Xbox spot a little jarring

Water_balloonSometimes commercials can be the victim of circumstance. McCann Erickson‘s new Xbox ad, for example, which debuted on Lost on Wednesday, has a seemingly benign premise: a whole city partaking in a water ballon fight, to the tune of the quirky "Teddy Bears’ Picnic." But there’s something ominous about it: the shaky, digital-video look, the vaguely rundown housing complexes it takes place in, the European feel (although perhaps it was shot in Mexico City), and the slightly manic look of the teens and youths throwing water balloons all serve as a reminder of the scary events in France this week and last. Leaving aside the whole "entire city playing a game" premise that has been done so many times before (see Nike’s "Tag" and PlayStation’s "Mountain," which coincidentally were both directed by Frank Budgen, who also did this ad), this spot, tagged "Jump in," suffers from bad timing.

—Posted by Mae Anderson