"If you point out exactly what you’re doing to mask what you’re doing, you’re going to lose the audience," says Joel McHale, while pointing at an ad for Nintendo 3DS in the middle of an ad for Nintendo 3DS. Are you still there, audience?
Although he lacks the urgency of Old Spice's excitable pitchmen, the star of Community is just as self-aware in the new ad (which swears up and down that it is not an ad). The entire non-ad takes place in a conference room at Nintendo, where an executive tries to come up with a concept for a viral ad with the star on board. The executive suggests the very idea we are actually seeing, but gets shot down as "too obvious."
At one point, when McHale breaks the facade and just starts listing off key features of the Nintendo 3DS glasses-free 3D gaming device, he turns to look at the camera directly, and another angle reveals that he is actually standing nose to nose with the executive. For his part, McHale seems quite knowledgable in what makes a video go viral (baby pandas, nutshots, hot models), as well as what makes an audience who is being pandered to roll their eyes. Anti-marketing marketing triumphs again.