EJM Designs Limited Blog

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The "You had me at..." Void in Advertising

If you haven't seen this Alamo commercial yet, please take the few seconds and have a look:

When a film comes out that is as accepted and popular as Jerry Maguire, certain iconic quotables such as "Show me the money!" or "You had me at 'Hello'" invariably emerge. The given cycle of popular culture deems that just before that quote becomes commonplace and known by "everybody," it is allowed a post-modern referential boost that comes with mentions and then parodies in other forms of media. After that, references are only really appropriate if done to be purposely trite, melodramatic, or absurd. Some years after that, a vintage use can come into play such as "What you talkin' 'bout Willis?" or "Knowing is half the battle."

So what do we make of a commercial that makes a reference to a movie that came out 12 years ago? The parody lifespan functionally passed 7 or 8 years ago. It's not being done it an absurd or reference and it's way too early for vintage. (Even if you accept the acceleration of media, vintage requires use of the original quote.)

Obviously it annoys me, but I've seen comments lauding the hilarity of the commercial. I guess either way, it's good advertising. I'm talking about it, aren't I?

What are your thoughts?

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