Twitter's First Commercial: Did It Have to Be So #Crappy?

Shaky spot doesn't do it justice

Twitter has been taking hits on just about all fronts for its first real commercial, which shows one of its software engineers, Danny Hertz, sitting in a New York lunchroom when he gets a tweet about last week's earthquake—just before the room starts shaking and he gets pelted (harmlessly) by debris falling from all directions. He appears blissfully unconcerned as he continues reading the Shit My Dad Says book and prominently holding a Twitter mug. The consensus is that the spot is boring, self-absorbed, insensitive and rewrites history to portray the quake as worse than it was. I think MSNBC nails it: "The tardiness of this topic seems counterproductive to the message of Twitter's immediacy it's attempting to send." By taking the in-joke/doofus-humor approach, Twitter sells itself short and undermines its relevance to the daily lives of millions of tweeters worldwide. Sure, Twitter can be a geeky time waster, but it's also sparked a seismic shift in the way people communicate and played a role on the global stage. It really can shake things up, and could use some advertising to match.