I’m sure it’s a bit hoary at this point to complain about commercials and how you can’t even remember what they’re trying to sell half the time, while interjecting that I hope they continue to make entertaining ones, because while I can’t remember what they’re trying to sell, they make us laugh and the world go round.
This is beyond question.
The newest trend in commercialdom, however, is not: the evolution of the celebrity endorsement. Three examples come to mind of strategies that aim neither to persuade or entertain, leaving this lone viewer scratching his head and wondering what purpose these commercials serve, like the male nipples of the TV universe. Feel free to add any you may have seen.
1. J.K. Simmons for Farmer’s insurance.
J.K. Simmons is a great supporting and comic actor, and whenever I see him in a show or movie I stop whatever I’m doing and watch in respectful silence. And until these commercials came out, I wouldn’t have regretted it. He usually brings a personal touch to punchlines, but this? It’s odd, and maybe mildly amusing, but what’s the point of having J.K. Simmons deliver lines basically anyone could? Come on, J.K.. I used to trust you, man.
I hesitate to mention this one, because if Will Arnett reads the phone book, I’ll laugh. He’s probably the reason I’ll watch Up All Night for as long as it lasts. I also fear that there’s some cool person inside joke I’m missing with these commercials, and that it’s not just a way-too-overcrowded one joke premise about aliens taking over the world through television. But at risk of being shunned from the cool kids table, I’ll just shrug and admit, I don’t get it. Nice touch getting Will Arnett, though. He almost elevates these commercials to funny. Almost.
3. Celebrities using Siri.
Okay, I was on the fence when I only saw unknown actors pretending to be average narcissists using Siri to sing their praises and further their respective kingdoms, but Samuel L. Jackson cooking and Zooey Deschanel dancing in pjs? I’m so selling my firstborn to buy this product. Granted, it is nice to see iPhone users act like decent humans, unlike this guy, but I think we’re all aware by now that Siri is pretty much a robot butler who can do anything you wish (so, maybe a genie) and Zoe Deschanel has her own show so she’s a legit celebrity now. Okay, what were they selling again?
What did I miss? Are there any other celebrity endorsements that just don’t make sense?