Traditional TV commercials are largely being forgotten. With DVRs and Netflix providing easy ways to avoid them, mostly commercials are seen during live sporting events and for five seconds before you press “SKIP AD” on YouTube.
As a result, you might have missed a State Farm ad that’s been on for a while. If so, you’ve missed the saddest commercial on TV.
No, it’s not the puppy-monkey-baby monstrosity. While you can argue that’s sadder because it shows the depths of human depravity, it’s a different kind of sad. I’m talking about the “Never” commercial, seen here:
Some of you might watch that and not see anything sad. “It’s about a guy who experiences a life he thought he never wanted and finds more joy than he thought was possible!” you might be (weirdly coherently) shouting at your monitor right now.
But you’re only seeing the commercial. You’re not thinking of what happens afterward.
The commercial shows a guy who keeps talking about what he’ll never do and then shows him doing exactly that thing.
“I’m never getting married,” he defiantly proclaims. Then he’s buying a wedding ring.
“We’re never having kids,” he says to his wife, next to a screaming baby on a plane. Then she’s giving birth.
“We’re never moving to the suburbs,” he says to his wife and baby. Then he’s washing a car in front of a suburban house.
“We’re never having another kid,” he says to his wife, who then announces she’s pregnant.
“I’m never letting go,” he says to his sleeping family. Then… the commercial ends.
Every single time the commercial shows him proclaiming to never do something, that thing immediately happens. Right after this commercial ends, that family is in his rear-view mirror.
Not convinced that the cause-effect relationship shown with 100% accuracy throughout the commercial would continue? Cool, because I can provide reasons why it would.
The guy in the ad had a lot of different plans for his life. He wanted to be single, he didn’t want kids, he wanted the city life. His life took a different path. And he sure seems happy at the end!
But how long can that last? At some point, he’s going to look at his life and think of his lost opportunities. Maybe his kids are being brats and his wife has been arguing with him about why he’s spending so much money on vintage He-Man action figures.
Something’s going to happen. Or maybe even nothing will happen! But he’ll start thinking about the life not lived. The parties not attended, the people not met, and the adventures not taken.
And he’ll yearn for that life. He’ll want that life more than this life he promised himself he’d never have.
This isn’t a wild idea. It’s something that happens so commonly there’s a term for it: mid-life crisis. He’s going to have one, and he’s going to leave his family.
But at least he can get insurance for that new car.
State Farm: the insurance for broken homes.