Sunday, January 3, 2016

I Just Saw A Commercial...

...shot in a crowded plaza downtown in a city, might have been Rome, I'm not sure. An attractive young woman walks past leading a dog on a leash. Several young men notice her and seem attracted. The woman sits on a bench and unhooks the dog from the leash. The dog runs off. One of the young men approaches and sits on the bench next to the woman. He appears to be making small talk (the sound was off and if they were speaking Italian I might have had trouble keeping up anyway).

He reaches a hand toward the woman's lap -- where where she is holding a white plastic jar. He takes a bite-sized piece of food from the jar, eats it, seems to like it, the woman smiles encouragingly and encourages him to eat more, he takes another morsel and eats it.

Just then the woman's dog comes running back. She tosses the dog a morsel from the same jar, and then turns it around so the man can see the label. From her smirk and his embarrassment, it's clear that the label identifies the jar as containing treats meant for canine, not human consumption. The woman walks away with the dog, and the man sits there with his hand on his forehead.

And... this could have been a commercial for doggie treats, or women's fashion, or men's and women's fashion, or the Roman Catholic Church, or a hidden-camera TV show (or not a commercial at all but a clip from a hidden-camera show), or a public-service announcement with a very generic message like "Things aren't always what they seem," or something else. As I've said before on this blog, I think that perhaps advertising sells less than either the general public or the people paying the ad agencies think, and that sometimes the most significant thing going on is the making of an interesting short film. I love the GEICO gecko and the GEICO pig and some other GEICO commercials (Remember the one with Peter Frampton?), but I've never had a GEICO insurance policy and I don't plan to get one.

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