Tuesday, January 27, 2009

An Extraterrestial Rosetta Stone?

Rosetta Stone is a company that sells foreign-language courses in a box -- probably on CDs, maybe on DVD. The only print ad I've seen shows a teenage boy in jeans, a white tee shirt, and a baseball-style cap, against a backdrop of a field. He's holding a Rosetta Stone box, settling his cap firmly on his head, and looking determined. The caption says something along the lines of "He's a hard-working farm boy. She's an Italian super-model. He knows he has just one chance to impress her." I find the ad both funny and sweet -- and sort of wonder about the back story: just where is he going to meet her? How did he find out about her?

Being without a tv, I only recently saw a tv ad for the same product while channel surfing during a motel stay. The tv version of the ad lacked the story line, but instead had a surprise in its list of customers: along with the US State Department (that makes sense) and the Department of Defense (that also makes sense,) there was also NASA.

NASA? Do the available languages include some extraterrestial ones? Let's try a print ad on that one: He's only a dedicated astronaut from planet Earth; she's a Venusian princess with 12 arms. He knows he has just one chance to impress her before being mauled to death by Venusian sabre dogs."

I love advertising.


Dan said...

Do you know where I can find a copy of the Rosetta stone Italian ad? There's a very funny parody of it in the 13 April,09 New Yorker by Ian Frazier

Marianaria Sra. bibliotecaria said...

The April 13, 2009, issue of Time magazine has a full-page version. Thanks for the tip on New Yorker.