Wednesday, April 18, 2007

read the fine print.

you know what really amuses me? advertising. it never gets old. and often, if i don't laugh at it, i'll cry. so when something particularly odd or asinine in a commercial strikes me, i like to take a moment and fully appreciate the absurdity.

for instance. you've all seen that ad for the Ford Edge? it's apparently another attempt at making a littler SUV, a "crossover" vehicle, if you will. (which i won't, actually - it's a glorified station wagon. "crossover" my ass.)

anyway. the ad where the car is driving around in the sky, hugging building with two tires, and that annoying synth-y voice is singing, "i like to live on the edddd-juh"? if you watch the bottom of the screen, some fine print pops up about five seconds in. it reads,

Yes, this is a fantasy. Cars can't really drive on buildings.

there is so much that i love about this fine print. firstly, there's the way it (like most fine print) assumes we are all raging idiots. gosh, i was not aware that certain cars don't have the ability to suspend the laws of gravity - thanks for setting me straight on that one, Ford! secondly, there's the way they try to be all cheeky about it. some highly-educated person in the Ford marketing department realized that fine print = not cool, and "crossover" SUVs must equal cool at all times. such a conundrum! what to do? i know, let's fall back on the most overused cliche about the demographic we're trying to sell to - their deep-seated affection for sarcasm - and insult them with both form and content! it's genius. truly.

the other great bit of fine print i saw the other day was in a Red Lobster ad. i'm sure you've seen it too, it was on about every three minutes last week. it's gist was this: 30 shrimp! come eat 30 shrimp at a time at Red Lobster! doooooo it! you know the one. but have you noticed the tiny-lettered admonition at the bottom?

Prices higher at Times Square and Hawaii locations.

now, this first caught my eye while i was on the treadmill at the gym. and i pondered it for a good two or three minutes. Times Square and Hawaii? it's like a brain teaser. what do these two places have in common when it comes to....shrimp? ready, go.

honestly, i still haven't totally figured it out.


Michelle said...

Yes, fine print has to assume we're idiots because if it doesn't, there will be a line of idiots waiting to sue the company.

hetherjw said...

"Prices higher at Times Square and Hawaii locations."

Translation: Times Square is located in NYC and is the most expensive store to run. So prices are higher. Hawaii is an island located far far away... and despite being in the middle of the world’s largest ocean that could supply all the shrimp needed for this promotion that would violate our policy of shipping all of our "fish" and other "food" from a central warehouse located in New Jersey. This allows a uniform "flash frozen" experience for all patrons, even at our locations that have access to fresh shellfish. Prices will, therefore, always be higher in Hawaii due to shipping.

Expensive locations backed up by a commitment to bland mediocrity. That's the connection.

Apparently all the rain in Boston has made me bitter. And a bad person.

reasonably prudent poet said...

the solution to your fine-print problem (not that you identified it as such): stop watching television. free yourself before it's too late.

Toast said...

Shrimp! Even crappy shrimp are still good. I'll eat 30 shrimp any day.

As to the Edge commercial, yeah, it's really fucking stupid. What bothered me about it how they're banging the same tired-ass theme that says people who drive SUV's are all eXtreMe and adventurous ("living on the edge"). Buying and driving an SUV is about the most herd-like action an American could conceivably choose to do.