Nobody likes being treated like a moron—but it can present an opportunity for some righteously vindictive humor.
Last April, Chevrolet insulted the intelligence of viewers with a painfully contrived ad featuring “Real People” having to use emojis to describe the 2016 version of its Cruze model. Now, an enterprising YouTube comedian has struck back with a parody offering a more down-to-earth, hilarious review of the automobile.
The video, from Zebra Corner, intersperses footage of the original ad with new, slightly (and reasonably) misanthropic commentary. It’s clear from the get-go that something isn’t quite right when a new member of the focus group, upon meeting the moderator, snaps, “I don’t shake hands.” Not much later, he’s giving the car a pictorial rating of “turtle” because “it looks fucking slow.”
The deft edits play up the absurdity of the original spot—like the guy who is excited about all the tacos he can buy after savings on gas (which might be a reasonable calculus, if it hadn’t seemed so clearly whispered into his ear by one of the ad’s creators). “Awww, I hate you,” groans the comedian, echoing what everyone else in the audience was already thinking.
Eventually, the hero calls the car a “Ford Focus” and gives it an overall emoji rating of “smiling pile of turd.” To be fair, the performance of the automobile isn’t really on trial here. But as an assessment of the commercial itself, that little icon of an anthropomorphic shit with a self-eating grin on its face has perhaps never found a more accurate application.
It doesn’t hurt the parody’s case that Chevy has apparently been torturing people by keeping the original spot in heavy rotation. (The larger “Real People” campaign actually started out pretty decently, too.) The top comment on the parody, with some 700 upvotes, reads, “My kids scramble for the remote to change channel or hit the MUTE button when these Chevy commercials come on. They are universally despised by our entire family.”
In other words, the marketer should probably take a long hard look in the mirror when consumers like the parody better than the ad.
See the original Chevy spot here: