Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Samsung takes shot in the dark on Ozzy, shows it knows Jack

Watching Ozzy Osbourne devalue himself over the years - going from music's prince of darkness to (unwitting?) class clown - you have to wonder: how much lower he can go? Or how much lower will Sharon encourage him to go?

We've had a reality series. We had the seemingly flop variety show, which somehow managed to be worse than the Brady Bunch fiasco where they swapped Eve Plumb's nuanced Jan for Geri Reischl's Broadway stylings. His past makes him unsuitable to be a kiddie show host. And the likelihood that he might drop trou would make him a horrible team mascot. So that leaves pitchman for your products. The latest being an ad for the Samsung Jack phone.

You might think they called the phone Jack (See what I did there?) because it would make it easier for Ozzy to remember the product's name. Jack being the name of one of Ozzy's brood. Doesn't help that Ozzy seemingly can't pronounce Samsung, which sounds like 'Samson' from his mumbly mouth. Probably should have flossed after eating that dove. (Now there's an idea, Ozzy as spokesperson for Dove soap.) Ads tend to be more effective when your pitchman can enunciate clearly.

As you might expect, Samsung and Ozzy encourage us to laugh at the aging rocker. Ozzy is hard to understand. Ozzy kicks people out and curses at them clearly enough to be understood and bleeped. Ozzy discovers indoor plumbing. Oh, that lovable, slightly house-trained Ozzy. Will your befuddlement ever cease to bring us mirth?

Despite the fact that Ozzy has become a frequent and obvious foil, it is an amusing ad. Funny unless you think we're being encouraged to laugh at the toll that years of hard partying, rock and rolling, and bat eating have taken on his mind. After all, the creative is predicated on a phone so easy to use, even a seemingly addled, wizened rocker can use it. Which makes it the perfect accessory, whether you're committing the ultimate sin, or simply out for the evening to bark (maybe barf, if you're Ozzy) at the moon.

Still, it wasn't the phone I wanted to know more about at the end of the commercial. I wanted to know the name of his hair stylist.

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