Change your TV, change your life


Have you seen the new Sharp ad for their LCD television? Change your TV, change your life. I tried to imagine how this prophecy could be fulfilled…by getting a herniated disk from carrying it to your car? The sheer outrageousness of pairing consumption with life-changing transformation got my attention (normally we buy gum to have better breath or a Mustang car to pick up girls), so I visited the Sharp website where the spiritual thread continues: a cardboard cube hovers in outer space, accompanied by orchestral music. It looks like the beginning of a creation story and is a lot prettier than primordial soup (which I always picture as looking like split pea).


Then, you go from the creation story to baseball (is this a reference to Angels in the Outfield)? Click on play ball and you find objects hanging over an old-fashioned pitching machine and a baseball player ready for some practice. Here you get to see how hyper-realistic LCD technology is by watching the bat come into contact with different kinds of matter. You select one of the objects and drag it into the pitching machine. The red pepper is the most satisfying; there’s a crunching noise as the red flesh bursts into a thousand little pepper pieces off the bat. The saddest one is the festive Christmas ornament, just like grandma’s, that is shattered into shards of red glass – isn’t that downright un-American? The most disturbing one is the blue baby toy with a cute little smile on its face. If you select this one the batter rubs his hands in excitement before the toy is shot out of the machine. In all, the movements are very realistic, but the batter never adjusts his cup or spits, which takes the verisimilitude down one notch in my opinion.


I know that Sharp isn’t trying to be serious; you’d have to be daft to buy a TV and then wait for your life to change (though maybe there have been a few reports of people doing it). What makes this ad stand out is the transformative and spiritual dimension of its claim. It’s as if a bunch of executives are visited by the Holy Spirit during Pentecost like in a Medieval painting: they hear the slogan raining down on them in celestial voices: change your TV, change your life. Only the real slogan, infused with supreme knowledge, would no doubt be throw out your TV, change your life.








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