Changing more than just the conversation

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/08/09 03:01 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2006/08/09/692962.aspx


Maybe I am just watching too much TV.

But another commercial struck me funny. There is a clip of it right here:

The transcript:

Mother:I have not had it up to here with you, young lady!
Daughter:Why do you insist on treating me like an adult?
Mother: Because you insist on acting like one! Now you're getting this new phone.
Daughter:But it's so small! I really like it! Why is it always what I want?
Mother: Well, do you have any idea how much money this is not going to cost me?
Daughter:I love you!
Mother: I know you really mean that.
Daughter: You never hated me and you never will!
Mother: You are the most grateful little....
Announcer: Cingular is changing the conversation about cellphones....

Now this is a bit like that piece I quoted from The New Yorker in this post -- in both cases, effort is made to give the opposite meaning to the words. There are some important differences, though:

Now none of this approaches a rigorous exaplanation of what is going on from a linguistic standpoint. But then again I am not really a linguist.... :-)

Enjoy the commercial in any case. I like what it is doing here -- by putting things in the context of the cellphone 'changing the conversation,' it is keeping it in the form of argument, one that anyone could write the script for:

Mother:I have had it up to here with you, young lady!
Daughter:Why do you insist on treating me like a child?
Mother: Because you insist on acting like one! Now you're not getting this new phone.
Daughter:But it's so big! I really hate it! Why is it always what you want?
Mother: Well, do you have any idea how much money this is going to cost me?
Daughter:I hate you!
Mother: I know you don't really mean that.
Daughter: You never loved me and you never will!
Mother: You are the most ungrateful little....

And even as we recognize this, and even though we know that the framework of the parent and child arguing would never really hold up here (they would still argue, to be sure; they would just find other things to argue about!), we are left with a positive impression of the product.

Quite clever, really. :-)

 

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# Mihai on 11 Aug 2006 3:37 PM:

Michael, this is dangerous!!!
Imagine someone reading your blog in a meeting!

# Michael S. Kaplan on 11 Aug 2006 3:49 PM:

That is why I set the video to not run by default -- you have to hit the play button to start it. :-)

# Mihai on 11 Aug 2006 7:19 PM:

Ok, just uncovered a bug in Firefox :-)

The very first time you load the page, all is ok.
If you start the video once, then next time you visit the vide will start by itself. It does not matter if you previously you have seen the full clip or only part of it, if the browser was stopped or not, it seems all that matters is the cache.

I know, I know, this is what we deserve for using Firefox :-)

# Michael S. Kaplan on 11 Aug 2006 7:23 PM:

I didn't say a word. :-)

# Maurits [MSFT] on 15 Aug 2006 7:44 PM:

I don't think <embed> is sufficiently well-defined to consider this a bug in Firefox.

# Maurits [MSFT] on 16 Aug 2006 12:37 AM:

To satisfy my own curiousity, I whipped up an <embed> tag that satisfies the intersection of IE's and Firefox's autostart backcompat.

http://www.geocities.com/mvaneerde/embed-autostart.html

Shouldn't start in either IE or Firefox.

referenced by

2008/09/13 Where the boys aren't garden path sentences

2008/04/11 Fight the Future? (#12 of ??), aka Backf-rmati-n of deity?

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