Immortality And Psychic Profiling In 30 Seconds Or Less

« December 2005 »

Memo to Kodak and Seiko: YOU ARE DUMB.

I watch a lot of TV. And that means, even though I'm loaded with modern TV-watching technology, I still see a lot of commercials. Which is fine, except when the commercials are exceptionally punchable. And when an ad is exceptionally punchable, I feel the need to call attention to it.

Like Kodak's latest paean to the wonders of photography. Now, I know, technically, that they are largely responsible for modern photography. You don't spend that many years in Rochester, NY without having that shit drilled into your skull on a nigh-daily basis. That provides a certain leeway in regards to pride, grandeur, and giving us all a rich, fruity enema of their place in history.

But their latest ads hook our collective rectums up to Old Faithful, and the clock just struck. An old man leads a multiethnic parade of children that would make Captain Planet feel like David Duke. They're in a museum. Giant photographs on the walls. And the crazy old man tells the kids the pictures are talking.

This is the point at which, in the real world, one of the kids would yell "BAD TOUCH" and the crazy old man would be escorted out by security. But in the ad, the kids are curious. They want to know what the pictures are saying. And the old man answers. The pictures want to be treated well and kept safe, so that they can LIVE FOREVER. And the music swells, and the children exhibit sense of wonder, and Steven Spielberg calls his lawyers.

It is so over the top, yet so utterly unironic, that it makes you vomit silver nitrate. But if I only had one fist, and the Kodak ad guy and the Seiko ad guy were standing in front of me, it's the Seiko guy that would get one upside his head.

The Seiko ad starts with a couple of chic asshats reciting a laundry list of nonexistence. It is not, we are told, the clothes. Nor is it the car, or the neighborhood, or our favorite color. With all this not, at any moment, we're going to be told what it is, and it's probably got something to do with wrist-borne chronometers. And sure enough, ACTUAL PUNCHABLE QUOTE TIME!

"It's your watch that tells the most about who you are." - No, you thrice-damned marketeers, a watch tells TIME. And maybe the temperature. And maybe barometric pressure. And maybe how much time some guy who spends his day in Denny's has left in his dive tank, even though he'll never strap on a dive tank in his life.

The only watch that ever said anything about the bearer was the calculator watch. It said you were a nerd in 1987. Since it's no longer 1987 and the nerds no longer want calculator watches, the personality-divining traits of your average arm-clock is nonexistant. Especially when it's an ad for the Couture line, which, going by the ad, contains a total of THREE WATCHES. That's only one more watch than there are genders of the species.

The actual number of watches in the line is 37, which means as far as Seiko is concerned, human beings can be divided into 19 types of men and 18 types of women. Guys, the Seiko people would like you to know there are three hundred and fifteen million people JUST LIKE YOU. Women, you each get an extra 18 million clones.

For fuck's sake, Burger King's got a dozen different kinds of Star Wars watches right now. At least with those you can tell if the person wearing it is a prequel wanker or a classicist, which'll tell you more about their personality than whether you picked a white or black watch face to go with your silver band.

It'd make a great pilot for a drama, though. THE WATCH WHISPERER. A young, attractive woman discovers she has the supernatural ability to see into people's souls upon catching a glimpse of their wristwatch. So she's constantly tugging at people's sleeves and solving crimes. It'll be must-watch TV.