Friday, July 5, 2013

Comedy isn't pretty

Let's start out by admitting the obvious, convenience store coffee is usually horrible. 

Made from low quality, poorly roasted beans then brewed by people who are too busy watching for teenage shoplifters to ensure any sense of freshness; expecting great quality coffee drinks from gas station barista is like hoping to pick up a real Rolex from a street vendor in Soho.

So I give Cumberland Farms credit for not creating a campaign about how fabulous their iced coffee is. 

On the other hand, I'm still not sure this effort works.

What's not to like? It has The 'Hoff singing a super-cheesy pop song in front of awesome '80s graphics and a couple of fawning babes on the beach. It's all there.

But something's missing. This spot gives credence to the old adage, "Dying is easy. Comedy is hard."

It takes a deft touch to create satire and someone totally committed to the genre, the idea and the details. That's not the case here. It's as if the producers of this spot felt that getting Hasselhoff to sing was enough. 

It's not.

Let's start with the fact that there is no idea behind the spot. There's no story to the video. It's just a random series of images that are intended to be ironic. But like a bad cup of coffee, there's no reason to come back for more.

The spot is also missing the layers that would make it really work. 

The music is poorly composed and badly arranged. There's nothing interesting about it and on top of that, while the guitars are right, it's missing the trademark synth and other sounds of the era. 

Even though there's ample opportunity for real humor in the lyrics, there isn't a single line that makes you laugh out loud. 

The images could work so much harder to make the drink the star. Hasselhoff is singing about his love for Farmhouse Blends, that's the story video should be telling. Instead it's all about him, which after watching it a few times makes the drink even less appealing.

I give these guys an A for trying something different, but an E on execution. On that level, it certainly leaves me thirsty for more.

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