Pictured: Comedian Demetri Martin in an ad for New York Life.
Plantspotting is an ongoing series which aims to highlight the presence or mention of plants in film, television, and the overall pop culture. This post was originally published in the section titled The Pop Culture File in our PlantPop Zine, produced by Art Parkerson.
How do you sell boring stuff like insurance to "maturing Millennials?" According to New York Life, you have to "break through and win their attention."
They convinced comedian Demetri Martin--who has a Millennial sensibility, but is actually 43--to be their spokesman (in his first commercial ever).
How do you make him appear cool, hip, AND financially successful--that he hasn't "sold out" even though that's precisely what he's doing? How do you portray an ideal, carefree lifestyle when your tag-line is "Be good at life?"
Gardening, of course.
This is the "good life:" pruning topiary, cutting flowers, and planting veggies. (Unfortunately, the horticulture is comically bad. He's holding some plastic daisies while he pretends to cut roses?)
It got our attention. We love Martin's humor, from the Daily Show's Trendspotting segments, to his books, and his Comedy Central series, Important Things. The ads are a subtle clue even crass marketers know Millennials will aspire to garden...eventually.
Best quote: "Relax and enjoy life's special moments, [he looks at his landscape] like this moment."
Worst quote: "You better start saving for college tuition, and you'll probably need a bigger house at some point."