While there are several difficult-to-listen-to commercials floating around The Sports Leader these days, this week is a time to honor a company that has given us a lifetime of odd, boring ads. The Shane Co., to be exact.
Tom Shane has Dave Thomas-itis, meaning he feels that due to his standing in the company he needs to be in every commercial, like the late owner of Wendy’s. Years ago, that meant 30 second monologues in Shane’s classic monotone about how The Shane Co. acquires their gemstones with no middle man, how they have non-commissioned salespeople, blah, blah, blah.
Tom has decided to branch out in recent years though, trying out a few different styles. A couple years ago he experimented with one of the worst jingles of all time at the end of The Shane Co.’s radio spots, a woman singing “He’s dull, but he’s brilliant…Shane!”
Even The Shane Co. realized how tacky that was, and the jingle was soon retired.
Now they have gone towards a demographic I examined last week, The Dumb Guy.
You see, guys are not only dumb about fixing household appliances and matching their own clothes, they’re also total lamebrains about jewelry. Thanks to Shane, now us dummies realize that jewelry isn’t just for Valentine’s Day, birthdays or anniversaries anymore.
No, to show us that there are roughly 44 times per year that we should be buying gemstones for our wives, girlfriends, mothers, mother-in-laws, sisters, teachers, secretaries and grocery checkers, Tom has created a Q&A dramatization for his most recent spots, in which a guy asks a question like “Tom, I’d like to get my wife something after our dog gave birth to a litter of puppies, but don’t know where to start. What should I do?”
Tom usually answers like the uncle you never wanted, saying something like, “Brian, I hear your question and I understand your concern.” You know, because Tom just wants to help us buy the jewelry we are required to purchase. He isn’t in it for the money, he’s just protecting all us dumb guys from looking like heels.
After Tom suggests some sort of pearl necklace (or even tells “Brian” to have his wife go to The Shane Co.’s website and choose a gift herself — how romantic), the poor dumb-dumb is so relieved and happy to hear that Shane can answer his prayers. To show that he’s pleased, you’ll often hear a bunch of little comments in the background from the wayward customer, things like “Nice,” and “Mmmmmm.”
So for a near lifetime of ubiquitous, patronizing and monotone commercials, The Shane Co. is the first inductee in Wednesday’s Weird KNBR Commercial of the Week Hall of Fame. Maybe we should get them a heart-shaped pendant to commemorate the occasion.