Thursday, October 21, 2010

Time Warner Voice Mail to Email Commercial, a sign of the times.

Back in the mid 80's, my dad once commented on how disrespectful he thought it was when Malcolm Jamal (a teen actor from the Bill Cosby show at that time) responded to KTLA Christmas day parade co-host (Bob Eubanks) by using Eubank's first name, "Bob" rather than saying "Mr. Eubanks".
My dad felt that all teenagers and younger, including actors, should not be calling adults by their real first name, rather, they should say Mister Eubanks, etc.

Fast forward 25 years and the father in a recent Time Warner television commercial for "voice mail to email" calls his son on the phone and says, "Hey buddy, it's Stan"....

Holy cow! Just four little words to start the conversation and every perceivable rule of parent, son/ daughter etiquette has been imploded! "Hey Buddy"? (neither the son's name or just, son, is used), followed by "It's Stan", (why not, It's dad)?

I have to admit that I had trouble understanding who "Stan" was the first few times I saw the Time Warner voice mail to email commercial. Plus the cutaway shot of the kid is lame. There is no one in the background to show its a party, just sound effects that sound like there is a party going on (another lame arse corporate cheapskate maneuver to "save money" on the commercial by using sound effects and no extras to make it "sound" like there is a party going on. Is this being done so part of the budget can go to executive bonuses and such???).

Time Warner could have hired a bunch of teen extras for a day and given them all a nice experience as an "extra" in a commercial while also paying them. That's why jobs aren't being created in today's economy, everybody is too busy trying to justify their own job by cutting the jobs of others (sound effects of a party rather than showing the party is a perfect example.)

Just sayin.

Anyways, funny how a remembrance from 25 years ago kind of relates to a current television commercial. I wonder if anybody else had trouble understanding that "Stan" is "dad" from the very first time they viewed the Time Warner commercial. Did it make any of you uncomfortable to see Dad not call himself dad, but instead calling himself "Stan" as he spoke to his "buddy" (aka "son")?

One final thing, anybody notice the subtle sexism at play? "Stan" lifts his finger towards his wife as if to say, shhhhhh, I'm speaking. Now, that would be ok IF SHE ACTUALLY HAD SAID SOMETHING IN THE COMMERCIAL!
But she says nothing anywhere in the commercial, which makes that finger wagging suddenly become subtly sexist, as in, women should be seen and not heard.

(Article update January, 15, 2010, 12:20 AM) Just a few minutes ago on the Jay Leno Show, Michael Douglas referred to his dad as "Kurt", and Jay actually stopped the discussion and mentioned that if he had called his dad Angelo when growing up, he would have been smacked!

Jay then went on to mention that it might be a West Coast thing where kids call their dads by their real first name.

Thanks Jay Leno, for backing me up, even though you will probably never read this, ha ha.

If you are planning on creating or broadcasting a commercial and want an objective, outsiders point of view about your commercial, contact Alessandro Machi about his consulting services at...
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Anonymous said...

Interesting but I got the impression Stan was his step-father, hence he doesnt call himself Dad. Still a sign of the times...

Alessandro Machi said...

A very plausible explanation for sure.

If half of the youth of our country are in a similar situation to what you identifying, then maybe they would connect to the conversation as is.

Although Dad could be dad and mom could be the step mom, hence the (unnacceptable) finger wag at stepmom to be quiet while "original" dad is on the phone.

Probably should not joke about this next point because it certainly happens, maybe both parental units in the commercial are actually "steps".

Step mom and Step dad, call your step son.

Anonymous said...

I found your comments very interesting. I actually found your website because I was searching for a site that would explain the commercial; I didn't "get it" until I watched it a couple of more times and read your comments. I agree with the points you made.

Anonymous said...

Funny how some people automatically think it's his dad. I automatically thought, it's his step dad or mom's boyfriend. Also, he motions her to be quiet because he's about to "pull one" on the son. Some people obviously have to find conflict in EVERY LITTLE THING. How many people have their original biological parents these days? Seriously, Think People THINK!!!

Eric of Maine said...

He is actually saying, "Hey buddy, it's Dad." It just sounds like Stan. I laugh at the commercial, because it kinda sounds like "Stan," so I googled "Hey buddy, it's Stan" to see if other people thought so. But I am CERTAIN he is saying "Dad."

Alessandro Machi said...

Ok, now you're just messing with me! That is too funny. I never even considered he was actually saying Dad, instead of Stan. Stan, Dad?

I'm telling ya, digital origination may not be as good as analog origination, digital destination. I just can't see people confusing Stan with Dad if the original audio recording had been on high quality analog audio tape.

Ok, next time the commercial is on, I will pretend he is saying dad, and see if it sounds more like the word dad instead of Stan.

Alessandro Machi said...

I've now viewed the commercial over the air at least three times since my last comment, and, there is absolutely no way that Stan is say, it's Dad.

But thanks for freaking me out, ha ha.

Eric said...

Really, he is saying "It's Dad," but without a hard D at the end!

Alessandro Machi said...

I've googled "It's Stan" before and people have found this article by googling "It's Stan", Time Warner commercial.

I am not hearing a D at the front of the word, I am hearing "It's Stan" loud and clear.

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