We've got five interesting-for-different-reasons clips this week, none of which are worth more than three paragraphs. Thus it's time for another installment of Short Attention Span Theater, in which I attempt to condense content into bite-size column-ettes. Hey, it beats 825 labored words on the latest CGI-dancing-babies extravaganza. Here's a few lessons I learned:
Every financial-services pitch since the dawn of humanity appears to have been delivered by an old-but-not-too-old man, one whose demeanor suggests a prudent town clerk and whose voice conveys the wisdom of the ages. Perhaps financial companies have research confirming that "venerated white guy speaking slowly, as if to a roomful of impulsive dipsh*ts" remains the most effective attitudinal shading for products of this nature, but really: It's 2014.
IKEA's growth in the U.S. happened to coincide with my buying-stuff adolescence. I was on my own for the first time and, for reasons best explored with a therapist, determined to do everything myself. The delivery of a patented IKEA fltbx packed with almost-wood panels, cryptic assembly instructions and inch-long Allen wrenches gave me a palpable buzz. Two days and nine hours later, when I completed putting together whatever awesomely nonsensically named item I was putting together, I felt complete. IKEA product assembly bolstered my sense of self. My 20s were not a proud decade.
This time around it's Kahlua attempting to barter its liquid-party-candy image for a little hipster sangfroid. Happily, rather than falling back on either of the two mainstays of alcohol advertising - the dumb dudes acting dumbishly of beer spots or the suave actorly mannerisms of vodka and tequila ads - "The White Russian" settles into an easy western-noir groove, one that pays homage to genre conventions while simultaneously tweaking them.