We caught a glimpse of Logitech’s first commercial for their Google TV set-top box last month, and people generally discussed the creepiness of it, whether or not the television was committing suicide, and how ironic it is that a Google-related product be represented by a giant eye coming from a medium we traditionally consider to be on a one-way street, sending information in our direction rather than taking it from us. All legitimate points of discussion, but I have to say that, after releasing two more commercials since, Logitech is looking pretty clever to me. At least one of these videos made me laugh out loud, and the strangeness of the commercial is what makes it funny and bold enough to stand out.
The question posed in that first spot we saw – Lonely TV, Part 1 – is most certainly relevant: “What does TV do when no one’s watching?” And is anyone watching? Not in my home. Not fresh network, cable, or satellite television anyway. Though, admittedly, I would still have Dish Network if my building allowed it. Nevertheless, my programming package would be economical and very limited to a few somewhat obscure channels. From what I can gather, most of the people I know have habits similar to my own, and to those of the family in the second commercial below. Watching Netflix or Hulu Plus on the PS3, catching short skits and clips via the laptop, and occasionally bringing home a Redbox flick just makes more sense that tuning into a big network to see vapid supermodels unconvincingly flap their gums in tune with artificial drama, shameless product placement, and horrible story lines. I think TV could do well with a little less concern about sending the right brand message and more boldness in presenting odd material for the sake of entertainment. I certainly hope network television will be reinvented in the fall, or rather, resurrected.