Vaporizing Dan

I love assholes in TV spots. There aren’t enough of them. They make us feel so… superior. We can’t help feeling that way. We’re socialized human beings.

Dan says very little but we know everything about him. In just eight or nine words. And the actor playing Dan doesn’t try to be an asshole. He just says his lines in the same way he’d say, “Hi. Can I get you a smoothie?” Assholes don’t know they’re assholes. They’re just doing their best.

Now most spots would end with the line, “Whatever you do, don’t marry Dan.” Followed by a knowingly wry smile by the heroine. And if they’re feeling really courageous, an eye-roll.

But no. Dan comes back and she kills him. (Well, vaporizes him. Same thing.) And it happens fast. While our brains are making the assumption the spot is over. Which caused me to snort. It’s the visual equivalent of falling out of the bottom of the frame. Which also makes me snort.

And notice the camera keeps the frame. Visual gags work best from one angle. Nothing kills comedy faster than a roaming camera. And notice in the wide shot, when she’s on the treadmill, there’s a space for Dan to fill. This unfilled space creates tension.

Great spot from Droga5. Now I’m going to meditate on all the choices I’d like to have back. I’ll be back to you in a year or so.