Why this video is intentionally bad and tremendously good

Those two things seem contradictory, don’t they?

No.

A book, movie or TV show can be technically good and awesomely boring at the same time. Example: every CGI-crazed “blockbuster” in the last 10 years that cost $250 million to produce and generated $50 in ticket sales at theaters. Stuff like JOHN CARTER OF MARS and AVATAR (the cartoon, not the blue monkey saga) and five zillion other movies you don’t remember and didn’t see because they stank up the place.

So take a look at this, the Best Ad for a Restaurant in History:

The ad does a number of things badly on purpose.

  • The special effects look like they were put together by a 7th grader who started teaching himself Adobe After Effects yesterday.
  • The script itself put 1,792 grammar teachers in treatment.
  • This actor’s body language could not be more awkward.
  • Casting aside his accent, which I loved, the actor’s inflections keep going astray.
  • The editing and production values, let’s be honest, stink.

If the individual parts of this ad are so horrible, why is the whole thing so great?

Here’s why: Because it’s knowingly awful, like a stand-up comedian getting up there and making fun of himself. You’ve seen this kind of comic. They can say basically nothing for thirty seconds, utter a single word, and it’s still funny.

This ad lets you in on the joke.

Think about a slickly produced version, with a smooth actress in a little black dress telling us all about this restaurant. A version where the special effects are barely noticeable, because they were subdued and well-done.

That kind of ad would cost 10 times what this thing did, and the slick, expensive version wouldn’t make a ripple in our lives. Nobody would notice or care.

This ad will live on, and stay viral, because instead of trying too hard, it saw the value and humor in not trying hard at all. And that’s the definition of cool, isn’t it? Not trying and not caring.

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