Watering Willy: The commercial that’s too good to be real, but is actually real

Today I saw a commercial that I was pretty sure at least four times during the showing was fake, but it’s completely real.

It’s Watering Willy, and it’s magnificent in all the weirdest ways.

If you haven’t seen it, here it is in all its glory:

I don’t even care if you don’t read the rest of this post. Just make sure you watch that video.

The absurdity starts at the beginning, when a girl rides by on a bike and lets the frustrated homeowner know he has a “lame sprinkler, dude.” This is not said with a laugh. It is matter of fact, and it is full of disgust. It’s just a sprinkler, something no one has ever thought about beyond its utility. This girl just can’t handle it though.

Then, after being assured that you’re wasting your life away watering your lawn (is this true for anybody anywhere?), a different woman rides up on a bike and asks him if he wants to go play tennis. Please note she is riding a bike while holding a tennis racket. Of course, the hero of our tragedy cannot, because he is too busy watering his lawn.

The commercial then asks why you should get tennis elbow watering your lawn instead of actually playing tennis. This was the first time I thought this ad was a joke.

Usually these short infomercials feature people completely incapable of handling mundane problems, a famous example being the Snuggie commercial showing people not at all able to handle using blankets. This one, though, invents the new problem of getting tennis elbow from watering your lawn, which also keeps you from playing tennis with a woman you are, presumably, attracted to. I assure you, this is a situation that has literally never happened.

We are 15 seconds into a 2-minute ad.

This is when the solution to all of your nonexistent problems is introduced: Watering Effing Willy.

This is when the solution to all of your nonexistent problems is introduced: Watering Effing Willy.

Watering Willy, you see, is not like those old, tired, boring sprinklers. He’s a… fun sprinkler? He is described as “the most interactive, entertaining sprinkler in the world!” It is not explained how the claims made by either of those adjectives can be believed.

Other sprinklers are quickly described as tired, and they are piled in a grill and set on fire. It is a large, impressive fire.

The benefits of the Watering Willy are then explained, beyond its amazing fun. It can be adjusted to water different lengths, so you can water your lawn, or a garden patch, or wash your car (IMPORTANT NOTE: it does not wash your car, it gets your car wet), or put out a fire of old sprinklers. Call back!

Seriously, what the hell is this commercial?

With the guy laughingly mimicking the hilarious Watering Willy, another girl (it looks like the one who wanted to play tennis earlier) rides up on a bike (I guess this takes place in Portland?), and says, “Hey, your sprinkler is really funny. Do you want to go out sometimes?”

This is the second time I felt it must be fake, an Adult Swim parody or something. A woman literally asks a guy out because he has a funny sprinkler. Easy, lady. Your desperation is showing.

We have not quite hit the one-minute mark of the ad.

The ad then lists the groups that love the Watering Willy:

  • Kids
  • Neighbors
  • Girls
  • Government agents
  • Vikings
It is telling that this seems like forced humor that is typical of advertising chicanery compared to the rest of the ad.

It is telling that this seems like forced humor that is typical of advertising chicanery compared to the rest of the ad.

Neighbors then gather to discuss how hilarious the Watering Willy is. When a new sprinkler is the talk of the neighborhood, you know it’s safe, because clearly nothing interesting happens there.

You might ask what ground is possibly left to break. And after going through some more typical advertising wackiness in describing what you can do with all the time freed up from not having to water your lawn all the time anymore, the Watering Willy advertising team steps up their game.

The commercial talks about what a great gift it is, for mom, for grandma, even for great grandma.

This is what they show when they mention Great Grandma. This is an actual scene from an actual commercial trying to sell an actual product.

This is what they show when they mention Great Grandma. This is an actual scene from an actual commercial trying to sell an actual product.

That’s basically it. The end talks about the guarantee and the “buy now and get a second free” standard addition, plus a free hose, with the phone number and website.

Of course you can visit the website. This is a real product.

And you might be saying to yourself, “Hey idiot, you’re proving them right! You’re talking about it, so it was good advertising.”

You are wrong. It is great advertising. That is why I am rewarding it.

This ad gets the coveted Soft-Core Sophistry Respek Knuckles.

Respek Knuckles

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