Monday, March 30, 2009

80 Days UP - "Sweet Soul Brother..."

There's a new Dunkin' Donuts ad on TV that's kind of pissing me off. It starts off with a bunch of kids sitting around watching television. Now, you can tell right away that this commercial is attacking the very idea of watching television - the kids are just sitting there, staring blankly at the screen with their mouths agape. You can hear generic cartoon sound effects coming from the screen as it slowly rots their brains away. Suddenly, a blue tractor beam bursts out of the television and begins to pull the children in (apparently at this point, TVs of the world have moved onto 'Phase II'* of their plan - which is...eating them?). There's one child, who until that point hadn't been looking at this blue screen of death, who turns and immediately turns zombie faced and begins getting sucked in. All hope seems lost for this poor family when - who should come in to save the day but Dad! And he's got...Dunkin' Donuts!!! The children immediately break free of the television's grasp over them and run to the kitchen to enjoy some "family time" over 2000 empty calories of literally no nutritional value.*

The lesser of two evils?

Now, there are several issues with this ad that strike me as counter-productive at best, and flat out hypocritical at worst. First of all, a television commercial that starts off by reminding the viewer of how dangerous television watching is strikes me as just as intelligent as posting a sign that says: "Eat less donuts, gain less weight!" in every D.D. in the country. Second, connecting a box of donuts with "family time" is a bit of a stretch. If what was actually on television was presumably any good and my dad came home with a box of donuts, I would most likely grab a donut and go right back to watching* whatever I was watching. Even if these kids weren't watching TV, how long does it take to eat a donut - two minutes? Not a lot of Q.T. to squeeze in there. I suppose dad could get his kids 50 donuts and buy himself enough time to tell them how much he hates his job. This way they get to hear a story and take a ride on board the early onset diabetes train!

Look, let's just be honest here. I'm ribbing on Dunkin' Donuts, but hey, full disclosure: I like a nice fresh donut every now and again. They're delicious. I mean, D.D. doesn't hold a candle to Krispy Kreme, but that's besides the point. What I'm trying to say is - don't market yourself as something you very clearly are not. And don't VILLIFY something else for the sake of promoting your own equally-shitty-for-you product. T.V. gets a bad rap sometimes because yes, too much of it really isn't good for you, for a number of reasons. But you know what else isn't very good for you in large doses? DONUTS. So why don't you go ahead and just ignore what color that pot is, Dunkin', and just maybe spend some time reminding people how those sugary fried pieces of dough taste better than any vegetable ever will.

-Matt

Currently Playing: Went back and played some classic DOOM recently, which I loved just as much as I did back when I was 12. Still working on Assassin's Creed, Exit 2, Rock Band (Don't Stop Believin' DLC tomorrow, baby!) and T.W.E.N.Y. (250+ hours - oh Square Enix, please release me from your horrible 100% completion vice grip - you know my OCD makes me weak)


*Phase III: Profit!
*Oh, and P.S. - the last shot has the dog being pulled into the television by the blue tractor light while the family enjoys their feast. Even donuts couldn't save everyone.
*Granted, dad and I never had the best relationship growing up...

4 comments:

Columbo said...

WOW, 250+ is pretty much :D

lalala said...

Nice work.

A-ron Jack said...

Dude yes! I hated that commercial so much it was unbelievable. I was just flat offeneded, despite the fact that I see through every bullshit commercial I still never thought I could let a commercial get to me like that. Dunkin Donuts tried to promote their shitty product (which by the way is incredibly bad for your) by trash talking trash about another product that is also(but considerably less) bad for you. What the fuck....seriously. I was so annoyed I googled to see if anyone else hated that shit and I found your blog. Right on man.

Linford Butler said...

Matt,

What a rant purely about doughnuts! I never thought, when I woke up this morning, that I would see such a fantastic - if a little off topic - show of complete hatred for an advert!

Anyway, on topic. Bear with the games you're currently playing, particularly Assassin's Creed and T.W.E.N.T.Y: AC is really satisfying to finish, and a really, really good game; and T.W.E.N.T.Y is an Enix game, for God's sakes - it's gonna be good.

Keep up the good work,

Yours,

Linford Butler
PlayStation3 Editor
Gamer's Guide to Life
http://ggtl.blogspot.com/