It’s not a baby!

This blog post is part of an exchange between students at Stanford University and at American University in Cairo.

The Ad : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPlqhw8AoQI

“Humor is a universal language.” We all need it to lighten our mood after a hard day of work.  To be able to make a commercial humorous, you have to consider your target audience. One has to first examine the interests and the likes of the audience, then analyze if it’s going to be funny and entertaining or not. When you laugh at something funny or say something funny, it is said that we have a good sense of humor. The American audience will find the commercial we will be analyzing below funny because they will feel superior and surprised at the lady’s stupidity.

This advertisement is about a “blonde” girl or teenager who is holding this white object which is supposed to be a pregnancy test stick. She’s concentrating on it, waving it back and forth squinting to the screen waiting for the answer, flipping it in all directions then fails to know, so she calls her husband and tells him that she couldn’t tell if it’s negative or positive. He looks at it, looks at her, then looks at it again and tells her with intervals “it’s an iPod shuffle. The blonde still unable to understand, asks if that means she’s pregnant or not; he sighs and replies “Yes! It’s a boy”, the blonde then jumps with joy.

There is a common stereotype that blondes are known for their stupid actions and mindless thinking. People would laugh at this commercial because of many different aspects of humor. The first thing, they could laugh out of surprise because of the unexpected ending, that the pregnancy tester turned out to be an iPod shuffle. That came as a surprise to the viewers, not expecting her stupidity to reach the level of mixing up between and iPod and a pregnancy tester. What also surprises was that after the lady knew that it was an iPod, she was still wondering if she’s pregnant or not. The audience could also reason her stupidity by saying that she is blonde, and that blonde women make little use of intelligence.

The American audience will feel superior, by mocking the blonde lady for being stupid, being compared to the idiocy and absurdity of the girl, as getting mixed up between two totally different objects, even different in shape, and more important because the iPod shuffle, in particular, does not have a screen as the “result window” in the test stick. This means that they feel smarter and better because they have not done something that is so mindless and dumb.

The incongruence in the commercial comes where an unexpected twist is shown when comparing between both objects; moreover it makes the observer feel superior. Here, in other words, when the lady was looking at the ipod real closely and she yet didn’t realize that it’s not a pregnancy tester but thinking it’s an ipod. As a pregnancy test tube is something that adults are, mainly, the only ones carrying it; but in the ad it’s compared to an ipod, where in America, it is carried by children of all ages as well as adults. Therefore, the American audience will find this commercial funny because they will feel superior and surprised at the lady’s incongruence.

On the whole, this commercial combines different and diverse principles of why we laugh. It contains surprise, superiority, and incongruence. All these factors developed the commercial and made it entertaining and funny to the American audience. “Laughter is America’s most important export”, says Walt Disney. Not all the audiences have the same opinions about advertisement. But every culture has different perspective for humor but at the end it all sum up in some reasons that humor all over the world shares.

By: Yomna, Ragia, Arwa and Nourhan.

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This entry was posted in CCR exchange: Stanford-AUC, Fall 2010: Political Cartoons and Ads analysis. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to It’s not a baby!

  1. Morgan McCluskey & Geffen Oren says:

    We thought this video was kinda funny…but blonde jokes are such an ingrained part of American culture that yet another blonde joke doesn’t have the full impact that it used to. It does give an interesting commentary on the development of technology and how our culture is trying to catch up with all the new gadgets, but not everyone has quite gotten there yet.

  2. Coral and Aziza says:

    We thought that this one was very funny, mostly because of the surprise at the ending when she reveals that the pregnancy test is actually an ipod shuffle. The stereotypes of blondes being stupid is very common in the United States, and we do find it very funny to laugh at these sorts of jokes. We haven’t really discussed amusement caused by superiority, but I believe you are right. We often laugh at people that appear to be less intelligent than us.

  3. Luis says:

    The dumb blond joke is a staple of comedy, and here it doesn’t fail to deliver. The ad was funny and surprisingly in tune with American sensibilities. The blond’s inability to discern the difference between a pregnancy test and and iPod shuffle, however implausible, was very funny, as well as the man’s tone of voice when explaining what the object was. His flip declaration that indeed she was pregnant, with a boy no less, was priceless.

  4. McKenzie says:

    This is funny because it plays on American stereotypes, but the humor in it is pretty generic nowadays, since so many dumb blonde jokes have been used in American humor. Although it certainly is a boost of self-confidence when you realize that you are smarter than at least one person in the world, the dumb blonde in the video.

  5. ccrvisitor says:

    I did not expect the ending at all. It was hilarious but, though Americans do find it funny and understand blonde jokes, this would be an ad that would be highly controversial in nature. I would love to have daring commercials like this one to air on American television but, American commercials have to be sophisticated and not crude in nature. If commercials are controversial, they are usually prohibited from airing again. In the United States, people complain about a lot. In other countries, generally people do not complain about commercials at all.

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