Thoughts, lists and other compulsive bits about baseball from comedian filmmaker television producer/Red Sox fan Paul Francis Sullivan....
feel free to call him “Sully.”
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
This State Farm® Commercial is the bane of my existence
Every once in a while there is a commercial that simply gets under my skin. And this State Farm® commercial is one.
And I guess falling into their trap, I am going to show you a commercial on my blog.
This commercial is shown CONSTANTLY on MLB Network... the channel that if my home was a Nielsen Family, you would think was the most popular network on TV.
I am not a State Farm® customer, and who knows? They might have a great insurance plan. But this ad is like a sesame seed stuck between my teeth, and I can't look away when it is on.
So the least I can do is have you feel MY pain as well.
OK, let's review all the things I hate about this commercial.
:00 - They are trying the "long tracking shot starting with a simple close up action" as if they are doing the Copacabana sequence in Goodfellas. Stop trying to impress us, Scorsese. You are selling car insurance. Besides, I don't believe Squinty Tom Cruise looking guy is buying a hot dog... and you'll see why later.
:03 - Squinty Tom Cruise looking guy says "Our real national pastime? Saving money." Um REALLY? Is that what got us into this financial mess? A lot of people saving money and using their money wisely? Oh wait. The exact OPPOSITE is true.
:05 - "Baseball people love their stats." First of all, don't condescend to me Squinty Tom Cruise looking guy! You are AT a baseball game. You are being seen on a baseball network. Don't be that douchey "observing from a far... I'm not like these other people... I'm here ironically" a--hole. Also this line has no connection to the first line. He might as well say "Hot Dogs tend to come in buns. My aunt is named Martha."
But it isn't Squinty Tom Cruise looking guy's fault. He's just saying lines that some poor schmuck copy writer had to write. I am sure some client thought they were being super clever tying in "national pastime" and "stats" to the commercial.
Creative stuff should be left to creative people.
:07 - Squinty Tom Cruise looking guy is now the creepy guy eavesdropping onto a conversation... and rather smugly if I might add.
:09 - "I started bringing my lunch to work... $50 in my pocket." Tell you what... I'll put ANOTHER $50 in your pocket if you show me any conversation at a ballpark that sounds remotely like that. Two guys going to a day game aren't talking about lunch or work. They are talking about the game or whether or not they have the nerve to talk to the hot girl sitting in the row in front of them.
Also, if these guys were so sensible about what they spend on lunch, then why the hell are they buying ball park concessions? Last time I checked, if you got your proverbial peanuts and Cracker Jack, you'll be out that $50 you just saved on your lunches.
:11 - "Here's a good one..." Squinty Tom Cruise looking guy starts doing his hard sell for State Farm. "Oooo we're so much better than Progressive and Geico" blah blah blah. Meanwhile he starts walking down to his section towards his seat.
Did you notice what he DIDN'T do? He didn't get any condiments for his hot dog. No relish? No mustard? No ketchup? No onions?
"Nah, I just take my hot dog with NOTHING on it!" Bull sh*t! NOBODY eats a hot dog like that! Which goes to my original point that Squinty Tom Cruise looking guy was just buying a hot dog to try to fit in with us "baseball people" while in reality he is, in his mind, spitting on us.
:15 - Woman fan with fake generic hat interrupts his talk into the camera, which in a way disrupts the whole "Greek Chorus" universe that we have set up.
Squinty Tom Cruise looking guy talks to us but nobody else sees that he is talking to us... but somehow woman fan with fake generic hat can also KIND OF talk to us.
Then she says... something. I honestly don't have a clue what she said. I've seen this commerical 4,392,113 times in the last 2 months. And for all I know she is speaking the Basque language spoken only in regions of Northeastern Spain.
I just watched it again... nope. No clue. Maybe she is speaking in tongues.
:23 - Check out the guy just behind Squinty Tom Cruise looking guy on screen left. The guy who also has a fakey "B" hat on and sipping a drink and pause it at 0:23.
He is staring RIGHT INTO THE CAMERA. And his eyes are wide open. Which means one of two things:
1) He is a ham of a background actor and is calling attention to himself... and besides his staring into the camera, it was the best overall take and they decided to use it anyway.
2) Only characters wearing the fake "B" hat can penetrate the 4th wall and join Squinty Tom Cruise looking guy in communicating with us.
:25 - So Squinty Tom Cruise looking guy stops in the middle of the aisle to tell us how awesome State Farm is. And guess what? Fake "B" hat guy, his girlfriend and everyone else trying to get to their seat are stuck waiting for Squinty Tom Cruise looking guy to wrap up his sales pitch.
Seriously, if you ever have been to a ball park, the guy who stops in the middle of a busy aisle is universally hated. People behind have all sorts of concessions and chances are they missed an inning waiting in line to get some lousy food. The last thing they want to do is have to wait while some condescending prick tells us about car insurance while holding a hot dog with no condiments.
OK, was this post excessive? Perhaps, but I will admit it feels good to get this off of my chest. I can't be the only person annoyed by this ad.
And let the record show, I have nothing personal against Squinty Tom Cruise looking guy. I'm sure you are a nice guy and a talented working actor. It drives me bonkers that you were cast essentially because someone said "You know, if you squint, he LOOKS like Tom Cruise."