Air Trumpet? I Call Bullshit

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or in a country with an ultra-repressive government sporting a Virtue and Vice Ministry (which is kind of like living under a rock) you’ve likely been exposed to it. If you live in the United States, and you watch any television or even pass through a major city on your way to work, you’ve seen it. You simply can’t escape it. It’s the manic, flailing-haired, iPod-bearing, convulsing silhouette. And there’s no apparent cure. But I’m not interested in curing you. (If you’re infected, that’s your problem.)

Like the slick little MP3 player, the commercial seems to be tremendously popular. Probably every ad that has ever been shown on TV has made it to YouTube, with titles and comments indicating that each new one is much better than the previous. Bullshit. Each new one is the same thing, with different music and different background colors. But that’s not what this post is about.

What I’m really calling bullshit on is the “Air Trumpet”. (I’ve trademarked that term. Wanna use it? It’ll cost you. But we can come up with a reasonable payment plan.) Of all the instruments you could pretend to play, the “Air Trumpet” is only slightly more likely than the “Air Tuba”. (Also thoroughly trademarked.) Does anybody really play air trumpet when they’re listening to jazz? Or anything else with a prominent brass section? And before you correct me on this, you need to know that I’ve eliminated actual trumpet players from consideration. They actually have a reason to wiggle their fingers.

Offending iPod Commercial (“Air Trumpet” at about 0:22)

What makes this even more ridiculous is that I’ve seen the air trumpet in at least two iPod ads, the latest (above) and another I couldn’t find. (Actually I got too sick of watching iPod ads to finish my pursuit.) What I don’t see is air guitar. You know there’s a lot of that being played behind locked doors to music being cranked out of the iPod. Way more than air trumpet. So I’m calling bullshit there too.
You know what really bugs me about these commercials? The narcissism. I have no time for narcissism other than my own. (OK, and in some blogs I read, but they have the added benefit of being amusing/funny.) It’s irritating to have somebody other than myself making a scene in my living room. I want to reach a silhouetted hand into the screen and tap them on the shoulder. When the figure momentarily halts his epileptic fit, I lean in with my silhouetted head and whisper, “you know, you look like a complete idiot dancing by your self like that.” I envision myself talking to Mr. Stompy-Dance in this video (about 9 seconds in):

And the worst thing about this popular silliness is that it inspires lesser mortals to make (huge, labored sigh) their own iPod commercials. And that invariably involves acting out an old Barenaked Ladies song while while walking on a treadmill or standing on a desk in your socks. View at your own risk. There’s a reason this one carries the prestigious one-star designation. (Safe for work, but not safe for your mental health.)

But surely, you say, there’s one of these innovative commercials you like, Brian. Oh yes, there is. But probably not one that CrApple sanctions:

You’ve been serrrrved! (Still don’t know what it means, but it seems like such a great way to end a post.)

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  1. babychaos said,

    May 29, 2007 at 5:07 am

    It’s not as if the bloody things work!

    My iPod sucked. I don’t appreciate spending £300 odd quid on a piece of electronics which breaks after a year and then continues to do so… ENDLESSLY.

    I can’t put half my cd’s on it anyway because I can’t play them on my computer (think you digital rights crappy management) and until I downloaded my fair tunes I had about £100 worth of iTunes downloads I could do nothing with unless I bough another fricking unreliable, rubbishy piece of three hundred quid tat from Apple!

    Now I use a one gigabyte SD card and a compaq iPaq… it’s more reliable and the sound quality is better and you get a lot more for your £300 quid… something that works, for example.

    Right with you!



  2. Brian said,

    May 29, 2007 at 9:08 am

    I can’t say I feel your pain, I’ve never owned an iPlod (misspelling intentional). In the past I’ve been a big fan of the archos- the AV340 was ahead of it’s time in all ways but battery life. And it’s kind of chunky too. But it has a bigger screen than a video iPod, and the ability to rip video and audio from any source. Also, you don’t have to worry about “rights management” bollocks either.

    And if it couldn’t get any better, it also mounts as a hard drive via USB. You can move stuff on and off it without having to use special crap software. Including miscellaneous files you just want to bring with you! Heck, I still use it, and so does a friend of mine! And we bought the thing back in 2003!

    OK, I’ve hit my quota for exclamation points…


  3. James said,

    May 31, 2007 at 1:27 am

    Oh no.. You’ve started it now.. You might as well write an expose’ on how much the PC vs. Mac ads suck as well. At least it’ll drive hordes of Apple fans to your blog.. 😀

  4. James said,

    May 31, 2007 at 1:28 am

    And when I say “hordes” – I mean Scott…

  5. James said,

    May 31, 2007 at 1:30 am

    Ugh.. HTML encoding on your site sucks.. 😛

  6. Brian said,

    May 31, 2007 at 11:08 am

    James, you just gotta learn to close your HTML tags. Garbage In, Garbage Out, man.

    I’d be happy to have the traffic. Enraged Mac-fundamentalists would add some extra peppery spice to my blog. (Thinking about cigars again…) 🙂

    I don’t hate Macs, they look slick. So do iPlods. I still sorta want one, I just don’t want to shell out the money for one when I could be buying a Nintendo Wii. 😀

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