Being busy--it's as American as apple pie.
At least that's the jist of Christoph Waltz's performance in a new ad for Samsung. Ruefully shaking his head at the American workaholic attitude ("I don't understand you people"), the Austrian-German actor best known for his films with director Quentin Tarantino walks through a minute in the life of some American multitaskers--all using Samsung's newest Galaxy.
As a mom (complete with blonde wig) riding a stationary bike with a baby strapped to her chest, he muses that multitasking has become "regular-tasking." Lounging under a waterfall while scrolling through his phone, he notes that even when Americans do manage to take vacation days, they work through them. A robotics club student goes beyond "curricular" to "extracurricular;" a runner breaks a world record; a smiling worker wins employee of the month. Through all of this, Waltz asks, "What has that tireless ambition ever gotten you, America?"
Waltz's attitude takes a turn by the end of the ad as he embraces a Leave It To Beaver-esque lifestyle and poses with his wife, children and Golden Retriever. His answer to his neighbor's question: "Working hard or hardly working?" A cheeky American, "Both."
The ad is well timed. With vacation season in full swing, this "always on" work attitude is under particular scrutiny. According to a recent study, one in five adults say they work more than 50 hours per week, earning them the distinction of "workaholics." Only half of that group say they take all or most of the paid vacation days offered by their employer. When workaholics do get away from the office, half have trouble unplugging, saying they often or sometimes work while on vacation.
So while it's light-hearted, the commercial is something of a reminder to stop and maybe even turn your phone off. See Waltz's Samsung spot below.