December 23, 2010
Major national advertising campaigns like the ones Nike rolled out for signature stars like LeBron James(notes) and Dwyane Wade(notes) often garner gobs of attention due to their slick production, clever construction or controversial subject matter. But regional spots for local businesses that feature lower-wattage athletes can provide a more fulfilling viewing experience, especially if you tend to dig stuff that's borderline surreal.
In recent years, the best examples of this phenomenon have probably been the series of commercials the San Antonio Spurs have shot for the H-E-B supermarket chain to promote products like drinkable yogurt, "the world's most perfect milk" and fully cooked brisket. New York Knicks forward Danilo Gallinari's(notes) new commercial for Memory Foam Factory Direct — a New York-based company that promises to "only bring you Memory Foam Mattresses we have tested, measured, and slept on" (eww) — might not be as overtly absurd as Tony Parker(notes) and Manu Ginobili(notes) squaring off dressed as cowboys, but there's a special kind of weirdness to his cue-card-heavy, nakedly honest admission of his 180-degree turnaround on the whole Memory Foam issue:
The best part, for my money? The key role that Memory Foam being odorless appears to have played in Gallo's change of heart. I hate to break this to you, Danilo, but eventually, this new bed will wind up smelling like a melange of hair products, too. It's inevitable.
Noted skeptic Seth Rosenthal of Posting and Toasting — who is like Memory Foam in most ways, except that he is not odorless; as he has admitted, his essence smells like rugelach and farts — finds the basic premise of the commercial untenable, and wonders if it perhaps points to a deeper, darker secret:
Honestly, who is ever apprehensive about Memory Foam? Memory Foam is soft, Memory Foam molds to your unique contours, and Memory Foam doesn't transfer motion. [...] What grisly experience could Gallo possibly have had with Memory Foam to breed such apprehension?
These are completely reasonable questions, and unless New York's favorite LesserDirktalian wants to find himself at the center of the next epic sports scandal, he better fess up. I just really hope it doesn't involve feet. I'm pretty sick of hearing about feet, you guys.
And if you like getting a behind-the-scenes look at how productions like this Memory Foam Factory Direct spot are put together (I know I do), you'll love "Paul's version" of the commercial, which shows Danilo running lines, getting comfortable on the Memory Foam, and just generally getting psyched up to provide a quality performance: