Saturday, November 25, 2023

Again: Wendy's, nobody in their right mind would eat food prepared by these people!


I totally support the idea of hiring the mentally ill, but I draw the line when they feel free to start molesting customers. 

In this ad, not only does nobody on the crew have absolutely nothing to do but stare at a customer, but one of them has the effrontery to walk right up to that customer and initiate non-censual physical contact.  I smell a lawsuit.  A big one.

Maybe these weirdos should stick to coming up with "nicknames" for the Wendy's combo meals or whatever the hell they were doing in that other commercial.  At least they aren't getting all touchy-feely with the customers in that one. 

Friday, November 24, 2023

Verizon, the iPhone, and the Holidays: These aren't your parents' carols....


It's not that Nothing is Sacred, it's that what used to be sacred is So Very Yesterday, and what is now sacred is, well, Verizon and iPhones and desire for Shiny Electronic Stuff that is so strong that we get hit over the head with commercials like this.  

So a bunch of strangers show up to sing about the latest stupid toy the already over-indulged Child Living in an Adult's Body wants because it happens to be the Christmas season, as if the Season for Giving Yourself Things isn't all year round these days. 

And the people answering the door just take this in stride.  As do the people in the comment section.  That is, when they aren't asking for the lyrics to the "song" or wondering who the "actors" in this thing are.  Gross. 

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Peloton's Obvious Desperation is Obvious and Desperate.


Your company hit gold in the form of COVID.  Gyms closed down, stimulus checks were sent out, a lot of people in the upper tax brackets were stuck at home = market for fancy expensive exercise bikes with subscription workout sessions.  

Admit it- you would have been perfectly happy to see COVID last another several years.  If you were a James Bond villain, you might be trying to discover a new pandemic to unleash upon the world right now.  COVID was a bonanza for the Exercise from Home Industry.  You were only a small part of that industry, but it made your company what it was at its peak- a winner. 

These ads showing people in love with their Pelotons are almost sad, almost funny in their disconnect with reality.  In one scene, we've got a guy using his bike inside what looks to be a vast, otherwise empty warehouse.  In another, we've got the "relatable" guy munching on a bag of chips which he throws away as the workout gets started like a kid who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar (1984 much?  "Smith! 2087 Smith W!  Straighten that back! Good job, Comrade!")

And then we get the "big sale" pitch which finally brings us to the point- Peloton overextended itself, people are going back to the gym, taking spinning classes on basketball courts again, and sales are way, way down for these overpriced status symbols you can't even manage to let your coworkers know you have because you can't figure out how to casually bring it up in conversation.  

You've got a bigger problem, Peloton, and its names are Craig's List and Facebook Marketplace.  No matter how much you drop the price of your white elephants, you probably are not going to be able to match the deals you can get on those and other Please Buy My Stuff My Rent Is Due Why Did I Buy This sites.  Because the gyms are still out there, pretty much every other exercise bike that does the same thing is much cheaper, and yard sales are online 24/7.

Your "good times," which pretty much everyone else considered two years they want to forget as soon as possible, are over.*  Accept it with some dignity, please.

*it's entirely possible that you'll get a small boost right after Thanksgiving, and maybe another one after New Year's Day, but I still wouldn't buy stock in your company unless I planned to sell it to another sucker in the short term.  

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

It's Feast or Famine at American Airlines!


24 hours before the flight, 48 hours before Thanksgiving email:  "It's Time To Check In!"

8 hours before the flight, 32 hours before Thanksgiving email:  "Here's A Chance to Upgrade; Be One of the First to Board for only $49 more by moving to the Main Cabin."

4 hours before the flight, 28 hours before Thanksgiving email:  "Would You Like to Upgrade to First Class for only $99?"

2 hours before the flight, 26 hours before Thanksgiving email:  "YOUR FLIGHT IS CANCELLED.  PICK YOUR NEW FLIGHT" which, unlike my original flight, includes a 3-hour layover in Philadelphia and an arrival at my original destination only 11.5 hours after my original estimated time of arrival; in other words, 30 minutes before Thanksgiving.

Thanks, American.  Happy Holidays to you, too. 

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Taco Bell's seizure-inducing ads for heart attack-promoting non-food


All Taco Bell commercials nowadays that don't feature Pete Davidson* attack the viewer with dozens of still shots of people shoving or about to shove greasy garbage into their mouths while smiling and having fun with friends.  Of course, it's all about the timeless message that consuming this product (in this case, processed meat, oil, cheese and starch) while being with friends makes being with friends just that much more fun.  

In this particular ad, life becomes more fun if you add a Taco Bell Cravings Box- about 2000 calories of nutrient-deficient sludge- to your time with friends.  That regularly ingesting Taco Bell will also cut back on the amount of time you'll have to enjoy your friends- and your life- is left unmentioned, but I thought I'd throw that in here anyway.  

*the ads that include Pete Davidson have the interesting effect of diminishing one's appetite, which makes me wonder why Taco Bell even airs them.  Seems counter-productive, but what do I know about advertising?  I'm just a curmudgeon. 

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Audi Presents: Santa's Gift to Himself?


Ok, I can't even pretend to understand this ad.  Apparently Santa is a mega-millionaire who makes absolutely sure that his own nest is appropriately feathered (and his beard immaculately coiffed) before he has his butler (who isn't even an elf) show him his ridiculous self-driving not-sleigh which he then rides off, sans toys. 

What am I supposed to get out of this?  "Santa" checks his watch and is told "it's time."  Time for what?  Time to leave, I guess- but again, the only "toy" I see is the one Santa gave to himself; the one he's driving.  Where is he going?  I'm left to fill in the missing pieces myself, I guess.  So, here goes:

Santa leaves his very 21st-century palace in his So-21st-Century-That-It-Isn't-Available-To-Mortals-Yet Audi to head off to his workshop at the North Pole- specifically, the industrial region of the North Pole.  Just before he gets there, he changes into a fat suit, rumples his hair, and sticks a pipe into his mouth to achieve the Desired Effect.  Then he walks on to the killing floor toy sweatshop processing center where about a thousand or so Little People have been slaving away to create gifts for everyone from the Amazon packaging line's son (he's getting a paint set) to the hedge fund manager's daughter (she's getting an Audi.)  The elves?  They are getting what they get every year- a chance to worship Santa, the guy who only wants to spread joy throughout the world's children who happen to be Christian or have parents who recognize Christmas as about as religious as Superbowl Sunday.  

When his one evening per year of work is over, Santa climbs out of the fat suit, gets back into his Audi, and returns to his massive estate to check his stock portfolio.  The elves get back to work after their one day per year of vacation time spent in overpriced shacks which surround the toy factory.   Hearts are aglow, etc., etc. 

Friday, November 17, 2023

Where we supposed to do some pre-reading for this Capital One Venture X Black Gold Platinum Other Cool Buzzwords Business Card Commercial?


More to the point, did Jennifer Garner even DO that reading?  Because she doesn't seem to know what this guy's company actually provides to"public."  She says the word "resorts," but a quick google search reveals that Pinnacle Mountain Homes actually promotes itself as a provider of custom-made homes.  

Or, as their website puts it, they take pride in  "enhancing the lives of others by designing, building, furnishing and managing luxurious spaces."  Yeah, this is basically the Lexus of Home Construction.  Which is perfectly fine and all, but- what the hell does this have to do with small businesses?  

And speaking of small businesses, shouldn't Jennifer Garner be getting back to that farm she's supposed to be running?  Oh, right- that particular business doesn't pay for the lifestyle Ms. Garner is accustomed to.  And this is the best her agent can do for her.  Pardon me for not getting the warm feelies because this guy can use a credit card to buy the materials he needs to gouge scars into mountains and fill them with ostentatious second and third homes for his entitled clients.   The only silver lining here comes from reminding myself that the best thing about mountains is, sometimes people fall off them.