I had a week in the USA this month and caught this series of ads in between my son’s Lego Ninjago cartoons. There are several in the campaign and nearly all are laugh-out-loud funny. Great job by Grey New York.
The acting is spot on. What also makes it is the director having an acute eye for what’s visually funny in someone suffering self-inflicted misfortune and the copywriter’s construction of the still plausible while highly unlucky chains of events. Check out one of the others that ends up with the protagonist re-enacting a scene from Platoon with Charlie Sheenin his living room.
Morrissey‘s question in The Queen Is Dead, “Has the world changed, or have I changed?” often comes to mind – we both have, is the short answer – but these Directv ads had me pondering on whether it’s me or whether there are fewer really out-and-out funny ads about these days. There was a time (the mid to late 90s feels like the peak) when British ad breaks were a real source of comedic delights: the increasingly surreal Tango ads, Reeves and Mortimer’s immortal Cadbury’s Boost tagline (“Slightly rippled with a flat underside”) and that man Bob Mortimer again talking to people about cod’s roe through a loud hailer for First Direct. These were belly laughs. And talking of bellies, I am still haunted and thrilled by Reebok‘s sublimely disturbing “Belly’s Gonna Get Ya” ad, where a disembodied stomach chases a man around town, to a growling soundtrack:
I know advertising isn’t there just to make my little demographic chuckle, but it’s nice when it does.
- Ninjago Official Guide by Greg Farshtey. (encinolibrary.wordpress.com)