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Lay another brick in the wall of fascinating and artsy American Express ads. Wes Anderson has his own ad now, and it’s quite amusing in a Wessy sort of way.

The crappy YouTube version is here. There is a kinda better version on the Amex website, but it’s a stupid Flash site, so I cant link directly. Click here, wait for the site to build, then click on Wes’ picture in the bottom scrolling thingy. (He’s wearing a hat and holding up a french fry.)


John Expounded Thusly:

What Steve calls fascinating and artsy I find pretentious and vapid. As someone who has been an AmEx member since 1988, I wish they’d take 1/10th of their marketing budget and put it to customer service. These ads make no sense and point up the fact that nothing differentiates AmEx from another credit card except “attitude,” and the “attitude” of being cool and hip is not one you can invent; it has to be there all along. I, Mr. Lekowicz, abhor these ads.

So there. 🙂

Monday, May 1st, 2006 • 11:26am • Permalink

Steve Expounded Thusly:

Too bad this post is garnering discussion! So many more interesting things have been posted! But emotions lie where least we predict.

So allow me to elaborate. I do not like that these are commercials. When I first saw the Robert De Niro one, it was obviously an ad since it was on TV, but it was so atmospheric and beautiful, that when the Amex part finally came up, I was a little let down.

The Kate Winslet one was not as artistic, but I still enjoyed it, mostly because I did not know it was her right away. But the ad itself is clever, I think, because for a moment you think maybe this is the woman telling her tale of overcoming adversity to become a famous actress. But then you realize that she’s simply recounting the roles she played, and then a bus with a big ad with her face drives by. Reality and fantasy. I like it. The Amex part is a let-down, of course.

The Tiger Woods ad and the one with the Blackberry guy are pretty pedestrian and nothing special as far as commercials go.

Then there’s these long-form ads. M. Night Shyamalan’s is interesting, but does not end up becoming the mysterious piece it tries to be. Luckily, Wes Anderson’s is exactly what you might expect from a commercial that features the notoriously picky and hard-to-work-with director. Using his own quirkiness, he makes fun of himself and his own filmmaking. His exchange with Jason Schwartzman over creative details is beautifully useless; Jason asks why he’d be putting on a hat right after his best friends just got blown up, while Wes talks over him, telling him “it sounds fake.” And Wes has the candor to mention that it’s an Amex ad from the get-go.

Maybe it’s always stupid to ever think any ad is clever or fun because ads are all meant to make some ol’ company stand out. Really, even the stupid ads are pretentious due to their very goal, their corporate egotistical purpose. But some ads truly are more interesting and creative. I also give Amex a lot of slack.

Personally, I like having an American Express card. Of all the credit card companies I’ve had to deal with, Amex is the only company that has not shafted me. Ever. In fact, they have from time to time been overly nice to me, allowing a slightly late payment here, removing without question a disputed charge there. I’ve been happy to dump all my other cards for something better, but I stick with Amex for, among other reasons, their customer service. When Disney changed from Amex to BankOne (now Chase) for their corporate cards, I was angry. The resulting inconvenience, inane online account support, and poor customer care continue to this day.

Okay, so while John and I once again disagree here on the mighty Wren Forum, there is one thing we certainly share: We’ve both been “members” since 1988.

Monday, May 1st, 2006 • 3:08pm • Permalink

The Wren Forum » My Life. My Mac. My Amusement. Expounded Thusly:

[…] His Life. His Card. Our Amusement. […]

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2006 • 10:17am • Permalink • This is a Pingback


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