This past week I've been searching for an ad that I think is done poorly. The most significant theme I found within ads that I deemed to be unworthy of airtime were ones that involved sub-par acting.
At first I thought of that obnoxious "I'm going to school in my pajamas" commercial, but then I thought no--too obvious. All of those low-budget infomercial type ads are likely to be terrible. Especially local ones.
So I dug deeper.
I saw an ad during the BYU game when I watched it online streaming live from TBS. It was for the Motorola Xoom tablet. And it was really bad. But I couldn't find it anywhere when I looked for it later.
So I racked my brain for the commercials that make me want to throw my over-sized remote at the TV every time they come on.
And I thought of this man:
The horribly annoying State Farm...man. Eddie Matos.
I thought that maybe I was alone in my fuming hatred for this man and his commercials, but then I found articles like this one, and noticed that on the youtube videos featuring him there were about 90% dislikes and 10% likes for each one.
I don't know what it is about this spokesperson that gets under everyone's skin. Is it his teenager-in-the-90s hairstyle? His cocky, smiley demeanor? His racial ambiguity? His eerie resemblance to Tom Cruise?
I'm not quite sure. But there is definitely something about him that strikes an off chord with the public.
In his commercials, Matos is filmed in very casual, everyday settings. Like this coffee shop scene:
(Notice the man's face outside the shop at the beginning, haha)
I can understand the appeal that State Farm was looking for when they started this campaign. They found what they thought to be an average looking guy who could state facts about their company in a friendly, confidant way. They put him in the middle of urban scenes surrounded by "normal people" going about their business. I can imagine the vision State Farm had for it all. They hoped to send a message that State Farm is made up of friendly, normal, relate-able people that are easily accessible and quite literally, your "neighbors".
They did not however, anticipate the unfriendly, bizarre, and distant vibes that Matos would exude in his scenes. Instead of making the audience feel comfortable, he manages to isolate them by not making eye contact with anyone around him, and giving the overall experience a very staged feel.
If I could rescue this campaign I think I would start with either replacing Matos, or exposing the public's distaste for him.
State Farm has evidenced their sense of humor with their new "magic jingle" campaign.
Perhaps they could "kill off" Matos's character in an obviously comical commercial.
(Excuse my stolen graphics from the rage comics guy)
Say we start off with a Matos look-a-like (by this time the real Matos has been fired, and there's no way he would agree to filming his own death sentence). This doppleganger is obnoxiously stealing lines from one of his "agents" like he does in that one commercial:
In the next frame, all the agents from past commercials gather around fake-Matos wielding bats and other threatening objects, giving him the stink-eye:
Next, there is a close up of one of the agents saying the jingle to fake-Matos:
And then, simply, the next frame is of all the agents standing around happily as they pitch their information about State Farm:
So there is my brilliant idea on how to right the wrong that is Eddie Matos. If it seems a bit extreme, we could always just have him throw on a snuggie and some pajama jeans and I'm sure his likeability would increase tenfold...
(Or maybe they should just stop running his commercials and stick with those funny ones where Bob Barker shows up.)