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Archive for March 15th, 2007

The Proliferation of Wow

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I try to mute the sound during commercial breaks. Thanks to this book, however, I try to keep my eyes open for ones that stir something in me, and then ponder the feelings they arouse. They’re rare, but one recent ad has me feeling inspired and annoyed at the same time.

The full spot runs for one minute, built around a montage of brief scenes that invoke, for lack of a better word, “wow.”

—a child watches a rocket lift off into space. Awed, she says, “Wow.”

—a jogger hops down the front steps of his home and sees a deer standing in his yard. “Wow,” he whispers.

—another runner crests a hill, stops and looks behind at the valley below her, and she too whispers…you get the idea.

And then there’s a my personal favorite—a family watches the Berlin Wall crumble on live television as a family member enters the home and removes a piece of the wall from his pocket, setting it in on the table.

Then comes the reveal; that big moment when we see the product that’s supposed to deliver all that wow. Surely something prolific and life-changing, you reason. A car that runs on water, maybe.

No. It’s only Windows Vista.

How you can equate a software package with the fall of the Berlin Wall just escapes me for the moment. The ad feels like watching The Sixth Sense for the first time and knowing Dr. Crowe is already dead. Personally, were I in charge of marketing at Microsoft, I’d have held on to this ad for the release of Vista Service Pack 2. But that’s just me.

I know I’m running a little shallow here, but bear with me. Ads are like thirty second movies. Like it or not, they set trends and influence pop culture enough to where I cannot think of iPods without hearing Bono belt the chorus to “Vertigo.” All this ad does, at the end of the day, is give us more excuse to celebrate mediocrity.

And when you make everything super, as the saying goes, nothing is.

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Written by taj

March 15, 2007 at 10:12 pm

Posted in Pop Culture