Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Ads of the Damned: Scott Walker, "Salary"

This ad sucks for one very important reason: the script sounds like it was written by a 7th grade girl. The very first words out of Walker's mouth are "I was, like, wow that's a lot of money." Seriously. That's not an English used by adults in Wisconsin. It would have made just as much sense if Walker would have said "I thought that was too much money." Making things worse, here are the very next words: "Wy wife was, like, 'We're doing what?'"

This verbal tic is the most memorable part of the ad. Maybe if "like" were only used once it wouldn't be so bad, but it's reinforced by a second use and leaves an impression that just isn't positive.

I've never heard adults talk to each other in this manner, especially when the topic of conversation is something, like, as serious as choosing the next chief executive of the state. It almost feels like Walker is, like, talking down to his audience ...

Wait a second -- he is, like, talking down to his audience!

Note the angle of the camera during Walker's close-ups: it's tilted up ever so slightly upward and creates the illusion that Walker is actually looking down at the audience. Even though he's casually seated in his living room, the construction of the shot makes Walker look like a paternal authority figure.

This is further reinforced by the the "brown bag" reveal at the end of the spot. By the time this happens Walker looks less like a guy rapping about the issues in a living room and more like a dad handing off his kid's lunch to him before the little tyke runs off to school.

The visuals of this spot are strong, but I honestly don't know if they compensate for the ugliness of the script. It's really that bad and sucks a lot of the attention from the better details of the spot. Making the script even worse is the goofy whistling soundtrack which sounds like it belongs in one of those odious "Smiling Bob" ads.

And no embedding? Weak.

Final Grade: D+

Previously on Ads of the Damned:
Terrence Wall, "Re-Build"

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