Beautifully Blog-y Tuesdays: Look Behind You!
- Jeff Luppino-Esposito
It's hard to set standards anymore. Questions that used to have clear answers have become intensely vague, blurry lines abound. What is inappropriate for television, what is inappropriate for children, what is the limit on the amount of films Brendan Fraser can simultaneously appear in? Let's try to make a little sense of all this, together.
Not too long ago my brother showed me this commercial that was banned from TV. As you'll see, it promoted the "Smart Car" by showing all the 'risks' of having a back seat, and thus why it is much wiser to remain gas efficient and drive in a trendy little two-seater. Of course there's the obvious 'risks' of being hit by any car that is even remotely normal-sized, thus immediately crushing your 'smart car' and swiftly ending your life. Moving forward- why was this commercial banned?
Well, realistically, it's frightening... but it's more than that. We've all seen commercials for horror films; we cringe, turn our heads away the slightest bit, and wonder why this has appeared on our screen between portions of Sex and the City reruns that we watch every night at 11. Most notably of late were the commercials for "The Strangers", an oddly effective ad campaign that had a way with really scaring off unsuspecting viewers. These ran cleanly all over, but I think they appealed to a very similar sense of fear that this banned commercial does.
There was definitely something oddly possible about "The Strangers," and for whatever reason, most of us (I would wager) feel the same way about this Smart Car commercial. Come on, admit it, you check the back of your car before you enter it at night. You locked the doors, or maybe you didn't, who knows what's back there. We've all heard random urban legends of flashing lights and men with knives, of looking up and seeing a face in your rear view mirror.
My original thought was that it was deemed inappropriate for kids to see. But I think we can all attest to the fact that children today are exposed to violence at a very young age. Whether or not there's anything wrong with that is a completely different issue, but the point is-- this can't be about them. This is about us.
A person being killed in a car. Sure, it's a rough premise for a commercial, a cheap way to rile our senses no doubt, but is it worth banning? Is it really that different than all the other forms of sexual or violent advertising that graces our television screens on a daily basis? When it comes down to it, I think it's fair to say that this fear, somehow deeply ingrained in our collective thought, overruled this commercial.
As to the other question at hand: Obviously all respect for that limit has been completely thrown out the window-- as of August 1, Brendan Fraser will be starring in two sub-par films simultaneously. What is this world coming to?