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Breaking Down the W.B. Mason Commercials Opening Day Lineup

Apr 1, 2013, 10:36 AM EDT

A special guest post by Laura Swartz

Opening Day—the promise of another
season, new players, fresh grass, and an inevitable slate of more W.B. Mason commercials. Through the years, W.B. Mason has been reminding baseball
fans that they exist and sell office supplies using various formats: a musical, a reality show, and even a vaguely
racist detective series
If this year’s Spring Training broadcasts were any
indication, W.B. Mason seems to be sticking with its latest sales campaign, the
exploits of the “BuyRight Kids.”

For those of you who are unacquainted with this ragtag bunch, you clearly haven’t watched a Phillies broadcast in the last 365 days, which means you’ve been spared a lot of pain. Not the pain of watching aging stars held together by scotch tape straining to be what they once were, but rather the suppliers of that scotch tape straining logic.

Remember the good old days, when you and your multi-demographic group of friends dressed up in clothes leftover by scrappy orphans of the 1910’s, and then went into your ramshackle clubhouse to puton skits about office supplies? Me neither. These kids are clearly only friends with each other…and alsoW.B. Mason himself, a grown man with an impressive mustache and way too much time on his hands.


Do I even need to talk about the creepy undertones of these
ads? Of course I do! So, obviously
these kids are misguided. Our
first clue was that they think you make money in the summer selling
instead of lemonade like a normal child. But as time went on, it got
weirder. While these kids’ peers are hanging out, playing sports, and crushing
over One Direction or whoever kids are into these days, this little girl
harbors a secret crush for our mustachioed hero.


Her fellow BuyRight Kids even make
fun of her
for this, which they should! But W.B. Mason’s just hanging around outside their clubhouse
anyway, as you do.  He even helps
her get a better binder to hold her
pictures of him. (And who took
these pictures anyway?? Is there a Tiger Beat magazine for the office supply

Aside from Little Miss BuyRight’s daddy issues, the
commercials present other interesting questions. For kids so obsessed with office supplies, how come they
can’t spell the word “office?”


Sure, they can work a video camera, and put together jaunty
little old-timey outfits of newsboy caps and suspenders, but spelling is beyond
them. Which brings us to the next
question: are semi-literate kids really the best spokespeople for office
supplies? I know they dress like whimsical old people, but they’re children,
and clearly maladjusted ones at that! They’ve got them selling coffee in the
latest ad, is that really the best idea? And finally, in all of these ads, W.B.
Mason never seems to be invited inside
the clubhouse… W.B. needs to take a hint.

I could go on about this for pages, but I’ve clearly given
these commercials more thought than any of the people responsible for making
them have, so I’ll just end it here, so we can all turn our attention to a much
worthier mustache (and man): Cole