This abomination of an ad is brought to you by Nokia, for the Lumia 2520 tablet. From an advertising 101 perspective, it does nothing right. In fact, it seems to go out of its way to do everything wrong. I'm not going to lie; this ad made me feel queazy, as if I had been inappropriately touched by that uncle you only see at the family reunion, and the kids know to keep their distance. Here's the breakdown:

First, for much of the ad, it is unclear what is being advertised. You are almost a minute into this video before you see the product. By the time you see it, you are still not sure if that is the thing that is supposed to have your focus. The story leading up to the reveal is opaque. A man is sitting alone in a barber shop. Eventually, he is approached by a man who might be a brain-eating zombie, a psychopath, or something worse. 

This british comedy skit goes on too long, like the worst of SNL. The barber presents a number of possible hairstyles for the client's head. Considering the options, the client goes for the much maligned, mullet. I kid you not. The metaphor Nokia decided to go with was the mullet. Once the tablet was turned on, the creepy barber employed the customer to "Touch it!" The more the tablet was touched, the more hair clippings that fell to the floor. When the client was done using the tablet, his magic haircut was complete.

As for what he actually did with the tablet, that is still unclear. I believe he opened a web browser and looked at a couple of pictures. He looks up from the tablet to see his mullet cut, and breaks out into a broad grin. The creepy barber reappears for what feels like an awkward moment of overt, homo-erotica. The barber moves in, face close, arm around the shoulder, hand lovingly stroking the clients hair. They agree that he is all set for business, and pleasure. Before the commercial mercifully comes to an end, the only thing showing on the screen are the two faces much too close together, both with lascivious grins. 

Oh, my god!

What went wrong? Everything! The ad was too long. It wasn't funny. It went out of its way to be construed as homo-erotica, the unpleasant kind, The tablet was a bit player that offered no features of interest. Nokia used the mullet to describe their tablet. A mullet being an unpopular hairstyle from 30 years ago. Today, it only has negative associations. They pushed the "business" label on a tablet that was clearly not designed for it, and gave no examples of it doing anything fun. The closing moments of the ad will forever be burned into your retinas. If I didn't know any better, I would say that one of Nokia's enemies produced this ad. I warn you, once you watch it, it can't be unwatched.

David Johnson

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