Deconstructing the Centrum Commercial: An Actor’s Perspective

Tom-Hiddleston-Centrum-Commercial-China

(Source: Google Image Search)

I was trying to avoid talking about this commercial. As a former Tom Hiddleston fan, I didn’t want to come off sounding like a hater, but I have thoughts and they need to be written down.

The first time I saw this commercial was on Twitter. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was watching and I’m pretty sure my first words were “What the hell?” The second time I saw the commercial, again on Twitter, was in a retelling by Phil Wang who created a hilarious re-working of it which you can see here. 

Actually, it was Phil’s version that helped me to understand a little bit better! Here is my breakdown:

 

As an actor, I truly can’t knock Mr. Hiddleston for booking work. It is not a 9 to 5 job. We get paid per project and when that project is finished, there is no more money. Even with all of our efforts, there will be large gaps in between where there are no jobs to be booked. Hence why you hear of A-list actors that are on top of the world one day and then completely bankrupt with no one wanting anything to do with them the next. I also can’t judge him for basically selling a vitamin brand since I too sell vitamins through a different company. Centrum is a huge brand that sells globally (and also the reason why this commercial was aired in China), I’m sure he was paid a pretty penny for his participation.

Now let’s talk about the concept of this commercial. It was shot from a first-person perspective. Some viewers online were impressed at the thought of shooting a commercial featuring Mr. Hiddleston as the first person’s love interest. It’s not a new concept (NSFW) although I suppose for advertising purposes it is. However, it came off as more creepy kidnapper than a loving boyfriend. Which is very unfortunate, but still good for press and sales apparently.

He starts off the commercial by preparing breakfast in the kitchen with Us, the significant other walking in. He says “I finished up early so I thought I would make you breakfast.” …Finished up from where sir?  Are we supposed to view ourselves as dating Tom Hiddleston the Actor or Tom Hiddleston the Corporate Executive? If we are supposed to view him as an actor, I assume he finished up from a shoot. That means if he is preparing breakfast for us at, let’s say 8 am, his call time was at the butt-crack of dawn or even earlier. Probably at 3 am.

He is also wearing an apron to cook in that suspiciously matches the clothing he is wearing. Was that a conscious choice by the wardrobe department?  Are we supposed to believe that he has a multitude of aprons that coordinate with his daily outfits? This is a question that needs answering.

He presents this weird ass breakfast with one fried egg with a strange vegetable/fruit salad mix, which I’m sure is meant to be colorful and healthy just like the colors of the Centrum bottle. Great, except I’m not eating that. Yes, I like pepper on eggs. Yes, I like vegetables and fruit sometimes mixed in a salad, but that combination looked like an upset stomach waiting to happen. Moving on…

He is sitting down to talk to us in an EXTREME close-up. It pains me to say this but the current styling of his hair and facial hair is not a good look for him. For those of you that are new to my blog and haven’t read previous entries, I worked at his table when he visited the comic con in Philadelphia three years ago. I do have a good reference of what he looks like in person, so I can confidently say this isn’t it. More often than not a beard usually does wonders for men or people who identify as men. It’s the difference between looking like a 12-year-old for the rest of their days and looking like an adult. But it doesn’t suit him. It looks really patchy and takes away from the fact that he actually has a jawline. Photo for reference below:

 

tom-hiddleston-sagg-aftra

(Source: Google Image Search)

I have learned he is in a stage production right now wearing the same look as he does in the commercial. I’m sure he is contractually obligated to keep his facial hair for the time being but my hope for the future is that he realizes its not a good look and shaves it off. Also, his hair has way too much product in it for how thin it is. It looks greasy and in desperate need of a clarifying shampoo.

Another poor choice that I noticed with the filming of this commercial was the height of the camera. Since it is supposed to be filmed from the perspective of a more petite Chinese woman, Mr. Hiddleston is often seen tilting his forward to look at his subject. I don’t know if you have noticed but this guy has a pretty prominent forehead. Add the fact that the camera adds 10 pounds and it creates unfortunate results. I’m really trying not to sound bitchy when I say this, I just know that it reads poorly on camera and makes him look like one of the Greys:

 

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(Source: Google Image Search)

It just seems like this commercial was an exercise in making a normally attractive man look as terrible as possible.

 

My favorite part about this commercial is near the end. Starting with him saying “I’m going to leave for a few weeks” and he puts on a blazer. We, the significant other, is now fixing his shirt and blazer with strangely detached hands. I could only imagine how that looked on set. First, they had to put out a casting for a hand model with well-manicured nails to fix his jacket. Second, they would have had to place the camera over the model’s shoulder or the model was crouching underneath the camera and holding their hands up to fix the jacket; all the while Mr. Hiddleston has to hold an endearing boyfriend smile for like 5 years.

Hilarious.

Plus there had to be several takes involved so I’m sure at some point in his mind he was thinking “did we get the shot?” “Hurry the hell up!” At least that is what I would think in this instance.

Third, he leaves the house with NO Luggage, NO House/Car Keys, and NO Cell Phone. He just disappears into the Ether.

 

ThirstySpecificHoneybadger-small

(Source: Google Image Search ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ MTV)

This is where my logic kicks in and I ask too many questions which would have ultimately lead to my firing from this commercial. HOW? I feel like Mr. Hiddleston’s common sense would dictate that there was something off about his exit. Like no bags to carry at all? I mean if I was leaving my boo for a few weeks I would at least say “I have my phone on if you need me.” Nothing. Of course, they are paying him handsomely so I’m sure he had to bite his tongue, but this is a burning question that I have amongst many others.

I hope my analysis clears up any confusion surrounding a confusing commercial. Cheers, and take your vitamins!

3 thoughts on “Deconstructing the Centrum Commercial: An Actor’s Perspective

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