…..the fool, or the fool who follows him? This is one of my favorite movie quotes. In Star Wars: Episode IV, Han Solo calls Obi-wan Kenobi a “damn fool” and Obi-wan retorts with the quote, above. This quote came to mind when I was thinking about this blog post simply because I am not sure which one I am – the fool or the fool who follows him. The “him” in this case is Gary, of Gary’s Gutter Service in Congers, NY.
How did I come to know of Gary? Here’s the first cable television commercial I saw:
My husband and I were hooked when we saw this. First, we couldn’t help but notice the “homage” this spot gives to the sitcom Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Gary uses a similar font and similar style of rap. Second, while we both literally “lol”ed, we also felt embarrassed for him, and as my daughter was quick to point out, his kids (if he has any). Who came up with this “theme” for the commercial? Probably the same guy who came up with this one:
What’s with the sitcom theme, Gary???
I wonder what the statistics are on new customer generation from these types of ads. I can tell you that my HVAC contractor here on Staten Island had a commercial on cable (no singing or dancing – very respectable) and his secretary told me that they did not get a single new customer from it. She said that many established customers called to say they saw it and how much they liked it, but no new customers. Maybe they would have gotten new customers if they followed Gary’s lead.
These commercials remind me of the reason I watch American Idol: to see people make fools of themselves. I rarely watch Idol to the end of the season. I only enjoy watching the embarrassing lack of talent slowly eating up their fifteen minutes of fame. I’m just wondering, though, what possesses people to do such things? Is Gary’s BFF sitting at his computer, watching these commercials and saying “Dude, these are awesome! You are gonna get a ton of business from this!” If so, Gary, you need to find different friends! Maybe Gary is a guy with a sense of humor, the kinda guy who doesn’t mind making a fool of himself. Maybe he made these commercials DESPITE his wife and kids and BFF begging him not to expose them like that on television. If so, then more power to you Gary! But either way, please keep these gems coming!