James Franco, so hot right now
Campaign: Galaxy Note 10
Agency: Cheil USA
Director: James Franco
Not content with his image as the modern Renaissance man – or rather, extremely content with it – James Franco has made an ad for the latest Samsung tablet. In this Samsung ad, he purports to mock the idea that he is known for “multitasking”. Thus the tie-in with the Samsung tablet, which enables “multitasking”. It’s quite clever, if you think hard about it.
What James Franco is really mocking, however, is James Franco’s own reputation for being No 1 on the Billboard Contemporary Dude chart. James Franco is a director/philosopher/movie star/artist/model/novelist. He has enough mainstream pull to carry a blockbuster but retains enough hipster self-awareness to brilliantly cameo as a soap-opera villain. He simultaneously writes PhD theses and headlines vernissages. He’s probably an excellent cook. In short, James Franco is winning the game of life.
But just in case you thought James Franco wasn’t aware of this, James Franco is cool enough to point out to you that he KNOWS how people perceive him. He knows he has a rep for being an alpha male who is smarter than you, funnier than you and sleeps on a bed made entirely of supermodel breasts.
This Samsung ad, which James Franco himself metajokingly directs, is a mission to defuse that antipathy – to wink, poke you in the ribs and say, “Hey, don’t be jealous – I don’t REALLY live like this.” James Franco will not only solve that math problem, but he’ll give you a blazer, in the right size.
“How did he know?”
“He’s James Franco.”
This is the entire joke of Hansel in Zoolander. Hansel lives in a loft with a phalanx of models, pro skaters and sexually liberated midgets. “Hot bread, Zeke!”
It’s funnier in Zoolander, partly because Owen Wilson’s smushed nose, inherently hilarious to begin with, is even more hilarious when he’s pretending to be a model, but also because Owen Wilson, notwithstanding Drillbit Taylor, is a comic genius.
You can’t blame James Franco for not being a comic genius. But arguably you can blame the dude for being smug. The thing is, James Franco probably DOES live kind of like this Samsung ad. Want to know how I know? Samsung spends $2.7bn annually to promote its smartphones, tablets and televisions. That’s more than the GDP of about half the countries in Africa. Whatever James Franco got paid for this ad, it’s a lot. Plus, if I were a woman, I’d do him. This proves to me scientifically that James Franco’s life is pretty spectacular. So making fun of such a lifestyle as empty, extravagant hype is really just a super-ironic hipster way of saying, “I’m awesome.” Just because you wink when you say it doesn’t mean you don’t believe it.
As for doing the Ferris Bueller ending, James Franco, I feel it incumbent upon myself to point out to you (you’re reading this, obviously) that the Ferris ending was funny because Matthew Broderick looks surprised and a bit baffled the audience are still there after the endless credits have finished.
You, on the other hand, appear contemptuous and dismissive of anyone who watched to the end of a two-minute ad starring you, as if they’re just desperate to get more of you. It’s a bit like saying, “You may now leave the presence.”