Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Tastes as good as it smells

I've long believed this is the perfect commercial. It's the combination of sensory enjoyment (seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling) with hypnotic repetition ("Tastes as good as it smells" is repeated FIVE times in the space of one minute). If you watch it carefully, you'll see a brilliant montage of simple, effective black-and-white images, a steaming coffee pot, a white oval cup filling with dark coffee, the cup being slowly raised until the coffee fills the entire screen. . . The oval motif is echoed by the shape of the can, and the perspective between these objects is simply masterful. By the last shot the open can is being tipped towards the camera, and a little avalanche of ground coffee just casually spills down at us.

There's something deliberate about the whole thing, the pacing of it, as if someone is handing you an item, and an item, and an item, not rushing, but each item is solid platinum, you can't put it down. It's the opposite of the loud, pushy hard sell. . . but pitching the slogan FIVE times? I had to count it on my fingers (my brain doesn't go past four) to believe it was that many times. It's something to do with the simplicity of the narration which is hypnotic in a way that's hard to analyze. See the coffee pot, smell the coffee, taste the coffee. See, smell, taste. So seductively are we told this, over and over again, and by such a smooth announcer, that we don't even realize that they are commands. But then there is the final stroke of brilliance, that bongo-ish percolator sound that sticks in your memory forever. As if this needed any more sensory appeal! Yet to watch it is to be completely seduced by an ad that seems unremarkable in its utter simplicity.

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