It almost turns classical music into a contact sport…
First, to affirm my ideological credentials:
The existence of the advertising industry is a capitalist affront to human dignity. Too often, corporate advertising sells blatant superfluities by appealing to pride, greed, envy, and lust, among other base impulses; and even when they do not, commercials influenced by Western barbarism usually exhibit existential mediocrity, ignoring the humanizing realities of community, faith, and family for the emptiness of selfish accumulation and sensual experience.
This, of course, is hardly surprising. Commercials constitute instruments of psychological pressure; and while propaganda per se is not evil, the instrumental role of advertising in the industrial economy means that it must use even the lowest rhetorical artifices to manufacture desire for unnecessary products, to the detriment of virtue, ecology, and the right of small producers to their legitimate market share.
Hence our surprise that Procter & Gamble, that multinational proponent of hirsutic uber-vanity, would come up with the commercial like this. Too late did I see it, regrettably (St. Augustine allusion, anyone?), and it quite merits being watched. A copy is also available (here) on Yahoo! Videos, though I unfortunately can’t make the audio work on Firefox. Thus from Youtube:
Please note 2:59 on the Youtube video. From the Bernsteinesque piano-playing to the head-banging (and hair-bursting) violin interpretation, it almost turns classical music into a violent competitive sport, reinforced by the assault from 1:58 to 2:08 that somewhat reminds one of the Kerrigan-Harding episode.
In any case, the commercial is fascinating; and indeed, I thought it was a movie trailer, and I was flabbergasted to learn that it was an ad for shampoo. Admittedly, the narrative flow suffers from cramming so much material into 4 minutes–the classical unities vanished after the 30th second–; and as noted by one commenter on Youtube, it’s hardly possible that a patched-up violin would play Pachelbel so nicely. However, I must note that it integrates classical music better into the commercial than does Axe with its strange use of Karl Jenkins’ (already strange) Dies Irae. In any case, with classical music, convincing cinematography, and a nouveau-Capra story, the commercial is wonderful and eminently watchable, especially for its rare audacity of mixing meaning with materialism.
May God bless us all.