Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Good Commercial/Bad Commercial

BAD: Trevor Linden, Sellin' Glasses
Nobody should be surprised to see athletes endorsing any product, given how we've been subjected to the likes of Michael Jordan selling underwear, O. J. Simpson selling kniv…uh, rental cars and Keith Hernandez/Walt Frazier/Emmitt Smith/Randy Johnson/good lord, how many are there? selling hair colouring. But still, it's kind of weird in 2012 to see Trevor Linden pop up in an ad campaign selling, of all things, glasses.

Having not checked ClearlyContacts.ca's website, I can only presume that it's either a) part-owned by Linden himself or b) based out of Vancouver, since that's the only city that still considers Trevor Linden to be relevant in this day and age. With all due respect to Linden, who is by all accounts a class act and was a solid hockey player, Canucks fans treat this guy like he was the second coming of Gretzky, not the borderline All-Star, less than a point-per-game player he actually was for 20 years. Then again, it's perhaps fitting that underachieving franchise that its iconic player is an underachiever, but still, only a real Canucks-hater (like me) would dare to suggest such a thing.

But hey, since I've already cited that Just For Men ad above, it's not uncommon to see retired athletes still get endorsements from time to time. And really, athletes aren't exactly quality actors, so Linden's stiff performance here is hardly unexpected. So why does this commercial stand out as being particularly lame? I think it all has to do with Linden's posture in the opening seconds of this commercial. He's tilted ever-so-slightly to the side, so between that and his stiff delivery*, it takes a weak situation and makes it worse. The director of this ad should hang his head in shame, provided he isn't already looking down at Daniel Sedin highlights on his smartphone. And, I'm no business major, but Clearly Contacts seems like a poor name for a website that sells both contacts and glasses in equal measure. It would be like if Burger King named itself 'Just Fries.'

* = If you showed this commercial to someone from another country who had no idea who Trevor Linden was, how many guesses would it take for them to identify him as a Canadian hockey player? Two? Three? I think it's the "Shooes for going oot?" line that really gives poor Trevor away.

Another odd note to this commercial: Trevor Linden in glasses looks oddly like another journeyman actor, friend of the blog Eric Lutes. Given that Lutes has forged in television for close to 20 years, there's hope for Linden yet. I look forward to seeing him co-starring with Ron James on a CBC sitcom in 2018.

GOOD: The Dark Knight Rises
Ok, well, I'm kind of cheating here since while a movie trailer is technically a commercial, it isn't thought of as a commercial in the traditional sense. So basically this is just an excuse to post this bad-ass DKR trailer. I could not be more jazzed to see this movie. Admittedly, there are a number of red flags (the third film in a trilogy is rarely good, Bane's fur coat of evil looks rather silly, and really, an 'earthquake machine'?) but Christopher Nolan's track record is spotless. I look forward to bemoaning this movie's lack of Oscar attention in February 2013.

I think the shot of Hines Ward looking at the field, only to see devastation, occurred during the Steelers' playoff game last weekend. Hey-o!

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