A new poke spot landed in downtown Montreal this week, and the restaurant has taken an, uh, unique approach to advertising, with a hilariously awkward two minute long animation, complete with computer generated voices.
The advertisement for Poke Star dropped on Facebook last Sunday, featuring a dialogue between two fictional coworkers, Jenny and some nameless bureaucrat with Clark Kent glasses.
In terms of amusingly robotic animation, it sits somewhere between (deliberately funny) Taiwanese animated news network NMA, and bizarro, possibly AI-generated kids’ advertisement “Johny Johny Yes Papa”, which went viral earlier this year.
The two are just discussing normal work things as some appropriately tropical yet generic music plays in the background, then, plot twist: Jenny is hungry.
“I am really hungry. Let’s discuss after lunch. I have to go,” she says emotionlessly, like an alien cyborg returning to its home planet. But she’s not going into space — she’s going to Poké Star.
“Poké Star? What is that?” her coworker says, with even less emotion and even fewer natural contractions in his speech, but a grand arm gesture to show that he’s unfamiliar with this brand new restaurant.
Jenny has obviously spent far too much of her workday researching Poké Star and not enough doing her damn job, since she then launches into a spiel listing off much of the menu: “very healthy and trendy” poke (the Hawaiian raw fish bowl).
But Jenny is full of surprises, and the plot twists keep coming: it turns out Poké Star also makes its ramen noodles with cricket flour, made from ground crickets.
“You don’t know that crickets [are] healthy?”
“We’ll see that once we eat,” her coworker retorts, his robotic voice now seeming very cold. Tension. “Anything more special?,” he asks, trying to shamelessly deflect the topic.
After that moment of understated drama, it turns out that Jenny is one of those people that’s really into “detox” drinks so she talks about that for a bit, clapping her hands as she describes the health effects. Jenny is far too granola for her own good.
Then the ad goes on for about another minute, with more inadvertently awkward CGI voice foibles.
Honestly, it’s so darn clunky and earnest that it’s sort of charming — and certainly better than other restaurants’ attempts at attention-grabbing through less wholesome means. Or in the toneless words of the nameless, emotionless, and possibly dead inside coworker: “Oh, that’s good.”
- Poké Star [Facebook]