From an informal media research perspective, it’s interesting to be aware of the current art and message in the medium of television commercials. Some years ago, a Columbia University journal article discussed experiential advertising. The article was a coup for me in an ongoing debate with my then sweetheart about experiential versus learned knowledge (he being of the quantitative camp and myself interdisciplinary in my approach to life). But perhaps advertisers take things it a bit far sometimes. And nowadays, everyone wants to ride the green wagon. But the recent GE commercial—House Hugger—bugs me. Got Technicolor? Surely it is aimed at folks in new construction macmansions and their newly installed energy saving light bulbs who will sleep sounder at night for good deeds done.
Take a watch..
First, let me digress and tap that I appreciate any industry that puts R&D do-re-mi into Long Now possibilities, even when ultimately it is for profit. For what other reason is there. I am not a knee-jerk anti-industry type.
This commercial is a cautionary tail of suburban sprawl and the fate to come. A tree travels from its wooded home, crossing to the wrong side of the street, along a nearly neon green, well-manicured and nearly tree free field. The gently rolling hilly scene there is akin to the Picturesque gently rolling hills of Downing, Olmstead, and Smithson. But where have all his tree kin gone? Out for its morning constitutional, seemingly oblivious of its lone status (or not), the protagonist comes upon a new construction macmansion fenced into its plot—with a not shabby half or or thereabouts acre birth. So much for cluster development in GE’s green dreams. Perhaps desperate for a new friend, the tree lovingly wraps it’s branches around the house in an embrace. Is the tree thanking the macmansion house on its treeless hill for its ecomagination?
I’m skeptical. Perhaps it understands the Art of War—is there a copy tucked and hidden in the branches—and to importance of keeping ones enemies closer than friends. In the real—well, dare I say—this surreal world, an anthropomorphic tree as such would likely be a member of ELF. In the next installment of the commercial—the one GE doesn’t want us to see, I imagine tree ELF would have carved matchsticks from a felled comrade and set the house on fire. The tree sacrificing itself in an engulfed swan (achem, tree) song.
Please note—Daily Prandium does not (officially) endorse destruction of another hominid’s personal property. Even preferring historical restoration to new, generic, soulless domestic abodes, I see there’s other ways that won’t likely change USAmerican’s entitlement anytime soon, but keep lettuce all keep on living the change we want to see.
Another writer in the blogosphere wrote about the commercial in Why the “House Hugger Ad” Is Wrong, citing the scientific impossibilities per a trees relationship to greenhouse gases. I’ve only just discovered the site, so I’m thinking it’s tongue in cheek. I doubt Minnesotans really support pebble warming.