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Apple's AirPods dancer shills, oh, for Lexus

Commentary: No sooner had Lil Buck tried to get you to buy AirPods than he started shilling for a car company in its Super Bowl ad.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Lil Buck. Working overtime.

Lexus/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

How are we going to sell our new earrings that masquerade as headphones?

I've got it! Have someone dance in them!

How are we going to sell our new cars that pretend not to be Toyotas?

I've got it! Have someone dance next to one!

Could it be that there are no old ideas, just new stars to put into old commercials? One of those new stars appears to be freestyle dancer Lil Buck.

Last week, you may have espied him dancing on walls and even roofs in Apple's new AirPods ad.

This must have tired him out. He's now jigging and shilling in a new Lexus Super Bowl ad and, at the beginning, he's barely able to leave the ground. Here we find him making various shapes with his body. Then he drives the Lexus LC. Then he gets out again.

But wait, near the end he does start dancing up the wall again. And on the ceiling. Well, what else is he going to do?

It's good business, I suppose, to do roughly the same thing in two ads for two famous brands, one after the other.

In the Apple ad, at least Lil Buck was trying to show that the AirPods don't fall out. But in this Lexus ad? The message, according to Minnie Driver (well, of course) who narrates the ad: "Machines don't have emotions. But the rare few can inspire them."

Er, alright then.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on this awkward (or fortuitous) coincidence.

Brian Bolain, general manager for Lexus marketing, told me: "We're very excited about Lexus' Super Bowl ad and we're pleased to have Lil Buck's movements as part of it. It's clear his appeal resonated with the marketers at Apple, as well, and if his dancing is reflective of innovative brands, it's a positive statement for everyone involved.

There you have it. Innovative brands apparently dance around similar ideas.

The taglines of both ads, however, inspire similar emotions. Apple insists its AirPods are "Practically Magic." Lexus wants you to "Experience Amazing."

Meanwhile, Lil Buck experiences the magical, practically amazing feeling of making a buck or two.

Update, 12:26 p.m. PT: Adds comment from Lexus.

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