Commercial Break – Strange Holidays at Express   Leave a comment

Broadcast: 6 November 2012
Program: The Colbert Report
Channel: Comedy Central
Conglomerates: Viacom

Advertiser: Express
Owned By: Express
Pitch: Come to the worst holiday party ever.

Serious fashion has always had the whiff of scam around it, if for no other reason than no one ever seems able to offer a concrete reason just why those tiny pieces of clothing have to cost so much.  It’s always something nebulous and indefinable about trends or style or some such, and those are hallmarks of bullshit.  Case in point, this ad for the “holiday collection” from Express. 

As an indistinctly hip pop song plays in the background, we open on a gate at the end of a long road, clearly somewhere way out in the sticks:

Fantasy Driveway

Run Forrest, Run!

That immediately dissolves to some kind of castle or church:

Welcome My Pretties

Our Lady of the 3,000% Markup was originally constructed in 1685.

Which then cuts to . . . a city street hosting a fashion show(?):

Fashion City

Mommy, why is that man dressed like an idiot taking up the whole street?

The rest of the commercial is just more of the same:

Step Into the Light

With just a slight tweak this could be a suicide prevention ad.

Princess Buttercups

These Hunger Games sequels are getting weird.

After the models parade around in front of the normies for awhile, a female voice comes on and says the only dialogue of the entire thirty-second ad:

Holiday collection by Express.

I’m sure that the right press flack could somehow find the connection between the Forever Driveway, the giant castle/church, this city’s not at all holiday decorated people and buildings, and the underfed models doing their best not to let slip how absurd all this is, but I confess myself mystified.  I suppose there’s something to be said for a minimalist approach, just show off your clothes and let people want them.  But then why bother with the establishing shots of the fantasy kingdom? 

No, this is retail clothing working its deep bullshit by being weird for the sake of weird and hoping that no one calls it for the asinine nonsense that it is: a bunch of overpriced clothes with a label sewn on them.  The commercial is incoherent because being coherent might let people in on how dumb it is. 

Posted November 7, 2012 by Charlie Sweatpants in Commercial Break

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