Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Get a load of this seriously looks-and-emotions-deficient family as it returns home from their weekend in Branson to discover that their stunningly ugly condo has been stripped almost clean by burglars.
"Oh man, we've been robbed" mutters Dad in exactly the same tone as I'd expect if he were instead saying "Oh man, I left the living room light on" or "Darn it, the last person forgot to flush before we left." Not "let's go to our neighbors and stay there until the police can come and make sure no one is still here," no shock or anger or fear at all- just a "let's take this in stride, man what a pain" response which suggests to me that this entire family is on valium- or was in on dad's not-very-clever insurance fraud scam.
Little son's non-reaction is especially disturbing- he doesn't seem interested in learning if his precious comic book collection or favorite teddy bear is safe and sound, or if the place he calls home is still a safe place to sleep. Is he going to wake up crying for the next several weeks? Is he going to start wetting his bed? Nah, no big deal, nothing really to see here. Just a case of strange men breaking into your home and walking around taking stuff. Whatever.
Mom is weirdest of all- she seems genuinely disturbed that the burglars didn't think their computer was worth taking- mortified, almost. They didn't steal our 2002 Dell Desktop? "Maybe it's time for a new computer." Yes, indeed- a light little laptop that can be unplugged from the wall and slipped into a carry bag by the next set of burglars in no time flat. Hey, maybe the creeps didn't want your stupid wedding and baby photos, idiot.
Mom goes right back to the "I'm so ashamed at my burglar-unworthy computer" when she and dad pick up the new laptop. (I do like the way she obsesses about the file transfers- "the baby pictures? The wedding photos?" YES, LADY, all your junk was moved to the new laptop. What part of "all" did you not understand?) Dad joins in- "now this is worth stealing." Jesus- seriously, people. We could chalk up your initial reaction to shock. What's your excuse this time? It wasn't funny the first time, it's not any more funny days later.
Because being robbed is generally NOT fun, and replacing the lost stuff is generally NOT the biggest task for people who have intact souls. It's getting back that sense of security, being able to fall asleep again without being spooked by every little noise, being able to walk into your house without a powerful sense of dread, etc. Whoever wrote this ad has never been robbed, and has precious little understanding of what this traumatic experience can be like. (My guess is, he doesnt have kids, either. I seriously can't imagine a kid acting like the one in this ad- Damien Thorne showed more emotion when his nanny hung herself.)
By the way, did the burglars steal all the shampoo? Or did the fact that they left it behind convince this woman that it was no longer worth using?
Monday, March 28, 2011
For today's entry, we take you back to America, circa 1956, when a favorite sitcom theme was the "husband bringing the very important client home for dinner without letting The Little Woman know in advance." The theme mixes very well with the more modern "Dad Screwed Up AGAIN!" theme which is openly presented to us in the ad's opening seconds (by the little choad who had apparently been told to entertain the client in the living room while Mom and Dad argue four feet away.)
Once the Painful Situation is defused by a pan of junk a college freshman MIGHT eat after a night of smoking pot when he realizes that he's out of Ramen noodles and stale Doritos, things settle down and get much worse. We move on to an intensely uncomfortable, silent meal with dad, client, Angry Mom, and nasty little narrator-kid sitting around a pile of cheese-flavored crud which we are apparently supposed to believe is good enough for Dad's Client because it's baked. Actually, the best possible result would be to convince the client that this guy really really needs his business, because good lord, look what he's providing for his family's dinner table. I personally think that the client is not being silent because he senses the tension between Mom and Dad. He's being silent because he can't believe that he's been transported into an episode of Leave It To Beaver, and that he's expected to play along by putting hot orange poison into his mouth.
We end with the truly smarmy little prick of a kid (who has appeared in another ad for the same nasty sludge not-food product) awkwardly twisting his head toward the camera (I only wish he could move a little closer and that technology allowed me to smack that look off his face) and tells us that "Dad really screwed this up." Oh, the hilarity.
All we really need to make this lovely little dollop of Yesteryear complete is to film it in black and white and add a laughtrack. Ok, I'd like one more thing- for that kid to be sent to his room, forever. And for the people who wrote this mess to apologize.
But I'd settle for a promise to stop showcasing the little creep. Two commercials in, I'm sick to death of him already. Send him over to Volkswagen and let me see him get slugged in the stomach when a "Red One" drives by. Better yet, pay him in Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. That will finish him off fast enough.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Here's an eight-second ad for Wheat Thins brilliantly stretched into 31 seconds by having two characters read a tweet and then ask a third character if he remembers sending the tweet.
No kidding. Just look at this ad, I dare you. Two creeps in a van who somehow managed to find themselves with careers working for Nabisco scanning Twitter for mentions of their company's wheat cracker product ( I guess. I mean, are we really looking for some level of sense here?) One of them reads the tweet out loud. Moments later, the two creeps confront "Chris Macho" (I hope this isn't his name. No wait, I hope it is. Because at least that would mean Nabisco didn't make it up, figuring it was as clever as "Keith Stone." Actually, I don't know what to hope anymore. I think I just died inside.)
One of the creeps then reads the tweet back to "Chris Macho," apparently forgetting that we, the audience, have already heard it, and weren't all that entertained by it, or interested in it in the first place. Fortunately for the cameraman and the van guys doing this live, unscripted (yeah, right) commercial, Chris Macho does indeed remember tweeting something about Wheat Thins.
The punchline (such as it is) involves the creepy van guys "rewarding" Chris Macho for his homage to crackers by driving around with a massive billboard urging everyone to follow Chris Macho on Twitter because "he's Awesome." Um, ok.
Was I supposed to do some reading for this commercial? What the hell does any of this have to do with crackers? Who is Chris Macho? Why exactly is he awesome? Why should I follow him on twitter- is he going to tweet some other uninteresting, uninformative stuff that is sort of about Wheat Thins? If he is, why do I want to get it delivered to my phone? I'm so very confused.
But you know what? To me, being confused about ads like this is kind of like not getting references to Lady Gaga, Snookie, or Kim Kardashian. It's confusion I wear like a badge of honor. I actually think that my life was just a little more blessed because I didn't grow up with 200 channels, cell phones, or the internet.
So I won't be "following" you on Twitter, even if you are "awesome," Chris Macho. But don't feel bad, because I don't follow ANYONE on Twitter. And no one will ever be able to convince me that I'm missing a damned thing.
Consumers, we tried to be polite about this.
We started slowly. Several months ago (we know, it feels like years) we rolled out our our "Here We Go" ad campaign. Just a few thirty-second commercials popping up during football games on the weekend, always featuring some vaguely familiar spokesperson (Carl Weathers was my personal favorite) finishing whatever inane pile of steaming crap we were tossing at you with a simple "here we go!"
The idea, you see, was to make "Here We Go!" America's Next Great Catchphrase. The "Five Dollar Foot Longs" of 2011. Our dream was that pretty much every Extremely Impressionable American would be bleating "Here We Go!" every few seconds, for no particular reason, and that every time one heard the phrase, one would think "Bud Lite!" Considering what you couch potato sheep have swallowed in the past, it seemed like a reasonable expectation.
But for some reason, it just didn't take. Our agents, after tirelessly surveying bars, living rooms, and tailgate parties all over this great land of ours, have reported that "Here We Go" has NOT reached the status of groan-inducing cliche. This information has created an atmosphere that can best be described as a mixture of deep disappointment and seething anger here at Budweiser.
So now, the gloves are coming off. You ADD-addled jackasses think you can just shrug off our dog whistles? Well, take a good look at your future. We are done with the subtle crap. Get ready for months of having "Here We Go!" pounded into your face at every break. Playtime is over, people. You thought "Punch Dub Days" was bad? You'll be begging to see a kid smack his grandpa in the groin while yelling "Red One!" before Easter, we promise you.
We at Budweiser hope that when this Unfortunate but Necessary episode is over, the lesson will be remembered when we reveal our next ad campaign (we can't tell what it is, but let's just say it involves a twist on the already Hi-LARIOUS 'Oh No You Di-n't!") That lesson is simply: Don't Fuck With Us. When we give you the tag line, you GO with it, monkeys. Don't MAKE us pull this again. Because if you do, we promise, the next time it will hurt even more.
You WILL be assimilated.
--Sincerely, your friends at Budweiser. Remember, Drink Responsibly.
Friday, March 25, 2011
If you don't have an I Phone, you don't have the App store. Which to me, sounds a lot like "if you don't have Consumption, you aren't coughing blood into your handkerchief."
...which means you can't do things like book plane tickets and get boarding passes simply by running your finger along a screen. Oh, you poor, deprived slob. You actually have to type on a lame-ass So Very 2009 Keyboard and then print up (snigger, condescend) that boarding pass on your (chuckle) printer.
...which means you can't do things like buy your favorite latte drink at your favorite fern-filled, trendy coffee shop by sticking your phone up against a screen (first: I give my permission for the person on the other side of the counter to throw a very hot cup of coffee into this pretentious asshole's face. Second: wow, what a great bonus for the person who finds this phone after it's owner leaves it in a taxi or a park bench- instant credit card access! Yay!) No, if you don't have an I Phone, you'll have to continue to take the credit card or (shudder) cash out of your wallet and have it scanned- and seriously, we all know what a MAJOR PAIN that is.
No, if you don't have an I Phone, you really aren't experiencing a Life worth Living. I mean, just think of all those extra muscles you are using that you could be just letting lie dormant. Just think how much less exhausted you'd be if you just let your fucking index finger do all the work! Not to mention all those things you currently do which distract you from engaging with your ridiculous cell phone obsession. All those evil activities that make you PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN because you don't have an I Phone!
"If you don't have an I Phone...you don't have an I Phone." What do you have instead? A life? A clue? Basic social and coping skills? Sounds like a pretty good trade-off to me.
So keep your I Phone. I'm too polite to tell you where you can keep it. But here's a hint: it's someplace very dark, and if you are a typical I Phone junkie, it's the same place you seem to keep your head most of the time.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
I understand that there's an App you can get which allows you to have phony calls sent to your cell phone when you want to get out of meetings or otherwise need an excuse to just. Leave. Now.
The guy in this commercial would be a great customer for such a service. Because ten seconds after entering his date's apartment, the small talk about how many brothers she has degenerates into a cringe-worthy episode of watching this Suddenly Insane Woman Act Like A Total Fool With Her Dog.
"Who do we love? We love our bank! We love our bank! We LOVE our bank! We love our bank!!" Seriously?
And all this understandably creeped-out guy can think is "I guess you really love your bank?" Frankly, I don't think I would have even noticed what she was saying. I would have been too paralyzed with disgust that this weirdo had apparently spent a great deal of time training her dog to react to repetitive baby-talk from the lunatic who feeds it and takes it for walks (to the BANK, no doubt.) And that this woman is so out of touch that she thinks this is a side of her that she wants to reveal in what sure seems to be a first date situation. Hey lady, ever take a really good look at yourself? This just MAY be why you have so many First Dates!
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
I simply cannot believe that this obnoxious, ugly, hateful pile of stupid was actually among the highest-rated Superbowl ads this year.
Oh wait- this is the United States in the year 2011. This is a nation of cell-phone addicts and forty year old "men" who take fantasy football and baseball so seriously that there are entire magazines and ESPN radio shows devoted to the subject. This is a nation of weirdos who spend hours singing along with digital rock bands on their plasma tvs, when they aren't blowing away "the enemy" with plastic controllers and single-handedly making the world safe for--well, whoever. Fellow losers, I guess.
So I really shouldn't be surprised that one of this year's Most Popular Super Bowl Commercials features a disgustingly clueless jackass determined to expend enormous amounts of energy to get his girlfriend's dog to slam himself into a screen door. A disgustingly pointless pile of mucus poured into a pair of jeans which somehow found itself a hot girlfriend, whose only response to the mentally challenged drek she inexplicably refers to as "babe" is to ask "please don't tease my dog." (Naturally, fuckface pays no mind- after all, who could possibly resist the opportunity to hurt a dog?)
I guess I'm mildly surprised when the commercial ends with the dog unhurt- after all, if the PROSPECT of a dog breaking it's nose on a door is hysterical, wouldn't the actual event be totally ROTFLMAO side-splitting? But I'm not at all taken aback by the non-punchline from Good Lord Why Does This Dipshit Have A Girlfriend At All She Must Have Serious Self-Esteem Issues Bag of Rocks Please Die Now Dickwad. After all, I've seen a LOT of commercials. It takes a lot more than this to throw me.
Oh and BTW, the commercial is for Doritos. Does that matter? Does anyone care or remember after this horrible thirty seconds?
Sunday, March 20, 2011
This is why Retro TV is so awesome- half the commercials are aimed at people who owe thousands of dollars in credit card bills or are way behind in their income tax payments, and the other half is for totally pointless, unnecessary gadgets which sucker the gullible into getting themselves even deeper in debt. In other words, all of these commercials are aimed at the SAME GROUP OF PEOPLE.
While watching MST3K knock-off Chiller Drive In Theater (no, it's not that I have no life- I just have schoolwork to do this weekend, ok? Back Off!) I've seen commercials urging us to order our own Home Banana Trees (because we all know how expensive store-bought bananas are,) Eggies (because we all know how virtually IMPOSSIBLE it is to boil eggs) and Snuggies (don't even get me started.) Last night I caught this winner for a counterfeit money detector which just left me shaking my head and thinking "damn, why didn't I think of that? Oh, that's right- because I have a conscience, damn it all!"
Here's how it "works:" People who don't have any money to begin with take out their credit cards and call the toll-free number. Within a few minutes, they've not only ordered their Money Cop Counterfeit Detector, but (I have no doubt) they've also been talked into buying a plastic magnifier and a Silk-Like case for the Money Cop, Just Pay Separate Shipping and Handling. And a few weeks later, they get a piece of plastic which requires a AAA battery to operate it's tiny bulb and beeper. Now you can check out those $20 bills before you head off to 7-11 to exchange them for Lottery Tickets.
Just a few unanswered questions:
Why does the average person watching Chiller Drive In Theater need to check $20 bills to make sure they are not counterfeits? Is there really an epidemic of counterfeiting going on that I haven't been made aware of?
If you run a business or work in a bank and you are concerned about Counterfeiting, aren't there already devices out there which actually detect fraudulent bills which have been certified by some government agency as being accurate and dependable? Do you really need to look to some cheap junk being peddled on late-night tv to find the answer to your concerns?
Is it safe to assume that the company that makes this device is the same one that makes those boxes that you plug into outlets to scare rodents and roaches away? Or the oddly similar boxes which stop dogs from barking? Or the ones that detect dangerous levels of Kryptonite? Or the ones which beep every five minutes that the allergen levels in your home are in the "acceptable" range?
Is it too late for me to get in on this scam? Because I could have another talk with my conscience, one that involves a closer look at my rather skimpy retirement account.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
I can't be the only person out there who finds this commercial more than just a little bit creepy.
As usual, we've got "employees" (I put that in quotation marks, because the term usually means "workers," and we see absolutely no work being done by either of these guys) just passing the time sitting at their desks, not even pretending to be productive in the slightest. One them is even in the "hands behind head, feet up, exaggerated I've Got Absolutely Nothing To Do And No Concern That The Boss Will Be Walking Past Anytime Soon" pose. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, here we have two stellar examples of the Most Productive Workforce on the Planet.
Mr. Relaxed is SO comfortable, in fact, that he's willing to admit that he's daydreaming about the UPS guy. "You see Ben, I see Logistics" he muses. If his friend knew he was seeing "logistics" in slow motion, I think he might request a new desk location.
Meanwhile, the only guy in the ad doing any work at all- the poor On Display UPS guy, acknowledges that he's well aware that he's been ogled throughout the entire ad with a smile and "see you tomorrow, guys." Like a female secretary of the 1950s, he knows that being admired and commented on from afar by better-paid men as they sit on their fat duffs is just part of the job. Don't despair, Ben. In this progressive nation, it's only a matter of time before the law forces guys like this to afford you the treatment you deserve; it's only a matter of time before these guys are dragged into sensitivity classes to be told that you are NOT some shiny trinket to be gawked at whenever you show up with your package (sorry, couldn't resist.)
Back on point, however- this guy looks at Ben, and sees "logistics." Ben looks back, and sees "witless, lazy slacker- no wonder this business can't keep up with China." I don't quite get how "logistics" is the cure for workers who would rather daydream than work, but I'm no economics expert.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Is your credit a little less than perfect? Is the fun, exciting and PROFITABLE world of computing closed to you because you can't get the financing you need to purchase one of these VERY EXPENSIVE items? Think that just because your name isn't Rockefeller or Vanderbilt, and just because you've defaulted on a credit card here and there and missed a rent payment or two that you are unfairly locked out of the internet forever?
Well think again, and welcome to Tronix Country!! If you've got a bank account (and are willing to give us the access number) and can afford easy payments of only $29.95 a month (and aren't smart enough to do simple math, which would reveal that if you just SAVED that money for six months you'd be able to BUY a nice laptop with CASH,) we'll hook you up with your very own laptop!
Imagine how much your life would improve if only you had one of these awesome wireless (wires not included!) laptops! You could:
Start your own business (as if anyone with your pathetic money and math skills could run a lemonade stand for more than fifteen minutes!)
Look at Porn!
Buy more stuff you can't afford from the endless array of shopping sites out there!
Look at Porn!
Chat with strangers and make plans to meet in dark alleys and out of the way motel parking lots!
Check baseball and football scores!
Look at Porn!
Watch your waistline expand as you spend more and more of your "life" in front of your Awesome New Wireless Laptop!
Read angry missives from the posters at RipOffReport.com concerning scams like Tronix Country and wish you had done so before falling for this ad!
Did we mention Porn?
So don't hesitate! Don't think! (We mean it- really, DON'T think!) Sign up now and we'll send that Wireless Laptop out to you right away- well, actually, right after we've collected several months worth of payments! And two years from now, when you are done paying upwards of $2500 for your $699 laptop, we'll send you a pile of crap---err, I mean, awesome gifts- like a $50 printer, and a $200 cheap knock-off that looks like a nice tv! We may even stop sucking your bank account dry at that point- maybe we'll be in bankruptcy! Hey, it happened to our friends at Blue Hippo!
So what are you waiting for? Don't let a bad credit rating hold you back, and don't give Rent A Center and the State Lotto ALL your money! Come on over to Tronix Country, where economically illiterate people are hooked up with massively overpriced computers every day!
Ah, the seventies- when colors were garish and washed-out, paisley and wide collars were in, and canned dog food ads were scheduled in prime time during "The Six Million Dollar Man" and "Fantasy Island."
When men could say things like "Why isn't the dog getting Alpo?" in a mildly threatening, accusatory tone, and not get smacked down by a sharp-tongued, far-more-intelligent female who with an eye roll and a "why do I bother you're so damned stupid" retort that puts the guy back in his place in roughly 1.3 seconds.
When it was perfectly plausible to see allegedly heterosexual men carefully explain how their preferred brand of dog food contains slightly more beef by-product than the Brand X the Silly Little Woman Who Doesn't Know Any Better bought. (Of course, we still have commercials like this today- guys cavorting with their dogs and explain why Beniful With Real Animal Parts is chock full of all the yummy things Daddy's Bestest Friend Weally Weally Loves. Ugh.)
And when commercials could end with Silly Little Woman saying something like "you're so smart!" I mean, can you even IMAGINE hearing a woman say those things in a commercial nowadays? PLEASE!! Men have been downright dangerous/stupid bags of rocks in ads since at least the late-80s! If this commercial was remade today, it would end with the female stepping in to save the dog from being accidentally poisoned, set on fire, or otherwise eliminated by the Big Male Moron whose best intentions leave death and destruction in his wake.
BTW, think this over: No matter how well that dog ate in real life, it's dead now, and has been dead for a long, long time. Also- was this dog really named "Alpo?" Seems odd to me. But then- it WAS the Seventies.
Monday, March 14, 2011
These commercials would be mildly amusing if we didn't know that the situations depicted are the future according to cell phone companies. This is what they want- nobody actually interacting except through their phones, much more texting than talking, the bastardization of the English language into a dumbed-down version more "suitable" for texting (George Orwell's Newspeak coming to a home near you, before you know it, and don't even try to fight back against it,) and anyone who complains being painted as the shrewish harpy who Just Doesn't Get It.
We're used to the kids being total "Oh fuck off, mom, I'm busy" dickweeds, so that's not really all that "funny" anymore. But what could be MORE ROTFLMAO than GRANDMA texting away and talking back to her daughter in teenspeak? (I couldn't bring myself to read the YouTube comments. I'm sure this commercial is EPIC with that crowd.)
So take a good look at your future, America: Everyone you know, bent over their cell phones, texting away and acting really annoyed and put-out should you make any effort in engaging them in conversation. The Big Phone Bill excuse is no longer a valid reason to try to steer your family from something other than using their damned phones (oh the horror!) because our Helpful Phone Companies now provide Unlimited Talk and Text. So it's all on you- if you question the need to play with these little toys constantly, you're going to have to be the Big Heavy, discussing lame things like Family Time and Addictive Behavior. What a bring down. Be prepared to have your status as your son's 1,178th Facebook Friend threatened.
Yes, we have seen the future. And man, is it ugly. But at least it doesn't come with a big phone bill.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Benjamin Franklin was the first US Postmaster General, and one of the originators of the very IDEA of a United States Postal Service. I can only imagine what he'd think of this latest ad campaign for his brainchild- a witless doofus in short pants plays Bad Pun Roulette with equally witless office drones who apparently have nothing better do than to stop in their tracks and engage in witless banter with him.
There's so little to say about this garbage. It shouldn't be so hard to understand the basic premise- that the USPS wants you to use flat rate boxes to ship anything of any weight up to 70 lbs for the "same low price." Doesn't matter if it's a bouquet of tissue flowers or a bowling ball- "if it fits, it ships." Simple enough. Message received.
But apparently because all commercials these days have to include incredibly lame jokes in order to get approved by the Boys on the Board, we get "No Weigh?" bleated roughly half a dozen times in just a few seconds by everyone who works in this office. Just in case, I guess. As in- Just in Case pretty much everyone watching tv when this ad airs is a drooling, clueless dunce?
Or maybe this ad was created to provide some balance to the "Have you looked at your bill yet?" asshattery provided by Comcast. As in, "you think you hate those Comcast people? Well, check out THESE morons!"
In any case- remember this rubbish the next time a rate hike is announced. Hey, these actors aren't free, you know. They just should be.
Friday, March 11, 2011
A nice middle-aged couple trying hard to enjoy their golden years finds that difficult because their twentysomething son will not move out of the house.
It's not that he's psychologically immature and not ready to leave the next, apparently; it's that he simply cannot afford a place of his own.
So his parents respond by buying their son....lottery tickets. In the hopes that he will strike it rich, and move out.
Makes it a lot easier to understand why this kid is still living at home, at least. I mean, these are supposed to be his parents. The people who were supposed to teach him the basic values of thrift, hard work, and financial independence. If their answer to "how do we get him to leave?" is buying him scratch-off tickets from the Virginia Lottery, we can only imagine what lessons this kid has actually been fed over the course of his lifetime. It's just a shame that no one ever called Child Protective Services.
Meanwhile, "parents:" This is what you've created. This kid is not going to ever leave your home, because he has no idea how to make and save money. Because he was raised by two people with modeling clay stuffed between their ears, where normal people keep their brains. So you're stuck with your worthless little monster. Just do me a favor- when you send him to 7-11 for more Scratchers, don't do it when I'm trying to get my morning cup of coffee, ok? Because I've got things to do, and there's nothing more aggravating than being stuck behind these lotto addicts as they are trying to select just the right pieces of cardboard to waste their weekly take-home on.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
I'm pretty much numb to the brain-deadening stupidity of these "haha check out the funny morons and their total disregard for the feelings of others" cell phone ads. So I'm going to skip over the Bag of Hammers Stupid that is the basic plot, and just make three points that go beyond the usual These People Don't Resemble Anyone I Know, Thank God punchline:
First, did the guy with the beard really lose anything when he broke up with his girlfriend? Seconds after his "friend" texts his former Significant Other, she not only accepts his invitation for a date, but proceeds to bury him with downright scary-obsessive "what took you so long" and "I'm really looking forward to our date" messages. I imagine that thirty seconds after she got the invite, she updated her Facebook Page to announce to the world that she's "in a relationship with...." Any second thoughts, New Significant Other?
Second, it's downright scary to read some of the responses to this video on YouTube. I can only hope that 99 percent of the people who post there are 8-year olds, because seriously- if this commercial leaves you ROTFLYAO, you've got serious sense of humor issues. To the guy who felt compelled to post "I s--t myself every time I see this ad," I suggest therapy. Earth to arrested development YouTube weirdos: These ads are not only Not That Funny, they are really Not Funny At All. I hope to hell that if you aren't very, very young, you are just exaggerating how much you OMIGOD LOVE commercials like this. Because other than the constant "what music is this omigod I love this music where can I find this music" postings, there's really nothing sadder than imagining a population of people who are supposed to be our future (assuming they are children- they have to be, right?) laughing at bottom of the barrel nothingness like these ads.
Third- I'll give the bearded guy a little salute for tossing his ex-girlfriend's new Official Boyfriend's phone away. I'm not sure what this accomplished, but imagining at least ONE witless knob having to live without a phone for at least a few hours until he can get to the nearest AT&T store (probably at the lodge) gives me a warm feeling. That's something, at least.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
I'm sure we can all empathize with these people and their desire to fill the vast, cavernous rooms of their suburban palaces with 10-foot couches and beds that have the acreage of some national parks. I mean, you've got to feel for people faced with the need to find some way to make football field-sized living areas featuring 30-foot ceilings with furniture that at least ATTEMPTS to take up some of this almost unlimited space.
"I want it all!?" Looks like you pretty much have it all already, you overindulged pigs with your perfect little families and matching dogs. Excuse me for not celebrating along with you as you enjoy the overstuffed furniture that couldn't make it's way through my front door without me taking a chainsaw to it- not that I'd be able to to put in anywhere without creating a maze that would confound the mouse from Flowers for Algernon.
Man, I hate these people.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
The disgusting thing about this commercial is that for roughly 25 seconds, it seems to be a badly-needed and much-welcome farewell to conspicuous consumption-- that the idea of surrounding yourself with stupid, pointless luxuries designed only to impress people with your vast wealth is sooooo yesterday, thank goodness we have finally moved beyond it.
Just as we are letting go of our suspicion and (ok, only kidding- I never had the slightest doubt while watching this rubbish that I was about to get hit by a sledgehammer of Show Everyone You've Got Yours) are beginning to think that maybe this is a commercial with a fine message, the camera takes us outside. And we feel like we've been conned.
Because the REAL message of this nasty little pile of crud is that the days of HIDING your ability to go overboard with your spending are what is over- spending buckets of money on bells and whistles designed to impress people you don't know is alive and well. It's just gone mobile- no longer do you have to sit inside your palatial suburban estate worried that not enough people know you've managed to fill it with shiny clutter (I mean, you can only throw so many parties.) Now you can take your message of "get the fuck out of the way, and admire my utter disdain for budgeting, you plebes" on the road. Just be sure to consult your onboard GPS, change DVDs, and do all the other things made possible by your Superior Car and it's Money is Meant to be Spent owner constantly, because you never know who is trying to catch a glance at your Successmobile.
It used to be that evidence of overspending was mostly hidden behind brick walls and behind garden gates. Now it's portable, a moving billboard of excess to be marveled at by the Great Unwashed among us (you know, those of us who are just trying to pay our bills and put a little money aside here and there in the hopes of retiring someday.) Yes, this is MUCH better.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
The more times I see this ad, the more concerned I become about the fact that some ad men decided that it would be worth spending lots of money creating it. I was not aware that there was some epidemic of knee failure going on which would in the very near future create the need for hundreds of thousands of people to suddenly begin comparison shopping for surgeons and mechanical parts to replace the ones G-d gave us.
At first, I just smirked and thought "gee, what a waste of money. For the few people out there who actually need this surgery, there are plenty of doctors to direct them to the proper specialists. Seriously- is this information they really need from a late-night tv ad?"
Then I started thinking- maybe these guys know something we don't. Maybe years of muscle atrophy, brought on by incessant sitting and web surfing, conditioned by the gradual elimination of recess and physical exercise in school, has rendered our knees more susceptible than ever before to early failure. Perhaps as we enter our third decade of an obesity epidemic, the good people at Smith & Nephew (what the hell?) have figured out that our knees just weren't built to sustain exaggerated stress levels over long periods of time. Maybe knee replacement surgery will become the braces of the older set- something you expect to receive as a kind of Rite of Passage, as long as you can afford it. Kind of a scary thought, no?
My dad had hip replacement surgery a few years ago. According to the college of Orthopedics, approximately 193,000 such surgeries are performed every year. Are knee replacement surgeries going to become just as common in the near future? Smith and Nephew seem to be banking on it.
Anyone else find it more than a little disturbing that as Americans become less active, hip and knee replacement surgery seems to be on the rise? I don't buy the "we need new knee surgery techniques because we are so active" theme of these ads- because it's just not true. Is it that people who ARE active these days are more likely to be recovering couch potatos who have been sedentary for years and likely to overdo it and hurt themselves?
So many questions. Which I guess kind of makes this an intriguing ad, darn it. Scary, though.
Friday, March 4, 2011
There isn't a lot out there more tedious than watching a group of middle-aged dreamers waxing poetic about how amazingly creative and giving they are going to be as soon as they (giggle, aw aren't they the cutest?) "grow up." But here's one thing- that these middle-aged dreamers think that the people around them care to hear about their daydreams.
One guy wants to open a restaurant. One wants to travel. In another ad, a pastry chef wants to "fall in love again." In this one, an elderly banker-type wants to "teach kids." (Aside here: as a teacher, I am SO DAMNED SICK of the common implication that teaching is something that anyone can pick up whenever they get bored or tired of doing their "real" job. Hey jerkoff- when I "grow up," I want to be a CEO who is paid to sit around daydreaming about being a teacher. I'm sure I'll have no problem, looks like an easy gig, right?)
What really ticks me off about these ads is the "life starts when you retire" vibe. Sorry, but AARP or no AARP, for more and more people retirement itself is an unattainable mirage. Stagnant wages, deflated 401(k)s, mounting credit card debt- these are all realities for a growing number of middle-aged Americans, which means they are going to be holding on to their jobs and deferring their daydreams as long as they can. And when they find themselves out on the street due to downsizing or the company's bottom-line decision to hire someone half their age for half their salary....well, let's just say that their aren't a whole lot of options out there for older people these days. Just for Men is on Aisle 5.
And here's another thing- for most of these people, the things they plan to do "When they grow up" are available right now. If they make enough money to go on vacation when they retire, they have jobs that give them vacation time RIGHT NOW. If they want to work with kids, that's great- thousands of full-time workers find time to volunteer RIGHT NOW. Fixing up old houses is something you could be doing on the weekends- lots of people out there need assistance like that RIGHT NOW. What's this "life is for when you are done working" crap? When I hear people talk about what they are going to do when they have time, what I hear is people making excuses for not doing things.
(Another Aside, to the guy who sees a young man playing guitar to ply coins from passer-bys and is inspired not to open his wallet but to announce "I'm going to start a band:" Please, just Don't.)
Here's what you are going to do when you "Grow Up:" you're going to ache. You're going to get up very early and spend three hours reading the newspaper and doing the crossword puzzle. You're going to watch a lot of television. You're going to eat breakfast at 7, lunch at 11, dinner at 4, and be in bed by 7. And that's if you really were successful at socking your money away and retiring on your own terms.
As someone who is (G-d Willing) still 20 years from retirement and who doesn't waste one moment of the day imagining what I'm going to do "when I grow up," I strongly advise these dopes to enjoy life to the best of their ability NOW, rather than waste time and energy imagining some Nirvana awaiting them in the future. Perhaps youth IS wasted on the wrong people, but that's the way it is. We go this way but once, and deferring dreams until you are too old to make good on them is at best a waste, and at worst a tragedy.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
I could spend the entire post making fun of this woman, who I have no doubt flunked the screen test for "Americans Against Food Taxes," "Americans Against Gas Taxes" and "Americans Against Seat Belts" commercials, but that would be mean-spirited.
So let's focus on the kids instead. Jeeeeeeesshh, who are these people? Relatives of the producer?
The woman We Won't Be Picking On Today tells us that even without Debit Card taxes (or whatever the hell it is we're protesting nowadays, it's really hard to keep up) her family is hard to feed on a tight budget- "especially with HIS appetite." Get a load of that grin on the boy's face- this has got to be the first teen-ager in the history of television to be shown appreciating his mom's sense of humor- and she didn't even say anything funny!
Then it gets strange- Daughter turns over a carton of OJ. Her response is to cry out "I'm ok!" Umm..what? Does this girl have a habit of hurting herself while attempting to put away groceries? "I'm ok?" What does that even MEAN?
And the response of her brother is just classic- what the heck IS that noise that comes out of his stupid, grinning mouth? Did the sound sync get screwed up? Because that does not seem like the kind of sound we should hear coming out of a teen-aged boy. Is it a giggle, a chuckle, a laugh, or some weird hybrid of all three? And if so- what is he laughing at? Why is the spilled juice, followed by Sister's panicked cry, something to snigger at? What the heck?
All this is still running through my mind as the commercial fades to black, and I barely catch the name of the Americans Against Paying Anything organization funding this mess. But does that really matter? The real point isn't the Whine of the Month. It's the non-effort made by the writers and the actors in this pointless, confusing little lump of an ad. I can only conclude that ad men have awesome job security to feel comfortable turning out glurge like this. And that I chose the wrong profession.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Here's another ad which practically begs you to either turn the channel or, failing that, at least to hate the product being sold.
So this guy is trying to eat the wing of some poor dead bird who never did anything to him, but is now getting some small measure of revenge for being decapitated, gutted, breaded and slathered in sugary barbecue sauce by slapping this idiot in the face with it's wing. Except that this is not an ad for vegetarianism- if it were, it would be pretty cool. No, the pathetic little tag line- "is your food fighting you?" reveals that it's actually a commercial for TUMS.
Since Tums is a product you take AFTER you eat, to AVOID or relieve the symptoms of heartburn, I guess we are supposed to figure that the knowledge that the coming pain will be dealt with somehow renders the chicken wing depressed and defeated in it's attempts to avoid being eaten, and this greasy idiot- made more greasy by the sauce stains on his face (the disgusting pig- jeesh, ever hear of a napkin, buddy?) chomps happily into his handful of food. Ah, don't we just love a happy ending?
Except- hey buddy, maybe your body is trying to tell you something. Sure, the hot sauce and fat and oils aren't causing you momentary gastronomical discomfort if you follow them with a couple of Tums, but that doesn't mean chicken drowning in heavy sauce is good for you. Your stomach and heart are still going to have to deal with the excess calories. Your arteries aren't going to be helped one bit by you popping a Tums for desert. All you've managed to do is mask the damage, which I guess makes Tums like those magic No Hangover Tablets they sell during broadcasts of Arizona Diamondbacks games- if you can't actually FEEL the impact, there isn't any, right? No pain, no foul?
Here's a better idea. Sometimes, your body knows when you are putting it in danger. When you touch a hot stove, you automatically jerk your hand away- do you want to find some medication which allows you to keep your hand on the stove as your fingers burn off? No? Then why do you want to take a pill which allows you to pretend that the crap you are shoveling down your cake hole isn't killing you?
In other words, when food causes you pain- that's a signal to STOP EATING THAT FOOD. Seems pretty darned simple to me.