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It must suck to be that guy
October 8, 2012 - 11:45am

It must suck to be that guy in the commercial.  The commercial which (until we're inevitably humbled by an even more extreme example) seems the ultimate expression of "you are what you buy" materialism.  In fact, it goes beyond "you are what you buy", to attain previously unscaled heights of "you are how you buy", and "you are how much you buy". 

Not that there haven't been ad campaigns around "how" and "how much" before.  "What's in your wallet?".  "Double miles you can use any time".  That sort of thing.  But the new-ish (at least, it's new to me) commercial goes well beyond extolling commercial value you can accumulate based on expenditure.  It clearly communicates that you, yourself can be of more value if you just spend enough in a particular manner.

At the start of the commercial, the poor schlub gets dumped by his girlfriend because he's boring, boring, boring.  Then, miraculously, he discovers that he has the right kind of credit card in his wallet and, as a result, gets to go to an exhibit of photographs of Marilyn Monroe, gets to take a cooking lesson from Giada de Laurentiis, gets a backstage pass to an Alicia Keys concert.  By the end of this 30-second slice of what passes for a life, he's strongly implied to be no longer boring.

Not that his unboring-ness is obvious to this observer, of course.  Seems to me that he's still a schlub, albeit a schlub better positioned to drop celebrity names (one of them, of course, dead) at dinner parties.  If he ever gets invited to any.  Which I don't see why anyone would do.

I mean, who's more profoundly boring than someone who thinks they're interesting just because they bought their way into some level of reflected celebrity?  And what's more profoundly unsustainable than a culture which defines 'success' as being able to induce folks to aspire to just such a status? 


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