Gmail's new email intervention campaign is about as cute as a baby with a kitten. Oh, it's so precious! Look, Google, I get it. You're very clever! But you've really got to cut out all the twee B.S.
Let's see what we've got here. Professorial type speaking in an obviously stilted tone for ironic effect? Check. Ironic Ozzie and Harriet-style circa- 1950s advertising music? Check. Unexpected ironic rambunctiousness from otherwise anodyne Valium-monger? Check. It's so adorable! It makes my ovaries just ache!
Look, I get it, Gmail is great. But I'm not staging an "intervention," and you know it. I'd be an ass to do that.
Google, you make a web service that helps people communicate. It works very well. Advertise that. It doesn't have to be cute. It doesn't have to be smug.
This is basically the bicycle coffee delivery of email ads. It's such an appeal to hipsterism that it makes me want to use a Hotmail address. (And of course, any ironic hipster worth his or her Wayfarers is already using a Hotmail address, yo.) And I'm fully aware that by talking about it, I'm buying into Google's plan. Which is maddening! To make up for it, I'd like to offer up a cute ad that actually works because it makes fun of the Internet's obsession with cute, rather than catering to it. Here. Take a minute and enjoy this Hipmunk ad:
I'm dating myself, but do you remember the Elephant 6 collective? It was made up of bands like Neutral Milk Hotel and Apples in Stereo and Olivia Tremor Control and Of Montreal? They were great! And they made some of the best music of the late 90s and early 00s.
Yet they too were so very aggressively clever. The aggressively surprising arrangements from aggressively unexpected instruments, sometimes got to the point that you were just, like: Okay! I get it! Enough with the flugelhorn, already!
And, for real, Google, enough with the flugelhorn already. Enough with the flugelhorn.