Midweek Media: Kayak WTF

Brief transcript:
The scene: a nice, large home. An older (white) man sits at a table, working on a laptop. A (white) woman approximately the same age as the man enters the room with mail in her hand. She pauses and says, “Honey, your eyes.”

The shot changes so we can see that the man’s pupils are completely black. He says, “It’s for our vacation. I got ‘em dilated. Now I won’t miss a thing when I’m searching for travel deals.”

The woman looks skeptical as the man continues to click away on the laptop. “Just use Kayak,” she says. The man looks up at her, and his face goes slack as if from shock or awe while she continues speaking, “It compares hundreds of travel sites in seconds to find the best deals.” The man continues to stare, his expression growing more stunned/horrified. “What?” the woman asks.

The man gestures to his upper lip as he says, “Above your lips, that hair.” He points to the corner of his eye. “And the line.”

The woman now looks horrified as well. The man returns his attention to the computer and says, “Anyway, Kayak, huh?” while the woman stands there with her hand half covering her mouth, fingertips on her upper lip. The man’s eyes dart back to her in a sideways look and the tagline voiceover is given while the Kayak logo and slogan pop up on the laptop screen: Compare hundreds of travel sites at once. Kayak – search one and done.

End transcript

*sigh* I know, you know.

I just … first things first. As someone who has to have her pupils dilated at every routine eye exam, I have to say it does not enable me to see anything better. In fact, pupil dilation can be quite painful if it’s a bright day and staring at a computer screen generally results in bleariness and possibly headaches. You are letting much more light into your eyeballs than they need or are accustomed to. So the premise is just plain stupid from the get go.

Second, and I don’t quite know how to say this without coming off poorly, but I find it very rich indeed that the man in the scene apparently had some issues with his wife’s wrinkles and facial hair which were only visible and made known to him in his medically inaccurate vision-enhanced state, considering his own physical … issues. That furtive look back at her at the end is what kills me. WTF is that, other than this dude having permission to judge her body, even small parts of it?

Comments

  1. Casey says

    OMG I’ve only seen this commercial in the last two days or so on TV but it’s so GROSS (and hypocritical ‘cuz the guy’s no prize pig himself).

  2. sbg says

    Casey,

    I saw it for the first time last night, and my jaw dropped. Even if the dude was some handsome model type, the total alarm and horror he has upon discovering that his wife has (GASP) a tiny amount of facial and (DOUBLE GASP) wrinkles is just plain indicative of how society sees women of and beyond a certain age.

    I always want to say: FUCK YOU, HAIR IS PERFECTLY NORMAL AND I EARNED THESE DAMNED WRINKLES.

  3. says

    I can’t even fathom how this ad came together. I have no memory of the product or what it was supposed to accomplish. I mostly just remember the pupils.

    I too have them dilated every exam, and I’m totally backing you up, SBG. I have to wear sunglasses indoors for hours, and that’s with the less powerful diluting solution.

  4. SunlessNick says

    Jennifer Kesler,

    I have no memory of the product or what it was supposed to accomplish.

    Why would you? It’s not even slightly connected to the alleged joke, there’s no logical reason for one to provoke a recollection of the other. It’s only there in the hope that viewers will be charmed by a joke at women’s expense and want to reward it.

    I wonder if it ever occurred to the producers to have it go the other way: to have the guy get a new appreciation of her face when he can clearly see the marks and echoes of the life she’s led? Or if disparagement was always and only the one option?

  5. sbg says

    Jennifer Kesler,

    Right? The premise is so convoluted in the first place. Usually, I don’t mind the Kayak commercials. Some of them are quite clever. This is barbecued WTF.

    Ugh, and I have an eye appointment coming up. I am hoping for a cloudy day, but it always, always turns up blue skies on those days!

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