Luck Be A Diddy
At first glance, this is just another vodka commercial. P. Diddy (are we calling him that?) doing what he does: partying, being classy, wearing sunglasses indoors, selling his wares (in this case Cîroc Vodka, of which he is the official brand ambassador, as Wikipedia points out), and entertaining a slew of minor celebrities and vaguely exotic-looking women.
SIDEBAR: You’d also believe that Cîroc is just another vodka, but you’d be wrong. The Wikipedia article for Cîroc also opens vague: “Cîroc is a brand of distilled beverage manufactured in France and marketed as a vodka.” Marketed AS a vodka? (SPITS OUT MOUTHFUL OF CIROC) WHAT AM I DRINKING AT 10AM??
Fear not, it continues:
“It is claimed by the drink’s promoters that it distinguished from other vodkas by the fact that it is derived from grapes, in contrast to corn, sorghum, rye, wheat, or potatoes…” Okay, so they pulled a hyperChrist and turned water into wine, and wine into vodka. I don’t think they’re trying to sell us liquified bugs or rat droppings or poison, but totally weird, right?
I’m transfixed by this commercial every time I see it. Every shot, the casting of character actors from neo-cultish TV shows, the fact that you never really see the faces of the renowned supporting cast has me asking more questions than what was originally intended for a commercial that’s aiming to get me to order a $600 bottle of grape juice in a nightclub.
Watching this commercial, these were the immediate questions that popped in my head as I stared in disbelief:
1. Does Diddy even know who these actors are?
2. If not, did the producers or director of this spot know they had an Emmy winner for Best Supporting Actor?
3. Wait, does Diddy think Aaron Paul is Jesse Pinkman?
4. How did that conversation go with casting? With Mr. Paul?
5. Did Aaron Paul have to act like Jesse Pinkman around Sean Combs during the filming of this?
6. Repeat steps 1-3, make u fall in luv wit me.
7. Repeat steps 3-5 and replace Aaron Paul with Michael K. Williams and Jesse Pinkman with Omar Little.
Cîroc Vodka astounds me with this commercial. I just don’t understand how you rent a private plane, buy the rights to a Sinatra song, shut down parts of casinos, choreograph shots with the Bellagio fountains, and book two of television’s best working actors and give them a combined 4.3 seconds of face-time in a 30 second spot. Cîroc, you’re teasing me. You’re teasing America with your casual passing aside of these actors and new-age vodka recipe. I don’t know what to do with you, other than watch this commercial in disbelief every time it airs.
Here’s my pitch for round two of this ad campaign:
Cîroc Vodka: Come Fly Away
INT. PLANE - NIGHT
Frank Sinatra’s “Come Fly With Me” plays as the camera pushes from the cockpit to the belly of a large military aircraft. Two beautiful women in cocktail dresses are flying the plane. In the rear, a bunch of paratroopers wearing helmets obscuring their faces are lined up near the aft of the plane, as the large door lowers to release its cargo, a large palette of Cîroc Vodka.
They are captained by Kanye West (not helmeted). One of the troopers (wearing the lone black helmet, because he’s evil) pulls out a silenced pistol and points it at Kanye.
EVIL PARATROOPER (in subtitles): YOU WILL NOT SUCCEED IN YOUR MISSION TO DELIVER THE PERFECTLY SMOOTH TASTES OF CIROC PREMIUM VODKA TO THE BABE COLONY IN HAWAII, MR. WEST.
Just then, the two other paratroopers knock-out the evil paratrooper, removing his parachute and launching him from the plane. We see their name-tags read “Harrison Ford” and “Aaron Sorkin”, respectively.
KANYE: Smooth, fellas, real smooth.
They all jump out of the plane laughing as Mr. Sinatra croons, “Let’s flyyyy awayyyyyyyyy.”