My first post just might be my longest, because this has been airing for about half a year now, giving me plenty of time to think about why I don’t like it.
A description, for those who don’t want to watch the video (or maybe it will be taken down in the future): Young, hip people are hanging out in an apartment, having fun snacking on this great product, when an unhip waitress, apparently unaware of her own awkwardness, appears as if by magic, trying to increase her tip with a bad attempt at relating to their low-key gathering. “Hey, funky party people! Are we having FUN?” she pseudo-wonders. An announcer comes on to explain this strange, magical metaphor-waitress. “Any more ‘restaurant’ and they’d come with an annoying waitress,” he tells us with the tiniest amount of scorn, his voice winking at us.
The message they seem to be conveying: “You’re a hip young person, right? We know how that works. You’re better than some uninhibited loser, whose attempt at fun is just laughable. You don’t even go for fun. You’re more sophisticated than that. We understand each other perfectly, see? That’s why you should try our thing.”
One benefit of showing your ad ad infinitum is that you can squeeze a lot of information into a few seconds and the audience will still notice it. The trappings of the apartment these people are in says a lot about them, and therefore about the people they’re targeting. They’ve got hip furniture, hip posters, a bicycle, guitars strewn about that they may or may not be able to play well… everything about them screams “hipster”. (Mini-diatribe: I’m sick of the word “hipster”. It doesn’t mean anything. It’s just a way to pretend you know someone without going through the trouble of actually knowing them. Plus, I’m pretty sure that everyone who says they hate hipsters is only saying that because otherwise the other hip hipster-haters would assume they are one.)
Anyway, this commercial is aiming to represent the myth of the hipster. In reality, people like this probably have jobs similar to the waitress’s, so they could appreciate her need for a better tip… though maybe they work at low-key restaurants and coffee shops where such unrestrained and outdated attempts to entertain the clientèle would get them fired.
I suspect that this commercial’s success is because of its failure: The waitress is not actually annoying, but funny. From what I’ve seen, people like the waitress and don’t care that the ad is telling them she’s annoying, and that’s why this commercial won’t stop airing. I could be wrong, though: maybe it’s a genuine success and the whole point was to show us a funny character. Maybe the sneering at her wasn’t really the message, but just a “straight man” setting-up that helps make it funnier and more memorable.