Ok. I know these have been out a while. I’ve bitten my tongue long enough. Actually, it’s not so much that I’ve bitten my tongue as that the spots in question are so utterly terrible that, when I see them, I deliberately try to forget them. Which means I never think to enter into discussion about them when I’m sitting in front of the blog machine. And when I do remember them, I become so teeth-grittingly, speechlessly angry, I can’t decide where to begin. So, to hell with it… I’ve bitten my tongue way too long.
You know the spots I’m ranting about – the Mac knock-offs. Here’s an example:
First off: the original items, the Mac spots featuring Justin Long and John Hodgman, were brilliant. Strategically masterful, they not only did a marvelous job of delivering the Mac brand, but also succeeded in rebranding Microsoft as a stodgy, unimaginative, out-of-touch galumph. How incredibly appropriate.
They stuck it to Microsoft hard. Yet they seemed somehow empathetic, even friendly while doing it.
Enter the colossally unimaginative T-mobile.
The spots are poorly written, woefully acted, and generally poor. I’m trying to imagine the agency that sold these. I’m trying to imagine the conversation that convinced the alphabet soup at the top of T-Poser that this was OK: “Hey, let’s personify your brand like Apple did! And we’ll be super duper clever and personify Apple’s brand, you know, like they did for Microsoft! We’ll even shoot the spots the same way!!! It’ll be swell!!”
The more I think about it, the angrier I become. Here we sit in Birmingham, Alabama – a fine agency – capable of independent, original, strategic thought… and somehow a bunch of disgusting hacked spots get sold to the third largest cellular company in the country. Really???! REALLY?????? Please help me understand this! For crying out loud! What were they thinking?? I can deal with horrible, lame, banal spots for mesothelioma lawyers. I can deal with fearful insurance companies that offer up spots that don’t say a whole lot, while their competitors are blowing them out of the water. I can deal with banks that offer up snoozebytes, screamer car ads, and mattress warehouses that offer up spots that make you cringe and hope they don’t get shown anywhere out of our state. BUT I ABSOLUTELY BRISTLE AT THE GALL OF AN AGENCY AND A CLIENT AS LARGE AND WELL-FUNDED AS T-MOBILE WILLING TO DO DEPLORABLE KNOCK OFFS OF ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT SPOTS. They should hang their heads in shame. In fact, everyone involved should seek some other occupation. If I had the chance, I would tell them so. I would tell them, as my calculus professor once told me when I went to him for help during my one ill-conceived year at Georgia Tech, “You should look into welding. Welders make good money.”
Ok. I feel better. A little.
Hey T-Mobile… when you get ready to enter the market with some original creative, I know a shop in Alabama that will give it to you… and probably save you a little money in the process.
Until then, look into welding.