“What?” I said when I saw actor and former half of Hiddleswift, Tom Hiddleston, say “Good morning,” to the camera (me?) and then slide a heart-shaped egg onto a breakfast salad. “What?” I said again when he presented the camera (me) the salad and said, “I finished early so I thought I’d pop back and make you breakfast.” (It is never explained what he finished early, or where he popped back from.) “What?!” I gasped when he handed me a bottle of Centrum multivitamins to go with my breakfast salad. “What???????” I shouted, when he pulled on his suit jacket, turned to me sheepishly, and said, “Probably be a bit busy for the next few weeks … But, um. I’ll make it up to you soon. I promise,” before rushing out the door. Those were just my personal reactions to Hiddleston’s new ad for Centrum multivitamins, filmed for the company’s Chinese market. Maybe you will respond differently.
What did you think? On the one hand, I guess it is kind of nice to imagine an apologetic-looking and well-dressed British hunk making you breakfast, showing concern for your health, and then disappearing for your life for several weeks. On the other hand: What?
The ad, rather brilliantly, raises far more questions than it provides answers. What is my (our) relationship to Tom Hiddleston, exactly? Is it romantic? Is he my caretaker? Why is he so worried about my vitamin intake? What was he doing in the middle of the night-slash-early morning that he “finished early”? Where is he going for several weeks? Why does he look so apologetic the whole time? Has he wronged me?
In my opinion, this scenario casts me (us) as Hiddleston’s oft-neglected mistress, who he is hiding away from his family, and who he sometimes stops in to see on his way to work. Also, maybe we have a cold and he’s worried about us, but not worried enough to see us for more than 15 minutes once a month. We deserve better.
Does this ad make me want to buy Centrum vitamins? No. Does it make me want to watch the ad 30 more times. Yes. Also, what?