“Border Town”

She stumbles for a moment while entering the room on high heels she’s out of
practice at wearing. He moistens a finger and tries to drape a few strands
of hair across his bald spot. Romance is in the air! It’s a sweet opening
for a spot, via R&R Partners of Las Vegas, that promotes Mesquite, Nev., a
tourist town whose advertising falls under the auspices of the Las Vegas
Convention and Visitors Authority. In a nice sendup of pulp-fiction purple
prose, a whisky-voiced male voiceover gives the play-by-play: “She slid into
the room like a pat of butter across a Belgian waffle. One look at her and
he folded like a cheap beach chair.” And so on, building up to the
denouement: “For a few days, their names weren’t Mommy and Daddy.” Ah, so
that’s what’s going on. Even in the dim lighting, we’d gathered that these
two aren’t young newlyweds, let alone young singles having an illicit
affair. Now we know they’re married, grownup parents getting a respite from
unerotic domesticity. And we take the point that Mesquite might be a good
destination for such a jaunt if we’re in the same demographic boat.
(Mesquite cultivates the on-the-edge aura of a border town, though the place
it borders is Arizona rather than some disreputable foreign country.) A
roadside sign, complete with flashing arrow, pairs the Mesquite name and Web
address with the motto, “Escape momentarily.” Pop culture has accustomed us
to regarding sex, when alluded to onscreen, as the exclusive province of the
young-svelte-and-beautiful. As such, some people may feel there’s a bit of
an ick factor to vignettes that suggest the older-paunchy-and/or-balding are
getting into the act. The wry humor of this spot forestalls any such
reaction, though.–Mark Dolliver