Times Are Tough All Over

Seriously, though, I’m totally happy for Steve Perry that he’s got a gig shilling for UPS.

Every time I see this dude in a UPS ad, I can’t help but expect him to break out into “Separate Ways” or something. Although for a delivery service, maybe “Send Her My Love” might be more appropriate. Either way, dude. Hair. Get it out of the 80s, man.

50 thoughts on “Times Are Tough All Over

  1. I heard a funny story about that guy when those ads first came out. Mr Steve Perry Lookalike (who I will now call SPL) wasn’t an actor – he was the designer of the ad, and he went with a both of actors to a focus group whose purpose was to choose which actor most effectively was able to pull off those whiteboard ads. So SPL went up first and explained how the ad was supposed to work and gave it a run-through for the other actors, with the focus group looking on. Then each of the actors took their turn. In the end, the focus group liked SPL much more than the actors, so UPS picked him to be the spokesman on TV. It came as a complete surprise to SPL – that wasn’t the plan at all.

    So lets forgive SPL’s hair – the man wasn’t planning on being on TV. But once the focus group picked him, they probably didn’t want to make any drastic changes to his appearance.

    And FWIW, my wife thought he was cute.

  2. Hey, he doesn’t have a mullet, leave the man alone! lol.

    I, for one, think long hair is hot. Well, depending on who’s wearing it and how. Bald can also be hot, for the record. …I’m not so picky… lmao.

  3. Does anyone under the age of 30 even know who Steve Perry is without it being explained to them? That seems like an awfully strange “get” for UPS’s ad agency, unless they got him really cheap.

    And have you ever seen the music video for “Seperate Ways”? Completely different, and lamer, than what I saw in my head when I first heard it.

  4. @ ben: That video is often considered one of the worst music videos ever made…

    @ Scalvi: What an insult — this guy looks a lot better than Steve Perry…

  5. I know one person who might not be thrilled by this — science fiction writer Steve Perry. I remember him talking about how he’s long had to explain that he is not Steve Perry the singer from Journey.

    Is Steve Perry the singer from Journey going to be singing in the UPS ads? Hair aside, the man does have one of the most incredible voices ever.

  6. @ KatG: from imDB:

    Samir: No one in this country can ever pronounce my name right. It’s not that hard: Na-ghee-na-na-jar. Nagheenanajar.
    Michael Bolton: Yeah, well, at least your name isn’t Michael Bolton.
    Samir: You know, there’s nothing wrong with that name.
    Michael Bolton: There *was* nothing wrong with it… until I was about twelve years old and that no-talent ass clown became famous and started winning Grammys.
    Samir: Hmm… well, why don’t you just go by Mike instead of Michael?
    Michael Bolton: No way! Why should I change? He’s the one who sucks.

  7. Scalzi @6
    “People under 30 know who Steve Perry is.”

    Only because you keep shouting at them in the streets, and waving that sign around. :p

  8. There’s an excellent mexican restaurant in Baltimore called “Nacho Mama’s” that has a list of rules in the back of the placemats. One of the rules is “Journey will be played at 10pm. No exceptions.” and as far as I can tell, they stick to that.

  9. In my perfect world, “Don’t Stop Believin’” is playing in the background, and just as they start singing “Hold on to that feeling” the announcer comes on and says “What can Brown do for you” Always wanted to have a subliminal scatalogical reference in a UPS commercial.

    And, those under 30 who did not know about Journey or Steve Perry, should certainly know after the finale of the Sopranos.

  10. ryber et. al.

    I wasn’t saying no one has heard of Journey. But there’s a big hyoooge difference between hearing a band, or even liking their songs, and knowing the names of the band members, etc…

  11. I’m under 30 and don’t know who Steve Perry is. Now I do though.

    The long hair is annoying. So are the lame jokes he makes at the end of the ad. It’s time for a new actor.

  12. Yes, except ye young people are obsessive about music, are in to retro, and have the Internet to track down information about who sang what song, band member names, old music videos, etc. It doesn’t matter if they don’t know who Steve Perry is in the commercial. Five seconds after it airs, you’ll all look him up and find out who he is. And the rest of us, who are much more likely to use UPS than ye young people, know exactly who he is and will be happy and favorably disposed toward UPS, leading Federal Express to come up with a new ad campaign featuring Aerosmith, Def Leopard, the Eagles and David Bowie. :)

  13. @4: UPS using The Postal Service in their advertisements is doubly ironic since The United States Postal Service (the ones who deliver mail) sued The Postal Service (the band) and wound up settling for the rights to use the bands music in their advertisements for free. UPS is paying big bucks for something USPS could have for free, if they wanted.

  14. Scalzi, just because your hair got left in the 80s doesn’t mean everyone else’s has to stay there.

  15. My daughter is twenty and she knows who Steve Perry is. She didn’t get from her parents since we both dislike Journey but Steve Perry is a legendary front man.

  16. Marciepooh:

    “Scalzi, just because your hair got left in the 80s doesn’t mean everyone else’s has to stay there.”

    I’d hate you if that wasn’t so damn funny.

  17. UPS keeps assuming I’m home during the day, which was problematic enough when I was working and more so now that I keep vampire’s hours. They will not get my business.

    However, I did spend most of this morning listening to Journey/Steve Perry on YouTube instead of doing the laundry or typing up non-sequitur comments in the blogs of people I only know as on-line presences. So that’s a net win.

    (Pun intended.)

  18. I’m eligible for AARP membership and I had no idea (until reading the comments) who Steve Perry is. Guess it’s because I wasn’t a fan of Journey. My 18 year-old son, who knows more about rock music than I ever will, confirms that I’m an ignoramus. BTW, his airband does an awesome “cover” of Don’t Stop Believing.

  19. My sister use to listen to Journey excessively when I was younger. She drove me crazy. Years later, Steve Perry walks into my office to meet my boss for lunch. (Yeah, my boss knows Steve Perry, so weird). I almost took him out right there for all the torture I endured listening to one album over and over and over…

  20. KatG@16: If FedEx uses David Bowie, my Achilles Heel in famous celebrities, I will buckle like the consumerist sheep that I am. Most of my female cohort that shares my age bracket imprinted on David Bowie at some point during our first watching of Labyrinth.

    D@23: That’s my major problem with UPS: Assuming anybody with a job would be home between 8-5. (Normally if I order stuff, it get sent to work. If anybody sends me stuff, it gets sent to home. Where I will not be. UPS sort of allows for the option to choose between picking up at their warehouse–very out of the way–and letting it get sent back to sender. I had to order Stephen Martiniere’s book twice before it actually got to me thanks to UPS shenanigans.)

  21. I’m 27 and I know god damn well who Steve Perry is and I know that they play air instruments in the video for Separate Ways and often contend that it was the video that marked the end of the old era of awesome-but-ugly rockstars and ushered in the new era of telegenic-but-terrible “rock”stars. Journey’s homeliness is directly responsible for American Idol. I also love how the drummer plays air-jazz-drums. So wonderful it hurts me.

  22. ben@11: I farging LOVE Nacho Mama’s with the fire of a thousand nuns, and this is new to me.

    So, with the fire of a thousand and ONE nuns.

  23. Albert Brooks (born 22 July 1947 as Albert Lawrence Einstein) is an Academy Award nominated American actor, writer, comedian and director. But who want to be known as “No, the OTHER Albert Lawrence Einstein”?

    Seem to be fewer children in my generation than in the previous one named Adolf. See also: Coors.

    Just saying…

  24. I always wonder how big stars manage to earn huge money for decades and stil often end up being compelled to feature in commercials

    I mean, come on, there s the IRS & the costs of throwing parties in their awsome mansions on Beverly Hills but , damn, cant they save or invest some of it for the ol days?

    Or maybe they did, in Madoff funds?

  25. laurent f:

    They do it because they can often make a movie’s worth of income in return for a day or two of work. Which is a nice return on time invested.

  26. laurent f:
    Or, to put it another way, they aren’t financially compelled to do these commercials — they just see some easy money lying around, and they take it.

  27. Andy Azula wishes he was never on TV with these invidious comparisons. By the way, those ads are brilliant. Some of the best advertising I have ever seen.

  28. I think the Steve Perry look-alike is quite talented, the way he makes the glass on the whiteboard turn into a ups shield…perfect handwriting.

  29. @ crabby lady: His drawings are computer generated, probably filled in after filming to line up where he ‘drew’ them. The first round of ads I thought he was a really good artist (which he probably still is). It wasn’t until they began animating his ‘drawings’ that I realized he wasn’t really drawing them live.

  30. I think he did draw them live in the first round of ads. But then they couldn’t come up with any more creative real drawings, and had to start using animation to stay clever.

    I sympathize – those first UPS ads were so good that they were very hard to follow up.

  31. Two things I learned when I stood next to this guy — not Steve Perry, but the actual guy from the UPS ads — in a jetway last year:

    1. He’s similar to Steve Perry in height (i.e. not overly blessed in the tallness category).

    2. His hair looks even better in person. Truly, top-2%-of-the-population hair.

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