The Coen Brothers have just made a PSA – or Public Service Announcement – on the subject of “clean” coal and how it might not be all it’s cracked up to be.
Talking of cracked, the brothers’ effort is a veritable sea of quality and intelligence compared to some of the wacky, OTT and - in hindsight - just plain hypocritical efforts out there.
While the subjects covered are both worthy and worthy of attention, we’re not sure all of these work.
We take the subjects seriously, but we thought we’d take a look at a few of the ads and figure out if they helped or hindered their cause…
Coen Brothers - Coal
The Cause: Debunking the myth of “clean” coal, and poking light fun at the energy company’s claims.
The Celebrity: Joel and Ethan Coen directed it.
The Result: Actually, we really liked this one. It’s simple, effective and gets the message across well. It’s clearly been fashioned for the short, sharp, punchy Internet age.
We still expected Anton Chigurh to burst through the door and slaughter everyone with his high-pressure bolt gun.
Sample YouTube comment (sic): “type of chemical that can be a good transferer of energy and economical it will be 50 years before we are off coal.” Thanks, ‘Dorgatharn’[page-break]
David Lynch - Littering
The Cause: Cleaning up New Yorkers’ nasty littering habits
The Celebrity: Shot by the stylish David Lynch.
The Result: Terrifying blend of pure dread and black & white photography. It looks like a horror movie stumbled into a Calvin Klein ad.
Aaaaah! Giant rat! Okay, just regular rat. It does make you think about littering, though. But only white paper and blank cups, so you’re safe for everything else.
Sample YouTube comment (sic): “That reminds me of the old Nazi propaganda films attacking the Jewish people.” Quality feedback from ‘Djbethell’, there.
Martin Scorsese - Phones Off
The Cause: Turning your phone off in the cinema
The Celebrity: Martin Scorsese directed - and stars – in it.
The Result: Yes, Martin Scorsese, the real one. Telling you to shut that bloody phone off when the lights go down in the cinema.
It’s decent, and aims for the funny, but comes off a little earnest. Plus gits who use their phones in the cinema are more likely to snigger then keep doing it anyway. Dolts. And we still like the Orange ones more.
Sample YouTube comment (sic): “That commercial made me laugh so hard I laughed my heart out and I know everything about Mr. Scorsese that he directed Goodfellas and Casino but also he stared in the animated movie shark Tale who took the voice of Mr. Sykes.” Insightful wisdom lovingly typed by ‘gojiranotgodzilla’.[page-break]
Lindsay Lohan - Drink Driving
The Cause: Drinking and driving
The Celebrity: Lindsay Lohan and popular beat combo A Simple Plan
The Result: Lindsay Lohan – LINDSAY LOHAN – is trying to warn us all about the dangers of imbibing and driving.
If only, say, Lindsay Lohan had paid attention a couple of years later. Sad, but true.
Sample YouTube comment (sic): “it arrives lindsay lohan for to never ever you really change down the gadgets”. Wittily summarised by ‘Ximenapop’
Jessica Alba and Hayden Panettiere - Voting
The Cause: Fighting youth apathy towards voting
The Celebrity: Jessica Alba and Heroes’ Hayden Panettiere
The Result: Fetish-tastically odd spot that keeps the message sidelined but makes us think Alba has a glittering career in the infomercial presenting industry.
That said, Barack Obama did get elected and the youth turnout was bigger this year. Expect Labour to try it with Gordon Brown and nipple clamps. Now you’re nauseous.
Sample YouTube comment (sic): “id bang them both” Cutting political savvy comes courtesy of ‘brettstenberg’.[page-break]
Pee Wee Herman - Cocaine
The Cause: Crack, and the possibly lethal side effects thereof.
The Celebrity: Pee Wee Herman. Or his robot double.
The Result: One from the ‘80s, which sees the Hermanator attempting to warn us all about crack cocaine, “the most addictive form of cocaine.”
He’s right to warn us, but is he the right person? His eerie solemnity just comes off as spooky and wrong, and is undercut by the fact that it was part of his plea deal after being caught “entertaining himself” in a porn cinema in 1992.
Sample YouTube comment (sic): “yeah but im sure he says diffrent about acid...i mean the talking chairs and shit.” Astute observation from ‘
Rachel Leigh Cook - Heroin
The Cause: The brain/heroin problem.
The Celebrity: Rachel Leigh Cook
The Result: Cook goes absolutely bug nuts in a kitchen trying to explain just how nasty the drug can be for your brain, your family and your wallet.
Sadly, it would appear that the main effect has been to slow Miss Cook’s career to a less-than-stellar crawl.
Sample YouTube comment (sic): “any questions? yeah, uhm, i love you” A pithy response from ‘dupersloby’
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