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Thinking of Something Else


This style won't last long, but whenever I see it, I'll think of Al.

I’ve always liked Weird Al.  I think everyone likes him when they’re a kid, but I’ve enjoyed his work into adulthood (even saw a concert or two).  I think the reason I like him so much – and maybe the reason other people grow out of him – is because the music he parodies is so contemporary.  What I mean is, he parodies the latest music, no matter how inane or insignificant the current song is.  Because of that, his songs stick with me much longer than the actual song; I can’t remember a single line from “Lola”, but I remember “Yoda” in its entirety.

I think that’s what modern ad agencies are trying to do.  The problem with that is it takes years to forget a song (every time I hear “Headline News” I still think of “Mm Mm Mm Mm”).

I first noticed it with the last presidential campaign.  Obama had a slogan that said, “Yes We Can.”  Instead of thinking of something inspiring and snappy on their own, his opponent made the slogan, “Yes We Will.”  Every time I heard it, I thought of Obama.  As studies show, the more you think of someone, the more likely you are to vote for them.  In effect, the opponent made me vote for Obama.

I noticed it again when a local bank started “SoSmart Checking” in order to trump Flagstar’s “SMART checking”.  Every time I saw the billboard, I’d think of Flagstar; I even ended up opening a money market through them.

The latest is a rip-off of Apple’s “There’s an app for that.”  A rival company is trying to show how superior they are to the iPhone by showing us the coverage one would get on their network as opposed to AT&T (which, I admit, is god-awful.  You’d think that with 150 years of telephone service under their belt, AT&T would be kicking ass in the mobile phone market; you’d think they’d be years ahead of the competition.  Instead, like Polaroid and the digital camera revolution, they are embarrassingly behind the times).  They say, “There’s a map for that.”  Frankly, I don’t even know what company this is because every time I hear that, I say something along these lines, “I bet you there’s not an app…”

…For pasteurization processes”

…That looks like one of those old ‘nudie pens’ my dad used to have.”

…That tells me where the nearest drug dealer is.”

…That screams if you drop it.”

…The gives you a personal soundtrack like that one Family Guy episode”

…That has fingerprint security.”

…For popping pimples.”

And dammit, there is.  And suddenly I’m not thinking about the commercial.  In effect, Sprint (or whoever) sold me the iPhone.

Too bad Sprint couldn’t have sold me Sprint.  Damn AT&T; seriously, an extra $5 for texts?!


4 Responses

  1. http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/WeirdAlEffect

    (on a related note, that is)

    I was recently tasked with creating a list of ten great albums not on the Rolling Stone Top 500, being allowed one album per artist/group. It was not easy to pick my Weird Al album.

  2. wierd al rules!!!!

  3. Who gave you this task?

    I’m not sure about the best Weird Al album. I would think that his “Greatest Hits” albums are off the table (otherwise, I’m sure there wouldn’t be like nine Beatles’ albums on the list. Just “1”). I really stopped buying his albums a long time ago – I just download singles and suggestions.
    Maybe “Even Worse”?

  4. Even Worse was my choice.

    Greatest hits albums were on the table, but were not popular choices. (1 is certainly not the best Beatles album; though, when you eliminate the Rolling Stone Top 500, you don’t have much left in the way of Beatles albums to choose from. I picked Magical Mystery Tour.)

    This was just something some people at work were doing. It happened a few months ago, but I’m still working my way through all the albums my co-workers selected.

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