Now, I’m not going to be the person that assumes understanding of everything about the world around me, particularly when it comes to cultures on the other side of the planet. Take this commercial, for instance, for the Chinese holiday Singles Day, which nabbed Kevin Spacey as a pitchman. Only, he’s playing House of Cards POTUS Frank Underwood. Check out the weirdness below.
Now, I understand why they would want to use Spacey, an international star, for an ad. And I ever have an inkling of why they would want to use Spacey as Underwood for something, since Netflix is a global company and House of Cards is one of its most prolific and widely recognized shows to date. But what I don’t get is why they used this character for Singles Day, widely known as the biggest online shopping day of the entire year. Sure, Underwood convinces a lot of people to do a lot of things – many times stuff that they don’t want to be doing – but there’s always some form of payback and greater good involved. This is just about blowing money on stuff.
Well, okay, I guess having a stand-in for the President of the United States is the perfect person to explain to someone why they should blow money on stuff. Okay, I get it now, China.
When he’s not quoting philanthropist Jack Ma and complaining about White House firewalls keeping him away from shopping online, Underwood is trying to pimp wholesale burner phones and advising people to order 10. Hungry for something that isn’t substantial or healthy? Underwood wants you to look for deals on Presidential M&Ms. He also tells people to look for his class ring and his Oval Office desk, and I’d love to know if anyone watching this actually searches for those. And if they actually find them.
This commercial makes me wish that House of Cards featured a Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood-type opening and closing sequence where Underwood changes into and out of his trenchcoat, hat and glasses.
This isn’t the first time that Spacey has brought out Frank Underwood for the sake of advertising, either. Check out this commercial from earlier this year.
Now we’ll just have to wait until next year to see if House of Cards heads to China for Season 4.