Wednesday, July 15, 2009

"Keeper of cool"

Sometimes I'll go to the Web to see if something is bothering others the way it bugs me; in effect, I'm pathetically looking for support in my dissatisfaction. I don't know if other people do that, but I rather suspect they do. I would think there were Google searches for "michael jackson too much coverage" from people who were attempting to discover that others felt that the "news" outlets were focusing overly much on a less-than-that-important story (I suspect that, had Jackson passed away during fall premiere season that the number of hours devoted to it would have been far less).

Anyway, I've been irritated for some time by the radio commercials for Cisco's WebEx product. It's a teleconferencing product, and the campaign has featured at least two spots starring a businessman who uses WebEx to enhance his ability to do presentations and hold internal meetings. The facts behind the campaign aren't bad; I'm a big believer that teleconferencing is going to become ever more important, that at some point it will curtail the rosy forecasts of ever-increasing business air travel (even if fact is lagging the enthusiastic projections of those who sell these systems).

What I don't like is the narrator - I've taken a visceral dislike to this guy. In the first spot, he talks about how he can appear all over the world making presentations, yet still be available for tonight's date with "the very lovely Rachel," and I just find something smug and smarmy about the way he delivers the phrase.

The newer ad demonstrates how this guy can pull his creative team together to implement some idea he had (perhaps on a date with tvlR, I don't know). His idea bounces from his head to various other cities, and the other members testify as to their contributions, and our main guy comes back to tell how his great idea was instantly translated into reality because of WebEx. (This is a pretty rosy picture of innovation, but it is an ad, I suppose.)

In this case, it's not Rachel's boyfriend who bugs me as much as "Logan in Cambridge," who proclaims himself, "I'm kind of the keeper of cool." And he's more smug than the Rachel guy, and it all just rubs me the wrong way.

So this morning I get on the Web to see if anyone else is as bugged by these ads as I am, and the answer is, apparently not. But here's the funny thing: There seems to be one transcript of this commercial that has been replicated numerous times, so it propagates the same funny errors. (Oddly, the transcripts aren't exactly the same, so is it using some kind of voice recognition software?)

First, we have "so I gathered my eighteen to meet online using WebEx," which is not what he says at all; it's "gathered my A team." Then comes Cool Boy, and his segment is transcribed as, "Logan in Cambridge Canada keeper of cool." As I've already pointed out, it's "I'm kind of the," not "Canada."

So I've gone from being nettled at an ad that just sticks in me to being perturbed by an Internet mystery: why these strange renditions, and why are they spreading (and another, why isn't anyone else bugged by these ads, but maybe I'm just going to have to accept that it's my own pathology being measured here)?

43 comments:

Colin said...

bugs me too....i was trying to figure out what "keeper of cool" is.....

Androcass said...

I can't imagine, but I'd sure like to find a job like that.

Anonymous said...

Advertising is supposed to be annoying. I haven't heard commercial radio in a decade, nor have I watched broadcast news. You also cover journalism you find poor. I really don't bother with any of it. Those who do seem like slaves to me. - mcfnord

Anonymous said...

that damn logan bothers me too. im glad someone else thinks its cheezy

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you guys feel the same way I do. I hate those guys. The narrator from the first ad is a total creep and Logan is an idiot.

kasheyev said...

yes, the commercial is terrible and I hate it. I have no idea what 'keeper of cool' means, but I have added it to my job description regardless.

I have joined the webex pass-the-ball website for the sole reason of taunting people's horrible ideas, which aren't even ideas many times.

example:

stop using bad words Created 07/23/2009

hi im 9.i watch sports so i wanted to see this but my mom shut it off because of his speech “US(boop)A,US(boop)A.” so stop using bad words so i can watch the thing.

example:
"a chip in your brain that knows every languages of the world Created 06/15/2009

when you hear a word from a language you don’t know it translates it in your brain so you hear the word in your language"


right. brilliant. this Keeper of Cool agrees with SperLe of Denmark. Let's send this to logan so that he can write the code, and a few others to do the work. When do we get paid?

Anonymous said...

It's driving me nuts to. "Keeper of cool" and "Pass the ball" for some reason make me want to vomit. I presume they did this on purpose because I can't forget the name now.

Anonymous said...

I agree with this article entirely. I read it hoping to learn what the hell a keeper of cool does -- no such luck, tragically, but I will keep searching for an answer.

Anonymous said...

I agree, it's like nails on a chalk board! Almost as bad as the woman from the Twin River Casino (lincoln RI) describing all of the places she's going to visit while ending up having a Man (Pronounced Maaan) sized steak at Fred & Steves.
AWEFUL!

Anonymous said...

My company's A Team has all these brilliant ideas, but when we pass the ball our implementation inevitably fails because we do not have a Keeper of Cool. Where can we find a Keeper of Cool!

Rohit Kumar said...

Thank you for writing about. This was a good radio ad to listen to once. But now, that Logan guy is ticking me off!

Anonymous said...

Agreed. The guys is a douche. WTF is the "keeper or cool" anyway? If I ever hear anybody say that they are getting a swift kick to the balls.

Roflmao said...

I think a keeper of cool is either a tester or a guy that comes up with ideas on how to improve the software,an analyst.
Hmm... i kinda agree with you about the commercial. I mean i find this software program really stupid, who the hell would buy such a thing? Can't u just pass the ideas to the other guy by mail or setting up a chatroom using a free chat software program. Well if it comes about stupid useless commercials I've got another one for you in case u didn't post about it already.
"E-FAX" . Rings a bell? Well i personally think its the stupidest idea one could come up with. I mean who the hell would pay for a program that sends faxes by mail? If i want to send a document and not print it to the receiver then i can simply scan it using a scanner or a multifunctional. Then EMAIL IT!. I can't believe people are dumb enough to pay for that stupid software.

Keeper of Cool said...

That commercial bugs the crap out of me, because I too have no idea what the "keeper of cool" at a company does. And I found your blog post doing exactly what you're talking about; seeing if it's just me that hates it. :)

Anonymous said...

I googled the ad and came up with your blog, all because Logan is driving me crazy--though Taz isn't so great either. And the funny thing is, the ad doesn't appear to work. I had listened to it--and muted the volume on it--for months before complaining about it to someone who asked me what the product was. And you know, I had no idea. And when I did listen, I thought, "there has to be more to this product than that--or why wouldn't people just send attachments?" But by then I was so alienated, I refused to seek further....

Anonymous said...

I HATE that ad!

"what's a keeper of cool"?

i found this blog just by googling that, lol

Anonymous said...

I likewise googled "logan in cambridge keeper of cool" and found your blog...Thanks for some real laughs :-)

Anonymous said...

Could you imagine the meeting where this was hatched? "Hmm, how can we make this cool?"

Anonymous said...

I passed the gas to Logan, and hey, it *did* stink.

Brian Kendigh said...

"Keeper of Cool" = "Oh my god, he sucks so hard it hurts, so we had to 'promote' him into a position with a 'hip' title where he thinks he's running the show. That's the only way the rest of us can actually get our work done."

Anonymous said...

A "keeper of cool" is someone who has no inherent abilities, but has somehow been placed in charge of those who know how to make things happen.

George Bush is an excellent example.

A complete failure in every enterprise he ever tried, he still was appointed to be the President.

WebEx works pretty well, but apparently the people who built it have somehow become controlled by people who can't hold a real job.

How else can you explain the total lack of innovation and artistry in this ad? Some Bozo thinks he's smart.

Chade said...

My thought has always been, if you have to call yourself "cool" then you probably aren't. So, if you announce yourself as the keeper of cool...

IDigSmartLadies said...

I see I'm not the only person who thinks Logan is an arrogant douche. He's probably the guy in marketing (and every company has this guy, and it is invariably a guy) who comes in at the eleventh hour on a project, craps all over the concept, throws out ideas that were quickly dismissed VERY early on, and then whines about no one ever working with him.

Half the time, you work with him because you have to. The other half, you do it because you know whatever tripe he prattles on about will be thrown out quickly, and you can say you approached marketing with the concept. They had input (even if it got dumped like last week's leftovers in the lunchroom refrigerator), and you can show you tried to partner with them.

Anonymous said...

This "Keeper of Cool" is really getting on my nerves -- ESPN radio keeps repeating this add and Logan is so damn annoying

Anonymous said...

WTF IS YOUR JOB, LOGAN?! How do you get paid to be a "keeper of cool"?

I hate you Logan.

Anonymous said...

It was annoying the hell out of me, too, so it's good to know I'm not alone. Would it have been too difficult for the ad writers to come up with one more real job function before pulling the rip cord and going with "keeper of cool". Man, that is some lame writing. I hate the narrator's smarmy voice, too.

The only other commercial out there that I hate worse is the one from Tronix Country they urge you to purchase some random wireless laptop for only $29.99 a week, and then they drive home greatness of the deal with some retard who proudly proclaims "I'm really enjoying my laptop". What they don't tell you is that the loser is using his new wireless laptop for a plant stand...

uzi said...

Since English is not my native language, I decided to look online what the fuck is "Keeper of cool", when I stumbled upon this Blog entry I was relieved to find out I'm not the only one puzzled.

Anonymous said...

I've been looking for others who despise this ad as much as I have for the past few months. Glad to see I'm not alone!

Kris said...

Just heard this ad on the radio, reached my breaking point, and googled it doing exactly what you describe in your post - I needed to find out if anyone else hates this ad as much as I do, thank you for posting this! It's like scratching an itch...

Anonymous said...

obviously the ad works. although we hate the ad, it brought us together and made its' point. yuss, I HATE the ad. disturbs the tranquility on solo piano radio channel. fak-rz

Anonymous said...

I just got here because I wanted to know WTF a "keeper of cool" was.

And hey, it WAS cool.

Anonymous said...

everytime i hear the commercial, it just bugs the crap out of me too. somebody earlier was saying that ads are suppose to be annoying. well none have ever annoyed me like this ad. either an ad is catchy or not. ad's don't get on my nerves. but this one does. I'm so glad you blogged about this garbarge ad. i wish they would redo it. The real Keeper of cool doesn't sound like he has a carrot stuck up his butt either.

Anonymous said...

Drives me nuts too. The guy is so pretentious, and it seems like the commercial's on every 10 minutes.

Cryo said...

Thanks for making my day.

I've been hating on the A-Team and *really* hating on the "keeper of cool" and, well, it's just great to have my lil' corner of misery here.

I love you guys and I think we can all now see why the tubes are so transformative.

Concept211 said...

I listen to DI.fm at work and the worst thing about it is having to hear that damn WebEx commercial every day. Today I got so fed up with Mr. Keeper of Cool that I googled it. So glad to hear that others are as annoyed with this ad as I am.

Every time I hear it all I can mutter to myself is "They need to fire this Keeper of Cool bastard. He contributed NOTHING to the project and is a waste of money to this made up organization!"

=P

Przemysław said...

I found this blog by googling "keeper of cool" too. I hate this ad, webex sucks, so as Logan does. The ad goes few times a day on Sky.FM. I guess it's perfect way to gain more paid members.

Anonymous said...

Yes!

I finally found the "Keeper of Cool" anger management support group. I love the comments on this post, it really is satisfying to know I'm not the only person driven nuts by this ad.

I wonder if this commercial was intentionally created to be irritable to promote the commercial free broadcasts...

Logan, you made up asshole, you deserve to be stabbed in the brain with a frozen fish.

Anonymous said...

I hate Logan, too! Why hasn't he been laid off like so many other people? He doesn't DO anything. How does he go to his yearly review and tell his boss what he's done all year?

Boss: Well, Logan, what did you accomplish this year?
Logan: I became the keeper of cool.
Boss: Excellent! You'll get a raise!

Jackass.

Anonymous said...

I can just picture some idiotically rich corporate narcissist who's really full of himself showing off his new laptop to a bunch of foreign maids he hired. And he has some friends over, who don't actually want to be his friends at all, but do it anyway because he's rich. I hate him. I want to stab him with a fork. Whoever wrote this ad needs to have their fingers shot off one by one.

This ad can ruin an hour of music by completely undoing everything the music was doing up to that point. I'll even get up from bed and switch the di.fm channel to a different one that doesn't have it sometimes. And if I can't bring myself to get out of bed to change the ad, I might vomit.

Anonymous said...

i fucking hate this prick, whats a keeper of cool anyways? i am glad you people hate him too.

Anonymous said...

The real problem with this commercial is the time zone issue: The "task" bounces from Carol in Atlanta [eastern time zone] to Ted in San Jose [pacific time zone] and then to Logan in Cambridge [canada or massachusetts-doesn't matter as both are eastern time zones]. Then Carol's voice over says the job was done "across three time zones." I can buy four time zones [pacific, mountain, central, eastern] or two time zones [pacific and eastern] but "across three time zones" is wrong. If Cisco can get fifth grade geography right, what good is their webex product?

Anonymous said...

Right now in Firefox if I ctrl-K "keeper of cool" (no quotes) Google autosuggests "keeper of cool webex" so I guess at least a couple people have noticed how dumb this is.

Logan said...

You people are just jealous that I'm the keeper of cool, and you're not. Suck it nerds, you want cool? Too bad, I'm keeping it.

Logan out.

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