Friday, August 19, 2011

A really nice commercial. Then I actually saw it.

Last night, this spot was on one of the TVs at the gym. I saw about 45% of it with no sound, from across the room, while I was trying to use the eliptical machine. But that was enough.

Enough to know that the line was going to be "Wash your day away."


I was intrigued enough with the spot that when I got home, I went onto YouTube to see the whole thing, top to bottom, with sound and no distraction.

You know what? It's worse.

I was right about the line, by the way. But 'Car Wash'? That's the music they chose? And paid to license? I would have lost that bet.

It's not just the music, though, that makes this spot a disappointment. It's the fact that there's a really unique (although in my mind, of questionable value) point of difference to the product being advertised, and yet the message is generic enough to have been used for any shower head. It's as if somebody had come up with this spot for the new business pitch, before they actually got into the tactical messaging, and trotted it out for this assignment. Which happens, by the way, more often than people will admit.

This whole episode reminds me of a moment I had when I first moved to New York years ago. I was shopping for a house plant and heard a girl's voice from the other side of a row of ficuses. She said, presumably to a friend, "That's my kind of plant."

Five words, but there was something about her voice, both the quality and the inflection, that touched me. The way she said that one sentence made me think that this was somebody I'd want to meet. Maybe even marry. But by the time I rushed around to see where the voice had come from, whoever she was had vanished.

For years, every girl I dated or even liked was unintentionally (and unfairly) compared to the hypothetical ideal that that voice created, until I ultimately ended up marrying someone whose other strengths compensated for a voice that –– next to Mystery Plant Girl's –– was brash and a bit nasal.

As I look back, I'm glad I never met the girl who said those words.

I wish I never saw the entire Delta Faucet spot.