Friday, September 19, 2014

You can watch the heartwarming new Jeter farewell ad, but on some sites, before it plays, you have to first watch another ad

Yesterday, a bunch of folks sent me emails flagging the new warm-and-fuzzy Gatorade commercial, which follows Derek Jeter on a neighborhood good will tour to the stadium - amid adoring, bootless throngs, filmed in art school black-and-white, while Frank Sinatra croons the epic final bars of "My Way."

By now, I suspect you've seen it. We're late to the party. It pushes a lot of buttons to sell a product known mostly these days for being poured over players and coaches on victorious sidelines. In the toxic wake of Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson and the National Thug League, PepsiCo prefers to align itself with a fellow who doesn't punch out his wife or use small children to recreate scenes from "!2 Years a Slave." Derek Jeter is great. I certainly agree with that.

I was going to link to the commercial. But on three sites where it was airing, you have to watch another 30 second commercial in order to see the Jeter commercial. 

Imagine that. We finally reached the next realm. We moved beyond wearing product logos on T-shirts or shouting the catch phrases of TV vampires. We've entered a new universe, a trendier one, where the corporations can think, vote and copulate - and the commercials have their own commercials.

In this world, one thing matters. Public Image. That's all. A guy beats his wife? He doesn't need counseling. He needs P.R. The polar caps are melting? No sweat. Fight global warming with P.R! Hunger... poverty... war... blah-blah-blah. With the right P.R., everything is fine.

OK... don't get me wrong. (I'm sour over the outcome of this season.) It's truly a great commercial, a tug at the old heartstrings. Drink a keg of Gatorade! Derek Jeter deserves whatever cheers the corporations can rouse on his behalf. And I'm sure he received a nice paycheck for his efforts.

Two questions, though, and I ask it with nothing but respect for Jeter:

To appreciate Jeter's legacy, do Yankee fans need a commercial?

And when corporations latch onto our hearts, what exactly are they selling?


Local Bargain Jerk said...

We moved beyond wearing product logos on T-shirts

This comment made me remember my father's incredulity that I wanted to actually pay money for an Adidas t-shirt, when I was a teenager some time in the 1970s.

My Dad was a very old school guy, child of the Depression, Greatest Generation, etc.

He said: "You want to actually pay money for a shirt with their name on it?"

I said: "But they're cool and I want to wear it."

He said: "They should be giving it to you for advertising their product. You shouldn't have to pay for it."

I was 14 and I really wanted the t-shirt, but I could see that he sort of had a point. What I lacked was the experiential depth needed to understand that my world was different (and shocking) compared to what had gone before in his world.

Funny, I hadn't thought about that in years...

Blind Robin said...

Watch a commercial pay for the privilege. I wonder if a change in the “Net Neutrality” concept with further erode the experience.

Mustang said...

Thank you, Duque. A ray of sanity.

Commercials are hate speech.