Thursday, Dec. 09, 2010

Coca-Cola: Hard Times

For the Super Bowl, Coke created a spot that fit the times. Montgomery Burns, the evil billionaire from The Simpsons, has a Bernie Madoff–like downfall and loses his $3 billion fortune. Familiar characters repossess his property; Marge Simpson's curmudgeonly sisters Patty and Selma even grab Burns' long-suffering assistant Waylon Smithers from a table labeled "Odds 'N' Ends." But the ad, accompanied by a folksy whistling tune, ends on a cheery note. A moping Burns, long a town pariah, wanders through a park, where the Simpsons family, Krusty the Clown and the rest of the Springfield citizenry are frolicking on a sunny day, enjoying some Coke (Patty and Selma are getting a manicure, courtesy of Smithers). Apu the convenience-store manager offers Burns a bottle, and in a moment of great sympathy, Springfield welcomes him into its world. Will the economic crisis teach the rich some humility and how to enjoy the little things in life? Doubtful. But if Monty Burns can toss a football with his fellow man, there's hope.