Sprint gets Populist (Well, tries to…)

I try not to be annoyed all the time. I really do.

If you’re anything like me, your innate primate rage response is about to kick in, which will likely cause you to chew through your computer screen in a vain attempt to reach and destroy the tiny digital southern belles with a righteous fury not seen since the Jurassic Park T-Rex ate the guy on the john (or, alternatively, since my dog thought the wind was attacking the house and barked at the wall for ten minutes), but hear me out:

I think their hearts were in the right place. That doesn’t excuse it-not even close-but it’s worth considering. The economy has improved (a lot) since 2009, but it’s still in rough shape, and advertisers are still cautious of that. When your whole business depends upon compelling people to spend lots of money, it’s easy to see the logic in this appeal to the 99%.

“For the rest of us,” says the ad, in a pretty obvious attempt at appealing to the middle class. Leaving aside that the folks who created this commercial are hardly struggling from paycheck to paycheck, surely the way to go would have been to have a middle class person as they star instead of two billionaires? Surely the humor comes from the audience identification figure having work to do and not having the kind of time that the idle billionaires do?

Surely you don’t begin by showing billionaires bragging about how much money they have and end with a reminder that the viewer doesn’t have very much disposable income?

I know it’s hard, but forget the anger for a minute and try to look at this from a purely anthropological perspective. Isn’t it amazing that anyone-and there were quite a few people involved-thought this sort of condescension was a good idea?

They tried to make a knowing, populist appeal to middle class people… And decided the best way to do that would be to rub income inequality in their faces. That’s sort of like adding a new wing onto a building by carpet-bombing the entire area with the most advanced stealth jets in existence and then crop-dusting the ashes with salt so nothing can ever grow again. It really does boggle the mind, sometimes.