Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Puns and Ammo (hey, meta-pun!)

What do you get when you mix the hilarity of predictable puns with the glitz of low-budget CGI? You end up with a sparkling gem like this (EDIT: The :60 disappeared, so here's the :30 that's not as egregious, but gives you a taste of how bad this commercial truly was.  Also, I know now that they used an actual bear on a greenscreen, not CGI.  Man, bears are weird looking.):

A grizzly bear walks into a Lowe's

Whoa, is anyone familiar with bear safety? What these folks need to be doing right now is crouching down, avoiding eye contact, and walking away slowly from this enormous wild animal. Grizzlies are the largest land predators on Earth. What the Lowe's people don't need to be doing is trying to sell this thing a grill.

Salesman (to bear): Hello, welcome to Lowe's. Grills? Grills are right over here.

No, you idiot! Get out your bear mace, play dead, and tell everyone else to walk calmly out of the store!

Salesman: Can you say "grilled salmon"? I can.

So now we've gone from selling a bear a grill to making stupid bear puns?

And let me put this out there -- how is it that a bear can walk into a Lowe's and instantly find a sales associate? Every time I've been to a Lowe's, there's like one guy out on the floor, and he's usually selling washers and dryers to somebody with a huge line queuing behind him.

Salesman: I think you're a big eater, am I wrong?

Please eat the salesman, bear. Please. Do us all a favor.

Salesman (imitating bear grunts): Ow.... ow..... outdoor furniture, right this way -- come on.

Oh, why didn't you just eat his face, bear...

I wonder if there is something that is professionally made that is clumsier and more retarded than this hack-tastic segue. And if there is, I don't know that I could even bring myself to blog about it. This is comedy at its most insipid and most demoralizing.

Salesman: Oh, you like this? Go ahead, sniff it.

Please get to the point. We're like 30 seconds into this and we just do not get the concept. What is the objective of putting the stupid bear in this ad?

Salesman: Is there a Mrs. Bear? Because we haven't talked about that. Couple cubs?

Are you hitting on the grizzly bear? Because that's what it sounds like. Is Lowe's a cover for a creepy bestiality ring or something?

I love the "we haven't talk about that" line. Spare me, Lowe's. You do not chummily converse with Lowe's sales associates (assuming you can find one) -- there's like one per store and you're lucky if you get 10 seconds to spit out your question.

Salesman (to bear who's looking at decking wood): Oh, I see you're looking at the Trex. Trex is the way to go. Yeah.

This is the only manufacturer plug in the commercial, and it's for a brand of wood. Do most people insist on trading up to name brand wood? Oh, and, hey sales guy -- any particular reason why Trex is the "way to go"? Remember, this isn't just an absurd 1-minute comedy about a bear buying shit at a store, it's also a commercial -- don't be afraid to sell me on something.

Voiceover: Time to come out of hibernation and head over for all your outdoor living needs.

Finally, we get to the point. It was just a man who was in hibernation! And he was dressed as a bear, or something. Or maybe he actually was a bear and then transformed into a human, like a weird Ovid poem. But, I generally get the idea. Finally.

Anyway, flimsy concept. What Lowe's was trying to say was, "It's Spring! Time to head to Lowe's to buy what you need to spruce up your outdoor space!" Instead, they went with, "It's Spring! You know what's funny? Bears! Here, we spent a bunch of money to poorly animate one walking through our store! Hope you like cornball puns!!"

Bear turned Man (to neighbor who is now a bear): How do you like your steak? (bear growls) Rawr? Oh, rare.

Oh man! Another pun! Everybody wins! That's almost as good as the "Ow...outdoor furniture" one! How do you guys come up with this stuff?!

So, you may not learn a single interesting thing about Lowe's or what they sell from this commercial, but I will give Lowe's this much: they really hit hard on the bear message. Their bear marketing sense is top-fucking-notch. That is a bear no one is soon to forget. What is it, I wonder, about a cheaply-animated bear that makes an ad so... incombearable?


Windier E. Megatons said...

Jesus, those rawr/rare puns remind me of the old joke about the talking dog:

A man walks into a bar with a dog. The bartender says, "Hey, you can't bring a dog in here." "Wait a minute," says the man. "This is no ordinary dog. He can talk!" He turns to the dog.

"Okay, sport, what do you call the thing on top of a house?"
"And what is it when something is the opposite of smooth?"
"And what is it when you divide something by two?"
"And what's on the outside of a tree?"
"And who would you say is the greatest baseball player of all time?"

By now the bartender is furious. "Look, pal, you better get that 'talking dog' out of here before I punch you both in the face."

Once they're out on the street, the dog turns to the man and asks, "Do you think I should have said 'DiMaggio?'"

Anonymous said...

Trex isn't even wood. It's polyethylene impregnated with wood leftovers. Not that you'd know from the commercial.

Quivering P. Landmass said...

Hah, figures. Well, apparently bears love fake wood flooring. Seems a little counterintuitive, but, hey, who am I to argue with Lowe's extensive ursine expertise?

Anonymous said...

Good use of the word "who".

Quivering P. Landmass said...

Whom am I to call you an obnoxious grammar snob?

Seriously, no one speaks like that. Spare me.