The Devil Inside?

Do you hear it? Listen close. It’s way down deep. That voice you hear but never want to listen to. It tells you that getting fit is not really that hard. Training for a fight or preparing to climb Mt. Everest. That’s hard. Waiting for a parking spot and making the decision to drive in a circle 38 times to avoid walking forty feet? That simply identifies you as the mayor of lazy town. Behavior like this is obscene when you consider most of us own more personal workout equipment than a small town Bally’s (pre-bankruptcy of course.) How many bought the latest smash hit diet book called “Dr. Phil goes to South Beach and learns Purging for Dummies?” At least I think that’s what it’s called. I’m using a Pizza Hut flyer for a bookmark and keep losing my place.

No, we ignore that voice, and instead convince ourselves its far too much work dropping the weight and way more fun stuffing ourselves with food as fast as we can, pausing only long enough to wash it all down with a “sports drink.”

It’s amazing the journey the “sport drink” has traveled. From an ice chilled liquid dumped over the head’s of winning coaches to school vending machines near you. The number of sport drinks available out there would have you thinking we were all training for marathons or playing professional jai-alai instead of eating nachos and watching re-runs of “Corner Gas.” News flash to the clueless: Most of us are not wearing sweat pants because we are momentarily heading out for a run. It has way more to do with padded string being a heck of a lot more comfortable around ye old handles of love versus the cruelly sadistic pinch delivered by a belt.

Every once in a while the guilt hits, so we grab for a Gatorade instead of a grape Crush, believing that tiny voice inside telling us that by choosing a “sport” drink over a soft drink we are somehow doing something good for our body. While I’m almost certain draining a two litre of Gatorade does very little to help the waistline I can understand the overall theory at work.

Gatorade is in the first stages of what seems to be a new ad campaign playing on such “inner voices.” I’ve seen two ads so far and I’m sure there are more to come.

The first is the Dwyane Wade ad in which Wade is running the basketball floor during a game while two disembodied Dwyane Wade mini-heads float around each of his ears telling him what he should be doing. One, more conservative and cautious, tells him to do a jump shot or kiss it off the glass while the other, more aggressive and attitude filled, is yelling for a dunk in the face of the opposing giant. Wade drives in and slams over a guy leading both heads to begin screaming in excitement over the performance. Gatorade’s tag line of “Is it in you?” cleanly finishes the ad.

The other features baseball’s Derek Jeter on first base. He’s looking to steal when a “voice” in the form of sharp dressed Mr. Harvey Keitel starts tempting him, pushing him to go for it. Keitel is totally playing a bad guy because all he does is lean on Jeter to steal the base, with a major emphasis on “steal.” There is no back and forth ala the Dwyane Wade ad, just Harvey with a soundtrack proving he’s way too bad to be good. And tell me why the only team logo that is returned to over and over again is Jeter’s opponents, “The Angels.” The commercial is tight and cool, and hard to miss. When it starts, you just have to watch it all the way through.  Even still, I am wondering about the whole bad guy routine they’re pushing. When you add in the heavy backbeat to Keitel’s evilly confident sales pitch, and then tie it all up in a bow with a tag line like “Is it in you?” I have to say it’s kind of unsettling. Is what in me? Could it be…..I don’t know….maybe possibly……….Satan!?!  (Note: Please say the previous line in the voice of Dana Carvey’s “The Church Lady” of long lost SNL fame)

Maybe Gatorade will clarify the spot via upcoming versions or other ads but using a sort of “devil on your shoulder” voice in any positive capacity is kind of a weird way to sell fluorescently colorful juice to lazy couch potatoes.

But I will admit that any commercial plausibly able to work in the term “schmendric” is ultimately okay by me.

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