Saturday, September 8, 2012

Mensa membership guaranteed!

I really wish I could find the longer version of this commercial, which is AGGRESSIVELY TERRIBLE while this one is merely stupid and annoying.  But you work with what you have.

So.  The reason I would rather have shown you the longer version is that in that one, I think it's pretty clear that both of these people are insufferable, rather than basically just the dude.

[Guy is sitting looking at a statue]
Woman: "Are you a fan of DeMoissier?"
Guy's Internal Monologue: "DeMoissi-who?  Okay, you know you're smart.  You just ordered a premium roast coffee and a savory Sausage McMuffin for only a dollar each off McDonald's Dollar Menu at breakfast, so..."

Please note: if it takes you this many seconds to come up with what is at best a halfway coherent response, everyone will know you're full of shit.  Look at the woman - she's already gotten bored of waiting for an answer and is writing something down in her planner, presumably "Do not ever, ever fuck this guy."

Guy: "He has a certain... je ne sais quoi."

Fuck you.  Since when does "being smart" have to equate to "having heard of, and formed an opinion on, every modern sculpture artist in existence?"  This is the kind of shit someone who thinks they are extremely smart came up with.  Ooh, and French!  The language of smart people, right?  That's what I heard.

In the extended version of this commercial, the woman replies, "Oh, tu parles français!"  Let's be clear here: "Je ne sais quoi" is a well-enough-known phrase in English that I don't believe for a second that someone who actually spoke French as a second language would hear it and assume that the person they were talking to was bilingual.  Also, as someone who actually does parle un peu de français, it's pretty shitty for that woman to immediately use the singular tu form of the second-person rather than the plural vous form, which is more typically used in formal address, like, you know, when you're speaking to some stranger in the park.  Perhaps she's just being patronizing because she recognizes he's full of shit, but I don't think that's the intent.  Although if you type "Oh, you speak French" into Google Translate, it (properly) gives you the more formal "vous parlez français" form.  I guess this ad was written by someone who took French, but just not since sophomore year of high school.

Oh, the guy's response to that, by the way, is "Oh yeah, all the time," which is just a continued stream of bullshit.  McDonald's: it won't make you smarter, but it'll sure make you feel like you have to pretend to be a genius everywhere you go!  But this really is a commercial all about behaving weirdly in front of strangers.  The guy feels intimidated by the woman's seeming intellect and has to try and impress her even though she's a total stranger because, I don't know, smart woman in business suits are inherently emasculating, right, fellas?  But meanwhile, the woman is sort of a bitch here, between assuming the guy just chilling on a park bench must be a fan of modern art, assuming he speaks French for no good reason (forcing him to keep bullshitting), and using tu like she's talking to a five-year-old.  Other than that, though, a couple of winning characters here, McDonald's.  Maybe we could have a whole series of ads where the guy has to keep feigning expertise to avoid looking like a schmuck, while internally feeling confident in his own intelligence because hey, he didn't buy a seven-dollar Sausage McMuffin at the artisanal breakfast co-op like some sucker.

Most delightful aspect of this ad: the supremely awkward way the guy is required to hold the cup of coffee just so the "McCafe" logo is not obscured by his hand.  In case you're deaf and wanted to know what this was an ad for, I guess.


Danny said...

I think my favorite part of this is that like the hero, McDonalds is faking it and couldn't come up with a real sculptor to feature in the commercial. (Or, for that matter, maybe they did. I can just imagine the conversation: "Hello, Barnett Newman estate, I'm calling from McDonalds. We wanted to feature Broken Obelisk in one of our television ads. Hello? Hello?")

maggie said...

Hilarious blog, well written (funny -but also presents intelligent point by point criticism). I was searching online, desperate to find anyone else appalled by terrible commercials on TV, wondering "who made this?" or "people pay money for this?" Glad I'm not alone, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Assuming she's 'striking it up' with the nerd, why would she suddenly dive into a planner? Oh, that's right; she has something to do and the nerd doesn't look like a complete weirdo, absorbed in internal self-dialogue.

Anonymous said...

These "reviews" of ads just crack me up; I cannot stop laughing. I may not be a fan of Demossier, but I am a fan of these reviews.

JB said...

I miss your blog! Write again! Please! You guys used to crack me up.