Quote: “Connectile dysfunction.” Superbowl ad for Sprint Mobile Broadband.
Figure of Speech: paronomasia (pa-ra-no-MAY-sia), the near-pun. From the Greek, meaning “rename alongside.”
Is it just Figaro, or were this year’s Super Bowl ads especially horrible? Nearly all the “funny” ones entailed people falling off cliffs, suffering car accidents, or getting beat up.
Thank goodness for Sprint, which chooses sex over violence. Droopy guy sits in an airport with his laptop in his lap while the voiceover says, “You know the feeling: you can’t take care of business the way others do.” The ad uses a paronomasia, a play on words that’s not precisely a pun. You could call it the parody figure, because it allows you to tell the audience what you’re making fun of.
We’re assuming Sprint intended another figure with its slogan, “Power Up.” It’s called double entendre.
Snappy Answer: “At least you didn’t use a certain former vice president. Now, that would have been doleful.”
Other figures that let you say two things at once.