There’s nothing more annoying than an annoying commercial pitchman.
That’s why I’m grinding my teeth at the commercial TV reappearance of the former Verizon “can you hear me now” guy — this time as a spokesman for Sprint.
I didn’t particularly like the guy during his first 15 minutes of fame, because the constant “can you hear me now” questions became incredibly irritating. But at least in that incarnation he was a uniformed blue-collar guy, apparently an engineer type, out there in the hinterlands, hiking around in remote areas and personally testing the geographic range of the Verizon network. He was a working man just doing his job. You got what he was doing and the message he was sending, and it made his irritating catch phrase a bit more bearable.
But he apparently lost the blue-collar, working man identity when he switched sides, and now he’s just a smug wise guy walking down the street and drinking lattes in a Christmas tree lot, trying to tell you that you’re a colossal idiot if you still use Verizon rather than paying less with Sprint. And all the while, he’s got this insufferable I’m smarter-than-you smirk on his face — probably because his dormant commercial career has been resurrected due to his willingness to switch sides in the ever-present cell phone wars, and he’s now getting paid a boatload of cash that he wouldn’t be making otherwise. His commercials are as unlikeable as the historically obnoxious “Jake from State Farm” ad.
Maybe I’m alone in this, but I normally wouldn’t take the unsolicited advice of some know-it-all buttinsky, on the street or in a Christmas tree lot, and I don’t exactly trust the lectures of people who’ve peddled their opinions to the company that pays the most cash. Wouldn’t you like to know whether this cell phone Benedict Arnold is moving the needle on Sprint subscriptions? I’m betting that his ad campaign is a flop.