By special request of fellow Hathor writer SBG, Media Monday this week features one of the Electrolux appliance commercials which star television personality Kelly Ripa. I chose the “Juggle” commercial, which advertises a washer and dryer, largely because I find the use of the music from Bewitched too obvious not to comment on. An embedded version of the commercial follows. You can also view it on YouTube by clicking this link.
And now, my transcription:
The theme music from Bewitched begins to play as Ripa enters a spacious, completely clutter-free room with white shelving and a clothes washer and dryer in turquoise. She wears casual, fitted clothing. She is carrying a large white laundry basket.
A voiceover says: “Now that I have my Electrolux washer and perfect steam dryer, I can juggle more things in my day.”
Ripa smiles broadly as the music picks up. She twirls toward the camera with her laundry basket, then leaves the room. She walks down a hallway. She throws a garment in an open doorway, and the camera follows it to show that it puts itself away in the closet of a pink bedroom. The bedroom is spotlessly tidy. A pre-teen girl is sprawled on the bed, reading a book. She exclaims, “Wow!”
The scene changes. Ripa is now visible through the back of a white storage unit in a yellow room. Her arms are a blur of motion as she rapidly places folded clothing on shelves. A girl is visible in the background. She sits on a white bed, playing a clapping game with a partially-visible playmate, who appears to be another girl of around the same age.
The scene changes again. Ripa is walking through a hallway with her basket. The walls are pale blue, hung with art prints. A console table is under one print, and a white chair under the other. A dog barks. Without looking, she slides a bowl across the floor with her foot. The dog appears, and eats from the bowl.
The scene changes. Three girls wearing tank tops and lounge pants in various colors sit at precise intervals on a brown couch. They are sitting very upright, with their hands on their knees. They are facing a large, flat-panel television. Black display shelves and framed art pieces are visible in the background. As Ripa walks by, each girl in turn raises her arms, and is clothed by a shirt Ripa throws into the air. She is no longer carrying the basket.
There is a voiceover: “With the Electrolux washer and perfect steam dryer you can remove wrinkles, and wash and dry clothes in just 36 minutes.”
During this voiceover, the scene changes twice. First, Ripa is back in the spacious laundry room, removing a man’s dress shirt from the dryer and looking at it, apparently appreciative of the lack of wrinkles. Next, a different view of the room is shown. Ripa throws a child’s jacket into the air, and it puts itself away on a hook behind her. She kicks a laundry basket in the foreground. She is very happy.
The voiceover continues, saying, “So you can be even more amazing,” as the scene changes back to the girls sitting on the couch. They have moved closer together, at one end of the couch. They are holding glasses of milk. Ripa enters, carrying a plate with cookies. The camera angle changes. She sits on the couch, and tilts the plate. The cookies fly through the air and into the free hands of each of the girls. The girls smile and begin to dip their cookies in their glasses of milk as Ripa looks on with a broad smile.
Ripa says, “Nice catch!” to the girls. They look at her and smile as they eat their cookies. One girl nods.
The logo for the Electrolux company appears in blue against a white background. Grey text in a font resembling handwriting appears above the logo, reading “Thinking of you.” In voiceover, Ripa says, “Electrolux: Be even more amazing.” The logo rotates, and becomes the Electrolux web address. The commercial ends.
Annnnd finally, discussion time!
I think there are some obvious points to hit here. The theme music along with the laundry “magically” putting itself away, as though there isn’t still labor involved in washing clothes even with fancy appliances. The way Ripa walks through the house for thirty seconds doing things for the children and the dog (and apparently a man who doesn’t appear in the commercial, unless she plans to wear that shirt herself), smiling brightly and all but dancing. The spotless, tastefully decorated house. Is this a realistic portrait of what housework is like? What life with children and a dog is like? SBG hates this ad. How about you? Is there a positive side?