Sunday, April 18, 2021

Verizon's obnoxious "drop a better phone next time" commercial


1.  I find it hard to believe that the first guy we see is real.  That's CGI, isn't it?  He looks like he's made of plastic.  I mean, I can't be the only person who finds him downright creepy.

2.  This woman is an absolute gibbering moron.  She's "broken every phone she's ever owned."  And she's giggling about it.  She demonstrates her clueless clumsiness by dropping her phone for our benefit. And then she suggests that she "wants something new."  Well, sure.  I know that if I was constantly breaking an expensive piece of electronics, that would be my response, too. 

3.  So now you can turn in your broken phone for credit on a new one.  Because the only thing more satisfying than breaking something that costs $500 is breaking something that costs $1000, especially when you got a $500 credit for the phone you are turning in.   Feel free to continue to break expensive, fragile electronics, people- Verizon is ready to "reward" you with credit for a new piece of expensive, fragile electronics.

4.  Somehow, the stupid thoughtless doofuses who are constantly mishandling and breaking items that the vast majority of people on Earth (including the people who assemble them) can only dream of actually owning are quickly talked into believing that they "deserve" an even better phone because they broke their old one through utter carelessness.  Not only is this not worthy of a smile and a giggle, it isn't even worthy of my contempt or further comment.  So I'll just stop here.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Ready or not (and we are not ready,) Disney World is Reopening


(Anyone else think that statue in the opening of this commercial looks like it belongs in Red Square, not Disney World?)

This is Disney's "f-- it, we played nice with this whole COVID thing but business is business" great big middle finger to responsibility.  No more excuses, parents:  your kids are going to see this ad sooner or later, and they'll remember how many times you said "as soon as Disney World reopens, we'll go."  You'll regret not saying "as soon as everyone is vaccinated" or "as soon as we've achieved herd immunity" or at the very least "as soon as I consider it safe."  But you didn't say that.  You decided to leave the fate of your kids and yourself in the hands of the gigantic money monster that sees you as nothing more than walking credit cards waiting to be drained which was just waiting for a green light from one of the most anti-mask, anti-science governors in the entire country.  The Walt Disney Corporation and Ron DeSantis say "welcome back," so it's time to stand in line at the airport, take a plane to Orlando, and get ready to spend several days standing in sweltering,* stinking (hopefully mask-wearing, but this is Central Florida, after all, so good luck with that- you're likely to see a lot more MAGA hats than masks) sweaty crowds filled with screaming kids and noxious, cloying tinny music coming out of speakers disguised as rocks.  Enjoy all the Superspreading fun!

*I've never been to Orlando, but I've been to Tampa in June.  I can't imagine wanting to spend hours outdoors by myself in those humid conditions.  Add tens of thousands of people and a lot of noise? Pass.

(And what's the most depressing thing about this ad?  Check out the date it was released.  July, 2020.  
Yep, super responsible, Disney.)

Subway Is Really Making Me Hungry


Because nothing could make me want a cheap, mass-produced junk sandwich made by an underpaid high school dropout who thinks that COVID is a hoax than seeing a basketball player, comedian or some other somewhat-famous tv personality hold up an obviously rubber facsimile of a grinder* and tell me how much he enjoys eating at Subway when he isn't doing the basketball or comedy thing.

*I'm from New England.  It's called a grinder or a hoagie.  It can only be a "sub" if it's cold, and Subway Sandwiches can be hot.  So they are grinders or heroes, not subs.  I feel like I should block comments now, just in case this one of those triggering subjects that I'll wish I had avoided, like "Howard Stern is overrated" or "DirectTV ads are racist."

Friday, April 16, 2021

Not in the mood to be generous to phone sales losers


I found this gem of a training video while looking for a visual version of an ad for sales training I keep hearing on XM.  If you have XM or it's running on terrestrial radio you've probably heard it too: the one where the guy spits a hundred stats at you at about a hundred miles an hour with absolutely no citations:  "Did you know that 90 percent of your sales are made by 20 percent of your sales force?  Did you know that 88 percent of salesmen never even make contact with the customers?  Did you know that 79 percent of customers are 56 percent more likely to walk into 96 percent of stores offering at least 81 percent of what they want to purchase?  Does this ad make you at least 68 percent more grateful that you stayed awake in school and didn't turn out to be a piece of s--t sales monkey?"

Anyway, this video is definitely worth a listen, and is especially more fun when like me you've just wasted some cold-calling Car Warranty scammer's time (almost 22 minutes today,* and I only hung up because mom needed to use the phone!)  I've talked to enough scammers to know that they are very quick to ask "when is a good time to call?" when you tell them you're too busy.  Much better to waste their time with friendly chitchat so they aren't available to try to steal someone else's money.  

I didn't get through the entire video- does it end with a polite suggestion that lots of pawn shops sell handguns and a quick bullet to the brain will end the misery of being one of these sad little sales monkeys?

*not actually "today," but I've had this post stored in the archives for a while......

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Geico hands Dikembe Mutombo some money to beat that dead horse some more


This schtick has made an unrequested return from the dead because Geico, as usual, has absolutely nothing to day about its insurance. Come to think of it, Geico has NEVER had anything to say about its own insurance except to say its been around for a long time and might be cheaper than its competitors.  So these "happier than...." wastes of brain cells are callback to an old ad campaign with the same message:  Geico either doesn't know how to sell insurance or might know how to sell insurance but doesn't know how to sell ITS insurance.  So we get CGI pigs and lizards and crap like this instead.

And maybe I'm not the only one out there who didn't want to see this stuff make a comeback- the comments are, after all, blocked.  Good sign.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Apple reminds us that homework, like everything else, is more fun if you're rich


The weekend's homework is "Gravity."  Well, this teacher certainly isn't running any risk of confusing kids as to the parameters of the assignment, is he?  

"What's your science homework this weekend, honey?"  


"What about it?"

99 percent of the kids who are given the assignment "gravity" and who actually want to get a good grade in the class will look up the word "gravity" on Google (if they have internet access) or an Encyclopedia and write a few words about what other people have said about gravity.  If they are lucky, there's a library open nearby and they can get a timed-entry appointment to visit it the few hours it's open on Saturday, and maybe they can find some good articles about gravity and photocopy a few pictures on the library's copying machine for ten cents a page.  The result of several hours of work is a decent-for-the-grade-level report on gravity stapled together or placed in a three-ring binder, and once upon a time that report would probably earn an A and praise for the effort.

The other 1 percent will whip out their thousand-dollar iPads and put together a two-minute film featuring gravity at work.  Those other kids wrote that watermelons and eggs fall to the ground at equal speeds, but here's a film SHOWING that phenomenon, created by the iPad Cody got for Christmas which is in a color that matches the Lexus mom got.  That 1 percent had a great time doing their homework because they had this expensive piece of technology that did practically all the work for them while they "demonstrated gravity" by playing on tire swing and dropping food off of bridges.  And while a pile of stapled hand-written essays on gravity sit on the teacher's desk, the teacher is in raptures over the awesome, professional-quality film about gravity that 1 percent of kids were able to produce while having fun. 

I teach Advanced Placement US History.  The cumulative test is scheduled for next month.  It will be taken by some 350,000 High School students, some of whom have access to Apps, review videos and practice tests created by The College Board to help kids with access to tech maximize their performance on the exam.  Most of the students who take the exam will rely on their notes, textbooks, and maybe a prep book or two because they do NOT have the ability to access this tech.  Watching this commercial from Apple, it's more than a little depressing to see that the gulf between the haves and have nots is not being created when kids get to High School but much earlier- like, the moment the children first enter the public school system.  I wonder how much attention and praise those homely hand-written reports sitting on his desk will get compared to the flashy video created by a piece of expensive tech and a group of kids who learned how to use it before they learned how to count because their parents could afford to purchase it.  

Oh, and one word to the obnoxious narrator attempting to bleat a poem during this awful celebration of privilege:  As you describe homework, it still "stinks" for 99 percent of kids.  The message of your little poem is actually "homework does NOT stink if you're rich.  Since 99 percent of kids are not rich, it still stinks for 99 percent of kids.  But this commercial is not aimed at those kids." 

Friday, April 9, 2021

PapaJohns: the official pizza of intolerance for everything but The Dumb


"Wait up wait up wait up!  PapaJohns has stuffed pizza now, only thirty years after it became a thing pretty much everywhere else!  Wow, ain't that something!  All our texts and tweets and Facebook posts and phone calls we spent years producing because if we stopped and thought for one minute about what we think is important we'd kill ourselves finally paid off!  FINALLY, PapaJohn's Only Slightly More Tasty Than The Box It Comes In Carbs and Sugar 'pizza' comes with stuffed crust to make it even more toxic!  Wooooheee next time we have a family reunion we're skipping Golden Corral and just having PapaJohns deliver!"

I hate this country so very, very much.