There Is Nothing Cool About 'See How Much Food We Put In These Kenmore Refrigerators!'
Today marks the one-year anniversary of the day we packed up our sense of urban superiority and decamped for the suburbs. And while we love the space and the crickets that chirp us to bed every night, it hasn't been all barbecues and mall-walking, friend.
Not to parallel our plight with that of orphans in sub-Saharan countries that lack a functional plumbing infrastructure, but we've endured similar suffering and heartbreak. On somewhere between three and five different occasions, I have stepped on acorns while walking barefoot on the deck. Do you have any idea how painful that is? One time, my heel hurt so badly that I had to sit down for a few minutes. That's right: for a whole few minutes, I had to rest my aching tootsy while reclining on a plush couch stationed in a room with hypothermia-grade air-conditioning. I could barely reach the remote control.
Still, most of the non-plantar-fascia-related unpleasantness has occurred within the walls of our abode. While my mother raised me never to single out appliances for criticism, I cannot deny that refrigeration has become a real concern. Our current model is basically a tall, wide, cold box. Sure, it keeps the Hi-C chilled, but when it comes to providing adequate compartmentalization options for cheese and yogurt, the fridge is a xylophone in a synclavier world. Sub-Zero? More like Sub-Par!!! Feel free to re-use that one at social gatherings, by the way.
That's why I clicked with the blind enthusiasm of a thousand dumb puppies when a link for a Kenmore brand video touting the spatial expanse of its refrigerators popped up on my Yahoo! home page. The clip, "See How Much Food We Put In These Kenmore Refrigerators!," appears to be a part of Kenmore's Couponista challenge, in which three women competed to see who could save more money or most efficiently apportion out refrigerator space or something.
Of all the Internet campaigns I've come across, it's the only one that doesn't shy away from asking - and definitively answering - the tough questions, like "Is it OK to refrigerate bread?" Spoiler: not on your life, you monster, unless you have no greater ambition for your bread than toasting it. Seriously, I disappeared down the Couponista video wormhole for a good 20 minutes, coming up for air only when my wife mistook the chiming voice of Couponista Kelly for the vocalizations heard in clips of a more prurient nature.
Like the bread video, "See How Much Food…" is framed as an infomercial of sorts, with an overexpressive and syntactically daring host chatting with a Kenmore marketing guy about the godly virtue of three refrigerators in front of a super-involved audience. When the host asks, incredulously, "We want [members of the audience] to come up here and put things in [the refrigerators]?!," the marketing guy runs with it: "Why would I tease them all show and not let them use the [exhaustive list of cleverly named features]?"
From there, members of the "Shop Your Way" squad, kind of the Kroger's-mom equivalent of Navy SEALS, approach the stage with a variety of weirdly shaped items (flowers in a vase, pineapples, a big honkin' sheet cake, bulbously curved wine bottles, etc.). They then insert those items into the fridges, which accept them without complaint. For this herculean effort in the face of adversity, the Kenmore guy tells the Shop Your Way soldiers that they will receive Sears gift cards, which prompts the host to exclaim something that sounds way too close to "shut the f*ck up!" (forward to the 2:53 mark if you don't believe me). Cue the polite applause, and then we're out.
There is nothing cool about "See How Much Food…" There is nothing notable, funny, entertaining, diverting, exciting, smart, slightly sub-smart or buzzworthy about it. And yet after watching the video, my first thought was, "Yeah, I'd buy one of those." I learned about the compartments I hold so dear (with "grab and go drawers" that should lend order to my bottled-water collection), the storage space (33 cubic feet) and the vegetable-accommodation options (the "air-tight crisper vent"; no longer will I be unable to look my zucchini in the eye). For me, this video was almost shockingly useful. Nonetheless, it rates as an absolute outlier in the world of brand video: the rare presentation that plays up a product and its features at the expense of the gimmickry that would prompt people to watch and share it.
It's no surprise, then, that as of late last night, the YouTube counter for "See How Much Food…" was registering a mere 44 views. Come on, Video Critique regulars, let's see if we can't drive that figure up into the high-60s. Like you have something more important to do in the hours before Labor Day weekend?