Soccer Gods reviews: David Beckham and Kevin Hart’s H&M ad

Summer is over*. The air is getting crisp*. The time has come to put away the colorful t-shirts and begrudgingly exchange them for the chilly ubiquity of pea coats and assorted earth-toned items that match the drabness of your self-diagnosed seasonal affective disorder*.

Your wardrobe choices for autumn are important. What you buy in October could have you looking like a fool until March. It’s a pressure-packed shopping season. The question before you is: where does one go to buy fly shit at reasonable rates made possible by impressive economies of scale and savvy marketing? The answer—as provided by enemy of Miami city government, David Beckham, and the next Steve Harvey, Kevin Hart—just may be H&M.

This has to be the most expensive ad for semi-fancy fabrics in the history of semi-fancy fabrics. David Beckham probably doesn’t speak to his children for an appearance fee of less than six figures, so H&M had to have paid him a fortune. And somehow, Kevin Hart has become America’s favorite comedian, despite drifting into Dane Cook territory some time ago. Booking America’s favorite comedian is never cheap.

The premise of H&M’s ad is simple. Kevin Hart takes the role of David Beckham in an upcoming biopic. He asks to live with Dave and shadow him for a few days. Eventually, it all devolves into a heartwarming stalker situation. You may not laugh many times during the nearly seven minute ad, but you will absolutely want to buy Beckham’s suit, because it’s fresh, and looks like a great thing to wear on a date when you want to appear to be less of a degenerate than you actually are.

This is essentially a remake of that movie from the 1980s (ask an uncle what those were) starring Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger as twins, because they are almost indistinguishable from each other. Something like that. I’m not entirely sure how comedy works.

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In the middle of this cinematic ad for fall fashions, Beckham and Hart shifted into a commercial for erectile disfunction pills. Smart move by H&M to combine this message promoting their Modern Essentials line—which currently offers free shipping—with other products that are important to their primary customer base.

The best part of this exercise may be the director’s choice to put novice actor David Beckham in a situation where he has to convince the public that he still reads newspapers. Or that he’s ever read a newspaper. That isn’t to say that I believe Dave is incapable of reading a newspaper, it’s just hard for me to imagine any reason why he would give a shit about whatever Peggy Noonan might have to say. Imagine David Beckham furrowing his brow incredulously at news about new stops signs going up, or that city council had cut funding for his local community garden. I’m not buying it.

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What I am buying, maybe even this weekend, is the aforementioned suit Beckham is wearing. When I go out, I want people to think that I’m the kind of guy who went to school for architecture, couldn’t handle all the math, and dropped out to attend art school instead. I want people to understand that I’m the kind of person whose parents were probably pissed for about a year because I dropped out of architecture school, but eventually understood my decision because we communicate so well and they just want me to be happy and follow my creative dreams. At the very least, this ad has given me the opportunity for that. I’m thankful.

* These are all lies. I live in Miami. I might have written this blog in a hammock.

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