Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What's a five-letter word for "Maker of obnoxious ads?"

A certain jewelry store's catchphrase is starting to become synonymous with everything that's annoying about the diamond industry. Unless you're that jewelry store, in which you'd like us to think people drop it regularly in conversations.

Woman 1: "So, how was last night?"
Woman 2: "Just a sec. What's a thirteen-letter phrase for 'marriage proposal?'"

"Hang on while, rather than answer your question, I do something stupid and gimmicky." Although doesn't she kind of ruin the surprise by actually saying "marriage proposal" here? Wouldn't virtually any person on the planet be tipped off by that? Not her friend, apparently.

Woman 1: [sounding bored, and rightfully so] "I have absolutely no idea."

You sure don't.

Woman 2: "Ooh, wait, I've got it! He went... to... Jared!" [holds up ring]
Woman 1: "He went to..." [sees ring] "He went to Jared!"
[wild celebration ensues]

The important thing is not that he proposed, or how he did it, or how romantic it was. It's the name of the jewelry store he went to. This is not how anyone actually behaves in real life, is it? Do you know people who are more excited by the provenance of a ring than its method of delivery?

This is a bad commercial (series of commercials) for one of two reasons, although I'm not entirely sure which. Reason one is that Jared is suggesting that this is how women actually behave, that they are more concerned with a ring's quality than anything else about the proposal. In other words, that women as a gender are money-grubbing whores. More to the point, it wants men to see the ad and think, "See, look how excited your girlfriend will be if you buy the ring at Jared!" Never mind that that's total bullshit in real life and that any woman who does flip the box over to see where the ring came from should immediately be dumped.

Reason two is the idea that Jared is actually trying to make "He went to Jared!" happen as an alternate for "He asked me to marry him!" Like, they want women to start telling their friends about their engagement by announcing that "He went to Jared!" That's terrible. I mean, it's not going to happen, but ew. The very fact that they're going for it repulses me. The "I take it you told her" line does a lot to sell this one, since I have to assume the guy is talking about their engagement and not that he went to Jared specifically.

I think it's probably a mixture. As we've seen in previous Jared ads, their thesis is basically that marriage proposals mean jack squat unless "he went to Jared." So it's not like it's all about how much the ring cost per se (he didn't go to Tiffany, after all), but it's certainly not about the proposal itself. How much do you think they would love it if the following happened?

Woman 1: Oh my God, Jeff is the sweetest. He met me yesterday after work and we went for a stroll in the park before sunset.
Woman 2: Yawn.
Woman 1: Then, we went out for a romantic dinner at my favorite restaurant in the city.
Woman 2: Big deal.
Woman 1: And then, it turned out he had brought the car downtown, and we took a moonlit drive up the coast with the top down!
Woman 2: What has two thumbs and is super bored by this story? This girl.
Woman 1: Then finally he pulled off at this scenic view, with the moon reflecting on the ocean, and he asked me to marry him! It was the best night of my life.
Woman 2: Snooze.
Woman 1: Oh, and uh... he went to Jared.
Woman 2: ZOMG [series of high-pitched squeals almost inaudible to the human ear]
Woman 1: I'm really lucky, aren't I?
Woman 2: Oh my God, you totally are. I mean, Jared.
Woman 1: The rest of it was pretty good t-
Woman 2: JARED.

That should probably be their next ad, come to think of it.


Jeremy said...

Please allow me to fawn.

I just discovered this blog last week. Comics Curmudgeon was one of my favorite sites and this seems to be its advertisement-based kindred spirit, so I was hooked immediately.

Then I saw that you base your names off that famous modifier-initial-noun spam that I was once "victim" to as well (though it was consistently hilarious) and was thrilled someone else appreciated that.

THEN I saw this post, based on an ad that my wife and I see constantly and always complain about. Really, the whole Jared series is obnoxious and contrived. I was delighted to see it get its well-deserved shotgunning here.

So... total man-crush. We're cool with that, right?

Windier E. Megatons said...

We will only accept your man-crush if you went to Jared.

Patrick said...

I hate the diamond industry passionately, but modern romance is almost screwed up as much. It has nothing to do with effort, love or actually doing something, it's just about pulling out that cash and buying her something. You buy her a meal. You buy her a gift or chocolates or something stupid. You drive her ass all over town. Can we actually conceive of a romantic gesture that doesn't involve money in any way? Damn, I'm 20 years old and I feel like such a curmudgeon.

Allan said...

Can we agree also that 'Jared' is a dumb name for a jewelry chain? It's a first name. It doesn't make any sense to name your store 'Jared'. This is one of the many reasons I cringe and change the channel when these ads come on.

Joe said...

They're definitely terrible spots. I hate the one where two girls are getting picture messages from their friend on a date... "ooh, he took her to Che Fran Souis (however you spell the stupid "French" name of the restaurant)... "ooh he went to Jared..."... and then they send the text asking if the dude has brothers? Are you kidding me? I HATE that they're trying to create a phenomenon with "He went to Jared."

Anyway... great site, I'm hooked!

Anonymous said...

I agree with almost every commercial blast and blog that you have posted. Excellent insight. I miss the anger at the Jared commercial, perhaps this blonde actress has swayed me. I think the premise is that "Jared" as the generalization, both as a chain and as an equivalent to "jewelry store". Sort of the way people used to say 'I got it as Sears' even if there was not a Sears in their community. So her excitement is that she got engaged, not that he got a ring symbol or the place that it was purchased.

Michael said...

While I understand the offense at Jared's link between buying jewelry & the supposed 'sanctity' of marriage, I think your condemnation of the commercial is ridiculous. To say that the commercial is not successful in its message is completely off the mark. The social phenomenon that is represented should be held in contempt, but to go further and say that the commercial doesn't work is wrong. It gets its message across with a simple, memorable phrase. It may be trite, but "hate the game, not the player."

Michael said...

One more thing: Your suggestion for a commercial, while I'm sure is meant to be contemptuous and tongue-in-cheek, SUCKS. It's not any more clever than it is humorous. And you have the balls to complain about Jared's schmaltz?

Rev. Maynard Brainard said...

Looks like "Marion" (or is it "Lucy?") is a spammer. You may want to remove "her" comment from here. Just a heads-up.

Windier E. Megatons said...

Removed. You also introduced me to Michael, since I don't normally read comments on year-old posts. Michael, everyone! What's a five-letter word for "person who completely missed the point"?