I really like this new Vonage commercial. They’ve always had good advertising in my opinion; I was a fan of their “People Do Stupid Things” campaign they had some years back. Very clever & entertaining, & that little jingle that went along with it was contagious. So it’s not really a surprise to see another clever Vonage ad on TV again. There are three things that strike me about this ad: the set, the setting, and the delivery of the dialogue.
The set is really well thought out. The idea of having two living rooms in the same room, one inverted, is nifty—though I admit not necessarily novel. All the same, it’s striking to see something that appears to defy gravity, just for the pure surrealism of it.
What I call “the setting” is a little bit different here than perhaps what some people would prescribe to that term. To me, it’s interesting because the two guys put their heads right next together as if each were doubling as a telephone. It’s a little bizarre, because if a person were literally “in the room” with you, it’s quite doubtful this would be either of your preferred way of talking. It does get the telephone point across, however, and is certainly necessary for the execution of the ad’s concept. But what’s interesting to me is that they strategically added a woman to the scene to at least give the viewer the option to believe it is the significant other of the man who appears on screen upside down. In other words, for the sake of any potential Vonage customer who might also be a homophobe, this helps to assuage their fear. I don’t want to get into politics or life-style judgments here whatsoever. Point is: I understand their logic from a statistics standpoint.
But my favorite part of the commercial, the part that always pulls me right into watching it again every time I see it on TV, is the way Bill says, “Hey, Karen.” Just from the mixture of insouciance with a slightly flirty overtone, so much is conveyed, and yet, so much is still a mystery. My mind wanders with the possibilities. How do these two know each other? Let’s assume Karen is dating the other guy. We’ll allow that they live together, especially since she’s doing laundry. Now, wherever they live is obviously in a different time zone, because one window shows daylight outside, while the other, night. But what’s with the way he says that?
Do they have a thing for each other? Why does she make it a point to let him hear her voice? She could just as easily say, “Oh tell him I said hello.” But she doesn’t. Which makes you wonder. And Bill directly shouts back to her. Will they ever hook up in the future? Will she have an affair with Bill? Or is it all just innocent or what? Of course we’ll never know, but that’s part of the appeal of the whole ad. What’s your take on it?