Saturday, September 29, 2007



I really like the way this commercial casually employs the android meme to such subtle erotic effect. I mean, who wouldn't want a slender chrome avatar of the posthuman future to assist with the shaving process? And the way the electric razor emerges from the bot's wrist is a clever (if disturbing) twist; perhaps the human in the commercial is actually languishing in some off-camera suicidal fantasy . . .

4 comments:

phil dick's lost cyborgian entity said...

"...who wouldn't want a slender chrome avatar of the posthuman future to assist with the shaving process?"

Not me, knowing it could jam said electric razor into my throat due to a water-related short or electrical glitch or maybe rare programming conflict and grind the blades through vulnerable flesh and blood. Oops, collateral consumer damage!

Did you notice the three rotating blades are exposed on little spindles (instead of sheathed in a metal shell), unlike the actual product? I also don't need to be accompanied in the shower by a demure asian-style slave'bot stroking my cheeks (and elsewhere?) with exposed machine-driven razor blades.

I can shave myself with a Schick or Gillette multi-blade hand shaver, thank you. And get a better shave!

At the risk of coming across like some wayward semiotician analyzing the ontological and sociological "significance" of "Aqua Teen Hunger Force," [Heh!] I find this viral commercial rather disturbing for a number of reasons. Bear with me for a moment.

In the first few seconds, something that appears like a robotic praying mantis figure rises up and detaches from some surreally retracting cables. It may appear to be the shaving cyborg, but it can't be as the figure of the "shavebot" is several feet away in the background. Why was this done? I suspect to get your subliminal attention on a quite visceral level.

This kind of advertising is new to me, and creates, in its' first few seconds a kind of cognitive dissonance and dread. I went to the website referenced at the end of the commericial, robotskin.com, and found that you can access three "episodes" of this corporate fantasy.

Implications of menage a trois, bondage, and a not so subtle message directed at the targeted demographic of young, hip males, that to use products like this makes you less ugly, virile, sophisticated, and creates a sense of false confidence by purchasing the product I find quite offensive and a little disgusting. It appeals to some rather base instincts.

You can even "set up" a friend via email (thus providing marketing data to the Phillips corporation on yourself and a "buddy") to be involved in some mysterious criminal milieu after you type in your friend's physical characteristics.

All in all, very creepy and a little sick, attempting to appeal to prurient interests, just in order to sell you a Norelco electric razor into which you can inject some Nivea facial shaving and skin care product.

I urge those who might find this review a bit unbelievable to go to the website and check it out for themselves. It also rips off the movie "Blade Runner" in an all too obvious manner. Quite distasteful, IMHO.
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[Next, I will delve into why the Cartoon Network's cancellation of the uber-anthropic "The Brak Show" is a serious loss to humanity...ha!] 8^}

Mac said...

Great thoughts, Cyborgian Entity. I find myself in the strange position of agreeing with a great deal of what you wrote while still liking the commercial!

Earnest Cyborgnine said...

I suspect the commercial was developed and designed by a Tyrellian Nexus 8. Maybe a Nx9.

8^}

youtube to mp3 said...

Undoubtedly, the dude is absolutely just.