This acceptance speech is darkly cynical and funny. Seinfeld nails it by saying that when it comes to buying stuff, happiness is all about the anticipation of the purchase. That’s true, and it’s also the essential nature of marketing. On the YouTube comments page, Michael o’Donnell says that this is ‘capitalism summed up in less than 5 minutes.’
Here’s a direct quote: ‘We know the product is going to stink. We know that. Because we live in the world, and we know that everything stinks. We all believe, hey, maybe this one won’t stink. We are a hopeful species. Stupid but hopeful. But we’re happy in that moment between the commercial and the purchase, and I think spending your life trying to dupe innocent people out of hard-won earnings to buy useless, low-quality, misrepresented items and services is an excellent use of your energy.’
What J.S. somehow fails to mention here is that he’s probably made somewhere in the neighborhood of $15-20 million (or more) for product endorsements he’s provided over the years. You’ve seen Jerry for American Express, Microsoft, Acura and probably some other brands I’ve forgotten about.
So while there is certainly ‘damning praise’ throughout this Clio acceptance speech, regretfully, it feels like very little of that is directed at the famous celebrity spokesperson. Certainly Mr. Seinfeld has made substantially more money from promoting products than anyone who has toiled for years at a thankless agency job.
The only question that remains now is: who is going to hire Jerry to promote their brand next? Step right up. After all, this is America.