Home Depot

Friday, January 1, 1999

I'm hoping you all know what I'm talking about here. It looks just like a normal Home Depot ad (e.g., actors doing home improvment, selecting hardware with the help of smiling orange-smocked types), but then it cuts to a shot of Larry David standing in an empty room. Huh? Larry David? Doesn't he have enough money from creating Seinfeld that he doesn't need to do ads? Does the Home Depot Corporation really think that, first, a sufficient number of people will recognize Larry David and, secondly, that these people would be more inclined to go to the Home Depot because of Larry David's endorsement.

Let's say, for argument's sake, it is Larry David, not just a Larry David impersonator (which I certainly hope is a well-paying profession). Shouldn't there be some text on the screen that tells people who he is? If they're going to shell out the big bucks for a Larry David appearance, wouldn't they want to flaunt it? Is Larry David such a huge fan of Home Depot that he is doing unpaid, uncredited appearances for them?

And, just to make the whole thing even more perplexing, the shot is pretty quick, then returns to smiling, multi-ethic orange smock wearers. Blah blah blah. More of the same. Then the closing shot.

Ira Kaplan at the checkout counter.

Yes, Ira Kaplan. The guitarist and singer from Yo La Tengo at Home Depot.

Now, I know Yo La Tengo doesn't sell as well as Britney Spears, but Home Depot ads? I could see them selling a song for use in a Home Depot ad, but an actual appearance? Bizarre.

I like to think that there is someone at Home Depot who has decided to really fine tune their ad campaigns. Clearly, they are looking to appeal to 24-25 year old hipsters, and what better way to do it? Those who don't recognize Mssrs. David & Kaplan will still respond to the ad as well as they ever would, but those in the key demographic will get really excited and pay waaaay more attention than they ever would to a Home Depot ad. Brilliant.

Rating: A+ (If these people are not who they seem to be, then wouldn't be nearly so high)

Reviewed by Padgett Arango
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