No “good deed” goes unmocked

My neuroticism may have leaked through on this one.

Commercial fixing:

At a basic level, I object to the portrayal of good deeds as surprising and out of the ordinary.  Something that needs to be “caught” as if it were a virus or bacterium.  The more we reinforce “good” as being “strange” the more “bad” becomes “normal.”  This results in entrenched societal habits that are contradictory to the actual desires and ideals of society.  I have the same objection every time I hear “boys will be boys.”  Of course they will, if you keep expecting that of them.  If you expected them to be helpful academics, they’d be that too.  Tabula rasa and all that jazz.

However, the crux of my criticism of this particular advertisement is the last few seconds.  The idea is that the woman is doing a good turn holding the door open to the blind woman.  In theory, this would be fine, but I see three major areas of objection.  Least to greatest:

1.  She’s not using the revolving door.  Not only is this the more exciting option, and everyone needs a spot of fun in their life, but it is the more environmentally friendly option (please note the source is biased, but to my knowledge the concept is accurate and it was the easiest link for me to provide).

2.  She was attempting to use the entrance as an exit.  Leaving through the wrong door and plowing through people is flat out discourteous.  It suggests that you cannot be bothered to pay attention to the flow of traffic and would rather inconvenience everyone coming in through the proper door than walk the ten extra feet to the actual exit (or the five feet to the revolving door).  That a blind woman just happened to be coming through for you to help out doesn’t justify the egocentricity of the original act.

3.  Which brings me to the most objectionable aspect: the impression is given that the blind woman is completely oblivious to her surroundings.  She manages to dress herself smartly, get to the station, and then she won’t be able to get through the door without help?  Even if that were the case, she doesn’t even notice the help somehow, she passes through the door way and immediately veers off in the direction she needs to go.  So, she doesn’t notice the door is open, like she’s never been there and doesn’t know there’s a door there, though she knows where to go beyond the door, or, she’s so callous as to not even appreciate the help with any acknowledgement beyond turning her back on the woman holding the door.  Actually, this is the same problem in the opening scene as well.  Why are there statistically excessive blind people in this commercial, and why are they being treated like they can’t function without the aid of others?  Or, why are blind people portrayed as self-centered jerks who can’t give the time of day to the kindness of strangers?

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Published in: on 15 June 2011 at 10:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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I vow to use situationally inappropriate music

Let’s equate showcases of strength with music about contemplating suicide.

Commercial broken:

I’m not sure GMC knew what they were trying to say with this.  It’s almost like they wanted to make a wedding reference, but weddings aren’t macho enough for pickup trucks, so they went with sentimental ’90s alt-rock.  Presumably this conflicted with the rough-and-ready voice and images they usually use, so they toned those down a bit too.  The result is something that has neither the toughness of a GMC truck commercial nor the beauty and grace of the Collective Soul song that accompanies it.

They might as well have thrown in some of the lyrics too:

So I walk up on high
And I step to the edge
To see my world below.
And I laugh at myself
While the tears roll down.
‘Cause it’s the world I know.
It’s the world I know.

I certainly would have to be on the brink to buy a pickup truck, let alone a GMC.  It’s not even a Chevy.  Watching this commercial, I feel compelled to echo the question in the song and direct it at GMC: “Has all kindness gone?”

Published in: on 14 June 2011 at 9:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Please make sense and spray

Or: Things that require you to go out and buy a table that will have no other function.

Commercial break:

I love this commercial for two reasons.  One, I think it’s really awesome that they’re now making family-size efficiency apartments.  It’s everything that you might get from the first floor of a house, but in one room!  And they say nothing good comes from tough economic times.

Two, the air freshener gets its own table.  No, not just a table, THE table.  The centerpiece of the house, the first thing you see as you enter the door.  All other furniture has been banished to the outskirts, unworthy to be within 15 feet of the singularly-purposed pedestal, crafted from the finest bits of rain forest so that the air freshener may deodorize unimpeded.

Additionally, from a practical stand point, this setup is not only rather extravagant and space inefficient, but impractical.  The product is designed so that when you walk in front of it, it registers your presence–presumably with a Terminatoresque scan/analysis–and maces you with the aroma of flowers.  However, if it is placed in the middle of the room, you are able to walk behind it, where there is no sensor.  To get around this problem, simply follow the lead of the woman in the commercial and spend most of your day walking in circles around the table.

Published in: on 5 June 2011 at 4:59 am  Leave a Comment  
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