Thursday, May 04, 2006

Semi-Creepy Ads

DirectTV has a new ad campaign, and it's creepy.

They play scenes from movies we know and sometimes love. But in the middle of it, an actor from one of those scenes, perfectly placed through seamless editing back in their old movie, turns to the camera and starts pitching DirectTV to the audience!

I first saw this in the middle of the night a few nights ago. The scene from Ferris Bueller's Day Off when Ben Stein is droning, "Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?"

All of the sudden, Stein turns to the camera, and says something like,

"He's probably at home watching DirectTV...."

Let me tell you do NOT do that to an exhausted insomniac in the middle of the night! I am not ashamed to admit that for a moment, half of the living hell was scared out of me. It feels like a dream or a hallucination when you first see it. Something you have seen a trillion times, that you know every moment of, suddenly...Changing! And the guy stares right at you, no less!

To make it even more surreal, after the pitch, Ben Stein "returned" perfectly to what he would have been doing next in that scene.

"Fry? Fry? Fry?"

Fade to black. Ty sits in stunned 2AM exhausted silence for the next 5 minutes until it all comes into focus in his mind.

Even now when I see it and know what's coming, it's still slightly unnerving.

There is another one I saw tonight. The scene from Twister, when Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton are in the truck, and a cow blows by.

"Cow", Helen shouts.

Then Paxton turns right to the camera and makes the same pitch as described above, before the scene slips back, without a hitch, into the real movie. Fade to black.

I do not know how much of the original scene is used vs. the actors recreating the moment on a sound stage. However, if they are going to continue on this route, they MUST do one thing...they simply have to have a commercial using the boat scene from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. If a commercial ever exists wherein Gene Wilder is singing that boat song, and then turns and stares directly at the camera with that possessed face, and says "DirectTv is where we're going, as the rowers keep on rowing", followed by him screaming, and then a fade to would bar none be the single greatest advertisement in all of human history.

Unless...they did Sir Anthony as Hannibal pitching DirectTV through the glass...I scare myself at the thought.

Who's with me on this?


G.A. McLeod said...

How about these... Mel Gibson in "Braveheart", saying "you can take our lives, but you'll never take our DIRECT TV!!!"

Marlon Brando in "The Godfather"..."I made him an offer he couldn't refuse..DIRECT TV for only (however much it costs)" Though this might be kind of hard now that Brando's no longer alive. Oh well.

Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise in "A Few Good Men"...CRUISE: "I want DIRECT TV!"
NICHOLSON: "You can't handle DIRECT TV!"

or this one might be my favorite--
Stallone in Judge Dredd... "I AM DIRECT TV!!!"

Ty Unglebower said...

I may have to stand corrected. Stallone doing it from one of his movies may in fact take the cake.

And it sounds like just the kind of thing he'd do, too. Perhaps we had all better stay tuned...