My Ears! The Very Loud Marketing Of Bingo Blitz

“I'm a huge gamer,” the actress and talk show host Drew Barrymore told Business Wire. “I actually used to go to a Tuesday night weekly bingo game with all my friends. I love that it's a game that everybody around the world can play.”

I’m glad I have this bit of context, because from the moment I caught Drew in one of her Bingo Blitz commercials, I wanted to jump in and save her from the sheer embarrassment and aesthetic hell she seemed to be trapped in. And why was she screaming?

“I’ll Have What She’s Having,” the first BB commercial that aurally and visually assaulted me, must be the 9,000th piece of content that plays off the famous fake orgasm scene from the 1989 rom com “When Harry Met Sally.”

But this time, instead of Katz’s Deli, it’s set in a fake French café, echoing the hallucinatory pink colors and design of the game itself.



Drew sits at a table and seems to be winning while looking at her phone. So she screams, “Yes, Yes, Yes,” but tops it off with “Bingo.”  The sound is so bizarrely loud that it’s enough to scare the dogs playing poker on Mars.

I wonder if the scream is an intentional reference to Gertie, the adorable kid Drew played in “E.T.” That would make it a little clever.

And then we get the all-time famous “I’ll have what she’s having” line, this time uttered by a stereotypical granny-type actress sitting nearby in a pink sweat suit with pearls.

R.I.P, Estelle Reiner.

But wait, there’s more. A more recent spot leaves the pinkified-female romcom space for a more macho moment in a setting inspired by the 1996 movie “Independence Day.” 

Yes, aliens are invading the White House! The President, just informed by a ponderous aide that “We got the alien leader,” yells “Bingo!"

But Drew, hardly recognizable in this harsh lighting except for her trademark shouting, questions him.

“Is it -- is it Bingo, Mr. President?”  She’s a brazen militarista in a bright pink beret and matching three-piece pants suit, her legs and pointy shoes sprawled across the table at HQ.

“Who’s the leader of the Free World now?” she exults. That line, and her overacting, are terrifying.

These games are free to download, and don’t involve direct gambling. They make money from the add-ons inside the games. Still, Barrymore’s history with addiction is a sticking point.

Obviously, Playtika,the mobile games maker, is going hard after the women-in-their-late-50s crowd. Say it ain’t so -- but it is -- that Sarah Jessica Parker now appears in an equally annoying and unfortunate spot for Playtika’s game "Solitaire Grand Harvest."

The "Sex and the City"' star would not seem to be a natural fit, standing as she does on a corny set with pumpkins and haystacks, recreating a visual from the game.

Especially since one of the holdovers of her "SATC" fame is wanting to see what Sarah/Carrie Bradshaw is wearing.

But here, SJP’s blue dress and pumps are so stripped down and blingless that’s it’s hard to know what they were going for -- a farm girl in her Manolos uniform?

As with the Drew work, it’s also crazy-bright and loud, and she’s also emoting as hard as she can. The spot achieves true cringe when the “crew” breaks the fourth wall and interacts with her, making numbers puns referring to the game.

With the world-building going on in mobile gaming, these partnerships are obviously hugely lucrative for these celebs, and I get that. Everyone must eat, and good-natured Sarah and Drew are doing their best to bring joy to what’s otherwise so annoying.  

But at what cost to their images?

Surely, they don’t want their fans feeling sorry for them.

The owners and in-house team who create these TV and social-media campaigns no doubt think they’re adorable and hilarious.

Still, it’s a puzzler. I guess you had to be there.

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