I hate commercials. Now that cell phones and the NSA’s domestic spying practices have driven “being dupefully surveilled” up to the top of the list of my greatest fears and anxieties, “being effectively marketed to” is at most a distant second. Still, I hate being effectively marketed to. I like DVRs’ commercial-hopping abilities. But I don’t hop over Esurance’s “Beatrice” ad, because every element is so exquisite.
Let me direct your attention to:
- All parts of Beatrice’s outfit, particularly the scarf and its knot’s location w/r/t the hang of her bosom.
- How Beatrice points to her “wall” and then revises that pointing for more emphasis and clarity.
- The look the critical friend gives the supportive friend after her, “Ooh! I like that one!”
- The cut on “fifteen percent” that shifts our attentions from the supportive friend to the critical one.
- The faint gasp heard from Supportive in the wake of Beatrice’s unfriending.
- The well earned vocal fry on 66% of these women.
- Beatrice’s continued gesturing during Jim Halpert’s voiceover that broadcasts her pitying attitude toward this supposedly more savvy friend.
- The piano in the corner at the end, which of course Beatrice can play and perhaps teaches lessons for.
It’s got in 30 seconds the same richness of detail dudes in magazines fawn over Wes Anderson features for. Every time it comes on I sit up in my seat, leaning forward the way I imagine Sontag did in the second row of a movie theater.
(Or was that Pauline Kael?)