Trojan, I Have Some Questions, RE: Your Advertisement

Posted: April 20, 2011 in Jeff Holland, Threat Quality
Tags: , ,

God bless the apparently cheaper and less FCC-restrictive advertising requirements that allow Trojan to promote their new vibrators on Comedy Central after 11pm. It’s become basically my favorite commercial.

I should explain further. 

The story: a woman at a bachelorette party receives…look, they call it a vibrating massage device, but it looks a whole lot like a dildo. It is a vibrating dildo. And because she and her friends are so Sex and the City-friendly, this is a time for rejoicing, not a time for reevaluating choices in companionship. She asks (in a delightfully halting way, as though she’s had some kind of brain event where her speech centers no longer recognize punctuation) who got her the vibrator that’s so powerful as to permanently blow a woman’s hair back.

Turns out, not one, but THREE OF HER FRIENDS bought her vibrators. For her bachelorette party.

Soooo many things to consider now:

  1. She’s clearly been sitting with these women for more than 30 seconds, and yet it’s only now that she realizes three of them have crazy new blown-back hairstyles, because apparently she can only see in two dimensions
  2. They didn’t just regift her their own vibrators, did they?
  3. When the reveal that three of her friends bought her the same not-quite-gag-gift, laughter is afoot! What’s great about this is that nobody treats this as an inappropriate gift in the first place, nobody is embarrassed at the repeat-gift (though I’d like to think one of the gifters says “Oh, I have a receipt if you want to exchange it” after the scene cuts?), and nobody asks the bride-to-be why she keeps talking in sentences that don’t end. (Yes it’s late-night, but this is still a national commercial – there was NO OTHER ACTRESS who could’ve more believably delivered these lines?*)
  4. What did the other women get her? Are we to believe “vibrating dildo” was the only thing on the bachelorette’s registry?

OK. So, maybe you wondered none of these things. That’s okay, because there’s a coda to this story that offers up a whole new bunch of questions.

Presumably the next day, the bride-to-be mentions to her fiancée that – pursuant to a recent vibrator-related discussion they apparently had – her bachelorette party yielded three vibrating dildos!

The fiancee’s response: “Sweet!”

No, that’s not quite right. Actually, what he says is, “Suuu-weeet!”

He is SO EXCITED about this vibrator windfall. So excited, you don’t even know!

Unfortunately, this is where the suspension of disbelief required of me, the viewer, starts to break down. Because there is virtually no way the conversation didn’t actually go this way:

WOMAN: You know how we talked about those vibrators?
MAN: …Yeah…
WOMAN: Well, my girlfriends got me three of them!
MAN: …God I hate your friends.

Now, I understand how THAT version of the conversation isn’t gonna sell a lot of vibrators. But the end result is, now I’ve got a LOT more questions about their sex-life than I did at the start of the commercial, starting with:

  1. What, exactly, are they doing, that they need THREE vibrators?
  2. Seriously. How do you…like, set that up?
  3. Why does he seem more excited about this than she does?

Frankly, the more I think about it, the more I believe this to be an incredibly effective ad. Because at Trojan, they’re not just selling vibrators…

…They’re selling erotic, socially-awkward mystery.

*I pointed to the actress’s terrible line readings when I made my girlfriend watch the commercial. Her response: “Maybe that was the only take they got where she didn’t start laughing halfway through.” Which actually would explain a lot.

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