It isn’t easy being both funny and touching in 30 seconds, but Verizon Wireless pulls off the feat in its recent Father/Son commercial, in which subtitles translate the monosyllabic statements of a dad and grad.
Created by McGarryBowen, the ad opens with the men shopping for a Droid cellphone.
Dad: Congratulations. (Subtitle translation: I’m so sad you’re leaving.)
Son: Crazy, right? (Subtitle: Gonna be hard for me too.)
After a salesclerk chimes in, Dad grunts, "Hmm" (translation: "You make me so proud"), and Son responds, "Cool" (translation: "That means a lot"). The spot ends with the pair elbowing each other, a gesture rendered in subtitles as "Love you."
The mix of humor and heartstrings has struck a chord with viewers, says actor Assaf Cohen, who plays the store clerk. "I've gotten so much more attention for this commercial than any other TV gig or ad I've done," he says.