Co-opting a choice bit of pseudoscientific self-helpspeak, the latest from Virgin Mobile asks viewers to retrain their brains–and helps them do that with some far-out imagery. Mother New York created the new spot, inspired by focus group testing that saw consumers indifferently clinging to current providers based on old habits. As a response, “Retrain Your Brain” attempts to storm viewers’ brain castles, guns a-blazing, and clean out the cobwebs.
To that end, Wayne Coyne is on hand, floating into the frame aloft on a brain. For the next 60 seconds, the man who once sang “She Don’t Use Jelly” proceeds to guide viewers through a panoply of heightened imagery, like a giant squid with a 4G phone in each tentacle. Other images are meant to jam associations into the viewer’s cerebellum. The idea of unlimited data is represented by a coffee cup long since overfilled, and the idea of saved money is depicted as a woman in a money Jacuzzi. This mix of satire and sheer absurdity, courtesy directorial collective Traktor, all feels rather Tim & Eric, which is welcome.