Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Mazuma Mobile - The Terrible Truth

Mazuma is a service that will buy your ‘old’ phone when you can’t sell it to your friends or the local dodgy phone shop. Their mascot is a little red creature that is adorable and also incredibly irritating to look at. Just look at that asshole's little face:

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So pleased with itself

I want to just gently pick it up and snuggle it against my face, possibly with a tiny eskimo kiss. But I also can’t stand to look at its smug expression. I share these conflicted emotions with the actors in their adverts, which is good since they’re forcing their cute little pal into an envelope and selling it to the unknown. What awaits beyond the envelope? Slavery? Violence? Death? Should you feel bad for the poor little asshole? Find out more after the click.


This is the general idea:


But there’s no reason for the little red thing to keep smiling. Look at some of the others:


Poor bastard is being shot out of a cannon! Is it just me or does it look quite worried before it launches? It certainly looks very unhappy in the air. And that brief look back, as if in disbelief.

Before we go any further, I’ll just tell you now: according to my rigorous research the little red thing is named Maz. The horrors continue for poor Maz:


In this one, Maz is hauling phones onto a set of magical scales. The phones then violently explode into coins with a poof of smoke. Everything seems to be going fine until Maz gets squashed beneath an iPhone as it descends on a mechanical claw, operated by some unseen master. But if you think about it, Maz is probably terrified for its existence (life?). Maz is made entirely of phone. It, like me when I first watched it, wasn’t sure whether it would explode into money like the rest of them. That’s why afterwards it looks so happy about merely being buried under a pile of metal twice its size. And then it flees, never to return to this murderous device. And what about the mechanical claw? Whoever is running that thing totally knocked Maz over on purpose in case there might be more coins. It’s not murder if Maz isn’t technically alive, and think how many coins you’d get from a living-ish phone!

Look at how happy Maz is about just being let out of this drawer. It may have been in that drawer for years:


The drawer is more than a prison. It is Maz’s world. It is the only space Maz knows, with no light or company. Maz doesn’t have a time/date setting to check but Maz can feel time passing nonetheless. How can Maz measure time in a space where nothing ever happens? Has it been seconds? Years? But Maz knows it is good. There must be a reason for Maz to be here in this timeless void, but Maz has explored every corner of this space and found no clues. Is it a test? A challenge? Maybe if Maz just waits patiently then Maz will be rewarded. Maz will just curl up in the foetal position in the centre of the space and wait patiently, like a good Maz. Maz is good so Maz will be brave, but knowing why would make the waiting so much OH MY GOD THE DRAWER IS OPEN MAZ WILL KNOW THE TRUTH AT LAST.

Is this laptop another test? If Maz can balance upon it, will Maz be taught the meaning? OH NO MAZ HAS FALLEN. Wait, there on the screen! Maz intuitively recognises itself. It waves to its kindly benefactor, the gatekeeper of the drawer, happy to be discovering the world at last. Is this envelope another test? Oh, but it’s so much smaller and darker than even the drawer was. This feels like a worse situation, and Maz was so happy to briefly feel the sunlight. Maz loves the huge space, the smell of coffee and orange juice and possibly toast. Maz hesitates. But Maz has been good for so long in the darkness, and if Maz isn’t good now then all that time in the drawer will have been for nothing! So Maz climbs into the envelope. Like a puppy into an airtight sack. We never see Maz again.

Don’t feel too bad for Maz though because now we come to the other side of the coin. The part where you want to punch Maz in the bloody face:


That was annoying, wasn’t it? Imagine seeing that everywhere, both TV and online, for weeks at a time. When people compile lists of annoying adverts, this has regularly been voted into the top ten.

It doesn’t even make any sense! They’re singing the Oompa Loompa song from the old Willy Wonka film with Gene Wilder hence the backup dancers being in those little uniforms. But why?! I have never associated chocolate factories (nor slightly creepy dirge-like moral anthems for children) with phones in any way. Sometimes advertisers try to invoke an atmosphere of whimsy to make us act impulsively, like a child - such as when they have all those brightly coloured backlit bottles behind the bar in a club, because it looks like some kind of dazzling heavenly sweet shop. Is that what they're doing here? But it's hard to act on a whim when there are forms to fill out and several days to wait for deliveries.

Look at this image:

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Weird ain’t it? Their dead eyes, their slack mouths, their identical movements… The dancers all explode into money at the end but Maz is left standing. Is Maz some kind of cursed puppeteer? Is this what happened after it was sent away in an envelope? Did Maz arrive in a blank white hell, and slowly worked up to being a commander of the armies of the damned? If so then that guy who put it in the envelope must be pretty nervous right now. What kind of diabolical revenge will Maz seek?

There is also Christmas version.


As far as diabolical revenge goes, that might be overkill.


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