eBay “Camera”

Here’s a tattoo parlor visit gone wrong. Michael Ian Black, using a camera purchased on eBay, takes digital photos of fellow comedian Michael Showalter, who thinks he’s getting a macho shark on his back. In fact, it’s a wimpy dolphin (with a heart). Punchline: Black calls the body art feminine, says Showalter will look great in a half-shirt. Brand impact? Perhaps slightly more than if eBay hadn’t advertised at all — though that’s debatable. Look, Goodby’s done great work for plenty of clients, and the talent here, while not exactly A-list, could surely make a commercial work if the premise had even a spark of life. But this tired, unfunny approach isn’t even well enough developed to be called bad … it’s just predictably bland and boring, kind of like eBay these days. On the plus side, the spot makes such a non-impression, it’s sure to be quickly — if not instantly — forgotten. Let’s hope Black erases those pictures from his camera. The less evidence these 30 seconds ever existed, the better. –David Gianatasio