Saturday, September 17, 2011

I Only Watch Television for the Commercials

In addition to the State Farm 9/11 ad referenced below, a few other TV commercials have caught my eye recently.

I love this Heineken ad that was in heavy rotation on the cable channels a few months back. It plops you right in the middle of the coolest party on the planet, just as the coolest guy in town makes his fashionably late entrance. Maybe I love it because it's an uncanny resemblance to my arrivals at Keegan's Pub for Thursday Trivia Nights all those years ago.

That rarest of commodities, an ad that leaves you wanting more. In all likelihood, whatever program you were watching when this ad came on was not as interesting as what is happening here.

Fortunately, there is more to the story. A three minute version of this ad exists on YouTube and it may be the greatest thing I've ever seen in my life. Although most of the Heineken content is stripped out and its more of a video for the group singing the song than an ad. Nothing wrong with that though, the song ("The Golden Age") and especially the singer of the group (The Asteroids Galaxy Tour) is a big part of the appeal of this video. And I like how they work in a flute solo for the cool guy at the end, another remarkable resemblance to my weekly stroll into Keegan's.

The Galaxy Asteroids Tour is a band from Denmark. How they remain virtually unknown to the world, while Danish compatriots Aqua ruled the pop universe with Barbie Girl is a crime against humanity.

TGAT did enjoy some limited notoriety via another ad, their song "Around the Bend" was featured in a commercial for the iPod Touch. And I see they recently released a cover of a song that demanded to be reinterpreted for this generation - Safety Dance, by Men Without Hats. So maybe their ascendancy to super stardom is still in the cards.

If you like little wispy Euro-blondes covering 80's pop schlock (and who doesn't?), here's another recent ad which is an exemplar of the genre. It's a commercial for the Lincoln MKZ that was running earlier this year, featuring a cover of Major Tom (I'm Coming Home) originally by Peter Schilling.

Can't wait to see what one of these bands does next with Wang Chung.

The band for this ad is Shiny Toy Guns, out of Los Angeles. Lincoln liked them so much, they gave them another ad too, one that is even better, featuring a cover of "Burnin' for You" originally by Blue Oyster Cult. The cold, electronic interpretation of this song, along with the blue neon Tron-like visuals is killer.

Did that whet your appetite for more? Good news, a four minute version exists on YouTube as well.

Two other Lincoln ads of note, one featuring David Bowie's Space Oddity (by Cat Power) and Under the Milky Way by The Church (and covered by somebody named Sia).

I like these ads so much I may just have to consider a Lincoln. I guess I missed the point of these ads, since I still consider it to be a successful gramps retirement car. But when I retire at 65 (checks recent 401k statement), make that 85, I’ll be the coolest octogenarian on the block.