ESPN “Alarm”

A new campaign for ESPN’s Monday Night Football gives viewers something to look forward to other than the beginning of the work week with spots that poke fun at the drudgery of the routine and offers relief — with football. In “Alarm,” a man tries to ignore his ringing alarm clock and stay in a dream in which he’s making music with none other than parachute pants-wearing ’80s icon MC Hammer. The bits are funny enough — our dreamer playing a portable synthesizer in an electric blue blazer and orange Hammer pants, Hammer complaining about the “beeping and beeping,”  the reality of the alarm that is piercing through the man’s dream — but brief. Just enough to get the narrator to, “You realize it’s Monday and you’ve got to go to work.” But with Monday, he continues, comes Monday Night Football. And that’s enough to brighten the guy’s mood as he thinks about the evening’s entertainment. The spot cuts to him smiling as he’s watching a game. “Your Monday morning can’t touch this,” promises the narrator as on-screen type asks “Is it Monday yet?” For football fans, the spot suggests, ESPN provides the kick-start they need. Now what about the rest of us?  —Eleftheria Parpis