Commentary

Branding Through Creepiness: David Lynch Goes Around the Bend

Someone stop David Lynch before he makes another ad. I say that as a fan. It just so happens I am working my way through "Twin Peaks" on Netflix and just re-viewed "Blue Velvet," so I am inoculated. Even so, the crown prince of surreal weirdness is just creeping me out now by advertising his own brand of David Lynch Signature Cup Coffee.

The entire video involves Lynch conversing with the head of a Barbie doll that he has pinched and twisted between his fingers. At times her neck seems dangerously contorted and at others her features look just a tad compressed from too much squeezing. But all the while soothing strings and bells play in background. Lynch describes himself drinking the coffee and then slips into a bit of pitchiness. And then things get even stranger as he starts gushing on the beauty of this Barbie pinched between his fingers and invites her out for a cup of coffee

"Let's go get that cup of coffee, baby." Fade to product shot.

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The coffee itself is as straightforward a signature product as you can imagine. Click through to the distributor and we find that Lynch himself used an "extensive, personalized testing method, and began to systematically narrow down the field of his favorite roasts and beans" to three blends.

Then apparently he went off the rails.

Lynch appears to have taken the notion of offbeat online advertising a tad far. His particular brand of weirdness has always veered towards the sinister. So much of "Twin Peaks" revolves around so many characters' obsession with the dead Laura Palmer that it shifts from burlesque mourning to eerily sexual suggestiveness. That row gets plowed in this coffee spot. For me, this cup of Joe just leaves a bitter aftertaste and leaves me wondering if it was a cynical attempt at getting attention for the product or just another of Lynch's own brand-building exercises - to re-establish his princely oddness.

Either way, I am having a hard time seeing it sell much coffee. Do we really want whatever it is he is drinking?  

David Lynch Signature Cup Coffee from David Lynch on Vimeo.

2 comments about "Branding Through Creepiness: David Lynch Goes Around the Bend".
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  1. J S from Ideal Living Media, May 17, 2011 at 3:12 p.m.

    New spot:

    Static camera, single take.

    Music: In Dreams, by Roy Orbison.

    Foreground: Steaming cup of coffee, with packaging, in focus.

    Background: All kinds of weird stuff going on, a la Lynch, completely out of focus.

    Voiceover: State facts about product in a factual way, wrapping up with name of product, saying it's good "no matter how the rest of your day is going."

    Results:

    David Lynch brand weirdness: check.

    It's about coffee: check.

    Actually sell product to people who aren't fixated on Barbie dolls: check.

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, May 17, 2011 at 5:28 p.m.

    Kinda' like what powerful men have been doing to their wives, family and girl friends.

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