KGB “Natural Weave”

It’s difficult to say what The Brooklyn Brothers and KGB had in mind with this spot. Dave Kiefaber on AdFreak calls the commercial “arguably racist,” and watching it does send the discomfort meter soaring. Even putting aside the clip’s potential to offend, it badly misfires in numerous other directions. The performances — probably envisioned as tongue-in-cheek — seem either rushed (the beauty salon) or listless (the KGB “agents” in the field). The yak gives the best turn, and even he looks bored. The underlying message — texting questions to KGB for responses — is undercut by the fact that the query about natural hair extensions isn’t outrageous, clever or even particularly interesting; it’s just banal. Yes, there’s “Yaki Hair,” but that joke isn’t really put into context for anyone unfamiliar with hair weaves in the first place. Overall, there’s a slipshod, half-baked cheapness here that reflects poorly on KGB’s service itself. Which, at 99 cents per answer, isn’t particularly cheap at all. So, why not just Google? The salon customer’s phone looks like it can access the Internet, and Googling’s free! I’m done yakking now; play the spot and decide for yourselves. –David Gianatasio