NEW YORK “Daddy, do you have a lame algorithm?,” a concerned grade-school boy cautiously asks his father, who is soaking in the tub with the paper, in one of the first commercials from Crispin Porter + Bogusky for search engine Ask.com. See, the boy’s classmate Julie has been teased by the kids for her dad’s use of a “lame algorithm,” and he’s a worried that he’s going to get similar treatment. Thankfully his dad answers, “No, son, your mom and I get everything we want with the most powerful algorithm on earth.” The gentle music heightens the faux seriousness of the moment. “I knew it,” whispers the boy with relief as he leaves the bathroom. The fact that Ask.com doesn’t bother to explain (an existing ad has been doing the heavy lifting on that one) is what makes this and another spot with a bunch of guys talking about “algorithms” at a BBQ memorable. The word is treated as though it’s already part of the vernacular. And the “Experience instant getification” tagline is a fun, persuasive invitation.
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