The Super Bowl for Women, Awful Vignettes, Creepy Burton And “Could you pass me an idea, Please?”

So the statues are passed out, as are many of the stars. The deals are done, only to be undone when people wake up and check their messages. Oscar 2013 is in the can. And what did we learn, Dorothy? Well, back in the day before digital distribution ruled, the Oscars used to be referred to as “The Super Bowl for Women.” If that’s the case, the women got a raw deal. (Surprise, surprise.) Lots of rehashed spots. The Samsung iPhone competitor (was that it? I can’t even be sure) got a Sopranos length series of ads, a running sitcom(?) that showed a really cool, really edgy, really desirable dot com start up complete with naff casting (see your British lingo dictionary) and clumsy dialogue about unicorns. Capped off by an equally facetious Tim Burton (he needs the money???). But that escapade wasn’t the worst of it — and I’m including the pre-game, er-Red Carpet show with that wailing, screeching Chenoweth creature standing in for the much more angry and amusing Joan Rivers, I’m talking about J. C. Penney. Now, these guys are so expert at squandering money as to be a Harvard Case History Collection. But in a great leap forward, they banished their EDLP (every day low pricing) strategy, and the incomprehensible but amusing Ellen for — ta da — vignettes!!! Models prancing around to indie tracks culled from college radio stations, walking advertisements for eating a few carbs trying to make various ugly polyester get-ups look wearable. Again, there is no ad execution or strategy more lame, more invisible, or more annoying then the vile vignette commercial. Let me describe — shots of happy people, coffee shots, dogs splashing in bathtubs, maybe some sparkly fireworks, dad’s getting shaving cream on their noses, repeat dogs — to indie music. But boardrooms love them some vignettes. As do production companies. (They are Expen$ive!) And Penney’s wasn’t the only one to fall into the trap. I also counted Chobani Yogurt and Century 21 I think, though, again, and this is part of the Vignette Syndrome (VS) that one cannot distinguish one from another. Which, at last, brings me to the only idea in the show — with the possible exception of the clips of the animated short film nominees. Grey Poupon. Yes, Grey Poupon. Can I borrow a jar of Gray Poupon? Gray Poupon. How good was it? Well, I’ve been running on a bit too long this morning (and I haven’t even touched on how D. O. Russell and P. T. Anderson and J. Phoenix was robbed) so I’ll tell you how great Poupon was. My kids, who weren’t even alive when the original ad ran, stopped all their cackling and followed every frame of it and got it and wanted to know about it. A 20 year later sequel to a campaign they’d never seen that totally captivated them, enlightened them, created brand preference, and they don’t even like mustard! Now, let’s take a deep breath, another sip of coffee, and get ready for March Madness….


One thought on “The Super Bowl for Women, Awful Vignettes, Creepy Burton And “Could you pass me an idea, Please?”

  1. I heard about the mustard commercial and how good it was so I had to find it on YouTube this morning, and indeed, it was … well … delicious.

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