Guest Critic: July’s Weather Report

NEW YORK I’ve always wanted to be a weather girl. Here’s my chance.

July saw a thick layer of clouds with few breaks of sunshine. There was an 89 percent chance of familiarity, a 64 percent chance of stupidity and a 12 percent chance of a lot of post effects. Winds blew in lightly from many parts of the U.S. and strong rays of light seemed to be, well, eclipsed. There were a few entertaining bizarre-for-the-sake-of-bizarre (Old Spice, Skittles) gusts and a strong front in David Beckham (Adidas, ESPN).

Records were not broken in humor. And while barometric pressure attempted to coax a tear or two, there was a drought. An unidentifiable weather pattern got under the skin of women with nice hair (Dunkin’ Donuts, Sunsilk) and a hurricane named John Cleese (Titleist) blew in from the Northeast. I guess someone didn’t get word that his name had been used a few times before.

One front, stemming from the JC Penney region, kissed my cheeks. In a spot called “Heart,” the lovelorn doodle of a young girl escapes her notebook and frolics around, only to land near the boy whom it was about. “Today’s the day to get up your nerve,” the super says. In a brisk 30 seconds, a unique story managed to defrost a brand.

Do’h! Call me easy, but I got swept up in a spot called “World Domination” from Burger King. Now, I suspect the power of this front—in which people get “strobed” by a cartoon alien, transforming them into a Simpsons character—won’t go down in history for compelling consumers to eat more red meat. But, it might go down as an example of impressive casting. I happily waded in the 30-second puddle over and over again to satiate my fascination with the fact that someone out there found a guy who strongly resembles Homer Simpson, Grampa, Otto (the bus driver) and, yes, even Krusty the Clown. “The world is going Simpsons, and BK is in on it.” As I said, not exactly genius, but genius I think is on holiday this time of year.

There was also hail—little balls of “bounce,” as the commercial suggests. They serve as the key ingredients in some fancy new sneakers from Adidas, featured in the spot, “Bounce Is Bounce.” Yes, there are good bouncy balls and there’s the occasional slacker not-so-bouncy ball. Which, of course, won’t make the cut, as apparently the bounce “returns energy with every step.” This spot for an athletic shoe felt good. Maybe it’s just the humidity.

There’s a 300 percent chance that a Jeep will move in from the North, South, East or West—at least it seems to be coming in from every angle in its new “Heritage” spot, in which Jeeps seem to drive through past and present TV and film clips. It’s fun to see the appropriate Jeep of the time period invade its respective moment of film. However, despite the fun (and the impressive post job), I couldn’t help but wonder two things: Hasn’t this been done before? Is Forrest Gump driving the car?

All in all, July experienced a period of lows with the occasional high. Nothing too severe, with low precipitation and no record breakers. As we all know, though, the weather can change on a dime. Let’s hope for steamy, howling conditions sometime in the near future.

Back to you, uh, Jim.