WHAT: A 90-second TV spot for the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 in which Christoph Waltz mocks Americans for their “Busy, Busy, Busy” lifestyle before being overcome with patriotism for the red, white, and blue at the sight of an American flag on the moon.
WHO: Samsung, Wieden+Kennedy Portland
WHY WE CARE: Christoph Waltz carries the ad in his inimitable style, starring as everyone from George Washington to Abraham Lincoln to Neil Armstrong–a weird gig for a guy with perhaps the most noticeable Austrian accent this side of Arnold Schwarzenegger, but that’s at least half of the joke here.
The Oscar-winning actor is great at everything, and he manages to elevate even the schlockiest fare (looking at you, Green Hornet) to some degree of charming fun. And this ad for the Note 7 might be on the swing-and-a-miss side of things if not for the combination of glee and conviction that he brings to his performance as some version of himself, touring the American landscape to mock us for our decidedly non-European dedication to work, and tendency to keep very busy–before, of course, becoming so moved by what those traits have led us to accomplish that he gets his own manicured lawn and house bedecked in Fourth of July finery.
It’s not Waltz’s first time as a pitchman, but the guy sure nails it. A Korean company tapping an Austrian actor to sell a phone on the idea of American patriotism is a complex thing to pull off, but it works here–and just in time for the Olympics, when the appetite for American exceptionalism tends to be at an all-time high.