Monday, February 13, 2012

When the ads are more interesting than the show.....

One of the stranger rituals associated wth Superbowl Sunday is the postgame ad analysis. There have been, over the years, some spectacular spots, ads that have become iconic, like the 1984 Apple “We Shall Prevail” ad or Joe Nameth’s  1973 “Cream Your Face” campaign for Noxema.  The Mean Joe Green jersey ad remains one of my favorites, even if Joe Mauer did a parody in which he pulled off his sideburns and gave 'em to a kid. Whatever the reason, the ads of late January are always a little funnier, a little edgier, and occasionally a bit risqué. And by association, all the other corporations debut their slickest ads, making this time of year a veritable cacophony of jingles.

Chagall's Jongleur
Generally, I’m a fan of Target ads. They’re slick, colorful, sometimes a tongue-in-cheek, but always clever. This week, I happened to catch one of their new spring ads, and I have to admit, it stopped me in my tracks.  A troop of brightly dressed jongleurs tumbled from the basket of a hot air balloon and began prancing and dancing through streets and houses and shops, all to the tune of that old children’s song,  Alouette, the one everyone knows …even if they don’t speak a lick of French!

Uh, did anyone bother to read the translation of the lyrics? I had to stop and go look up them up online just to make sure I wasn’t remembering some dark childhood parody of the song. I mean, I remembered the lyrics as a little creepy…and I wanted to be sure I was getting this right. The ad is supposed to be  happy and charming.

Here are the lyrics in question:
           Alouette, gentille Alouette          Little skylark, lovely little skylark 
           Alouette, je te plumerai             Little lark, I'll pluck your feathers off
          Je te plumerai la tête                 I’ll pluck the feathers off your head
          (Je te plumerai la tête)              (I’ll pluck the feathers off your head)  
           Et la tête                                  Off your head - off your head 
           (Et la tête)                               (Off your head - off your head)
           Alouette, Alouette…                   Little lark, little lark…
           O-o-o-oh                                   Oh-oh-oh-oh

Common Horned Lark
From there, the song goes on to pluck the rest of those little feathers. This is about eating a defenseless little bird! Even Romeo (yes, that Romeo) speaks of her, “…the lark, the herald of the morn.” How can you prance around singing about plucking a poor, sweet, little lark?

Of course, there is always that remote possibility that they’re singing about buying treyf chicken in the meat department, but the ad seems more about the advent of spring and its resplendent colors. Regardless, the tune, a voyageurs’ paddling song, is catchy, and the action is certainly arresting, but.... I just think it’s really weird.

And while we’re on the subject of weird, this week’s round of primary straw polls have got to take the cake, the Pulitzer, and the Oscar for weird. The rhetoric is getting more extreme, more absurd, and, increasingly violent toward those of us equipped with a uterus. I don’t know a single woman, liberal and conservative alike who is comfortable with the direction the rhetoric is going. There is something hateful about the way those men are talking about our bodies. Thanks to MEET THE PRESS, at least now we know what make Rick Sanctimonious tick. It seems his mother made more than his father during most of her working years. Yep. That's it. His mother cut off his dad's economic manhood. 

Puh-leeze. Give me a break.

And y'know what? I think I shall take one.  So for the next four weeks, barring some national emergency….like getting involved in yet another land war in Asia (does anyone ever listen to Vizzini?) I am going to attempt NOT to write about politics. I promise I will find other, infinitely more amusing things to write about. 

Wish me luck, folks.

The Wifely Person's Tip O'the Week
People don't hire people because they think the new guy can't do the job.
That's what elections are for.

The Wifely Person's Bonus Tip O'the Week
Planning a sojourn in The Kingdom?
Have a safe journey, a grand adventure, and spectacular success.


  1. I recall my older sister's French teacher (all the way back in 1962) refused to let her pupils sing "Alouette," for the very reason it was too brutal. Instead, they learned "La Marseillaise," which — of course —prompts people to take up arms and kill.

    You not writing about politics.. yeah, now that I gotta see. Like me not drawing anything political.
    -Your Editorial Cartoonist, Pal.

  2. Bonus Tip of the Week for the Ignorant (Like Myself):

    jon·gleur  [jong-gler; Fr. zhawn-glœr] noun, plural -gleurs  /-glərz; Fr. -ˈglœr/ (in medieval France and Norman England) an itinerant minstrel or entertainer who sang songs, often of his own composition, and told stories.

    That said, now I'm gonna pluck off...

  3. Actually, I went through a whole list of synonyms after my initial use of "jongleur," and finally decided I was comfortable with the image it provoked. The tumbling prance'n'dancers, I felt, fell into the wandering entertainer category since they poured out of the basket of the balloon.

    Thank you for noticing the word choice.

  4. Extremely amusing post. Lolapowers

  5. We are not all ignorants. for your info. Lolapowers