US Cellular commercial is so strange I can’t tell if I hate it or not.

November 9, 2009

I keep seeing this bizarre spot from US Cellular about battery swapping. Or at least I think it’s about battery swapping. To be honest, I get wierded out by the commercial so I never really pay attention to its message. Even as I write this I don’t actually know what this commercial is about. Yes, I could have studied the clip (I posted it after all) but I chose not to on purpose. Why? My ignorance is relevant to this discussion. I maintain the spot is so odd (and oddly boring) that I can’t (or won’t) discern what it’s about. I am made bored and uncomfortable by this commercial. An oxymoron I know. But that’s my reaction every time I see it.

A monosyllabic robot is playing jump rope with a strangely unresponsive child. As the robot turns the rope he delivers a message. Somewhere along the way the robot malfunctions…I think. The girl then stares at the robot with a look that can best be described as robotic. Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure her catatonic reaction is unintentional. I honestly think the child simply can’t act or hasn’t been directed properly or both. I feel sorry for her. It’s all I remember from the commercial. See for yourself. It’s creepy.

Am I missing something? Is this TVC actually charming? Is the little girl cute? Is the robot cool? US Cellular is running the hell out of the spot so they must like it, right?

I’m not hating on this spot… per se. Hate seems too strong a word for this oddity. I don’t loathe it like I did “Saved by Zero” or, for that matter, the Progressive Insurance lady –both campaigns I punched around recently. Yet, with those campaigns at least I knew exactly what they were selling. Not so here.

What say you, Gentle Reader: Is this spot confusing and weird or am I just missing the point?

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18 Responses to “US Cellular commercial is so strange I can’t tell if I hate it or not.”

  1. Jason Fox said

    I think it’s a case of attempted quirk that didn’t quite pan out. Like you, it doesn’t anger me. It just makes me say, “meh.”

  2. so stupid it will probably be sold as a tv pilot by next week.

  3. SRP said

    I get the robot being weird and one-dimensional but what’s with the girl? She’s like a zombie in this!

  4. About the girl, I imagine it’s just a case of confused acting. She’s what, 8 years old? And she has a director telling her, “Now, imagine there’s a robot there who’s talking about cell phones and he does something crazy. Ready…go!”

    Then again she could just be constipated.

  5. Mom101 said

    Well, I guess one good thing about living in NYC is that I’ve never seen this spot. And I was pretty happy until then.

    Thanks for nothing.

  6. Noel Haan said

    What’s strange is that US Cellular invested huge dollars into this creepy character.

    The new T-Mobile my touch song featuring Whoppie Goldberg makes me taste bile. No joke.

  7. Mom101 said

    Aw, be nice to Cat Stevens, Noel. That’s now my 4 year-old daughter’s favorite song, which I much prefer to her previous favorite song, “Let’s All Go To Friendly’s.”

  8. SRP said

    Mom 101-
    You’re a big time mommy-blogger…
    What do you make of the catatonic girl?
    She disturbs me more than the robot, who is very disturbing.

  9. Mom101 said

    I think they went for “ethnic diversity.”


  10. Dan said

    The deliver on that tagline at the end always gets me too. I always think they are telling me to believe in something better than US Cellular. Which really isn’t difficult to do.

  11. Sarah said

    With such huge dollars invested, I’m thinking they could have at least splurged on longer pants for the poor girl. Anyway, I won’t call her creepy, just misguided.

  12. SRP said

    As for tagline I always think they’re calling me to God: Believe in something better.

  13. adchick said

    I often wonder what the sessions are like when this stuff gets dreamed up, then what the pitch looks like and who the bozo client is who says, “YES! Thats It! A talking robot playing jump rope with little girls!” US Cellular has never impressed me…and I hate the font they use for their slogan line.

  14. Sam said

    Everyone needs to watch the commercial. When I say “watch” I mean “pay attention”. The robot is talking about US Cellular’s battery swap. He then tells us that a discharged battery is enough to make you “go crazy”. He is not malfunctioning. The girl he is skipping rope with looks at him after his outburst with a “WTF?!?!” look. She is doing a great job acting. I wish that the robot was real, I would love to hang out with him. I would also like for a TV show to be made about him, I would watch every episode!

  15. kryptoknight said

    what worries me is the pose when the robot has his arms up in frustration, it is a straight rip from ‘Short Circuit 2’ And the robots overall appearance seems heavily based on Johnny 5 minus the trademark face. Since there is a remake of the Short Circuit movie coming up in a couple of years I truly hope this generalized craptacular robot is not supposed to be the new Johnny 5. I can’t understand why they are remaking those movies rather than expanding with a new seuqel anyway. ><

  16. Big Andy said

    I just have to say I think US celluar is making people very angry w this believe in something better bs that it forced people into a bitter paranoid rage w products like the very scary sounding “My Touch” and what not. And did U c the “inside joke” commercial? If U look closely the cow is like “hi!” a nice cow, then like a pellet is shot right by his face at eye level. some funny kind of luv there, ya’ right by who lamenting hicks!?! Stupid! But the little Girl wiping the rope around’s expression was so priceless that US Celluar had to admit their just pumping out bs and deceived themselves into thinking there boss shit while the Girl just basically said this is scetch, stupid, paying for college, and has no affect on Me or the rest of My career, because it’z lame-o Yo!.

  17. Matt said

    That’s what we will all look like once malfunctioning robots take over the world. A blank stare and a helpless response. Thanks for posting!

  18. Josh62088 said

    I was ok with this commercial… Until it was aired, into a near “beat me senseless” reaction. HONESTLY, we got the idea after the first run of the commercial. No need to run it 20 times per show. It’s truly driving me Craaaaaaaaaaasaaay…… Sorry….

    Now where was I.

    $&###%! off already GOD. Seriously, i hear the damn thing in my sleep.

    ok, i’m done.

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