David Lynch-directed advertisement for Playstation welcomes you to The Third Place

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/11/22/david-lynch-directed-advertise.html

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It’s like a perfume commercial. They do the same things.

My favorite is Spike Jonze’s Kenzo:


Dotcom 1.0 had a lot of problems, but an unwillingness by corporations to take weird aesthetic risks or involve avant-garde artists was not among them. I kind of miss that freewheeling aspect of the industry.

Once upon a time, people had so much free time that they needed a place to go that wasn’t work or home. A third place.

Such places existed long before the term was coined in the late 1980s, but it took the same general prosperity of the 1990s that allowed Sony to hire Lynch for corporate America and the media-industrial complex to explicitly embrace and monetise the “third place” (mainly in the form of the coffee shop: see Starbucks, “Friends”, “Seinfeld”, “Frasier”, etc.)


Oh, man. I can’t believe I didn’t remember the Mr. Plow one.

Mr. Plow, that’s my name. My name again is Mr. Plow.


Let us not forget the glorious excess of the print Playstation ads, still not safe for pretty much anything.

But they are still easily outpaced by what Microsoft did with the Zune. Perhaps it is a testament to how completely forgettable the actual product was, that even the ads do not persist in the public consciousness. This is one of the tamer ones.


A 4 minute long commercial? It’s interesting as art, but where are such films shown?

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Lynch’s first commercials were actually for Calvin Klein Obsession, and most his ad work has been for fashion houses. However, he’s done some ads for truly mundane products like Alka Seltzer and Barilla Pasta, and I wish he would do more like those.


On the internet.


wow. So very different from

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could easily be reused for other products with equal success

“Johnson’s Cream Carrots!”
“Adult diapers”


“Our product will make you go fucking insane.”
Actually, thinking about it, a large portion of ads these days are screams intended to cut through the noise of ubiquitous advertising, but if we treat them like traditional ads, they essentially imply the same thing - that the product causes madness, transportation to an alternate dimension of nightmares and horror and/or death.

This was notably true with some video game advertising, like this, which promised games far, far more interesting than what actually existed, because they hired the talent for making the ads, not the games. I remember seeing some interestingly surreal ads for one specific '90s game that turned out to be boringly conventional and totally unrelated to the ads. It was the first time they had interesting ads for video games, and I had vainly hoped it meant the games had become interesting, too.


Ok… so what product did I use to end up here?


I was feeling anxious until the duck/human hybrid said, “Welcome…”. That put me at ease.


All of them?

It’s so clear. Judy did it.

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