Throughout my childhood, my mother always said to me, “Caroline, if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say it all.” By age five, I knew she was completely full of it. Giant people were always saying rude things to each other, in order to either a) get the other person to laugh or b) throw the dishtowel on the floor and stomp around the kitchen. (Also, did she want me to end up a mute?) Still, the woman’s words somehow had an effect on me; I try, for the most part, to bite my tongue when I have a not nice thing to say. But you can’t always hold it in, can you? Case in point: Tom Brady’s new UGG commercial. As a New England fan, I am deeply troubled. It’s caused me a lot of dry-heaving this past week, and I don’t have very nice things to say about it.
I just don’t understand why it had to happen in the first place. (I mean, why Tom? Why???) What in the hell was Brady thinking when he decided to make that ad? That he wanted to send every JETS fan out there into a gleeful frenzy upon viewing? That actually, on second thought, he loves the Giants? I’m just not sure what could have possibly made Brady look at that commerical’s concept beforehand and think to himself, “Oh yeah, speed walking around with feet that clearly aren’t mine and then sitting down for a head-bopping Zoolander stare-off into the camera—now that’s good national television!” I mean, WHO EVEN DIRECTED THIS THING?? Gisele stop doing so much yoga!!!
And okay, I’m clearly pretty shallow, considering I care enough about a shoe ad to sit down and actually write about it, but the truth is I just see so much potential for Tom when it comes to advertising. Or at least I see the potential for so much more then he’s given us—which is essentially a bunch of ads that amount to nothing but a constant reminder of the fact that he’s the greatest-looking human who ever lived. (I mean, we all get it Tom. You’re HOT. But just because every man, woman, and child alive wants to take a bubble bath in your cleft chin doesn’t mean it should to be the center-piece of your ad campaigns. Stetson? Meh!) Is it so wrong to want something simple out of him for once—like Drew Brees’ NyQuil ad? Or maybe even something a little playful and charming, like Manning’s MasterCard spots? You know, just, like, some stereotypical advertising that a Hall of Fame football player would do? Am I totally dissillusioanl here?
I can hear the responses already. Oh, you silly goose. Brady’s so not them. He’s his own man—a long-haired married-to-a-Gisele kind of man, who lives in LA for half of year and wears peacoats made of carrot smoothies in the off-season. And okay. That is all sort of true. But I happen to be dating a guy who cries out for Brady in his…sleep at night, which means I’ve been forced to watch the “NFL: America’s Game: 2001 New England Patriots DVD” a dozen or so times before. (I’m sure Kate and William do this as well.) But in all honesty, there is this one part of the DVD I really love. Brady has just rushed for touchdown during the Oakland game, and he is so pumped out of his mind about it that he spikes the ball in the end-zone, and in doing so, falls over like a total not Euro-piece-of-smoothiness in the snow. (Go to minute 5:31 and watch for the next half-minute— even talking about it, Brady’s all pure love-of-the-game and passion and I don’t give an F, and just, like, totally awesome and I LURVE HIM.) (Also, is that a southern accent I hear?)
So my point is, why can’t that be the kind of stuff in his ads? Why not some slow-mo, maybe a jersey*, maybe some aspects of all the stuff he says in his interviews and post-game confrences. (And don’t tell me he ain’t a little funny, case in point this past week.) Because if Brady’s got a brand, it’s intensity. It’s not his hair. It’s winning, focus, and hard work, with a little more hard work piled on top of that. And sure, you can make those things smooth and shiny and elite for him and his beautiful-ness’ sake, but I still think those aspects should be at the core of whatever brands or marketing he involves himself with. That’s what his fans really love about him—the cleft chin is just a bonus.
So give us some good ads, Tom. I think you’re as much of a bad-ass as this dude—okay, no one is, but you’re close—and that’s the kind of stuff you should be looking for.
*This doesn’t count either. He needs to be alone, no lions please, and sans that very strange Lewis’ VO.