Would you buy a used car from Saul Goodman?
Okay, how about from Bob Odenkirk, the actor who plays the shadiest lawyer on the planet on “Breaking Bad?” The Black Keys seem to think you would, which might explain why they dressed Odenkirk up in the cheapest-looking polyester suit they could find and hired him to help hawk their upcoming Danger Mouse-produced album, El Camino.
Odenkirk does his damndest to get the right car in the frame during the fake one-minute ad allegedly shot in December 1996, but all he succeeds in doing is creating one of the best viral video album spots in recent memory.
The fake ad campaign is the weapon of choice for a lot of artists these days, with Eminem taking the lead in the game by employing the tactic on both his comeback 2009 Relapse album and the multi-platinum 2010 follow-up, Recovery.
In the first series of phony spots, Em checked into the fictitious Popsomp Hills Rehab Center, while the next summer’s “Emwow” spots showed off the slicing, dicing, mincing properties of the rapper’s latest disc.
We won’t count the Insane Clown Posse’s annual epic sales videos hyping their Gathering of the Juggalos events, but suffice it to say that in addition to seeming like parodies themselves, they’ve inspired a hilarious round of spoofs from the fine folks at “Saturday Night Live.” (Shout out to Lil Blaster, I see you girl!)
Arcade Fire got into the act in 2007, enlisting their guitarist Richard Reed Perry to unveil the track listing for their Neon Bible album wile wearing a creepy mask and wielding a megaphone. The clip had Perry sitting in a director’s chair (singer Win Butler’s seat, actually) while waving his Juno Award as the album’s song titles bounced across the screen along with a 1-866 number at the end that allowed you to pre-order the disc.
Other creepy clips followed, including a 30-second one with backwards-masking bible talk and a longer three-minute cut featuring an actual neon bible, a magic video tape, sad testimonials and incredibly cheesy graphics.
Chill wave hipsters Neon Indian didn’t want to be left out, so they upped the ante with a disturbing, jumpy commercial for the fictional PAL198X keyboard, the TeleTouch and a handful of other fake products promoting the band’s recently released Era Extrana album.
What’s your favorite fake album informercial?