I did a search to see if anyone had started a thread to remark on these little gems before, but came up blank. The one I saw in the theater last night was the Hero/Crouching Tiger-referencing one sponsored by Best Buy that’s been playing all summer, and I just thought I’d finally express my gratitude. I grant that some of them are more clever than others, and it would be nice if they could produce a greater variety, as seeing the same one repeatedly over an entire season can wear pretty thin after awhile. However, in general I think they do a pretty good job spoofing the often turgid and predictable presentation of actual movie trailers.
Far more importantly, though: they really seem to work. Watching the audience after one of these spots is shown, I’m amazed at how many people do in fact pull out their cell phones to switch them off. I may be mistaken, but it seems to me that there are significantly fewer ringtone interruptions at the movies since these ads started running a few years back.
This is the sort of offbeat humorous approach that I myself try to employ at work. If I have to post a minor procedure change of some kind, I’ll often make an effort to present it in an entertaining fashion rather than a simple, cursory instruction. This has the dual effect of drawing attention to the request itself, and deflecting any annoyance that might otherwise be engendered by a sudden shift in routine. At the very least, people who might otherwise think dismissively, “Ah crap, another pointless protocol change,” might find their ire dampened as they wonder bemusedly, “Why is this protocol change being announced by a cartoon chicken?”