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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

UPS and Jay-Z

Sometimes after I finish a major Hebrew interpretation/exegesis paper late at night I lay awake for a little while and think strange thoughts.

Last night as I rolled around for a few minutes before catching a few hours of sleep two commercials popped into my head. They are both similar, but I can't quite figure out exactly how. So, I thought I would post them for your consideration.

The first commercial is the UPS commercial. You know the one. The guy with the bad haircut is drawing sketches on a whiteboard and explaining what we all already know: That you can ship your stuff in packages using UPS.

I couldn't find any video on this, so I had to settle for a very bad immitation/parody.




The second commercial is Jay-Z's laptop commercial. I was able to find the actual spot on youtube. So, this one is authentic.



What do these two commercials have in common? What is the appeal? Why do I associate these two together? I think there is a creativity commonality here, but I'm not sure exactly what it is.

What hath Jay-Z to do with UPS???

5 comments:

ktismatics said...

I know: they're both American TV commercials, right? I don't live in America and I don't own a TV. I've never seen the UPS ad that's parodied here, and I don't know who Jay-Z is.

Melody said...

I'm in America and I watch at least a few hours of TV a week and I still don't know what he's talking about.

ktismatics said...

I guess Melody and I will be useless in adding insight here. That doesn't mean we aren't eager to hear yours.

Jonathan Erdman said...

Well, I guess the first thing I am noticing is that they are both using their hands to explain things. But they are simultaneously creating things. We are watching them in their process of creativity and imagination. The UPS commercial is kind-of ad-hoc and seems a bit random and very unsophisticated, while Jay-Z is a huge rock star with a suit and - well, really, he's just cool.

Jay-Z uses the latest technology, so he is more on the cutting edge. But I think we are drawn to both commercials because we see them creating on the fly. It's somewhat raw. Perhaps this is a myspace-generation thing: express yourself.

ktismatics said...

I worked night shift at UPS when I was going to seminary in Chicago. My job was loader. Incoming trucks at one side of the warehouse would unload their boxes onto conveyor belts. Sorters positioned along the belts would sort the boxes by zipcode. The sort would start at a gross level -- region of the country -- and progressively get more specific until finally the last sort sent boxes directly to each of the outgoing trucks. I usually had two trucks: the New England and the NJ, as I recall. So I'd start with an empty truck and as the boxes came in I'd take each one off the belt and give it a quick spin to read the zip, making sure it had been sorted to the right truck. If so I'd stack it in the truck. Row by row, floor to ceiling. After awhile I'd get out of the one truck and go into the other one, where there would always be a backlog of boxes to tend to. I would sweat off something like 8 pounds every night. Let me tell you, I could really express myself creatively at UPS.