The latest Verizon commercial opens with Rashida Jones wandering around her mother’s house holding her laptop looking for a strong WiFi signal. She finds the best spot is sitting on the floor of the laundry room when her mother comes in to grab something from the dryer (a familiar domestic touch in every home). Rashida is talking with her agent on her laptop (probably Skype) who has an acting job lined up for her. “What’s that noise?” he asks. Rashida explains she is speaking from a movie set filming about laundry. Cleaver twist. Which is real and which is the commercial?
The commercial is also cleaver just by getting that complex story across in a few seconds of short clips.
The mother is played by Peggy Lipton, Rashida’s real mother who is acting again after semi-retiring for 15 years. She was the actress many remember from the old TV series, “The Mod Squad.” (See the posting of August 7, The Go Back, Go Back! Verizon Commercial.) You can sense the chemistry between them, and the commercial is pleasant to watch. All they need is dad, Quincy Jones, to make it complete. Verizon has a winner with the warm mother-and-daughter combination that appeals to everyone.
Rashida’s racial mix gives her the ambiguous heritage look that advertisers love. (She tells of a reporter who put his foot squarely in his mouth by complementing her on her tan.) Being pretty and talented is icing on the cake. The opening scene shows how stunningly pretty she is, not in a glamorous way, just down-home pretty. Peggy’s expression is perfect as she enters the laundry room and realizes she is interrupting but continues anyway. Her expression says, “I know you’re busy, Sweetie, but I’ll only be a second.” We have all seen it on our own mothers.
You can watch the commercial at http://adwhois.com/verizon-fios-commercial-laundry-room-wifi/ (Watch it to the end and you can chose several other interviews and commercials with Rashida Jones.) See also the posting of August 7, “The Go Back! Go Back! Verizon Commercial.”
Note 10/27: A recent comment references a nice clip of the Jones family all together, mom Peggy, dad Quincy, and daughters Rishida, and Kidada (a former wild-child who is now well-known by her own merits), at http://commerce.wazeedigital.com/license/clip/4087578_072.do I am still learning about this talented family, catching up with many of you.