This Cellphone Ad Needs More Anxiety!

As any Mad Men fan can tell you, ads are all about creating the itch and then selling the cream to soothe it. You stoke the desire and then offer the solution. Sales ensue. But what the modern dreamweavers on Madison Ave have figured out is that the two don’t even have to be related. You could show a bunch of elephants trampling a village – an anxious event, indeed – and then “Pencils! Get 20 for $2″ and you have yourself a great ad. Very Eisenstein, and for some reason, this tactic seems especially popular in cellphone ads. I remember a Verizon one where a girl had to have a llama and it was socially awkward. Inspired, I wrote up a short sketch to demonstrate:

Not Anxious Enough Cellphone Ad

BEN POPKEN

GRAPHIC: THESE DAYS, ADVERTISERS JUST HAVE TO SHOW A MILD IRRITANT AND JUXTAPOSE IT WITH THEIR SOLUTION-MAKING PRODUCT TO CREATE SALES.

INT. KITCHEN – DAY

MOM and KYLIE talking. KYLIE holds a cellphone.

KYLIE
With the new fave-5, I can talk to up to five friends for free!

Cat walks by wearing a party hat.

GRAPHIC: NOT ANXIOUS ENOUGH!

Scene resets.

KYLIE
With the new fave-5, I can talk to up to five friends for free!

MOM
Great! So call your dad where the child support checks are!

FLASHING GRAPHIC: WHOOPS! THAT’S TOO REAL!

Scene resets.

KYLIE
With the new fave-5, I can talk to up to five friends for free!

MOM
Fine, so can you ask them to at least put their shirts on?

Five hunky shirtless guys in jeans enter and drape themselves on Mom.

HUNK 1
Hey, Mrs. K.

FLASHING GRAPHIC: PERFECT!!!

BLACKOUT

Comments

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  1. KyleOrton says:

    Ben, do you think that TV shows do this too? Possibly to benefit the advertisers? Sometimes I feel that a show goes out of its way to beat down a sympathetic main character in a way that seems extraneous to the plot.

  2. c!tizen says:

    I once visited a Macy’s during one of their “One day sales” and noticed a few things out of place. One of them was a leather jacket that was marked at $499.99, but it was on the rack labeled “NOW- under $25.00″ As I looked through more and more of the items on the rack I ended up with a shirt marked at $199.99, two pairs of pants both marked at $150.00, and a nice belt that was marked at $100.00. I took them to the counter where the lady said they were put their by mistake.

    After that I ate a cheese burger, it was the best one ever. Eat at Whataburger, it’s great!

  3. rbb says:

    Ben, keep your day job…

  4. Muddie says:

    What just happened?

    Did someone’s medication expire?

  5. aloria says:

    Um.

    What?

  6. Danjalier says:

    Five shirtless hunky guys.

    BRILLIANT! I’M SOLD! I DON’T CARE WHAT THE PRODUCT IS!

  7. Minneapolis says:

    I need the one white. Can you waive the activation fee? Does it come with a case? I also need you to hookup my bluetooth to it.

  8. djshagadellic says:

    I need to be compensated for the last 30 seconds of my life. I hope this was either part of a drunken bet or some elaborate social psychology experiment.

  9. Bakergirl says:

    –streches out arms–
    “GIMMIE! GIMMIE! GIMMIE!”
    –Gets a round house in the face by Chuck Norris—
    “Whaaa, what happened?”
    –Another life was saved by the power of Chuck Norris–

    Thank you.

  10. Radoman says:

    “I remember a Verizon one where a girl had to have a llama and it was socially awkward.”

    I think maybe you’re missing a word or two here, because that just sounds weird. She had to have a llama what? Over for dinner? Did the llama use her cellphone to make reservations somewhere? I can make no sense of this in its current form.

    Did the girl actually have (birth) a llama? That does indeed sound socially awkward, and entirely inappropriate for a cell phone commercial. Obsession: for llamas