Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Insufferable

O Gentle Reader . . . do you like beer commercials?  Specifically, those commercials that take place in bars, where everyone is "drinking," laughing, shooting pool, dancing, pushing their bodies against each other, looking, oh, I don't know, cool?

Do those work for you?  Do they make you want to drink beer?  They must work, because beer companies have been making these commercials for a long time.  Here's one from 2017:


I watched just 12 seconds of this video before deciding that it would work for this post . . . and in that short time, I absolutely came to the conclusion that these people ~ except for the fact that they are actors and that some of them probably don't drink beer (though they wouldn't admit that on set) ~ are assholes.  These are the kinds of assholes who are sitting at the next table, living in the glorified belief that every person in the bar wants to know everything about their jobs, their exes, their shouted opinions about what's wrong with Mounds candy bars and, you name it, whatever other dumb-fuck thing that matters to them.

Yet the commercials are clearly shot to be aspirational.  "You want to BE these people," the commercial says.  "You want to be cool like them, you want to dance like them, you want to scream like them, you want to drink their shitty brand of beer."

You want to be an asshole.

Strangely, I get the same vibe from role-players when they hit a certain, uh, level of fame.  Here's a video that Critical Role put out in March:



See?  You want to be these people!  You want to wear their costumes, you want to draw on your friend's face while he's passed out, you want to shoot a pinata in a snowy forest and threaten it with your weapon.  You want to pose in feathered costumes and pretend your super-sized styrofoam sword is an air guitar!  You want to play their shitty game.

This is a beer commercial.  For role-play.  And like these people, it is clear that you want to be an asshole.  You want to portray smug indifference as you poor fake coins over yourself before dancing in the yard of a borrowed property that has not given you permission to film indoors.

I really, really, really hate that I am in any way connected to this.

4 comments:

Ozymandias said...

On the plus side, you'll never lack for writing material...

G. B. Veras said...

That is interesting because until a few years ago here in Brazil beer commercials are even worse. Nearly all of them depicted women in short clothes or bikinis. But the brewers notices that this was pathetic and started to change the commercials to be more original and creative. So some presents the production of their beer and how awesome it is and others made some kind of comedy using puns, animations and whatever. Well, there is still commercials in old format but they are the shittiest.

Preston Selby said...

That video is pretty damn cringeworthy.
There is a certain quality of person whom I would like to attract to the hobby and I don't think that goofy display would do much for them.
But I am reminded of the time when I brought a piñata unicorn to game. I had purchased it at a charity auction and our group took turns throwing bricks and knives and broken rake handles at it until the candy finally came out.
This was done as a reference to a moment when my character attempted to javelin a unicorn and got savagely gored.
Does disliking critical hit make me a hypocrite where gaming and piñatas are concerned?

Alexis Smolensk said...

Ask yourself, Preston: is your pinata experience something you'd like to re-create as the advertised demonstration of your campaign's desireability? Is that what you want to be known for?

When people think of Preston, do you want that to be their first go-to?