Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The picky ones

One small pleasure in life for me is local commercials — sometimes so local (or insular) that advertisers are identified by street address alone. A jeweler on a street about ninety miles from me has been advertising himself on television as le difficile: his commercial shows a series of men “here in Antwerp, Belgium” speaking in French and accented English about “the picky one” and his insistence on the best diamonds. O small-town jeweler, thy reputation fills a metropolis in two languages!

It turns out though that a surprising number of American jewelers are known in Antwerp as le difficile — or la difficile. So many picky ones! Even more surprising: the Antwerp diamond dealers speak of these many picky ones in exactly the same words (in French and accented English). These jewelers hail from Kansas, Missouri, Nevada, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. And from Florida, Florida, Florida, Florida. And perhaps from other states.

A cynic might think that these spots were made by inserting a couple of brief clips of a local jeweler into a ready-made commercial. A cynic might even do a quick search and find a source for these commercials online. I refuse to bow to such cynicism.