Budweiser, E-Trade, and Us

So yesterday I was indulging in the traditional activities of Our National Holiday: trying to watch all those great commercials they keep interrupting with football. (As to the football game, I will say I think it’s cute when brothers dress alike.) And, as always, I was struck by the traditional question:

Was Beyonce hip-synching?

NO. The traditional question is, of course, “Why doesn’t the Book Fair have a commercial during the Super Bowl?”

The A-Number-One Traditional Answer is, of course, that the Super Bowl comes at the wrong time of year, nearly six months before the Book Fair. If they would just hold the Super Bowl in June, we might work something out. (Of course the A-Number-Two Traditional Answer is that ten seconds of air time would eat up every penny we make at the Fair, but let’s cross that bridge when we’ve figured out the first problem.)

Still, there’s always a chance. The Oreo commercial this year was set in a library, after all. And Best Buy mentioned a book, even though it was in connection with an e-reader. So books and bowls are not a contradiction. Besides, did you see how many commercials were based on a theme of Senior Citizens Behaving Badly? If that doesn’t describe…no, I wasn’t going to mention myself in this connection. You may find some unusual totals on your bill when you check out this year.

The proper formula seems to involve animals, explosions, and sex. I’m thinking about hamsters jumping on a plunger to detonate a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey when a customer picks it up. Never mind if that seems to suggest that Book fairs are dangerous: this year’s commercials taught me that M&Ms don’t like being bitten into, that eating Doritos will make you a target for angry goats, and that Beck’s Sapphire is chilled in goldfish bowls.

On the other hand, I was inspired by the Coca-Cola commercial where four groups are racing for an ice cold beverage (guess which one) and viewers voted on who would win/ (I felt the camels got robbed.) So I see a commercial in which a father pushing a stroller, a bookseller with a Blackberry, a white-haired woman with a cane, and a teenager with earbuds are all racing for a copy of The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. The white haired-woman uses the cane to trip the bookseller, so the Blackberry hits the teenager in the face, causing the earbuds to land on the ears of the baby in the stroller, which causes the baby to jump up and start doing James Brown numbers, and….

Nah, I think I saw The Three Stooges do that already.

How about this one? A lonely geek picks up a book inscribed by Mortimer Adler and daydreams about the wonderful life he’ll have when his boss, his boss’s hot secretary, and a roving quiz show host all see what he’s reading. Mortimer Adler himself could do the voiceover at the end, explaining how….

Yes, I know Mortimer Adler’s not around any more. But the book autographed by Suzanne Somers, who is available, isn’t going to have the same impact. I wonder if I could get a herd of hamsters and train them to push a plunger by July.

Comments

“Why doesn’t the Book Fair have a commercial during the Super Bowl?”: As with most things, good ideas come from seemingly absurd questions and cross-pollenations. Imagining a line of professorial types leading a rousing, erudite cheer using encyclopedias as pom-poms...
Obviously a Super Bowl commercial for the Book Fair would revolve around shenanigans in the squirreling area. So squirrels, not hamsters. Squirrels mischievously moving books around, so the history buff is outraged to find a Regency romance in her bag when she retrieves it; a book dealer is shocked to find dog-eared, written-in popular paperbacks in his. Cut to squirrel giggling. The idea needs work, but surely the Book Fair Committee can polish it up. . .

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