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Thread started by Dave Winer on Thursday, April 11, 2013.

Busting the fourth wall in TV

Two lovable TV commercial campaigns.

1. The GEICO pig.

2. American Airlines hires Don Draper.

They're both playing games with the fourth wall. They're including the viewer in on a joke that the humans don't get.

The pig knows he's a pig, and of course so do we. But the humans, flight attendants, a girlfriend, a cop, don't seem to get it.

Jon Hamm explains first class to us exactly the way Don Draper explained the Carousel to Kodak. It's amazing to be pitched a real airline by a fictitious character, and one as compelling as Draper. And it's an account the character wanted to close! A big airline. Oh the humanity.

This is a great commercial, but the last two bits are not necessary. Where the narrator says -- eh, we can talk about it later, that's when the American Airlines logo should come up with the plane soaring through the sky. Fade out.

The client probably insisted on having the last part. But this is an ad about you and me, not really about the airline. Yes, it's a little self-deprecating on our behalf, but we don't mind because it's Don Draper. He's our friend. And he's telling us something is new at American Airlines. We know he's lying. But we still like it, because it's sweet and funny.

I love being involved in the commercialism. I love that kind of art. Great stuff.