Oh, Yes, Wyoming!
March 31, 2004 6:42 AM   Subscribe

"Why don't you reverse the rotation of the Earth, go back in time and read the directions?" Jerry Seinfeld, Superman and a stolen DVD player. Yeah, it's part of an American Express promotion, but it's cleverly done.
posted by emelenjr (29 comments total)
Watch the 'making of' bit, and marvel as he mouths corporate cock, clearly scripted. What interests me is the teeter-totter of how far the utter wooden lameness of his 'American Express matches up well with my worldview' recitation leans toward him feigning leaden script-recitation, for metacomedy value, or alternately how far it leans towards him being utterly defeated by the requirements to metaphorically toss the salad of the Corporate Sponsor and read such amazingly, egregiously tone-deaf corpo-suck thud-dullard lines on-camera that he just doesn't care anymore. And if the latter is the case, how astonishing it is that the writer of his little script could be so tone-deaf in the first place. How many levels of corporate metawankery are there here, and when does it stop being funny and just get a little sad?

I dunno. But Supe is pretty cool and stuff.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:05 AM on March 31, 2004


I thought it was a hoot. Remarkably well-done flash, a completely random sing-along that alternately makes me groan and... well, sing along.

I know it's nothing new, but the clock on the wall in the background is so sleek, I wanna lick it.
posted by precocious at 7:10 AM on March 31, 2004

Ha. Fun. Was that Patrick Warburton as superman?

Entertaining advertising is ok with me. At least when it's my choice to watch it (unlike before a movie in the theater).
posted by tomplus2 at 7:18 AM on March 31, 2004

I clicked the link, watched it, mildly enjoyed it, and feel terrible because this is exactly what American Express wanted me to do.
posted by gsteff at 7:19 AM on March 31, 2004

Why feel bad about it again?

They get their message out, you get entertained. Better than most advertising. And frankly, I've got an Amex and didn't realize I had a 90 day replacement policy. I could have saved myself some major pains in the butt with things that broke if I'd known.

I say good one. Bettert han the old Wassup garbage.
posted by swerdloff at 7:27 AM on March 31, 2004

I think that this is the future of advertising -- with the recent decline in TV watching I know that they're looking for more ways to get us to watch the ads. Clever and funny ads I'm all for in favor of more invasive methods.
posted by woil at 7:38 AM on March 31, 2004

This is absolutely fantastic and made my day. They should beef up the animation of Superman a little, and make it a series -- maybe with someone a little less expensive than Seinfeld in the lead. As far as it being "corporate" (booga-booga), please tell me whom American Express has killed lately, what weapons systems it has designed, what genocide its undertaken, the crimes, the muggings, the spouse abuse, the annoying honking, child abuse, religious persecution, racist/homophobic attacks, carjackings or elder abuse it has undertaken recently? Sheesh. It's a finance company with a 90-day replacement policy.
posted by Faze at 7:53 AM on March 31, 2004

Dear America, please explain why Jerry Seinfeld is regarded as a comedian in your country.
posted by biffa at 8:04 AM on March 31, 2004

Because his schtick doesn't involve dressing in drag, I imagine. Heh.
posted by emelenjr at 8:53 AM on March 31, 2004

Wasn't that Bob Hoskins as they guy in restaurant?
posted by tommasz at 8:56 AM on March 31, 2004

Dear Biffa,
You are dumb.
posted by ghastlyfop at 8:56 AM on March 31, 2004

um, as the guy in the restaurant?

So much for Preview.
posted by tommasz at 8:58 AM on March 31, 2004

Don't fuck with Jerry Seinfeld.
posted by xmutex at 9:13 AM on March 31, 2004

Have read several times that superman appears in every Sienfeild episode. I have spotted superman in Jerry's apartment placed on a living room book shelf and magnetized on the refrigerator's door in the kitchen. Even have seen both at once in a scene but I can't say I've seen superman in each episode. Add, this might be why superman is in the commercial.
posted by thomcatspike at 9:20 AM on March 31, 2004

This isn't entirely new - Supes and Jerry did an Amex commercial for the 1998 Superbowl.
posted by Sangre Azul at 9:36 AM on March 31, 2004

It's advertaining!!!!

/walter monheit

Seriously, I like it. A lot. And, like swerdloff above, I had no idea about the 90-day replacement. So I was entertained AND I learned something about the product. Not a bad price to pay.

But one question? Are Supe and Jerry sharing that apartment? Not that there's anything wrong with that.
posted by baltimore at 9:51 AM on March 31, 2004

nice interface. i have no interest in american express, so i'm willing to submit to an low-pressure promotion for free entertainment. some of it was ok funny.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:20 AM on March 31, 2004

What am I doing wrong here. It seems like I have to enter my email address in order to watch. I'd sooner blow a dog.
posted by scarabic at 11:23 AM on March 31, 2004

Well, it is the Warburton doing the voice (did a little research).

However, I would have found it far more amusing if the video would have played smoothly using the 56K setting on my DSL line. A bit anticlimactic, that.

S' truth about the cute interface, though.
posted by Samizdata at 11:31 AM on March 31, 2004

The New York post is calling it "the year's funniest new movie so far"... I found it mildly entertaining. Never had to give an email address.
posted by bobo123 at 11:35 AM on March 31, 2004

Great. Now I've got that feckin' "Oh, Yes, Wyoming!" song stuck in my head ...

It ultimately fails as advertisement, though, because it doesn't induce me to use their product. Then again, I'm predisposed to dislike American Express and won't do business with them. Besides, I get the same purchase protection on my MasterCard, and that card doesn't cost me whatever AmEx are now charging for "membership".
posted by chuq at 12:30 PM on March 31, 2004

Is the clock on the wall 12 hours off?
posted by Guy Smiley at 12:44 PM on March 31, 2004

I don't know about Amex in particular, but credit card companies as a whole have not exactly been ethical role models in their marketing targeted at college students or raising the interest rates sharply if you miss a single payment etc. As financing sources, they are certainly better than the mob, but that's not the point.

The point is that if you listen to the tone of Mr. Seinfeld speaking in the "Behind the scenes" clip, he really sounds like he couldn't possibly care less, but is doing it for some reason anyway (maybe a bad old contract or something). His endorsement "it's good!" is even cut from another scene altogether.

Most Seinfeld episodes were funnier (longer too, of course, so it's probably not a fair comparison) and in a slightly different mode of humor, so kind of a letdown there. The ending was funny though.
posted by ikalliom at 1:02 PM on March 31, 2004

That was just lame. If Seinfeld's got this Superman fetish, why would he want to make a short film/advertisement/whatever that gets the character so wrong as to not even be recognizable as parody?
posted by ursus_comiter at 4:24 PM on March 31, 2004

> If Seinfeld's got this Superman fetish, why would he want to make a short film that gets the character so wrong as to not even be recognizable as parody?

Because that's the joke? You see, they're saying this iconic invulnerable superhero would be just like everyone else when he was hanging around with his friends. Even though that's implausible. See, that's the joke. I'm pointing to it. There.
posted by Yogurt at 5:42 PM on March 31, 2004

"It's impervious to stains" - nearly brought tears to my eyes.
posted by FidelDonson at 12:47 AM on April 1, 2004

I thought it was genius. I'll take cute, entertaining, funny and subversive advertising over the Coors Twins any day.
posted by Down10 at 2:52 PM on April 2, 2004

And I'll take a branding iron over scalpel evisceration, if those are my only two choices.
posted by squirrel at 8:05 PM on April 7, 2004

So Superman and Jerry are lovers? Who knew?

Seriously, this was designed to ping loud on the most clueless of gaydars.
posted by Fupped Duck at 10:32 AM on April 29, 2004

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