Questions We Have About the Simon Premium Outlets Back to School Commercial

Is she trapped there? Does she not understand that she can put down the kid's backpack and just leave?

By Katharine Shilcutt August 21, 2017

If you have a television and a hulu subscription, you've likely been bombarded with the latest back-to-school commercial for Simon Premium Outlets. While we love a trip up Highway 290 to the Off 5th store followed by an Auntie Anne's pretzel binge as much as the next Houstonian, we have some lingering questions/concerns about the commercial that won't give us a moment's peace:

  1. Who is the woman in the grey blazer who's waiting around the store to offer unsolicited sales advice to strangers?
  2. Is she employed by this store? Because they seem pretty okay with her posting up by the registers, fiddling with the bric-a-brac on the counter.
  3. But wait—now she's trying to get these strangers to come along with her to a different store to buy shoes?
  4. Why does she grab a kid's backpack off the rack before she runs off after them?
  5. Why, in general, does she want so badly to ingratiate herself to this mom and her tween?
  6. Who does this benefit?
  7. Is she working on commission?
  8. If so, is it for this store, or for the whole outlet mall?
  9. Because if she is working for the whole outlet mall, why does the security guard who's attempting to prevent her from leaving the store—along with that kid's backpack she's trying to take with her to the shoe store—act like he's never seen her before?
  10. Or even if she's working for just that store, still—wouldn't the store security guard know her?
  11. Once stopped by the security guard from leaving the store with merchandise, why does she act like she's now trapped there?
  12. Does she not understand that she can put down the kid's backpack and just leave?
  13. Is she trapped there?
  14. What does it mean when she yells out to the strangers, "You guys go on! Better not cut class," before her sale-fueled smile is replaced by look the look of grim despair we see below?
  15. Is this how the whole story ends?
Screen shot 2017 08 18 at 12.04.36 pm yhbmww

"What have I done to deserve this?"

Now, we're not saying this is what outlet malls do to punish people who cut class, nor are we saying that this woman has been condemned to some sort of Groundhog Day-like, Sisyphean existence where she spends her days trying to befriend strangers in order to tell them about this store's latest deals in hopes that one day a tween and her mom will finally free her from this torturous existence.

We're just saying we don't know what this commercial is trying to tell us about Grey Blazer—except that she and Security Guard are clearly being set up as rivals, and we can't wait for the sequel. We're betting Gray Blazer has stuffed some bric-a-brac in that kid's backpack and will use its straps to fashion a makeshift mace.

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