After a brief absence (I will never write a 4-part post ever again) there are some new adverts to talk about. The most memorable are two for the Fiat 500L entitled ‘Fatherhood’ and ‘Motherhood’. You may have seen them already without even realising, but that only means their influence has been insidious.
After the click we’ll get depressed about parenting because apparently that sells cars.
Let’s start with ‘Motherhood’ because it’s actually genuinely funny. It lasts about three minutes:
Man, I’ve watched it a dozen times and I still laugh. It almost feels like we’re laughing on purpose at the darkness though, because she makes parenthood sound awful. If you didn’t notice, during the extensive list of roles at the end she’s also ‘an orgasm faker’ as if it's just another duty she must perform along with her various other responsibilities. Even worse she can't drink any wine without going to a book club.
For the record though, I quite like baby news on my Facebook timeline. Babies are adorable when they’re far away. Aren’t the kids in the advert cute when they front in the shades?
D'awwwww silly kids, that's not the punishment hole
Let’s talk about the ‘Fatherhood’ advert. It’s quite a musical shift but you’ll recognise the subject. Yep, it’s kids again. During the next four minutes, keep an eye out for the subliminal costume changes, the book club bag, and try not to get too depressed:
My god this is the worst advert for parenthood ever. The guy’s face expresses it all but he includes an explanation just in case. He’s even listening to Radio 4. I’m pretty sure I saw a version of this where he’s considering a vasectomy, but that could just be my faulty memory. He’s also driving around all night with his infant children in the back while sleep deprived, which I’m told is worse than driving while drunk (but that could just be propaganda from the caffeine pills manufacturers...)
Sir, what's in that bottle?
On the plus side the intervals from his wife are actually quite melodic and charming, especially with the 80s unicorn. Did you notice the woman from the Motherhood advert, crossing the street with her ‘Joined a Book Club’ bag? At 3:06? You might have been distracted by his blonde wig or the unicorn in the back of the car.
Seriously, what WAS in that bottle?
Don’t take any of this the wrong way. The music is really good for all I know. The production quality is excellent. The parents are great as actors, as performers and also as parents. The reason for enduring all of these trials & tortures is that children are precious & magical. You have never seen the world until you’ve explained things to a child. Parenthood is one of the most demanding things in life. Telling the stories of desperately tired parents helps this huge demographic identify with the brand. With that in mind, I’d like you to answer these questions:
1) What car was this about?
2) Wait, since when was this about cars?
3) MPG? Safety rating? Anti-lock brakes? How often does the engine block explode, firing the steering column through your crotch and showering your children with shrapnel & gore?
Back when I was a baby, my parents also used to load me and my brother into the car and let the soothing rumble of the engine lull us into sleep. It didn’t matter what kind of car it was. It didn’t even matter that we drove anywhere – sometimes we just sat in the car and listened to the quiet thunder of exploding petrol, feeling the vibration without having to pull away from the curb. Over the years several of my friends who became parents have found that playing drum and bass (or recently some dubstep tracks) has had the same effect.
Let his gentle lullabies sooth your babies to sleep
This approach has the advantage that you’re not paying extortionate petrol prices to transport your tiny babies around late at night on motorways, or skidding around blind corners in dark country lanes, while sleep-deprived.