Optimistic Commercials For A Depressing Time

I don’t claim to be an expert about everything. But let’s face it: things are looking pretty bleak around America lately. A possibly innocent man was just executed. The economy continues to both suck and blow more than an insecure Ole Miss sorority girl. And let’s not forget Facebook had an facelift that many became irrationally pissy about (though of course not pissy enough to actually LEAVE Facebook). I originally planned to talk about optimistic commercials, but from a pessimistic and “real” perspective. But I couldn’t find those ads online, so that didn’t even work out.

Then it hit me. What’s the point really? Will me piling on the dreary stories actually change anything? I mean, being snarky and cynical can be great fun. But it’s not what I want to do this time. So if you want a downer, turn on the news. Or reread the first paragraph of this entry. The rest of this post is going to be good stuff. Here are some commercials that are uplifting to me.

This commercial for Prudential has some very striking visuals…showing a montage of sunrises across the country. It’s also interesting that the narration doesn’t start until more than halfway through, and is fairly understated. It conveys a sense of cautious optimism that can be, well, prudent to have.

OK, so this ad for winemaker Tasca d’Almerita isn’t uplifting in a traditional manner. But I saw it on AdFreak today, and have watched it like 4 times. It’s another one that’s visually beautiful and has great music and sound. And AdFreak is right, it really does double as a Sicily tourism video. Just watch it. It’ll put you in a good mood AND make you want to visit Sicily.

When I started writing this post, I immediately thought of an OfficeMax commercial from last year. It debuted in January 2010, on the heels of one of the worst economic years since the Great Depression. I love this ad. Again, it’s attractively shot, with the sunrise/morning as an optimistic symbol. But the acting is really what makes it great. Shannon O’Dowd has an outstanding performance as a woman who starts off nervous and tentative like most of us, but gains the confidence and poise that we all hope to have. It all builds up to her presentation and the line “2010 is going to be our best year ever, and here’s why”. Granted, I don’t recall 2010 being the best year ever, but hey, it’s a nice sentiment.

I don’t know when things are going to turn around. But it’s important that we all stay hopeful. A negative outlook very rarely brings a positive outcome. On the contrary, it’s often a self-fulfilling prophecy. When you expect bad things, they tend to happen. Trust me. I graduated from college in 2008, and haven’t accomplished much of anything since. A lot of it was my fault, and some came from outside forces. I’m at the point where I know what I want to do for a career…now the challenge is finding someone who will hire me to do it. I don’t know when it’s gonna happen. But it’s gonna happen. That’s what I have to tell myself, and that’s what we have to tell ourselves as a country. And it could always be worse. So I’ll close with an optimistic quote from an otherwise nihilistic song, 2Pac’s “Me Against the World”:

“Through every dark night, there’s a bright day/So no matter who hard it get, stick your chest out/Keep your head up, and handle it”

Bonus links: Songs that are uplifting: 2Pac’s “Keep Ya Head Up” and Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle”

Songs that are supremely pleasant/relaxing: Frou Frou’s “Let Go” and Telepopmusik’s “Breathe”

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