chronicwnderlst

A place to indulge an affliction

got Aayuun Buh?

4 Comments

This commercial still keeps me laughing five years after it originally aired.  The commercial follows a story approach as the character is depicted to be a subject matter expert on Alexander Hamilton through the use of visual elements. Audio elements, such the sound of a full mouth talking and the sound of a dial tone, effectively depict how the young man’s misfortune unfolds.

Below is a five-second breakdown analyses of the commercial:

0:00-0:05: Classical music plays in the background while the camera pans through a room full of antiques.  The camera zooms on a young man intently spreading peanut butter on a piece of bread. The storyline is set, depicting a modern character who loves history and is a collector of antiques.

0:06-0:10: The tempo of the background classical music increases and the camera zooms in on items related to Alexander Hamilton, such as law books, a portrait, and a miniature bust set in front of an antique-looking radio. This further underscores the character’s obsession of all things Alexander Hamilton.

0:11-0:15: The music ends and a male voice on the radio states that the music was “Vienna Wood Dancing B,” and that it is one of his all-time favorites. Alexander Hamilton’s bust is shown in the foreground.

0:16-0:20: The camera zooms back to the young man who is still spreading peanut butter on bread. I consider this foreshadowing. The camera then zooms in to a portrait of Alexander Hamilton. The voice on the radio states that it was now time to make the “random call with today’s $10,000 question.” The camera zooms in to the young man who takes a big bite of his peanut butter sandwich, eyes closed, clearly enjoying his meal.

0:21-0:25: The male radio voice adds that today’s question “is a tough one” while the camera shows the young man stuffing the peanut butter sandwich into his mouth. The radio voice then asks, “Who shot Alexander Hamilton in that famous duel?” As soon as the radio voice says, “Alexander Hamilton,” the young man’s eyes open wide as he chews his peanut butter sandwich. As soon as the word “duel” is said, the sound of a pistol being fired is heard in the background, there is a flash of light, and the camera zooms in to two antique pistols displayed facing each other as if in a duel. The camera then shows the young man, mouth full, looking behind him. In front of him are a telephone, an empty drinking glass, a carton of milk, and a peanut butter jar with a butter knife inside.

0:26-0:30: The young man is shown looking around. In quick succession, the camera (acting as the young man’s eyes), zoom in on a man’s period costume with hat and labeled “Alexander Hamilton” in front of a U.S. flag; a bullet marked “The Bullet” under a domed glass case; and a painting of two dueling men, one labeled “Alexander Hamilton,” and the other labeled “Aaron Burr.” The radio voice states “Alright, let’s go to the phones and see who is out there,” as the camera focuses on the “Aaron Burr” label.

0:31-0:35: The phone rings and the young man looks at it in surprise and quickly answers the phone. When the young man opens his mouth to say”Hello?” it is obvious that his mouth is still full of the peanut butter sandwich. The voice on the phone is the same as the radio voice that then asks, “Hello! For then thousand dollars…”

0:36-0:40: The male voice on the other end of the telephone call continues “…who shot ..?” Before the voice could finish the question, the young man confidently answers “Aayuun Buh” while waving one hand as if to convey that the answer was easy.  He also closes his eyes and smirks confidently, until he hears the voice on the phone ask, “Excuse me?” The young man’s eyes opens and one can see a flicker of worry in his eyes as he repeats, “Aayuun Buh.”

0:41-0:45: The young man then pleads and mumbles  on the phone, “Hold on, hold on, let me get some milk!” as he pours the milk carton into the drinking glass. There is only a small amount of milk left. The young man yells, “Noooo!” as he shakes the empty carton of milk into the glass.

0:46-0:50: The young man is clearly frustrated as he shakes the empty milk carton and puts it down, as the voice on the phone states, “I’m sorry, your time is almost up.” The young man yells barely intelligibly into the phone, “Aayuun Buh!” as he stares at a mini statue of Alexander Hamilton on his desk. His desperation is evident on his face.

0:51-0:55: The phone voice states, “I’m sorry. Maybe next time,” and hangs up, as indicated by a dial tone. The young man stares at the phone hand set, seemingly in disbelief that he missed his opportunity. He mumbles “Aayuun Buh” while staring at the hand set, as the dial tone becomes louder. The louder dial tone underscores the finality of the young man’s missed opportunity.

0:55-1:00: “got milk?” is displayed on a black screen and another male voice asks, “Got Milk?”

Because of this commercial, I will always remember who shot Alexander Hamilton.

Below is a five-second breakdown analyses of the commercial:

0:00-0:05: Classical music plays in the background while the camera pans through a room full of antiques.  The camera zooms on a young man intently spreading peanut butter on a piece of bread. The storyline is set, depicting a modern character who loves history and is a collector of antiques.

0:06-0:10: The tempo of the background classical music increases and the camera zooms in on items related to Alexander Hamilton, such as law books, a portrait, and a miniature bust set in front of an antique-looking radio. This further underscores the character’s obsession of all things Alexander Hamilton.

0:11-0:15: The music ends and a male voice on the radio states that the music was “Vienna Wood Dancing B,” and that it is one of his all-time favorites. Alexander Hamilton’s bust is shown in the foreground.

0:16-0:20: The camera zooms back to the young man who is still spreading peanut butter on bread. I consider this foreshadowing. The camera then zooms in to a portrait of Alexander Hamilton. The voice on the radio states that it was now time to make the “random call with today’s $10,000 question.” The camera zooms in to the young man who takes a big bite of his peanut butter sandwich, eyes closed, clearly enjoying his meal.

0:21-0:25: The male radio voice adds that today’s question “is a tough one” while the camera shows the young man stuffing the peanut butter sandwich into his mouth. The radio voice then asks, “Who shot Alexander Hamilton in that famous duel?” As soon as the radio voice says, “Alexander Hamilton,” the young man’s eyes open wide as he chews his peanut butter sandwich. As soon as the word “duel” is said, the sound of a pistol being fired is heard in the background, there is a flash of light, and the camera zooms in to two antique pistols displayed facing each other as if in a duel. The camera then shows the young man, mouth full, looking behind him. In front of him are a telephone, an empty drinking glass, a carton of milk, and a peanut butter jar with a butter knife inside.

0:26-0:30: The young man is shown looking around. In quick succession, the camera (acting as the young man’s eyes), zoom in on a man’s period costume with hat and labeled “Alexander Hamilton” in front of a U.S. flag; a bullet marked “The Bullet” under a domed glass case; and a painting of two dueling men, one labeled “Alexander Hamilton,” and the other labeled “Aaron Burr.” The radio voice states “Alright, let’s go to the phones and see who is out there,” as the camera focuses on the “Aaron Burr” label.

0:31-0:35: The phone rings and the young man looks at it in surprise and quickly answers the phone. When the young man opens his mouth to say”Hello?” it is obvious that his mouth is still full of the peanut butter sandwich. The voice on the phone is the same as the radio voice that then asks, “Hello! For then thousand dollars…”

0:36-0:40: The male voice on the other end of the telephone call continues “…who shot ..?” Before the voice could finish the question, the young man confidently answers “Aayuun Buh” while waving one hand as if to convey that the answer was easy.  He also closes his eyes and smirks confidently, until he hears the voice on the phone ask, “Excuse me?” The young man’s eyes opens and one can see a flicker of worry in his eyes as he repeats, “Aayuun Buh.”

0:41-0:45: The young man then pleads and mumbles  on the phone, “Hold on, hold on, let me get some milk!” as he pours the milk carton into the drinking glass. There is only a small amount of milk left. The young man yells, “Noooo!” as he shakes the empty carton of milk into the glass.

0:46-0:50: The young man is clearly frustrated as he shakes the empty milk carton and puts it down, as the voice on the phone states, “I’m sorry, your time is almost up.” The young man yells barely intelligibly into the phone, “Aayuun Buh!” as he stares at a mini statue of Alexander Hamilton on his desk. His desperation is evident on his face. I believe this is where the element of surprise is introduced, because the audience realizes at this point that young man may have missed the opportunity to win $10,000.

0:51-0:55: The phone voice states, “I’m sorry. Maybe next time,” and hangs up, as indicated by a dial tone. The young man stares at the phone hand set, seemingly in disbelief that he missed his opportunity. He mumbles “Aayuun Buh” while staring at the hand set, as the dial tone becomes louder. The louder dial tone underscores the finality of the young man’s missed opportunity.

0:55-1:00: “got milk?” is displayed on a black screen and another male voice asks, “Got Milk?”

I can’t help but empathize with the character. He did nothing fundamentally wrong, yet he missed his opportunity.  Because of this commercial, I will always remember who shot Alexander Hamilton.

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4 thoughts on “got Aayuun Buh?

  1. A little random but the actor in this commercial is one of my childhood friends’ uncle!! A great commercial with a funny, understandable and relatable premise. I agree that all the elements from the auditory and visual, culminate to enhance the ending of the commercial’s story. These are one of those commercials where the marketing strategy uses unfortunate events to highlight the value of whatever they are selling. This commercial does a great job getting the value of their product across to the audience.

  2. Pingback: Week 2 Summary | chronicwnderlst

  3. I love that this is a friend/relation of @cbedross1. Too funny! I wondered if I’d seen this commercial before so I was going to watch it but decided to read your analysis first to see if it would jog my memory. It totally did!! You set up the story line really well so a few lines in I remembered the commercial exactly. I agree with you that the audio elements, the dial tone, the mouth full of peanut butter, are what make you really feel for the poor guy. Excellent commercial choice!

  4. Very thorough analysis, and as you suggest, there is a lot that is communicated without words, look how quickly we have a sense of who this main is and what his expertise is. In addition to the zooms,

    in the opening there is the accent lights of the spotlights coming in the windows, suggestion of a library or laboratory type place, it also opens with a lot of upward angles, suggesting grandeur, power, and then switches from a top down view of the actor, which in a way also might foreshadow his fate (I like your observation of the peanut buttering act being foreshadowing too).

    I’m curious as to the way you might draw the shape of the story. For the character, he ends up on the lower side of good fortune, right? But then again, what has he lost? I was wondering if the milk would work, but alas no. The story still seems to work as one that does not follow the up curve shape. Or maybe the character is you as a viewer, who if you keep your cold milk handy, will not have that same fate? Or knowing as you do, for a long time, the answer to the trivia question?

    It’s an interesting approach for a commercial, and really goes about to attach a spirit of fun to the milk association (I can guess, I am no expert at advertising strategy).

    And indeed, the connection with someone in the class is great! Did your friend’s uncle’s career take of with this role?

    By the way, it looks like your analysis got pasted in twice here (?) but all around a good dissection of the milk story.

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