I went off on a mini-tirade about this on Twitter this morning but really it deserves something more permanent than a couple of quickly-scrolled 140ish character comments.
The commercial in question is for “LiveLinks”. I hadn’t heard of LiveLinks until this morning, but it’s apparently a live phone chat line. I remember seeing tons of commercials for those things back in middle and high school and it’s sort of amazing me on a whole ‘nother level that they’re still around, but whatevs. Surprising, but not remarkable.
What struck me about the commercial was how– Wait, see it for yourself. Crap recording done with my camera off of TiVo, but good enough. Transcript below the video.
Girl: Hi! Can I get a–
Guy: Large double-soy latte, extra foam. Coming right up.
Girl: Wow. How did you..?
Guy: That’s what you got last time.
Girl: Oh, a-and you–
Guy: Remembered? Yeah.
Girl: Wow. That’s … impressive. [he gives her the drink] Thanks.
Guy: Have fun at yoga class tonight.
Voice-Over: There’s nothing hotter than a guy who listens. Find yours on LiveLinks. Call or visit livelinks.com for your local number.
No. No I don’t think I’ll be doing that.
How does anybody see this – how does anybody live this – and not get so many weird vibes that the Beach Boys could write a song about it?
Let’s just get this deconstruction underway. We’ll be a while, get a snack.
Creepy Point A
This is only the second time this guy has had the girl as a customer.
How can we know this? A few context clues. The guy says it’s what she ordered “last time”. If she’d ordered from him multiple times, all the same thing, he’d say something like “it’s what you always order”. And if she’d ordered from him multiple times with varying drinks, he wouldn’t be able to guess her order ahead of time. More importantly, we know that she’s ordered from him only once before (and at least a couple days ago at that due to the use of “last time” versus “yesterday”) because that’s the entire point the commercial is trying to make.
I’ll repeat that: The entire point of this commercial is that this guy remembers these details from a single fleeting encounter several days ago.
Creepy Point B
The girl can only like one thing.
Noting again that up to this point they’ve had exactly one encounter – let’s be generous and say that it was over double the length of this second interaction at a whopping 60 seconds – the guy decides that the girl cannot possibly like to drink more than one thing. I know that a lot of regular coffee drinkers get the same thing every morning, but I also know that these hardcore coffee shops have a bloody huge menu with a lot of variety. So from his grand sample size of ONE, he decides what her order will be, and is so certain that he’s already making it before even giving her the opportunity to confirm or deny. I don’t know about you, but if I went to a restaurant for the second time, happened to get the same waiter, and he said “Oh, you want the chicken parmesan!” then ran back to the kitchen before I could get a word in? Right or wrong I wouldn’t think it was cute, I’d be pissed.
Creepy Point C
The girl never gets to complete a thought.
Each of these two characters, the girl and the guy, get four lines. However for the girl, every single thing she tries to say, every single thought she tries to express, is interrupted by and subsequently completed by the guy. Except one, and that line is to compliment the guy on how impressive he is.
THAT FACE. I MEAN WHAT THE HELL.
The whole thing is a shink-wrapped package of fail. I don’t even know how anybody involved thought it was a good idea. Who wrote this shit? Who cast this guy? WHO TOLD HIM TO LOOK AT HER LIKE THAT??
When this first came on, I was totally suckered by it. I honestly thought the commercial was going to be for an online dating site and its point was that you don’t have to talk to stalkery creepy guys like this just to meet someone. This was what I thought was going to happen. I even took her “That’s…impressive” to really be saying “THAT’S FUCKING WEIRDING ME OUT DUDE I’M CALLING THE COPS.” It wasn’t until I saw her looking back at him with anything other than fear and the narrator saying it was hot that I realized this whole thing was 100% at-face-value serious.
And what about that look of hers? That’s the cap right there – the girl’s clearly so totally into him now. A stranger you spoke with for seconds at best, who’s taken that moment and made it so important that they memorized its every detail, who now presumes to think for you and speak for you, who knows where you’ll be at night and lets you KNOW that he knows it … So fucking hot.
My friend Kviri jokingly asked if this was airing during Twilight, and as much as it nauseates me to say it, I think he’s on to something. This isn’t just Random Psycho Barista, this is Edward Cullen. Let me think for you, let me speak for you, let me make you feel so secure that I know where you are at every second of every day. There was no meeting of the minds here, there was no connection of lonely hearts. There was a guy obsessing over a girl he saw once and thought was cute and a girl who only needed to hear that he knew she liked coffee and yoga to fill the man-less void in her soul.
Also, double-soy? Ew.