Imagine my surprise, seeing the slightly shorter version of this one during an airing of “The Bridge.”
What’s striking about this ad is not so much what it is, but what it isn’t. I know there’s a series of Glock Ads with Lee Ermie that showcase why you need a Glock, but this ad is a pure lifestyle ad. It demonstrates the Glock lifestyle. She’s got a good job, albeit at a place with a spooky, dark parking garage. She uses public ATMs with confidence, the walk up kind! She enjoys outdoor cafes. She does yoga. And of course, she meets hot guys at the local gun club, squeezing off a few rounds with her Glock 42. She’s even got the confidence to open the conversation first.
I have to wonder if this ad airs in less gun friendly states than mine. It seems to evoke a level of comfort with concealed carry that only really exists in parts of the country. Although it’s never directly stated, it’s clearly implied that the Glock gives the woman the confidence to live life on her own terms. It’s not much different that the majority of car ads, in that respect. Except where a car is all about the brand, with all the status trappings attached to that, this is the classic portrayal of the gun as an equalizer.
If Ikea made, guns, they’d be Glocks. The Glock is almost the platonic ideal of a simple weapon. It’s light, it’s easy to use, nearly indestructible. The single stack variants, like the 42, are small and easy to carry and conceal. This ad features almost no details whatsoever about the weapon they are selling. You don’t even see it in the whole middle part of the ad. It’s only because of the reputation of the company that this isn’t just an ad for the idea that women should carry guns. But Glock is truly the Apple of firearms, but more in the sense of the iPod than the later iThings. Sure, there are other portable music players, but not really. Apple is getting a little more competition in the realm of phones and tablets, but I digress.
This ad only works because of the existing prominence of the Glock brand. It reminds me of the old phone company ads they used to run near the holidays, back when there was only one phone company. These ad weren’t used to promote the brand, because there was no need to promote a monopoly. They just reminded you to make a nice long call to Grandma. This is just a friendly reminder from the folks at Glock: You’re only free if you can defend yourself, and hey, all the cool guys are hanging out at the gun club anyway.
I’m sure we all had our fill of glitzy ads that may or may not have actually had anything to say about the goods and services they represented. Now, thanks to the magic of YouTube, we can watch almost any ad we want, at any time. So, take 30 seconds to see what a commercial can, in the hands of masters, do.
Notice that in scarcely 22 seconds, you are given an entire story about an adorable young woman and her equally adorable cat. It’s a great story too. Going to the big city to find your fortune is one of the oldest and most powerful dreams in the collective unconscious of humanity. In this case, it’s an eager woman’s trek to NYC from Oregon to pursue some kind of big opportunity. The best part, for the purposes of the ad, is that this dream is made possible specifically by use of the product they happen to be selling.
By enabling her cat to transition from an outdoor beast in, presumably rural, Oregon to an indoor homebody in the heart of NYC, presumably Manhattan, this product also gives our young heroine the strength to cope with her own emotional journey. The nature of this journey is brilliantly left entirely to the imagination of the viewer. The omission of pretty much all the details of her move forces the viewer to draw from their own best memories, stories, and dreams, creating a far deeper connection than would have been made by a more specific dramatization. We are given exactly enough to know what’s going on, and no more. By the end of it, you want to buy the cat food, and a cat as well, if you don’t have one.
This is how it’s done, folks. All the big game pretenders should take notice.