Big Rowan Ackison (greensh) wrote,
Big Rowan Ackison
greensh

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Living Life Lustfully

This past week I've been seeing a soda commercial on TV. In the commercial, an "average Joe" does extreme things like driving a convertible, top down, in freezing weather, break-dancing on his head, riding a bull during the 'running of the bulls", and so on. All of this improbable action is accompanied by the tune "My Way by Frank Sinatra.

On the surface the commercial is just another attempt to appeal to the "extreme" audience. The Mountain Dew spots used this approach. Young people, doing extreme improbable "sporting" things, would quest after Mountain Dews. The new commercial seems to break from this mold, attempting to reach a larger audience with the "average Joe" character doing the extreme things. While the things he does are extreme, they are not feats that the normal person would want to attempt. Driving in freezing weather with a convertible roof down is not fun. Break dancing on the head, if possible, would be painful and dangerous. Riding a bull is also a bit much. Interesting to watch? Sure. But none of the "I did it my way" feats are things that normal people would want to attempt.

So what's the point of the commercial? The ad appeals to both the funny bone and the sense that average people COULD do more if they really wanted to. Of course the soda company wants them to buy their product as part of this "lust for life" reaction. That's the individual consumer's choice. I am more interested in the deviance from the old message of "youth pursuing extreme living" to a humorous look at the older people doing the same. Shoot, the selection of the song indicates a shift in age focus. Could it be that the younger generation has tired of the EXTREME message and the older generations are now targeted by advertisers? The cynic in me thinks this.

Here's where my philosophical question comes in. The commercial challenges "average" and "older" people to live extremely. The examples given are over-the-top, showing the far edge of living. The individual can pick something safer and more practical. Life can be lived in the mode of "my way" if we desire.

Does this message appeal to you? Do you live life with a some amount of extremeness? Is this not really practical for the "responsible" person or is some amount of extremeness absolutely necessary to really feeling alive? Your opinions please!
Tags: advertising
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