Sunday, February 25, 2007

You So Crazy

When I watched the Superbowl I noticed there were a lot of commercials for "Coke" featuring an artistic silouette of a classic Coca-Cola bottle. I mostly noticed the commercial they did honoring Black History Month with a chronology of what Coke bottles looked like during key moments in Black History. (I notice they don't try to glorify the cheap plastic bottles they use nowadays)

What the makers of Coke did not know was that the day before the Superbowl, my kids and I watched the movie "The Gods Must Be Crazy." The entire premise of the film is that an African bushman, who is completely unfimiliar with Western Culture, ends up in possession of a Coke bottle which his tribe finds useful at first but then starts all kinds of bad feelings within his family and very soon they start referring to the Coke bottle as "The Evil Thing." First he thanks the gods for the gift but asks them to take it back as it causes so much trouble for his family. When they don't take it away he begins a quest to walk to the end of the earth and throw the bottle off.

During that commercial with a chronology of Black History and Coke, I absolutely expected to see "1980: The Evil Thing Must Be Thrown From The Earth." So it was funny that during the entire commercial I watched that stylized bottle and just sat there thinking, "It's the Evil Thing." How did the publicists at Coke let that whole thing slip through? A movie about how your product is evil? Print it!

I know some people think "The Gods Must Be Crazy" is disrespectful towards Africans but I disagree and I think anything that brings world attention to the problems in Africa is good. I especially liked the summary of Western Living: How we make our world so UN-natural and complicated that our children must be condemned to 18 years of sitting in school just to learn how to survive in our society.

Another set of commercials that stands out to me are the UPS Whiteboard commercials. The very idea makes me laugh but mostly it makes me feel like I'm at work without being paid for it.

Have you ever wanted to be a part of or just plain missed being in a crappy, crappy business meeting? UPS has the solution. Let's forget for a moment that at EVERY business meeting in the history of the world, there has been someone, if not several people, who would rather stick their tongues in a meat grinder than sit through the final minutes of some windbag in a suit farting visible gas out of his mouth. Blah, blah, blah. What is up with your TPS reports, man? Didn't you get the memo?

And UPS isn't giving you the Power Point razzle dazzle as is customary these days. UPS is kicking it old school, with some know-it-all dude in front of a whiteboard like he is some kind of magician. Whoa! He erased a truck and drew a plane without breaking the rythme of his blah, blah, blah! Amazing!

He's going on and on about abstract things like efficiency and reliability and taking the weight off my shoulders so all I have to do is sit back and wait for my stuff to be delivered. When is going to get to the part about why this box my mother sent me is all smashed up like an accordian and has a big footprint on it?

Magic is in the airwaves.


Megan said...

I love "The God's Must Be Crazy"--one of my all-time favorites. Glad you are introducing it to your kids at a young age! I am actually surpised that Coke let them make the movie using their product.

Native Minnow said...

I hate those UPS commercials too, but mostly because it brings back bad memories. I never sat in a meeting while I worked there that went anywhere near as smoothly. Why must you haunt me with these ghosts from my past? WHY!?

The box your mother sent you is smashed like an accordian with a big footprint in it because UPS is very effective at pushing their employees past the breaking point. That, and they don't care about customer service, no matter what their commercials say.