Mr. Cope's Cave: It Just Doesn’t Ad Up

by

So Mr. Cope, which Olympic events do you plan on watching?

I don’t want to talk about the damn Olympics. Is that what you came for? To get me to talk about the stupid Olympics?

But opening ceremonies are tonight. Everybody will be talking about them for the next three weeks.

Not me. If I’d known that’s what you wanted me to talk about, I would’ve slipped out the backdoor when I saw you coming.

OK then, what is it you want to talk about?

I was thinking about the Super Bowl commercials. I want to talk about them.

Super Bowl commercials!? You told me you wouldn’t be watching the Super Bowl.

I didn’t. But there’s more than one way to watch Super Bowl commercials. And I’ve been thinking about them. A lot. And now I want to talk about what I’ve been thinking about.

But Super Bowl commercials are sooooooo last week. 

Sooooooo what? That doesn’t mean there’s not more to say about them.

OK Mr. Cope. What is it that you feel you just have to say about Super Bowl commercials. 

Well, let me ask you something. You saw the Budweiser commercial with the puppy and the Clydesdales, didn’t you? Right? All adorable and sweet and shit? And you loved it, didn’t you?

Of course. Who wouldn’t love that commercial?

Exactly. But in the week since you saw it, have you had yourself a Budweiser?

No. Of course not. I don’t drink Budweiser.

So can you imagine that a whole lot of people decided they had to have a Budweiser because they loved that commercial so much?

Uh, I don’t know. I guess I can’t. But I’m sure the commercial was market-tested or focus-grouped or something. And if it wasn’t effective, I can’t imagine that Anheuser-Busch would pay Super Bowl ad costs, not if it didn’t work.

Yeah, that’s right. It must have cost them a trillion bucks or so to put that thing on the air during the game. But I’m trying to understand what it might be about that commercial that would convince people they would want to drink Budweiser. Same with the Cheerios commercial with that little girl. You know... all adorable and cute and shit. What is it about that commercial that would make anyone want to rush out and scarf up a big bowl of Cheerios?

What are you trying to say, Mr. Cope?

Gosh darnit, to tell you the truth, I’m not sure. I’m still trying to work it out. It’s like... it’s like there’s something going on behind the scenes here, know what I mean? It’s like... the better, the more appealing, the more remarkable the commercial, the less it has to do with the product they’re trying to sell. Get it? Same with that one with Bob Dylan in it. What is it about good old Bob Dylan droning on about how cool things are in America that would convince anyone they needed to buy a Chrysler?

Mr. Cope, I believe you’re in over your head. Perhaps there are things people like you and I were never meant to know. I believe the safe thing to do would be to forget about all of this. Let’s just talk about the Olympics, OK? That’s what’s happening now. 

And another thing. Remember that Apple commercial from years ago. You know... the one where a girl looks like she stepped right out of a Gold's Gym ad comes running through a crowd of drab, depressed, oppressed, proletariat types? And she swings that big-ass sledge hammer through that big-ass video screen where that big-ass talking head guy was telling everyone what to think? Remember that one?

I certainly do. And that commercial proves your theory is wrong, Mr. Cope. Because of that commercial, I went out and bought my first Apple computer and have never bought another kind since.

But did you ever imagine that Apple gadgets would be manufactured in a big gray Chinese factory by drab, depressed, oppressed, proletariat types? That maybe Apple became exactly what it was advertising against back then? Or maybe they were like that all along. Did you ever think about that?

But what does this have to do with your idea that the most appealing commercials aren’t effective at selling the product?

Gosh, I wish I knew. Like I said, I’m still trying to work it out. But I think maybe people shouldn’t be trusting commercials too much until we figure out what’s going on here. I think it may actually be dangerous. You know... to put too much faith in commercials.

Mr. Cope, I just don’t feel we should be talking about this. I have a family. I have to think of them, too. So please, let’s talk about the Olympics. Or Justin Bieber. We could talk about Justin Bieber, if you’d prefer.

Or those f***ing drug ads. Jeez-us! It flips me out when one of those pharmaceutical commercials ends with a big lecture on all the horrible, horrible things that could possibly happen to you if you take the drug they’re trying to sell you in the first half of the commercial. What’s that about?

Goodbye, Mr. Cope. I believe I have what I need. I can find my way out.

And those new toilet paper commercials! Can you belieeeeeeve what they’re discussing these days in toilet paper ads!? And what’s up with all these f***ing commercials for online dating services? And who would go out with a guy who doesn’t know any women, anyway? And speaking of women, what about those...