Monday, June 25, 2007

I'm bringing sexy back / Them other donuts don't know how to act

Krispy Kreme, to me, embodies a kind of innocence in the American landscape in a way few places can nowadays. The classic color scheme, the way the stores are so spotless - everything seems trapped in the 1950s. You walk inside and get to watch the donut-making process as it unfolds, with the golden rings passing under a cascade of hot glaze in front of your eyes. It almost makes you feel like a kid, walking in there with a wide-eyed enthusiasm and a little money in your pocket, the allowance you'd saved up to get a couple donuts hot off the line. And when they give you that free sample, still warm, soft, and gooey with liquid sugar - well, who doesn't love that?

Which is why it makes me so sad to see them doing ads like the one linked below.
(Again, apologies for a lack of embedded video. If you don't see the ad I describe below first, click the top left circle, for "Hottie.")

Woman #1: "Ooh."
Woman #3: "Ooh."
Woman #2: [gasp] "Oh, now there's a hottie."

First of all, if I was out with my friends, and one of them grabbed my arm while indicating arousal like Woman #1 is doing to Woman #2, I would be profoundly uncomfortable. But then Woman #2 is too busy being way, way too firm about the "hottie" she's seeing. I suppose "You're sexually attracted to this donut, and, action!" is tough direction to work with.

Woman #1: "Tear me off a piece of that!"

This dialogue, in addition to being really gross once you realize that they're talking about donuts, is kind of pathetic for how hackneyed it is. You just know the writer of this commercial is some 60-year-old ad man who caught half an episode of "Sex and the City" on TBS the night before the big pitch. "Let's see... group of lusty women, reference to man/donut as 'hottie,' request to have a piece torn off... this has all the factors necessary to get 25-to-40-year-old women in the door!" I mean, seriously: "Tear me off a piece of that?" Does anyone even say that anymore?

Announcer: "Don't let life get stale. Keep it fresh! Think Krispy Kreme."

I won't say much about the pauses between this guy's lines (except to note that they suck) or how this is a pretty bland tagline that has no inherent relation to the rest of the ad. It's kind of hilarious how quickly this commercial switches from "trendy, sexy ladies" mode to "1940s celibacy" mode, though. How do you start with three women purring over donuts and cut so quickly to a milquetoast voiceover, completely desexed shots of donut purchasing, and a bizarrely anachronistic John Philip Sousa march under the voiceover? (You may recognize it as "The Liberty Bell March," better known to most people nowadays as the theme to "Monty Python's Flying Circus." I'm not saying that no one is ever allowed to use it again because of that, but it seems like an odd choice given how many people will instantly make the connection. Would you advertise McDonald's with "Tubular Bells," knowing it's going to make everyone think of The Exorcist?)

I can't really complain about the non-sexual nature of the second half of the commercial, since that's what I want to see out of a Krispy Kreme commercial. But if you're going to end up there, why start the way you did? Why start that way at all? You've ended up counterintuitively showing how out of touch you are by starting with such a desperate ploy to seem hip and/or sexy, and the worst part is that this was completely unnecessary. Krispy Kreme donuts basically sell themselves. I don't need three women wetting themselves over one to convince me that they might be tasty.

Also, given the shape of the donut, wouldn't it have made more sense to have three guys drooling over it?

1 comment:

c12h22o11 said...

"Also, given the shape of the donut, wouldn't it have made more sense to have three guys drooling over it?"

They have to retain a LITTLE dignity. I agree on the weird switches in tone at the end- sexual innuendoes, straight to cartoon sparklies!