Saturday, March 27, 2010

You'll watch YouTube on a horse when you use it.

Let's talk about this new Verizon commercial:

I have frequently lamented the disappearance of the commercial jingle. So I enjoy this commercial but only to a point. While funny on its own, it really requires that at some point you saw this commercial:

It is really specific to the above video. I mean, maybe you had seen this commercial:

or this one:

or maybe this one:

or perhaps this one from two years ago that I somehow missed completely:

Please note that I watched many more Big Red commercials. There are many variations with the same jingle. It seems that in the 90s, they attempted to jazz up the jingle a bit as you can see. But the Verizon commercial is very specific to that one Big Red commercial from the late 80s.

Verizon is counting on your previous knowledge of that Big Red commercial or even your knowledge of any Big Red gum commercial, but a Big Red gum commercial from the 80s nonetheless. Big Red used this jingle in their commercials from 1979 to 1998. A lot of people know this jingle. And then, I imagine that some people don't especially teenagers who would have missed the Big Red commercials completely but I guess Verizon doesn't really care about that demographic. I would love to know how many people were unaware of the Big Red gum commercials when they saw the Verizon commercial and what they thought of it.

Like I said, I enjoy the commercial. I really want advertisers to get back to using jingles. Especially since many companies have jingles that are already associated with them (I'm looking at you Toys R Us: why not actually get those same people from the commercials you had 20 years ago and have them sing about how they're still Toys R Us Kids? I mean, people would probably recognize Jenny Lewis but what is she even doing these days? And everyone loves Jaleel White).

This Verizon commercial is an acknowledgment that advertisers are aware that we will recall commercials and their jingles that are 20 years old. But why not create your own jingle? If people walk around singing it, most other people will think: "I want a piece of cinnamon gum now" not "I'm going to switch to Verizon now." It seems like lazy advertising to me. At least they're done telling me why other phone companies suck so that's good.

I leave you with these final thoughts:


which leads me to:

which in turn leads me to this:

I bet you thought I'd link to the wedding entrance video too but you're on your own for that one.

Moral of the story: Advertisers need to stop being lazy or maybe need to get even lazier and dust off old jingles and actually use them. We remember them. We love them. We will sing them. They're catchy, we can't help it. But you need to remind us.

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