Culture

Economist: We'll help you survive an elevator ride with Eric Schmidt

Would you be worried if you got into an elevator with Google's executive chairman? That's the question asked by a new ad featuring Google's executive chairman.

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The Economist suggests that being in an elevator with Eric Schmidt is intimidating. He knows so much about you, after all. The Economist/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

The Economist always incites one feeling in me: guilt.

It's one of the only things I'll read in paper form. It arrives in the mailbox and stares at me all week like an underfed poodle.

It demands that I know what's going on in Sao Paulo and Lesotho. Yet sometimes, Verdicchio overtakes me.

I am glad, therefore, that I've never been in an elevator with Eric Schmidt. Google's executive chairman would surely take one look at me and immediately know that my Economist is buried beneath Valerie Trierweiler's racy tale of her romance with the French president, and several stale chocolate croissants.

I mention this because The Economist is now using the "Schmidt in the elevator" scenario to bolster your feelings of inadequacy. In a new ad, a young executive (you see who the target market is, don't you?) gets into an elevator after a difficult meeting. In steps Eric Schmidt.

Where could this difficult meeting have been occurring? At the Economist's offices, perhaps. Schmidt sits on the paper's board as a nonexecutive member. He could have been there to tell the board what it didn't yet understand.

Still, in this ad, Schmidt's elevatorial presence is the last thing this young executive needs. His Economist, you see, is under three pizza boxes, a pair of dirty socks and a bong. (Source: my imagination.)

As AdAge reports, the spot is a homage to one from 1996 (video below) in which a man seated in business class on a flight suddenly discovers he has Henry Kissinger sitting next to him. (If it were me in that seat, I'd have just asked him whether Richard Nixon was a nice chap, and then let him talk.)

Of course, being in an elevator with Eric Schmidt is truly problematic because, being a Googley, he doesn't just know more about the world than you. He likely knows more about you than you.