Thursday, October 11, 2007

Barista not included

Commercials for appliances tend to suck. Perhaps it's because you're glorifying something that most people don't want to have to think about, or maybe the technical jargon makes them sound stilted and dull. Whatever the reason, General Electric's latest offering is just another foul addition pinched into the toilet of major appliance marketing.

Here is a national TV spot for their new Cafe line. Oh, "Cafe"! Sophisticated.....

You know what the first thing is that I look for when I enter a cafe? The kind of appliances they have. It just makes sense. Do you want the milk for your skim latte to come out of a 30 year-old Magic Chef refrigerator? I think not. Appliances are key components of cafes, and they're the number one thing everyone notices each and every time we go into our neighborhood coffee shop.

Man: (resigned) It's your turn.

Totally unoriginal opening and a cheap dramatic device that only serves to tell the audience that a recurring event is about to take place. Off to a good start.

Woman: (to a huge group of people in her kitchen) I don't know who you people are, but it's 12:30.

Come on, people. 12:30? And you're using the appliances in my kitchen as though this were some kind of bistro or coffee shop or, I dunno, cafe? That's insane. Breaking into my home and staying until 11:00? Fine. 11:30, I can understand. 12:00, you're pushing it a little. And 12:30, well, that's just rude.

Voiceover: The new Cafe line of appliances from GE. Bring the warm feeling of an authentic cafe into your own home.

Was this line written for a different commercial? The whole premise of this commercial is that you don't want a cafe in your own home, however authentic it is. That woman was not "warmed," she was pissed off, and as well she should be, that a crowd of people were running a freaking cafe in her kitchen.

Also, the warm feeling that people get when they're in a cafe? That doesn't come from the appliances! In fact, I've never noticed an appliance at any point during any visit to a cafe.

Woman: (to musician) Show's over, let's go.

See, it's funny because he's got a harmonica. Right? This is the part where we laugh!

Okay, so they're stretching big time with the "Cafe" name, and the commercial is unforgivably stupid and confused. At least it ends there. At least they didn't go out and shoot some uber-fake attempts at "viral" marketing. At least they didn't pretend that people stand around and gas on about the awesome features of their applia -- oh wait, there's more from GE on YouTube? Oh, God....

Lunch time on the set of the new GE Cafe Range commercial...

Just a casual lunch time scene. Everyone's just riffin', talking like normal people. No scripts anywhere to be found. You know -- chillaxin'. Making some good old home cookin' on these bitchin' new appliances from a little up-and-coming company called General Electric. Never heard of them? Not surprised. They're pretty avant-garde. Kind of a fringe company, a David among Goliaths, the little multi-multi-billion dollar, Dow Jones Industrial Average-component corporation that could.

Man (or, Kevin, apparently): Whatcha cooking?
Woman (Melissa, I guess): This is the GE Cafe Range.

Did not answer his question. Instead, started talking about the product they just shot the commercial for.

"Melissa": Five burners. The middle one has this griddle where you can make like really cool stuff like crepes almondine.

Dude, you know, like cool stuff like EFFETE GOURMET DISH X. Or you can, like, rock the oven with some super fun recipes like PASTRY CHEF DESSERT Z.

"Melissa": And the lower oven is just about, I think like, bigger than a cubic foot?

Oh my God, she's right! How could she have known that so precisely? "Oh, the Power Boil burner? I dunno, maybe it has, like, maybe, just like, around 18,000 BTU and 140 degree simmer? Silly goose! (giggles)"

But seriously, "apricot quail"? Come off it, GE. This is some seriously fake shit. This is not selling anybody on anything.

To sum up, what we have here is a poorly-conceived commercial that barely even shows the appliances GE is selling, paired with some viral marketing that would make infomercial directors blush. And altogether it only cost like, probably, $10 million. Brilliant.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some leftover foie gras roulades with fig compote to put back into my new bottom-mount, double-door Frigidaire stainless steel refrigerator. What? It's a just a late night snack that I make all the time. Big deal.


Windier E. Megatons said...

I was with them until "apricot quail." I'll take "Things No Non-Gourmet Chef Has Ever Attempted to Prepare" for $300, please?

Just kidding, of course. I wasn't anywhere close to with them. This is like those Yaz ads where they try to make boilerplate seem interesting by "weaving" it into conversation, as though anyone would talk like that.

Windier E. Megatons said...

Also, why are the extras preparing their own lunch on the set of this commercial? Was GE too cheap to have it catered? "Sandwiches? What do you think this is? Look, we already installed a working stove and oven. Just go make yourself some vanilla-caramel flan."

Anonymous said...

I listened to it without the sound on and I was more taken with the whole dating aspect and the fact that "he never got her number". That is pretty depressing for a commercial about some stoves.

dana "i read this blog, so you should post more" johnson

Quivering P. Landmass said...

What you have to realize, Windier, is that GE is this cute little mom & pop shop that couldn't possibly afford to bring sandwiches onto the set. In fact, it's startling they can advertise at all, with their tiny, start-up budget.

And yeah, really not sure about why they included the pseudo-romance drama in there. Why even bother masking the product messaging?

Quivering P. Landmass said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quivering P. Landmass said...

Currently on Google, is the 5th return for "crepes almondine" and the 3rd return for "apricot quail." It should be noted that this site has approximately -3 readers, so, not a ton of traffic.

Man, those are sure hip, "in" recipes, GE!

Andrew N.P. said...

Okay, so let's review the message of these two ads.

"The new Cafe line of kitchen appliances. It will turn your home into a nest of Bohemian assholes and prevent you from ever getting laid. Only from GE."

Yeah, that's how you sell stoves. On a side note: the regular commercial was tolerably stupid, but what crackpot marketing executive thought it would be a good idea to let those "viral" "webisodes" see the light of day? People do not talk that way! Ever! Not even in (real) commercials! At least the Yaz chick had an excuse, having gone to medical school and all. This is just in-fucking-sane.

c12h22o11 said...

Mispronouncing both "almondine" and "flan" = not spontaneous.

Asking at the end "Guess what I'm cooking?" = She wasn't listening to a word he was saying at the beginning.

Also? She's not cooking enough for the whole cast. And also also? Does GE have a cafe-style sink? Because otherwise it's going to be some PA cleaning up her disgusting, cheese-encrusted pot.

Windier E. Megatons said...

I also like the way she stumbles over the word "convection." Couldn't sound less natural if she were using the delivery of an old-time radio announcer.

Dominic said...

I am so glad I found this site. it's been fairly depressing just yelling at the TV every time these retarded ads air. Let me say that I've worked in several cafes. The appliances are kept in the back because they are big and utilitarian. I've also since professionally worked in advertising and could not even imagine being further off the point like they are. what will that ad firm come up with next, stadium style toilets with a bunch of guys lined up pissing into a trough in your bathroom?

Dominic said...

that stupid ad just ran again and I just noticed that that girl in the really lame youtube ad is also in that really cool cafe, I mean kitchen of those poor tired people.

Quivering P. Landmass said...

That's a good point -- cafes do indeed have big, commercial appliances, not expensive boutique ones that you'd find, or want, in your kitchen.

And yeah, those viral spots were shot using the same "talent" from the commercial. I guess it was cheaper. God knows GE can't afford to bring new actors into the mix.