You practically can’t tune into a broadcast on a local NYC cable channel without seeing a commercial for Carmel, the car-service company with the jingle ringing in your ears by the time it is over.
This commercial has been appearing here since the late 20th century. I can remember sitting in my old newsroom while the Y2K debate raged and hearing one of my colleagues sighing that she was sick of the commercial — even then.
Then again, what if it did slink away forever and go off the air? Wouldn’t NYC be a little poorer for its departure from our lives?
The characters on the commercial seem frozen in time, even though they all must be closing in on being two decades older now than they were at the start of this run.
People age, but not the folks in the advertisement. They seem forever youthful and joyous, the way New Yorkers are supposed to be, right?
We like to think that we are hipper than thou in our little town, and that we are the coolest people in the world. Well, yeah… but we’re also creatures of habit, just like everyone else. We don’t really like change, do we?
We all mourn when our favorite neighborhood bakery or bar or deli is razed and replaced by yet another bank. We feel a little older and a lot more vulnerable to the passage of time.
That’s how I would feel if this blessed commercial ever went off the air for good.
I have seen it dozens — maybe even hundreds — of times. I have it (pitifully) memorized. But like any old, great piece of art — or something — you can always find something new to appreciate.
For me, that would be the woman to the right in the commercial, wearing a purple (I think it is that color) dress. She sings and moves with great gusto. At the end, she has her arms up in the air and her back to the camera. I just started noticing her a few months ago. And now I look for her every time.
And I have no doubt that I’ll be seeing her and the commercial again. Real soon.
And I’m happy about that. Long may you run.