Meet Smiling Bob

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Paul Semple

Meet Smiling Bob

Bob is a modern day champion to men that have fallen victim to a crisis in masculinity. While Bob's day to day life is comparable to that of many middle aged, white collar men, Bob has become immune to a mindless routine that his peers are subject to. This is because Bob now has restored a healthy and active sex life. Now, Bob has Enzyte: “the once daily tablet for natural male enhancement.” Enzyte has presented Bob's life in a series of commercials as a man with a nine to five office job that is surrounded by dull faces and mind numbing work, but he sets himself apart from his peers by getting through his day with a bright grin on his face. In this essay, I argue that a close look at techniques used in a commercial reveals Enzyte is effectively establishing a target audience while presenting a specific solution to a common problem, all without informing consumers that erectile dysfunction may not solely be their problem.

The commercial starts off with a once popular catch phrase coined by Enzyte: “Meet Bob.” There is no mistaking that Bob is a happy man, given that throughout the commercial, his facial expression is occupied by a painfully awkward smile. As the audience is given a peek into Bob's life, it is apparent that his place of work is riddled with monotony and mindless routine. As the camera takes the audience from the elevator to Bob's cubical, coworkers seem to barely exist in their lackluster work environment. Everyone that he works with show little signs of emotion aside from disappointment, and envy when they gander into Bob's workspace. After a trip to Bob's work, the audience is then taken to Bob's neighborhood, which is seemingly reminiscent of 1960's style suburbia. Bob's neighbor is seen watering his garden, and after he sees how chipper Bob is, his hose goes limp (an obvious sexual innuendo). Finally, we meet Bob's wife; the only other person Bob’s utopic world that shows any emotion. Together, they are...
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