Commercial Commentary: The “Watering Willy”

The makers of this ad did not put it up on YouTube. This was a wise choice, because once you post something online, you can never really take it down. But, fortunately for us, they did televise it, and some guy named Joshua Carl took it from there.

So……….I’ll just go through the ad scene by scene. I have some thoughts about the whole thing, but I’ll save those for later.

We open with some guy from the suburbs standing in his front lawn starting at a sprinkler. Some girl rides by on a bike and derides the sprinkler. The narrator seems to concur. “Is your regular old sprinkler getting you no where, impressing nobody?” she asks. “No,” I answer, “It doesn’t get me anywhere or impress anybody. It’s a lawn spinkler. My doornobs, cutlery, and lightswitches aren’t big icebreakers either, in case you were wondering.”

And who just comes up and tells someone that their sprinkler is lame? I wouldn’t do that. You see, however “lame” the sprinkler might be, I’d be much lamer to make an issue of it.

We continue to find that not having a sprinkler at all is worse still, as it can give you tennis elbow to water your lawn with a hose.

After the dystopia that is ordinary life is acted out, we are shown the product, which is–*bmph*fwahHaHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAha–ha — -ha…………….What is that?

It is “Watering Willy, the most interactive and entertaining lawn sprinkler in the world.” I don’t know how it’s interactive, any more so than any other sprinkler. But it is apparently so much better than other sprinklers that…the guy takes his stash of sprinklers and starts to barbecue them. Huh. I guess this is supposed to be him burning them, but grills aren’t really for bonfires. Neither, I might add, are plastic objects like sprinklers.

The ad then gives us some stats about the goofy thing’s spray range and some suggested uses like watering the grass, watering the garden, watering the flowerbed, washing the car, etc.–wait, washing the car? A sprinkler isn’t used to wash a car, no matter how great it is. Washing cars requires soap and sponges and scrubbing. Hosing the thing down is the easiest part and doesn’t need to be outsourced to a cutout of a creepy farmer. Or a cutout of a creepy fireman, which is shown putting out the flames of the stupid sprinkler grill from earlier.

Oh yeah, besides all that, the Watering Willy is apparently a real chick magnet. “Your sprinkler’s really funny. Do you wanna go out some time?” Uh-huh, that’s how it’d work. Just put out the flailing goofball, stand in your long khakis in the summer afternoon, and watch ’em line up around the block.

We then get a list of other annoying characters this thing will attract, like kids who aren’t yours, characters from Tyler Perry comedies, Germanic barbarians who the ad says are Vikings despite them having horns on their helmets which Vikings didn’t have, I don’t care what Wagner thought.

“With Watering Willy, you’ll be the talk of the town.” Yes you will. The ad even throws in a clip of the guy’s neighbors ridiculing him and his new thing. I’m kind of surprised they’d show that, but okay, moving on.

We take an even more stupidly incorrect turn as we hear the suggestion that this would make an appropriate grave ornament. It would not.

We learn that the price of this thing is $19.99, because that’s the price of all such things. Or rather, that’s the price of two of these, plus an expandable hose. Full disclosure, those expandable hoses are my hose of choice. They’re good products, and deserve better than backing this thing up.

Okay, so final thoughts. Mr. Carl says this commercial is possibly “the greatest thing ever”. It is not. It’s memorable, but it doesn’t sell the product. It all but openly mocks the idea of purchasing this product. That is very bad advertising.

And remember when I said that I’d never berate someone in their choice of sprinkler. I’m reconsidering that statement.



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Derek Edwards

Derek Edwards

Writer and Editor of The Edwards Edition.