Play to put yourself in the RAH RAH RAH frame of mind, please:
School: University of Minnesota
Ad title: "Hats off to Thee."
EDSBS title: "Minnesota and Gospel Music: going together like thumbtacks and chewing gum since 1851."
Setup: The University of Minnesota needs money, so they send you a link to this Flash Presentation. The Flash presentation reminds you that though "you've moved on" (and what a titanic loser you are if you're still in the neighborhood,) the University of Minnesota is still your home away from home. Then they flash this on the screen:
What part still lives there? Pardon us for being literal minded, but we have to know. NOW. A rank pair of boxers we never retrieved from behind the study cube?
A clone, bred from our toenail clippings by government scientists working in subterranean laboratories? An illegitimate wolf-child abandoned by a girl we had ill-advised sex with, wandering the stacks at the library and feeding off stale honeybuns abandoned by careless students? WE HAVE TO KNOW!!!!
Subtext: Minnesota is as soulful as gospel, an assumption our stubborn brain can't wrap itself around. Prince, Morris Day and the Time, Janet Jackson, and Hanson* constitute the entirety of the black musical world from Minnesota for us. Gospel would not be the first thing that leapt to our mind when we thought of "music inspired by the Unversity of Minnesota." That would be the theme to Fargo, because we're stereotypical like that and think of desolate steppes, waist-deep snow, and the word "yah" when we hear the word "Minnesota."
Quit your bitching about the regional prejudice, though--it's not like they made Deliverance about you. Snow, good manners and a few hasty murders beat illiterate redneck sodomy AND murder any day.
Production values: Low on the visual, since it's just Flash with a soundtrack, likely cobbled together from some stock footage from the promotions department. The soundtrack probably took some effort to bring together, especially since the singers were probably WTFing for at least ten minutes when they read the lyrics.
Conductor: Yes. Minnesota.
Singer: Like, the state.
Conductor. We're being paid to do this. For Minnesota.
Singer: Oh, yah. Geez. Heh. They say yah a lot up there.
Conductor: Please, we're trying to be professional.
Singer. Oh, yah. Shoooore. You betcha.
Conductor: Please, really.
Singer 2: What, are we gonna do a Polka for Morehouse next? How 'bout Tibetan chanting for the Unversity of Iowa?
Singer 3: Or maybe some rap-metal for Vanderbilt. WHOOOO-SHAAAA!!!
Conductor: (walks out of building, pops oxycontin while sitting in car, weeping.)
Hits: Not many. It's got plenty of required university elements: classroom scenes, a professor lecturing thoughtfully, students engaged in ambiguous research of some sort, and the perpetual favorite, a student trapped in the library shelving books. If she's lucky, her overlords will spare her and feed her a second meal before banishing her to the Terrordome, where she will fight topless for her life versus other trapped Nordic vixens, all for the pleasure of the University deans and cruel, sunglass-wearing pulp fiction god Tom Clancy.
Please. I just want to see the sun again.
Due credit, though, for not including the obvious "Asian girl with test tube/microscope shot." This time the University of Minnesota wants you to know that our Asian females may excel in architecture, as well. She still ends up holding up something indicating an ability to do math, though, so it's a Pyhrric victory at best.
I can do math! But this time, I work with balsa wood, as well.
Until a university ad shows an Asian female doing jager bombs with a copy of her university withdrawal certificate in one hand and a glock in the other, true equality will remain a mirage for the embattled Asian University Commercial Female.
Misses: Besides the music? (Come on--it's been playing for a while now. You're starting to feel it. Rah rah rah. No? Well, we tried.) How about the ad's subtle implication that marching bands are not only unwelcome at the University of Minnesota, but will be shot on sight?
Oh god, the pain...getting...so...cold.
Summary grade: C. It's just a fundraising ad for the internet, sure. But the incongruous music, marching band slaughter, and the surreal chorus RAH RAH RAHing through the whole thing solidifies its mediocre grade. Michigan's going to space, bitches, Ohio State's got girls taking off their shirts on the internet, and Minnesota's got library slavery and cymbal players being cut down by merciless snipers. The Gophers need a PR makeover. Can we get an amen! TESTIFY!
*Not black? Shit, our bad. Still three of the hottest chicks you'll ever see on one stage, though, right?