Sunday, May 8, 2011

"The Great Escape" - Patrick Watson

Tropicana you genius you
Since becoming involved in the wonderful world of marketing I find myself analyzing marketing campaigns.  Print ads, billboards, TV commercials.  I pass judgment and over analyze them all from a marketing perspective.  Instead of sub consciously being influenced by advertising I find myself becoming consciously aware of it and then making the decision as to whether or not I allow myself to be influenced by their message.  The other day at work we were discussing effective commercials and the first one that came to my mind was a particular "Tropicana" commercial.

The "Fake Sun" in Inuvik
I'm creepy.  In several ways, and one of those ways is that I have an incredibly strong and weird aversion to anything orange/citrus-ey.  I HATE the color orange, the smell of orange, and I especially hate the taste of orange.  Despite all of the aforementioned hatred for orange, I found myself disappointed after watching the Tropicana commercial that I couldn't buy Orange Juice the next time I went to the store.  The premise for the commercial is promoting Tropicana's theme, "Brighter mornings for Brighter days". For those of you not from CanadaInuvik, Northwest Territories is known for two things. 1.) Being cold, and 2.) Several weeks of complete darkness during their winter.  Tropicana invited a group of Canadian filmmakers to capture the moment where they "brought back the sun" to Inuvik during the town's frigid and dark winter.On January 9, 2010 Tropicana raised a 36-foot wide illuminated helium balloon over Jim Koe Park in Inuvik.  The residents watched as the balloon shone as brightly as the real sun in the black sky.
In a brilliant move on Tropicana's part, the stunt coincided with Inuvik's annual Sunrise Festival, which celebrates the return of the sun after weeks of darkness. The success of the commercial is evident even in the fact that I am sitting here writing an entire blog about a Tropicana commercial.  Bloggers, newspapers and the media picked up on this feel good commercial and wrote about it without ever being prompted to or "sold" on it by Tropicana themselves.

Look how happy he is (tear)
As mentioned, I"m a sucker for most things in life and this commercial makes me tear up.  Watching the proud faces of the Inuvik people illuminated in the glow of the Tropicana fake sun reminded me that we take alot of things for granted.  We forget that something as simple as the sun is a privilege for some.  The song played during the commercial was "The Great Escape" by Canadian artist, Patrick Watson.  The highlight of the band's career to date seems to be the Tropicana commercial, and being featured on the movie "One Week".  Patrick Watson is an experimental Indie band who has been compared to the musical styles of Pink Floyd and Rufus Wainwright.

Patrick Watson
Fans of "The Great Escape" have interpreted the song to be about suicide and depression, suicide being "The Great Escape".  Although the song could be interpreted in a morbid sense, I think that it's meant to be more literal.  It talks about a "Great Escape" and someone who "Gets in his car and drives away, from all the things that we are."  An escape could be just that.  When things get too hectic,stressful or upsetting we all need an escape.  The song applies beautifully to the theme of the commercial, because the fake sun provides an "escape" for residents of Inuvik from the constant darkness they've been subjected to.  The song  reminds you that there's a light at the end of every tunnel, "Don't be afraid, just eat up all the gray, and it will fade all away, Don't let yourself fall down."

Bad day, looking for a way,
home, looking for the great escape.
Gets in his car and drives away,
far from all the things that we are.
Puts on a smile and breathes it in
and breathes it out, he says,
bye bye bye to all of the noise.
Oh, he says, bye bye bye to all of the noise.

Doo doo doo doo doo noo noo
Doo doo doo doo doo noo noo noo noo
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo doo doo doo noo noo noo

Hey child, things are looking down.
That’s okay, you don’t need to win anyways.
Don’t be afraid, just eat up all the gray
and it will fade all away.
Don’t let yourself fall down.

Doo doo doo doo doo noo noo
Doo doo doo doo doo noo noo noo noo
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo doo doo doo noo noo noo

Bad day, looking for the great escape.
He says, bad day, looking for the great escape.
On a bad day, looking for the great escape,
the great escape.

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