Sunday, February 24, 2008

Bad things come in threes

So, you're "the new AT&T" (i.e. the old AT&T plus Cingular). You've made two really, really stupid commercials that encourage purchasing an unlimited text messaging plan by pointing out that kids text message a whole hell of a lot and often make no sense as a result. What's your next move? If you said "Making an ad that basically calls people who text a bunch of illiterate morons," you're right!

This concept was stupid the first time out; the second time, it was just painful. But this? I don't even know what to say about this one. First of all, everyone knows what "ROTFL" stands for at this point. It's not 2002 anymore. Second of all, thanks for translating "8 points," in case we weren't sure if that was more "crazy talk!" Also, among the other words on that board is something ending in -YL. Really? Basically the only common English word ending in -YL is "vinyl," but that doesn't look like an N above the Y. In fact, it sort of looks like someone already played "TTYL." Which, if so, the mom has some nerve getting upset about ROTFL when she's apparently been willing to let whatever shit springs to her daughter's head make it to the board up until this point.

At least in this ad, AT&T restricted themselves to terms in common use - as stupid as ONUD sounds, a Google search will confirm that it's actually in use in places other than the heads of the people at AT&T's agency. But the kicker for the ad is when the mother says to the daughter, "I have completely failed you as a parent." What? That's kind of an odd thing to go out on, isn't it? Especially when followed by the daughter's shit-eating grin - "Hooray, Mom can't understand us and thinks we're borderline retarded - isn't this great?" The exaggeration of the generation gap in these ads is so huge I'm surprised they don't show the grandmother screaming about pictures coming to life when someone turns on the TV.

But what's the point behind this ad, anyway? The initial ones were a family where the kids texted all the time, which frustrated the mother because the cell phone bill was huge. So now, I guess, everyone has the unlimited texting plan... which has just encouraged their English to fall even further into a shambles and oddly distanced them from any family gathering. (Would you play Scrabble with three people who were just sitting there texting their friends during the whole game?) I'm confused. Is this a good thing? Is this something I want to strive for? This ad doesn't make me want to get unlimited texting, it makes me want to curl up into the fetal position and cry for the future of humanity, then go get a vasectomy. There's only two ways this ad can go - either AT&T sides with the daughter and it's just making fun of how out of touch the mother is, or (more likely) they side with the mother. Which means the message of this ad is, "We think people who need this plan are drooling imbeciles, but we'd still like their money, or at least the money of whoever makes the household's communication decisions." Nice.


Windier E. Megatons said...

Thrillicious additional fact: Stanley Tucci does the voiceovers for these ads. What a total waste of money. If you're going to get someone whose voice isn't that distinctive and who's only mildly famous anyway, why not just find some guy who makes scale?

Quivering P. Landmass said...

To further illustrate the daughter character's idiocy, she apparently thinks 8 points for "ROTFL" is a good play in Scrabble. This is a below-average score. Also, the "L" rather amateurishly opens up the triple word score. Might I suggest "LOLZ" for a cool 39 points as the next play?

judyneric said...

the -YL ending could have been BUTYL.

Therefore, that mother had every right to berate her girls for being retarded!