My Favorite Commercial

Even though I previously called the Nike Tiger Woods ad “brilliant” (which, admittedly, may have been overstating it), it’s not my favorite commercial currently on TV. No, that honor belongs to the Slomin’s Shield. For those of you who don’t live in the New York area, and thus don’t have the privilege of seeing this on loop, here it is:

Here are my five favorite things about this commercial, in chronological order:

  • In Act I, we see the Relatable Middle Class Ethnic Couple pulling up to their house, to find police cars—from which the husband brilliantly deduces that “something’s wrong”—and the wife is understandably upset. But in the alternate Slomin’s reality, she seems even more pissed off: “I TOLD them to get the Slomin’s Shield. And it’s free!”
  • We transition from the nice, middle class black couple to the gruff, blue-collar (he has a beard!) firefighter. And has anyone ever overacted more with only seven words?
  • The firefighter’s wife is EVEN ANGRIER than the black woman. The mere idea of being left alone in the late afternoon/early evening sends this woman into tremors. Plus, there is the symmetrical sexism of Act II: The wife is either terrified to be left alone without her husband, or safe and secure…cooking dinner for her gruff, hardworking husband.
  • The Great Slomin’s Trilogy comes to a conclusion with yet another Negative Female Stereotype. We’ve already seen shrill twice, insecure, servile, and docile, but now we get worried and dramatic. In the middle of the night, a woman wakes up because she “heard something”—although Slomin’s doesn’t even bother to put a sound effect there, so we know she is clearly just hallucinating—and forces her husband to wake up and go fend off some potential intruder.
  • Finally, in the Slomin’s reality, the last husband is so dismissive of his wife’s worry: “Don’t worry, the Slomin’s Shield is on. Go back to sleep.” He knows that alarm systems don’t immediately vanquish all criminals, right? You probably shouldn’t start sleeping through burglaries.

I could probably go on for a while longer—I haven’t even gotten to the narrator—but I’ll just leave it at that for now.

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