James Corden does his best Ricky Gervais impersonation, throwing out ham after hammy ideas for his role in the new Apple Music spot. If I were to create a game called Advertising Hack Bingo, I would have shouted bingo within the first ten seconds. This ad is so bad, I kept wanting to believe it was a joke. Like, somewhere at the halfway mark, an Apple spokesman would come out and say "hey we were just kidding. There's no way we'd create a spot so horrific, the decaying body of Steve Jobs would continue spinning in his grave long enough to light up Cupertino for a month. Here's the real spot." But no. It continues past the halfway point. And gets worse and worse, like a late-night talkshow sketch gone off the rails.
And throughout the spot all of the selling points ripped from the brief keep bombarding you, while the Apple Music executives, Bozoma Saint John, Eddy Cue, and Jimmy Iovine shake their heads in disbelief. I'm not sure if the disbelief comes from the stupid ideas Corden is pitching or the fact they are starring in this ad which made its debut during the Emmys, which by the way had its all-time low in terms of ratings this year. So the saving grace is relatively few people saw it in the wild.
I have been really good about keeping my emotions in check lately but this ad is so horribly offensive it makes me ask, why in the hell did Translation give the reigns, sorry, "collaborate," with Corden's production company Fulwell73 to make this steaming pile of dung? Who thought it would be a great idea to turn the three executives into straight men? Why didn't someone say "no," when the old "guy pitches zany ideas for commercial," premise got hauled out of the attic, still smelling of moth balls and covered with toxic black mold?
Ad agencies: please for the love of all that is holy and sacred in our industry, stop doing this. Don't buy into native advertising on channels that have no appreciation for your brand and will do the same shit for anyone who waves money under their noses. Stop believing that the guy whose audience loves capool karaoke is the right fit for your brand message. Once upon a time we were good at creating culture. Now I'm not even sure we're good at borrowing interest any more.
Pharrell sums it up best in his cameo when he utters an important word: Stop.