Everybody Hates Palm Pre's Creepy Ads by Modernista!

Last Updated Mar 20, 2011 1:03 PM EDT

The verdict is in: Modernista!'s surreal, creepy ads for the Palm Pre -- featuring actress Tamara Hope talking in a halting stage whisper -- are driving everyone crazy. And not in a good way. (See video below.)

You know these ads. A woman, back to the camera, turns to face you and then begins a monologue fraught with capital-M "meaning." In one, she says (with a straight face):

The other day ... I was walking in the park ... after lunch ... when I saw this juggler ... she was very good ... and the weird thing was ... the more balls she had in the air ... the easier she made it look ... it was a feeling I knew ... like deja vu
(There's a lengthy discussion about whose balls she ought to be juggling underneath the YouTube video, if you're interested.)

More significantly, the ads have spawned a virulent reaction on the comment boards, most of it negative. Here's a taste:

InuEars546: I HATE THIS LADY.

Hanser68: .....wtf

swigglys: shes a creepo!

Calyntheartist: Shes the reason i won't get that phone

xcdude: Fail.

Renji1011: She creeps me out....

That's a small but representative sampling of hundreds of other comments.

The ads contain some nice visual references to the Mona Lisa (closeup of woman shown in contrast to a far away rural landscape) and Magritte (subject facing away from the viewer in front of a blue sky). I guess that MFA came in useful for someone.

But Hope's breathy delivery is so casual and earnest at the same time, that no one seems to believe that she in any way represents something real. As PC World noted in a piece titled "Assigning Blame for That Weird Palm Pre Commercial":

... she doesn't seem to have a real life: the messy kind, like mine, for example. The kind of messiness that a smartphone, any smartphone, can only make worse.