In order to watch some SNL clips on Hulu this morning I had to sit through the following commercial several times (spoiler alert! you are about to get dumber):
This is apparently a recent update of a “classic” Folgers commercial from the 1980s (available below). In an effort to make it at least somewhat academically relevant I will say that this may be what happens when children are able to go through our entire educational system without learning anything other than how to take a multiple-choice tests and then those same children are given jobs in ad agencies. Let’s take a look at some of the problems, “Christmas Shoes“-style:
A cab pulls up to a house and a guy gets out. A girl runs from the window to greet him at the door, where he says, “I must have the wrong house.”
So far, so good. The guy has been away from home for a long time and the girl has gotten older. This is believable. The next line is not:
The girl gives a strange thumbs up (possibly pointing at herself, possibly not) and says, “sister!” before giggling.
What? This line is completely unnecessary and, beyond that, confusing, since it makes no sense for the girl to say “sister!” upon greeting her brother. Let’s take a look at what happens next:
Siblings hug and the girl says “I missed you so much.” As they walk into the kitchen she tells the guy that she waited up all night for him.
Did she not have his flight schedule? Now she is going to have to cut her reunion with the brother she has not seen in weeks, months, or years short in order to take a mid-morning nap. Also, she doesn’t look like somebody who has been up all night. On to the next non sequitor:
The guy says “It’s a long way from West Africa,” as he walks into the kitchen. Then he leans over a coffee pot and says, “Ohhh, coffee.”
So he has been in West Africa for some reason, most likely to establish the fact that he had a long trip (yet he travels with only a backpack that says “Volunteer”). They apparently do not have coffee in West Africa, because he just showed the coffee his o-face.
The guy pours the coffee, which wakes up his parents who are upstairs in bed.
Clearly, coffee does not give off an aroma until it is poured.
The parents get out of bed and start to head downstairs.
This leaves the siblings with very little time to flirt before their parents interrupt them. They make the most of it.
He says, “I brought you something from far away.” The girl, now sitting on the kitchen counter, laughs and says, “really?”
No, not really. He probably picked it up at the airport this morning.
The brother reaches into his backpack and hands her a small box with a red bow on top.
Is that wrapping paper West African?
She looks at him adoringly, takes off the bow and sticks it on his shoulder. He laughs awkwardly and asks, “What are you doing?”
If this was a movie (romantic comedy or porn, take your pick), they would start making out at this point. It is a commercial, though, so the awkwardness continues:
The girl looks at him and says, “You’re my present this year.” He looks back at her, reminding himself that she is both very young and his sister. He is no doubt relieved when the parents come in and give him a hug.
Seriously, there is way too much sexual tension between these siblings, which I suppose could also make for an awkward hug between mom and son.
“The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup.”
Not, you know, your son coming home from West Africa. I imagine, though, that Folgers would be better than finding your thirty-year-old son and fifteen-year-old daughter making out in the kitchen.
On the whole, it seems as though Folgers gave an ad agency their 1980s commercial and asked them to update it for modern times where people volunteer in West Africa and are more open to incestual statutory rape. (Or maybe the ad was produced by manatees.) I really don’t see why Folgers didn’t just do a shot-for-shot remake of the original commercial, which had none of these problems: