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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Apply Directly to the Forehead

We live in an age of information overload, which makes the life and — as The Slug sees it — subsequent death of those annoying Head On commercials so beautiful. In one summer, a seemingly tacky ad went from clandestine commercial to nightly news fodder to completely self-conscious. Let us remember the summer of Head On with a YouTube retrospective. First, the original commercial.

Next comes parody. On YouTube, there's "Butt On" in which someone rubs the product on their booty cheeks, "HEAD trON" featuring an animated version of the commercial's grid background and "HeadOn! Auditions" starring people slathering the tube, well, everywhere. Here's The Slug's favorite.

Then comes the punditry. Brian Unger, formerly of "The Daily Show," discusses the commercial while filling in for Keith Olbermann on MSNBC. Unger first dissected the commercial on NPR. We particularly like the cable-news-TV text at bottom: "Hurts So Good."

Following in MSNBC's footsteps, Head On tiptoes toward the shark with an appearance on the "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams." Now Unger is being interviewed about the spot instead of doing the interviewing himself. Hmmm. And we're not sold on the fact that Williams has actually ever seen the Head On commercial.

The genius behind Head On comes full circle. The makers release commercials in which average joes and janes angered over the commercial transcend the fourth wall, interrupting the ad to declare their hated for the ads but love of the product. It's officially sanctioned parody.

Head On, bedeviling commercial and beloved pop culture nugget, you will be missed.


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