I just saw this advertisement while watching a Youtube video; it was one of those pre-video paid ads that Youtube likes to bombard people with. I believe the ad had a skip button after five seconds, but I actually watched it the whole way through because it was just so ridiculous. And not in a good way. I want to write some words about it.
The gist of the video, if you’re in a public place and you can’t watch an incredibly noisy obnoxious advertisement for a smartphone, or if you like having people give you the gist of things, is that there’s a children’s recital for one of those weird vegetable-themed musicals that I never remember having at any school in our district. All the kids are dressed up like radishes and zucchinis and… unshucked corn and stuff. They’re singing about being tasty.
So it’s basically propaganda.
Then you have the relatives, sitting politely in the audience, smiling up at the children encouragingly, because it’s pretty nerve-wracking to be dancing in front of one hundred adults while dressed up like an eggplant. Oh, just kidding, the parents are going insane with their dippy smartphones punching each other in the throat to get to the front of the group. I mean, seriously, sir, your daughter is dressed like a head of garlic chill the heck out. This is not a life memory you want to remember forever.
So you’ve got parents swinging from the rafters with their smart phones, parents elbowing past each other with tablets (seriously, why do people take pictures with tablets? You look ridiculous) and all around crap talking each other as they swarm the stage with lisztomania… over a child’s recital. And then you have these two parents sitting at the back, chairs still in place while all the other chairs are apparently strewn across the floor, lodged in the paneling or shattered and embedded in the leg of some boy dressed as a cantaloupe. The wife looks to the husband and asks “why aren’t we getting closer?”
And then the husband starts showing off his new, super-crisp, super-high quality smartphone that they can use to record the play from their seats. Congratulations, you now have footage of a dozen fruit children surrounded by a zombie horde.
The worst part is that this isn’t really all that far from reality. Parents actually do things like this. But as we’re watching the worst parents in the galaxy ruining childhood for a fifth grade class, the parents in the back miss out on a really effective moment to send a message.
I was sincerely hoping that when the wife asked, “why aren’t we getting closer?” that the husband would reply something like..:
- “Because we’re self respecting adults, sweetie.”
- “Because I don’t have delusions that I’m a videographer, darling.”
and the most important
- “Because I actually want to watch our child’s performance like a supportive parent, dollface.”
This is the thing that I don’t understand. You can go to a concert for an A-list band, a child’s piano recital, a party, and somehow it’s now acceptable to be on your smartphone snapping pictures of everything and watching the whole event through a little screen. Wow, you’ve now succeeded in missing the entire event so that you can record shaky, low-quality video footage you’ll never watch again.
I know that it’s an advertisement for a phone, and I honestly wouldn’t expect any more from a cell phone company, but we’re addicted to our smartphones. We retreat to them in uncomfortable social situations, we pull them out when we’re bored, and we use them to record and document everything we do in between. Do we think we’re cutting edge? Because we’re actually just making ourselves awkward.
So sorry, Nokia, you missed out on the real message in your advertisement. People probably don’t need that new smart phone.