they sell is a pretty common problem in Walter E. Smithe ads. The worst are the little ten-second ones where they do nothing besides sing a cappella for the whole thing, rarely if ever even mentioning "furniture." Presumably they think that everyone around here already knows what they do, but following that logic it's not clear why they need to advertise at all.

c12h22o11 said...

I like how all the swatches are "great." Also, getting rid of the ivy? Screw you, lady.

C. B. Whittemore said...

Thanks for the mention. Interesting post, too.

Tyler said...

Maybe once John M. Smith's Homemakers closed down, the Smithe Brothers felt they had cornered the Smith-related furniture market and no longer felt the need to discuss what they sell or where people can buy it. I remember they had a commercial a few years ago where Steve Dahl made a cameo and said something to the effect of "hey guys, why aren't you talking about furniture?"

If I remember correctly, there are actually Walter E. Smithe signs in the dugout. This is part of the Cubs' ongoing effort to sell advertising space in every area that won't get fans too angry.

Windier E. Megatons said...

I don't mind the Under Armour signs in the outfield, but it got my goat a bit when Ernie Banks was in the booth the other day and he was wearing a blue cap... with the Under Armour logo on the front. Is there some reason Ernie Freaking Banks is not in a Cubs hat?