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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Mr. Bill: Priceless

Apropos of nothing, kudos to MasterCard for bringing back Mr. Bill. Oh no, I'm showing my age, but Mr. Bill was one of my favorite Saturday Night Live bits way back when. For those who don't remember Mr. Bill, he was a little clay figure who was regularly subjected to humiliation, torture and angst at the hands of Mr. Hand. As he gamely endured his trials and tribulations, he would wail "Oh, noooooooooooo" in falsetto exclamation.

It's interesting that MasterCard has chosen to revive Mr. Bill for this summer's version of its "Priceless" ad campaign. After all, Mr. Bill's catchphrase seems to be a mantra for this year of economic woes. What current day consumer can't relate when Mr. Bill is scalded by hot coffee ("coffee-$2")*; hit by a briefcase ("briefcase-$120); and sent out an office window to find himself splat on a windshield of a city bus. Just as Mr. Bill comments, "Hey, the bus is right on schedule," the windshield wipers go into gear. Oh, noooo. Still, for Mr. Bill, what's priceless is making it through the day.

I wonder if MasterCard first pondered a Mr. Bill scenario where he's going to take a flight. After all, doesn't every airline traveler feel a bit like Mr. Bill these days, with the airlines playing the role of Mr. Hand? Baggage check--$25. Fuel surcharge--$50. Bottled water on the plane--$2. Finally, getting to your destination with your sanity intact--priceless.

To watch this priceless ad, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxMqDxtjw1U

*Two dollars? Clearly, Mr. Hand is not getting his caffeine fix at Starbucks.

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