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Like/Don’t Like: Macy’s New Commercial
Monday, September 17, 2007 | posted by Mike

We’re thrilled to see that Nicky over at deglazing.com is back up and running after a reasonably long hiatus, which was caused by all of the work she’s doing on her new house. We dropped her a note to catch up and she mentioned that she got a kick out of our “Like/Don’t Like” feature, which we dreamt up, became enamored with and then promptly forgot about. That, by the way, is my M.O. for a great number of things…it’s amazing that TVFF is still running.

So, what has elicited the necessary pro and con reactions to warrant a Like/Don’t Like post? That would have to be the new commercial from Macy’s, which I saw for the first time during last night’s Emmy Award telecast.

Without further ado…

Like: Appearances by television food personalities Martha Stewart and Tyler Florence. Frankly, I think that Martha was probably the highlight of the whole spot, with the food/home authority lampooning her demanding and precise reputation by taking nearly the entire length of the spot to get her merchandise arranged perfectly. I’ve always criticized Stewart for being overly fussy, and it’s good to see her demonstrating a little self-awareness and humor. We’ve been seeing more of this since her stint in the Big House. Coincidence?

As for Tyler, he did what he does best, which is “being Tyler Florence.” Now, I hate the completely inane notion of “he’s a guy I’d want to have a beer with,” especially when we’re talking about politicians. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my President to be my buddy, I want him or her to have a firm grasp on the subtleties of foreign affairs and the intricacies of economic policy. I would, however, want to sit and chat over a drink with someone who can talk intelligently about food while still being relatable. That’s Tyler’s personality in a nutshell, and it comes through again, even in his short appearance here.

Don't Like: They can’t all be winners and, although he acquits himself better in the spot than does Jessica Simpson, Emeril Lagasse doesn’t do it for me. The commercial veers into the same territory that Emeril Live does, which is that it edges up to the point of “too much” and then takes one step over it. The main problem is that we only get to see Emeril’s furrowed brow, as he chops some sort of ingredient. Great. That’s the serious, focused Emeril that we all like and that is closer to the real thing, or so I’ve heard from someone who had met Emeril before he became “Emeril.” But we can’t see exactly what he’s doing until…

This is where it goes all Swedish Chef, with bits of food flying up in the air. Does that sort of thing really happen? I have no doubt that it does. Did it really happen in this instance, with the camera just happening to capture it? Possibly. Does it remind us of the cartoonish side of Emeril’s programs that we’d like to forget?


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