Stop It, Commercials

There is No Joy, but for Persistent Fear

Posted in Uncategorized by hendyhendel on July 18, 2011

If you live in Southern California, or anywhere within reach of Universal Studios Hollywood, then perhaps you have been inundated by this crime:

Based on this spot, “intensity” is an industry buzzword for “severe emotional trauma.” When grandpa wakes up screaming in the middle of the night, the family will know by the terror in his voice mixed with him choking on his tears that he was remembering this one time at the amusement park.

“Why does grandpa always scream?”
“Just nightmares, sweetie. He sees a gorilla whenever he closes his eyes.”
“Did grandpa go on safari?”
“No, he went to Hollywood.”

Bam. Got ’em.

Seriously, is the allure supposed to be, “Come to Universal Studios Hollywood, see this attraction and spend the rest of your waking days in a consuming fear”? They flew way past the idea of an attraction being thrilling in a fun way and instead landed on selling a need for severe medication and countless hours of therapy.

Even apart from the core idea, this commercial is grating. First, no one wants to hear a monotonous sound for 30 seconds. It pisses people off, plain and simple. Make any noise and extended it for half-a-minute and see how quickly anyone around you gets put off. Hell, even a world-class singer holding a note for 30 seconds would, at the very least, cause any listener to check out. That is why professional musicians do lilts and change tones, because that’s how music works.


See? Even written, it’s fucking stupid.

Also, the morphing. The Uncanny Valley exists and it is pure and simple. If someone falls into the valley, no one else will be satisfied. The realism this morph goes through is also thoroughly unsettling. Not only does he lose his hair, he grows all sorts of wrinkles and liver spots, clearly designed by someone  who was bent on showing the inevitability and misery of impending age.

And why does the hair have to float off?? Could there be any more details to remind us of death??

So come to Universal Studios Hollywood, kids, and leave thinking about when death will finally reach out to you. Soon enough, you’ll be begging for it, as every night, your brain is on fire from the horror that has enveloped your entire being and consumes every rational and productive thought that tries to break through the wall of your damaged psyche. Just off the 101 at Buddy Holly Drive.


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