Saturday, September 10, 2011

Celebrating Human Foibles: That State Farm Commercial With The Falcon

This State Farm advertisement does a great job of illustrating some basic human weaknesses.  The fact that it seems to celebrate those weaknesses and successfully use them to sell a product designed to protect us from the consequences of our acting on those foibles illustrates quite a bit about Americans ambiguous relationship with irony:  we love it but don't understand it.

First, Americans spend money poorly; no one needs a falcon but everyone wants one.

Second, it's easier to recognize others' errors.  The wife understands that buying a falcon is nonsense; the husband seems pleased.

Third, it's easier to blame someone distant from us than it is someone close to use.  The wife blames the agent for buying the falcon.

Fourth, Americans are great at justifying their own stupidity:  I saved money and bought a falcon, ergo you bought me the falcon

Fifth, no one even blinks twice at the idea that freedom to choose involves bad choices.  More importantly, no one blinks twice at the idea that this commercial celebrates dumb chocices.

Sixth, there's no shortage of people who make dumb choices and kick themselves for not making a worse one.  No one in the commercial seems to want to spend $400 on a new laptop.

Seventh, celebrating stupid purchases while claiming the product one is advertising is wise choice is ironic, but no one seems to notice it.


caheidelberger said...

Permit me to stretch your tolerance for semi-relevant comments by noting that the City of Madison will give first reading Monday night to an animal ordinance that bans chickens, ducks, goats, and other useful and edible creatures from the city limits but which allows falcons, hawks, and pigeons.

LK said...

I guess if I ever move to Madison, I will have to buy a falcon