It's rare for me to watch a TV spot in which an older consumer's cast to type, and still be unable to decide how I feel about it. But that's the case with a recent Samsung Galaxy S7 VR ad created (I think) by 72 and Sunny.
In the spot, a group of teenagers seem to be trying the Gear VR headset for the first time. An older consumer asks what they're doing, and asks to try the headset. The kids immediately let him try, giving the spot a friendly, intergenerational vibe.
But of course the old guy's typecast as the one who doesn't know from VR gear. And then there's his accent; he's from somewhere else. I suppose the spot can't technically be racist--after all the group of kids is diverse--but is there's a whiff of culture-ism; people from somewhere else can't be as with it as we are.
I would have loved it if the old man had been showing his Gear VR system to the woman on the park bench, and had the kids come up and ask what it was, and have them try it. I doubt that idea or anything like it was pitched in the agency brainstorming session, but on balance I feel this ad's generally warm-hearted vibe and strong execution manage to (just) skirt ageism.