Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's the cost that counts

So you want the most expensive thing in the store and your parents won't buy it for you. Instead, they offer you a lower-cost option that is pretty similar. What does this make them? That's right: inconsiderate assholes.

[Kid admiring undoubtedly expensive electric train set]
Mom: "How about this one? It's almost the same thing."
Kid: [insufferably] "No. It's not."

Fuck this kid, am I right? Your parents aren't obligated to buy you anything, you ungrateful little bastard.

Dad: "This one's great! It's just as good as the one you wanted."
Kid: "No... it's not."

This just makes me feel really bad for the dad. Listen to how he sells that first line. The mom seemed kind of noncommittal - "Eh, this other one seems okay, right?" - but the dad sounds legitimately invested in the quality of the guitar he's holding, and Flock of Seagulls just shits all over him. How much do you suppose that kid even knows about guitars? "Uh, hello, Dad? This guitar looks cooler and is five times more expensive, therefore it's better."

Guy: "That's the one."
Salesman: "Great choice."
Voiceover: "Don't settle for a copy when you can have the original."

If you can afford it, sure. I'm fairly certain that if Seagulls' dad was swimming in cash he'd have been happy to buy his obnoxious son whatever expensive guitar he wanted - so clearly he wasn't, meaning what we have is this douchebag kid griping every year because his middle-class parents can't and/or won't cater to his every whim. Great message, BMW. Hey, did your parents buy you exactly what you wanted for Christmas every year, no matter the price point? They didn't? Well, fuck them - treat yourself with a $40,000 luxury car this Christmas! Can you afford that? Who the fuck cares? You're an adult now and you don't settle for copies, whatever that means. Also, your kids eat cookies and ice cream for dinner and stay up as late as they want, because you're just the kind of guy who follows through on all the whiny shit he said as a ten-year-old when he didn't get his way.


Anonymous said...

So glad you decided to do one on this commercial. People in this ad are insufferable dipshits. BTW Hyundai continues to trot out awful ads, with smug narration. The latest campaign with the hipsters is atrocious.

Anonymous said...

Another ad campaign to look at is the Sprint one where it shows that getting their plan makes you an asshole.


Can't find the other one but it's one about neighbors in Christmas time.

Anonymous said...

The best part about the BMW ad is that in the small print it says, "non-U.S. models shown" or something like that. So the pretentious jerk in the ad can't even get his dream car in this country!

T said...

This is the first time I've disagreed considerably with the opinions offered on this blog.

"I'm fairly certain that if Seagulls' dad was swimming in cash he'd have been happy to buy his obnoxious son whatever expensive guitar he wanted - so clearly he wasn't"

Sorry, not on board with this one. I've known my fair share of well-to-do parents that don't shell out cash willingly on their child's behalf beyond the absolute basics because they didn't really want the kid in the first place (wear a condom, kids!) or think an adolescent can't appreciate the disparity in quality between products. Dad there could just as easily be pimping the black guitar because he's a miserly old man, and his impassioned delivery is the result of a strong desire to spend less, not because he genuinely thinks the black guitar is as good (which is how it comes to me). And given that your basic premise is "it's stupid to judge quality without looking beyond the size of the price tag", doesn't it seem more likely that the character you've derisively named Flock of Seagulls, who might actually PLAY the guitar, would know a bit more about which guitar is good than the stodgy, middle-aged father who is, by all indications, looking for alternatives based solely on the desire to save money?

Are you really going to take two scenes of childhood/adolescent disappointment and extrapolate that the guy must be an obnoxious douche because he doesn't want to settle for something other than the thing he actually covets again? If so, I have to say, you come across as far more insufferable than this commercial's characters (and I mean that in the nicest way, because I like reading the content of this blog).

Angela Hansen said...

I agree with "T" to an extent. When I first saw this commercial, I actually kind of liked it. Seeing it a few more times made me like it less and less because I think the acting is what makes it seem like the kid is a spoiled brat.

I think what I liked about the commercial is that it's something most people might remember happening in their childhood when there's something you really, really want and your parents insist on buying the knockoff because it's "Just as good as the real thing." Whether it actually was or not is a completely different matter. But since they gave us model trains and electric guitars as an example, I think it becomes more of "the model train I want is better quality and looks more realistic than whatever it is you're holding, mom" (not that a child that age would necessarily say it that way) and "sure, the guitar you're holding looks cool, dad, but I'm in a band and I want something that works well, has an awesome sound, and also looks sweet." If it were a comparison of ice cream brands or a Coach purse and knockoff that looks exactly alike, I might be more inclined to agree.

The last line does kill the commercial though. "Don't settle for a copy when you can have the original." Just like you said, if you can afford it. If we're talking about copies, then I would assume it functions exactly the same as the original (much like a Coach purse and its knockoff). So basically, you're asking me to pay more for something that functions no differently than the more affordable alternative? That's logic right there.