Thursday, May 29, 2008

Twin Geeks

Remember the Doublemint Twins, who were featured in ads for Wrigley's Doublemint gum? It made sense - it was a double mint, and they had a double mascot. Instant success, entrenched in advertising lore, made millions. The new "twin brothers" campaign from minor QSR player Boston Market? Well, I don't think it's getting its own Wikipedia page anytime soon:

Anthony: Hey, my name's Anthony, this is my twin brother James.

Maybe fraternal twins? These guys don't look that much alike to me.

Anthony: Can I borrow 27 bucks? (gives camera pointless indignant expression aimed at brother)

Whoa! What at Boston Market could possibly cost $27?! A foie gras turkey sandwich? Truffled stuffing with cranberry caviar preserves? 27 pieces of roasted chicken? Nothing?

James: Why do you need $27 bucks?

Well, as you know, James, this is a commercial for Boston Market, so I'd assume it has something to do with buying food.

Anthony: Boston Market's got that new Tuscan Herb Rotisserie Chicken. I'm starving.

Here we are, loyal consumers mid-way through our journey of discovery in this commercial, and we currently believe that Boston Market is offering an chicken item that costs $27. Good work, BM brain trust.

James: The Tuscan Chicken is only $6.99

Ohhhhh. So it's actually 1/4 the price he just said. Slightly confusing considering this is a 30-second info dump, no?

James: ... why do you need 27 bucks?

Anthony: To pay you pack the twenty bucks I owe you.

James: How does that make any sense?

This little tete-a-tete makes for high comedy. But that is a great question, let's check out the payoff.

Anthony: I dunno, for some reason it makes sense to me.

(tumbleweed rolls by TV screen, crickets chirp, a hawk screeches in the distance) Let's hope they weren't reading off a script, because if they were, how was that script allowed to be acted out? Wasn't someone like, "Wait a second, is there supposed to be a joke in here somewhere?"

The next part of this ad is the only useful part. It's 5 seconds of an announcer describing the entree and talking about the price and limited availability. Boston Market could have made a five second-long commercial that would have been more effective that this 30-second bore-fest.

Anthony: Thank you very much (takes cash out of brother's open wallet.)

Ahh, moochers! Makes me hungry for chicken.

Want to see more witty banter between two boring white guys? You're in luck, because this is a for real campaign, folks (note: don't watch those other ads, unless you really want to see "James" in slightly different colored ties.) I mean, Boston Market specializes in the most boring food possible: roasted chicken. With like homestyle sides and stuff. It's the kind of food you get when you miss your mom's cooking but you live on your own and don't yet know how to cook. It couldn't get much more vanilla. So, Boston Market decided to sell their already-boring food via even-more-boring commercials?

Boston Market Board Room Meeting:

Boston Market R&D Executive: Okay, so the new product we're developing is pretty crazy, it's called Rotisserie Chicken.

Boston Market CMO: Awesome. But I thought we already served that.

R&D Guy: This one's got an herb on it.

CMO (begins to sweat): Whoa. Sounds pretty spicy!

CEO: You know it. Okay, so how do we sell this baby?

CMO: How about we have a commercial where these two people are talking on stools against a white background?

CEO: Well, what kind of people?

CMO: A white guy. And his identical white twin.

CEO: What are they doing, telling jokes and stuff?

CMO: No, it'll just be like regular conversation. But stupider.

CEO: Good. I like that we're not taking risks. What else?

CMO: Then we show the food -- a big close-up shot of white meat chicken.

R&D Guy: We should tell them how much it costs.

CMO: Good call. First we'll tell them it costs four times as much as it does, then we'll reveal how cheap it actually is. Then we cut back to the two white guys. And they'll just be staring at the camera, basically. Sound good?

CEO: Hello, increased market share!!

Boston Market ads neither double my pleasure nor my fun.

1 comment:

Windier E. Megatons said...

"Y'see, it's funny, because they're twins, except they're totally different! One is successful and one is a slacker! And then like, they kind of talk fast, or something? Look, this commercial is going to cost ten bucks to shoot. Stop complaining."