When I saw Scanomat's brand new product on the tech section of BBC this morning I thought I'd have a look at it. I'm a sucker for design, I'm a sucker for coffee and I'm a sucker for tech. Check. Check. Check.
The TopBrewer is essentially an extremely expensive coffee machine hidden beneath a nice looking faucet, controlled by, get this, your smartphone. BOOM. It's groundbreaking. Don't get me wrong, it looks great. I already wanted one until I hit up their promotional material... now I'm questioning who I am.
There's little to be said in the entire video about the technology behind the machine. It opens with what appears to be a fourteen year olds attempt at an after-effects intro for his Fifa-tutorials1999 channel, only to be unveiled as the TopBrewer logo after a solid twenty seconds.
The ridiculous trend continues as throughout, matt white sans-serif lettering is unveiled behind what I assume is a beautiful danish woman outlining "Beautiful Danish design" before we eventually see the erect faucet spouting out a frothy cappuccino. This lady takes her coffee and away she goes, but don't worry. You'll be seeing A LOT more of her during the next four and a half minutes.
All in all, I counted around six to seven cups of coffee for Beautiful Danish Lady alone. (Let's call her Sofia.) Sofia must be absolutely buzzing, given that this is over the course of a few hours as the weather outside doesn't change at all; God only knows how many she had on the entire shoot.
There are a lot of 'sexy' shots of the design. That's something I doubt anybody can get away from in tech, and something that's been spoken about at length before. I accept that this happens and generally it's okay. Apple are notorious, but they're by far from the only guilty party, they're just the only one's easily parodied. But it isn't just the sexy shots of tech here that get to me, it's the things we have to focus on when it's not in shot.
Stock footage shots of a the stock exchange and skyscrapers pad out the five minute vanity short. Sofia herself takes up a good three and a half minutes, most of which I can't figure out if she's supposed to know the camera is filming her or not.
When she's not got a coffee and her colleague/friend does they appear outside the shot. And even most ridiculously at around the 2.30 mark, we get good five second slo-mo shot of Sofia walking away holding an empty coffee cup. All it needs is a freeze frame and greyscaling turn it into the end of an episode of NCIS.
I accept now, that Sofia is the focal point of this video now. We even get a nice glimpse of her legs at one point. Sexy. The TopBrewer is simply an aside. We're supposed to just think of it as a normal kitchen item that normal beautiful people use. (Maybe)
But then, there are other people using it too. The Asian quota is fulfilled for what seems like less than a second; but only filmed from outside a window - god forbid the focus shift from Sofia. Even men can use it: a beautiful man warranting a closer shot appears to simply use some hot water for his green tea only for Sofia to turn up to make herself another coffee, but this time she's changed out of her small pencil skirt and low cut blouse into a slinky black number. Judging by how long my girlfriend takes to get changed and how long I imagine Sofia can go without a coffee, I'd hurry up with your fucking tea Kristian, Sofia needs her fix.
This focus on Sofia though, does disengage you to what you actually came for. A promotional video about the product. By the time the third piece of hovering text arrived touting the "Smartphone Control" I had already lost interest. Thankfully, on a second viewing, much of it is as ridiculous as the rest of the video. Things that you'd take for granted given the $6000 price tag, "Espresso with no compromise" and "Correct temperature" being just two of many, with others needing elaboration for any sense of useful information. For instance, it touts, "Low energy consumption" and "64mm of precision" when showing the grinding of beans, but that doesn't mean squat to your average consumer really, and to polish it off, the final five just sound like phrases lifted from a preliminary brainstorming session of monkeys pointing adverbs; "Undeniably elegant", "Perfectly frothed milk", "Creamy hot chocolate", "Simply revolutionary"... utterly mind-boggling.
I'm not saying this is bad advertising; it's just so ridiculous that I don't think I can take it seriously anymore and there's so much more I could say about it. The fact they go over the app more than twice without properly showing it, the perpetual use of slow motion coffee drip shots and the lack of anything taste related at all. Now I just have more questions than answers. Does it work without an app? Am I going to need a spare iPad just in case? What if my network goes down? What is Sofia's real name? Why at one point do you show the ITV and Citi logos? I was so ready to throw my non-existent money at it in the form of bookmarking it in my "If I win the lottery" folder, but now I think I'd be better off spending my money on somehow getting those five minutes back.