Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Full of the milk of human creepiness

If you think about it, if you only include national advertisements, how many brands do you really see ads for on even a yearly basis? I'm guessing it's less than two hundred. And whenever you see an ad for a brand you've never seen an ad for before - especially if it's a product you had heard of despite not seeing any ads - doesn't it always seem a little strange? Like, "Oh, I guess they're advertising now." That's how I felt about this Muscle Milk ad, right after I got done hating the shit out of it.


Host: "So! All-Star left fielder. What's on your mind?"

We're just dropped into this, so there's really no explanation for why the host is such a complete freak show. But if you pretend for a second this is a real show, would Muscle Milk really want to sponsor it?

Ryan Braun: "A female doctor asked me to take my shirt off yesterday... for an eye exam!"

Ladies and gentlemen, the Friar's Club Roast of Ryan Braun's Pecs! Seriously though, is that a zippy one-liner or what? And delivered with such verve!

Host: "Ryan, a little lesson. Life is like a river. But for guys like us, life is like a river that's also a hot tub!"

At this point he pulls his shirt out and rubs his stomach. The guy is in average shape, I guess you'd say, but I think clearly the idea is that he's supposed to be unappealing. Or is it?

Host: "Now! It's clear to me that you drink Muscle Milk after you work out. And you are just going to have to deal with women trying to get into your hot tub river!"

Cut to the guy in a hot tub with two women. Cut back to the guy on the set making a creepy noise. Fin.

I mean, what the fuck was that? Look, Ryan Braun is clearly not an actor, but if that's all you're going to do with him it seems pointless to even have him in the ad. At least he seems like a likable guy, unlike the actual pitchman, although who wouldn't seem like a cool dude next to this lunatic? (By the way: bargain-basement Ed Helms. Tell me I'm wrong.)

This ad is obviously aimed at men, so they don't really care if their attitude towards women is a little questionable. But who is watching this and thinking, "I want to be like that guy! I bet he's a big success with the ladies." No one. And I don't think this guy is supposed to be cool or attractive. Look how confused Braun looks when the guy starts pulling his shirt out. But with that being the case, WHY IS HE YOUR PRIMARY PITCHMAN???? For a product that is trying to associate itself with being hot and in great shape????

The last couple years have seen a lot of products using really unappealing spokespeople. I didn't get it when Toyota did it, I didn't get it when McDonald's did it, and I don't get it now. I mean, obviously this is just supposed to be funny, but (a) it isn't, (b) it's trying way too hard, and (c) the goal, ultimately, should be to sell product, not just be funny. Aside from making you aware of the product's existence, I don't see how this ad moves product. At least in that McDonald's ad, you could imagine people recognizing the main character as an exaggerated version of how they feel in the morning when they haven't had their coffee. Who is going to identify with this shithead? "Muscle Milk: preferred protein shake of creepy guys with hairy stomachs who make gross throaty sounds to indicate they're happy with something!" Yeah, uh, pass.


Tyler said...

In the "Brands I'd Never Seen An Ad For Until Recently" department, I've seen Kettle Chips and Haribo Gummi Bears as of late.

Thomas Gamble said...

Interesting post! I`ll send it to all my friends!