Advertisements suck. Sometimes, though, they suck so hard that they’re awesome. “The Molly” and “Are Electronic Cigarettes Weird?” are two such ads. While both fail to sell us on what they’re selling, each made us LOL in such a manner we knew an educated media study was in order.
Don’t Take the Bad Molly
From the creator of Dexter comes the latest in cheeseball editing and anti-drug public service announcements. The pretense under which the two-minute spot came to be pretty much presupposes its efficacy in deterring drug use. Electric Zoo commissioned the video in their attempt to address the increasing number of “alcohol” related incidents on the EDM festival circuit. Now, Electric Zoo animals will be forced to watch the video before being admitted. “The Molly”s media premiere comes just a week after the arrest of a dealer who’s lethal stash was responsible for one of two deaths at 2013 Electric Zoo.
The video, however, doesn’t adequately convey that life-and-death aspect of this situation. The protagonist—annoying bro rolling face—antagonizes his sober date, completely violating all social decorum and sexual harassment statutes as he chants the Electro Mantra “these beats! these beats!”
“The Electric Zoo experience is exceptional and worth being present for,” said the reps for Made Events, Electric Zoo’s parent company, to explain the video’s message.
I’m not sure that message comes through entirely, though. Instead, not unlike that bad DARE assembly before your junior prom, it just makes being the sober one at an EDM festival look awful.
Bedford Slims E-Cigs Are Weird (featuring R. Stevie Moore)
Riffing on Wieden/Kennedy’s Old Spice Man of yore, Bedford Slims, the Williamsburg-baded electronic cigarette company with a handlebar mustache as a logo, furthered their attachment to all things quirky with a commercial for their “vapourettes” shot by one of our favorites, Allen Cordell.
Aside from the spokeman’s unusual use of prop appendages, unexplained ad-exec-through-the-ages costume changes and recurring yak references, the prevailing theme of “Are Electronic Cigarettes Weird?” is weirdness for the sake of dispelling weirdness. One cardinal rule of advertising is to never put a disparaging comment near the description of your product (i.e. weird), even if it’s used in the negative (i.e. not weird). To their credit, Bedford Slims really did commit to the weirdness theme. They tapped Papa Weirdo himself, R. Stevie Moore, for a 30 second jingle that makes the proceeding 70 seconds more than worth your while.
So who sold it better?
Watch both videos below for a good laugh in the face of persuasion tactics.
Editor Tip of the Day: Watch the “The Molly” twice. First straight through and then on mute with R. Stevie Moore’s “Hamburgers and Hot Dogs (mega)” playing in the background.