Monday, May 29, 2006

Stick

STICK
Unknown director, USA, 2006, >1 minute.
Source: FedEx.com

This is a commercial first introduced at the Super Bowl 2006, It showed a caveman throwing a bone (presumably the mail). A flying dinosaur picks it off simulating unseen circumstances. The frustrated caveman reports to his boss who is not sympathetic. The despairing employee kicks a small dinosaur immediately before being stomped upon by a larger one.

This short film is actually a commercial, but I thought it was so effective because it was memorable. When the first frame shows a caveman, it plants the thought in the minds of women, which is half the audience, that men, especially men watching football, are like caveman. Women also have sympathy for him with the unforeseen circumstances and the boss’ insensitive response. I think his response resonates more strongly with women than men. However, unreasonable bosses have a mainstay of humor for everyone for decades, or millions of years.

By the employer asking his underling the reason for not using FedEx despite the fact that it didn’t exist highlighted this scenario of the impossible managers in every person’s experience. The illusion that the boss recognizes the importance of Fedex millions of years ago congratulates his forethought thus massaging his ego making the commercial memorable in his mind.

I thought this short does its job effectively. The employee can identify with the character, the employer is congratulated and those people not interested in the game are entertained. The proof for a commercialis its longetivity. When I asked friends about the caveman ad, they knew it was for Fedex. Success!

(submitted by Debbie Zukas)

5 comments:

Daniel C Hopkins said...

Ah yes! One of the few funny Super Bowl commercials of that year. My favorite FedEx Super Bowl commercial would have to be the "epilogue" of the movie "Cast Away". Where a charcter portrayed as the thin, bearded man rescued from the island after four years delivered the FedEx package he kept the whole time. He gives it to the woman at the house and wanted to know what was in the box.......a cell phone, a GPS navigation system, a fishing rod, a box of matches and some seeds.
I still laugh to this day!

Jay said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jay said...

The one-two punch of the caveman kicking the small dinosaur, followed by the giant foot smashing him (totally unexpected), is classic. This is definitely one of the most innovative commercials I've seen.

ltpalm said...

This commercial is also interesting because it has the look of a feature film. Does anyone else agree? As we discussed in class, there is an indescribable, yet noticeable difference between film and television. In this commercial, the opening pan of the majestic mountains along with the letterbox view (at least on my computer, I have not seen the commercial on TV) makes this short little commercial appear to be "epic" and cinematic.

Christine said...

This commercial does have the feel of a movie. I don't know if it was the caveman's long hair and the camera's sweeing view of the landscape, but it the style of the shot almost reminded me of a scene from Braveheart or a similar movie. Aside from the polished/cinematic look of the film, as Debbie pointed out, it works well because we can relate to frustration of dealing with impossible people. The
Bambi-Meets-Godzilla ending works because its unexpected, but also reminds us that well, things can always be worse.