Tech companies are not exactly shy about using melodrama in their ads, but Sonos’ latest commercial — first shown last week and again during tonight’s Grammy Awards — takes the cake. The 90-second clip uses portentous music, HBO-ish camera filters, and a riff on Apple’s famous “1984” Mac commercial, imparting the message that only Sonos speakers can stop you from living a lonely life.
The ad starts with a close-up of a woman’s face, listening as she bemoans the “silence” that has fallen in homes across the nation. We stare through windows of fancy apartments, looking at well-groomed people in immaculate homes ignoring each other in favor of their smartphones as her voiceover tells us that “it’s just not right.” But this is no critique of capitalism, or the American way, or even the dehumanizing effect of technology — she’s only complaining because the people she’s observing haven’t dropped hundreds of dollars on Sonos speakers.
It’s like the most bourgeois version of Fight Club imaginable, and it ends with our judgmental narrator chucking a Sonos speaker through a glass window, just like Anya Major in Apple’s iconic ‘80s ad. As the speaker soars into the home, music fills the air, somehow joining couples, friends, and families in jubilant celebration that their windows are now smashed and they’re forced to listen to someone else’s terrible music taste.