It just seemed too obvious, I guess. But if you want to embrace life, really embrace it, you should pause every now and again and acknowledge true genius when you see it. Even if it is blatantly obvious. This is the greatest television commercial I have ever seen. Our story begins with three utterly unappealing people who apparently are supposed to be farmers though, realistically, they seem to have escaped from the set of Hee Haw. One wears suspenders and looks about I shall call him Horatio.
A second wears a green cap, boot, has a potbelly going over his jeans and stands near a dog. He shall be , for our purposes, Cinna. A third, the smart one apparently, wears a red cap and seems wistful in a Gomer Pyle sort of way. Let us call him Gomer. But the genius has only begun. Our tale begins with Horatio, who is telling a story.
Horatio holds out his hands so they are approximately 22 inches apart. No, it was only that big. Cinna holds out his hands a mere 12 or so inches apart.
The camera pans to the resting dog. Gomer as he looks at his cell phone: I gotta find myself a nice country girl already. Cinna points at it suspiciously. The camera cuts to a shot of Gomer holding the phone. On it is a young woman in shorts who is looking at us but also, apparently, fishing.
Anyway she his holding some sort of fishing rod. Wow, she sure is pretty. And she likes to fish too! At this point — we are now halfway into the commercial — and we have already achieved a pretty high level of excellence. There are many millions of people like this, lonely people who, through no fault of their own, keep running into dead ends when it comes to meeting people.
This really could be the place. But, the commercial has barely warmed up. And we are left with Horatio and Cinna in a familiar scene, back in front of the barn. Again, he puts his hands apart 22 inches. The camera cuts to Cinna, who seems changed somehow. Cinna holding a new contraption called a computer: But now the commercial explodes. The … dog … speaks. I have come to realize that I have spent much of life in search of an answer. But I never knew the question.
Now, as I close in on my 47th birthday, I finally know what I seek. What combination of genius and madness and inspiration and drunkedness compelled the makers to have the dog speak? What was that pitch meeting like? What were they going for? How did they find a speaking dog? I am no closer to an answer now than perhaps I will ever be. And if the commercial ended here, it would be magnificent, utterly magnificent, but no, it pushes forward because as Horatio and Cinna look down at the dog and then at each other in amazement — apparently their dog had never had something interesting enough to say before — a lovely little song begins.
At Farmers Only dot com. OK, wait a minute, that song is, what, 11 words long assuming Farmers Only dot com is four words. So how could they have so totally whiffed on one of the eleven words. Is this a worrisome possibility? And if it is, should they really be advertising it in the commercial? The country folk have conquered both their fear or loneliness and technology. The dog has spoken. The song has been sung.
But, no, not here — there is one more push. There is the piece de resistance. The slogan which appears as the commercial ends.