Commercial Break: Nespresso Lie:Sentence Ratio Approaches 1:1   Leave a comment

Broadcast: 31 October 2012
Program: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
Channel: NBC
Conglomerates: Comcast & General Electric

Advertiser: Nespresso
Owned By: Nestle
Pitch: Premium coffee tastes better at home, provided you live in fabulous digs and look like Jean Grey from the X-Men movies.

Advertising is inherently dishonest, which is why its true aficionados seek out the purest, most untrammeled dishonesty they can find.  From a profile of Simpsons writer George Meyer in the March 2000 issue of The New Yorker:

[Meyer] is especially interested in examples of ad copy in which the word-to-falsehood ratio approaches one. He once showed me a magazine advertisement for a butter substitute called Country Crock. "It’s not from the country; there is no crock," he said. "Two words, two lies."

That is indeed an impressive feat of dishonesty, and while it probably isn’t impossible to achieve in a 30-second television spot, it’s much easier in print than on the screen.  After all, you can gin up a two word/two lie slogan and slap it into a magazine, but on teevee the copy has to at least resemble a coherent English sentence.  Not everything can be nouns and adjectives.  However, if you lower the ratio standard from “word-to-falsehood” to “sentence-to-falsehood”, this commercial for Nespresso comes awfully close.

We begin:

I found the best cafe in the world.

Lie #1: Our sultry female protagonist informs us that she has found a “cafe”, which our old friend Noah defines as:

a usually small and informal establishment serving various refreshments (as coffee); broadly : restaurant

She is, of course, not talking about a cafe, but rather her home.  Continuing:

Nespresso, where there’s a coffee to match my every mood.

This is absurd, “every mood”?  Nespresso.com lists only sixteen different coffees (though they call them “Grands Crus”), while venerable music database Allmusic.com allows you to choose from 288 different “moods” ranging from Acerbic and Agreeable to Wry and Witty.  Even if half of those were synonyms you’d still have nearly ten moods for every kind of coffee Nespresso sells, so that’s Lie #2.  Moving right along:

Where just one touch creates the perfect cup.

Even if we grant them artistic license on “perfect”, as this is being said we see her touch a lot more than one thing:

No Touching1

Damn it, there isn’t one for my current mood of being ironically self-conscious.

No Touching2

I’d say there’s a lot of touching going on, but this commercial is porn-y enough as it is.

No Touching3

That’s it, baby, push that button.  (Sorry.)

According to the commercial’s own imagery we see that it actually takes a lot more than “one touch”, so that’s Lie #3 in as many sentences.  Continuing:

Where every cappuccino and latte is made with fresh milk.

Bullshit.  The only way you can make things with “fresh milk” is if you live on a dairy farm, this does not look like a dairy farm:

World's Snazziest Dairy

I doubt there’s a Holstein within twenty miles of this place.

And just like that we’re at four (4) sentences and four (4) lies.  Finally we come to the sexy coupe-de-grace that spoils our perfect ratio:

And where clothing is optional.

It isn’t much of a statement, clothing is optional (pretty much everywhere provided you don’t mind the secondary option of a public indecency charge), but it isn’t false.  Oh well, we came close, but the search for perfect dishonesty goes on.

It should be pointed out, however, that while this one undeniably falls short, we never see the woman on screen actually speak.  We’re obviously meant to assume that it’s her talking (“I found”), but the voice is almost certainly a professional voice actor merely accompanying the Famke Janssen look alike who pads around in her clothing optional home/cafe.  It’s not quite a lie, but it ain’t exactly true either:

Sexy Coffee Is Sexy

Shouldn’t you be out telekinesising something?

Posted November 2, 2012 by Charlie Sweatpants in Commercial Break

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: