Written by B.J. Novak (Ryan) and directed by Jason Reitman, son of Ivan Reitman, Local Ad never quite gets up to speed but it does manage a heartwarming ending about losing but still winning, that suggests Season 1 and 2 more than anything else. This is the first half hour of the season and the production and editing doesn’t seem to have adapted. The entire much hyped Dwight Second Life storyline goes nowhere, I suspect there’s a lot of deleted scenes that will fill that in.
The ad campaign itself is plausible and suggests the new Dunder Mifflin team are at least making the effort. On the other hand, despite his insanity, Michael is supposed to be heading up the entire northeastern division of Dunder Mifflin, so why is there another office in Buffalo and why does he have so little authority.
The question to make that commercial his own is cute. The ad guys produce a dumbed down ad while Michael rips off every AT&T and IBM and MCI commercial cliche he can and stuffs it into one surprisingly workable commercial, he just doesn’t understand the difference between selling a brand using a commercial and selling using a more specific sales oriented approach to promoting a business. The ads guys were doing the latter, while Michael was imitating the brand puffery of the big telecoms, sincere as it might have been.