The point is: sick. And because I've been sick, I've watched more hours of tv in the last two days than I have in months. And because I watch tv on my laptop, I only get to see like three commercials, and I see them over and over and over again.
For example, I have seen this stupid Kia commercial like 600 times in the last two days, and I've had a lot of time to think about it. And after all that thinking, I have a couple of questions.
First of all, WTF??
So the commercial starts innocently enough, with a funky Digable Planets-type groove and a shot of two hooded rapper figures:
But then the camera spins around and the cool rappers pull back their hoods to reveal hamster heads.
Okay, this might not be surprising to you, because apparently these hamsters have been on tv for a while now. I don't watch a ton of tv, so I've been happily sheltered from these creeper hamsters. Or maybe I've even seen them before and just not registered them because I didn't have to watch the same effing hamster commercial 600 times in a row. By the time the crazy speeding baby commercial came on I was practically cheering just to see something new.
Anyway, the hamsters. They're hip hop hamsters, you see, and they have to greet their DJ friends:
It turns out they live on Hamsterdam Avenue. OBVIOUSLY. The first time I saw the commercial I was like WHAT? WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE?? But by the sixth or seventh I caught this street sign, which explains everything.
And there's this guy, who I actually dig. What is up with you, drummer hamster?
Finally, after 18 seconds of establishing Hamsterland rapper shots, the commercial finally gets around to mentioning its product: a Kia. OHHHH, this is a CAR COMMERCIAL. How did I miss that before?? OF COURSE THE RAPPING HAMSTERS ARE SELLING A CAR.
So once the commercial finally gets around to making its point, it immediately begins to hammer you over the head with it. You see, according to the rapping hamsters, "The choice is yours. You can get with this, or you can get with that." In this instance, "this" is a Kia...
Really? Those are my choices?
I was talking about this in my class tonight, and one of my students pointed out that in the original hamster commercials, the cool hamsters drove a Kia, and the lame hamsters drove around in hamster wheels. This made some sense to her, and she thought it was cute and clever.
Because I had watched this commercial 600 times, I knew that there were some hamster wheels in the background somewhere:
But WAIT! There's another option! You can get with this...
Or you can get with that:
A BOX?!?!?! I have to choose between a Kia and a box somewhat half-heartedly decorated to look like a hotrod bus?
Okay, next choice. This commercial begins to feel a little like the optometrist's office. A or B? A.... or B? One or two? One.... or two?
Except usually the difference is really slight and you're kind of just doing your best to choose the slightly clearer lens, whereas here your options are a car or A BOX. Would you like to drive a thing that drives, or A BOX?
You want more options? How about this one:
WASHING MACHINE??? WHY WOULD YOU DRIVE A WASHING MACHINE???
I think it was at this point that the commercial really lost me. Because I've had hamsters, and you know, it's kind of funny to put them on things and pretend they're driving them. Normal children might put the hamster in, I don't know, something that actually drives, but I could see putting the hamster in a funny box that looks like a car, or maybe even on a toaster if you were the kind of child who didn't consider the part where the hamster will poop into the same place where you cook your pop-tarts.
But a washing machine?? NO. No child would ever put their hamster into a washing machine and pretend it's driving because IT DOES NOT MAKE ANY EFFING SENSE.
But don't tell that to this guy...
Fine, Kia. You've got me. If I can ONLY choose between a Kia and a toaster, I WILL CHOOSE THE DAMN KIA.
Are you happy now, Kia? Given the choice between driving a thing that drives and driving a thing that doesn't drive, I choose the thing that drives!
Seriously though, Kia. In the immortal words of Bring It On, "I define being the best as competing against the best there is out there and beating them."
See, normally in a commercial, you would set out to prove that you are better than any other car out there, not any other household appliance. So yes, if the competition is between a Kia and a BOX, I will choose the Kia.
If the competition were between, say, a Kia driven by hamsters and a Toyota DRIVEN BY HUMAN BEINGS, I would choose the Toyota.