Why Evian’s roller-skating babies terrify me
Sunday, July 5th, 2009
Already a YouTube phenomenon, this new Evian commercial suggests that mineral water is so rejuvenating, it will transform you into a vaguely thuggish, roller-skating infant.
Evian clearly thinks this ad sets new standards of cuteness. These babies redefine precocity and outshine squirrels for agility as they one-up each other with funky roller moves—a reference to the late-70s jam skating scene in New York’s Central Park, set to the 1979 hit, “Rapper’s Delight.”
And it is freaky-cute, up to a point. Namely 00:26, when several of the babies leap in the air and cling to a wire fence like rabid dingoes who’ve watched West Side Story (or Thriller or The Lost Boys) a few too many times. And then it dawns on you: These babies have no parents. Why?! Have they perhaps killed their parents?
Who will stop these bundles of roller-skating joy if they turn rogue and swarm out of the park? If they begin leaping on cars and roller-skating their way up the Empire State Building? Will the U.S. Air Force be able to neutralize them in time? (Compare this illustration, right, from page 66 of my book, The Perfect Baby Handbook—although this infant is also dangerously mobile, at least his flustered dad is attempting to supervise him.)
On another level, the Evian commercial disturbs me because it suggests just how ruthlessly the new generation of aggressively educated, genius-ified babies may render the rest of us obsolete. Of course, it may not be too late.