Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Yes, there's actually a sequel to this ad. You know, for hopeless losers or people with commercial blogs
I figured out that if you edited out all the times this guy stutters unnecessarily or repeats himself as if he doesn't think that the two ugly morons standing right there heard him the first time, this minute-plus commercial would be about 30 seconds long- and be the normal painful experience we are all used to.
Instead, it really does play out like it thinks that the audience is hooked by the cutting-edge comedy and Neil Simon-level banter and will demand more if it doesn't reach something resembling a satisfactory, unrushed conclusion. You know, like the drooling morons who live vicariously through the lives of television commercial actors.*
I really can't see myself bothering with Part II- I doubt it reaches the level of wit we hear in lines like "No...not....not 12 thousand...12.....12......" So it would just be a letdown. Besides, I've got this plate of glass shards I'm sure I would enjoy jamming into my eyes slightly more than watching even one more second of this.
*Check out the solitary comment on YouTube. I bet this guy's parents are sooooo glad he posts under a fake name.
Monday, March 30, 2015
According to Wikipedia, the card game Solitaire dates back to the German-speaking regions of Central Europe in the late 18th century. So this whole "stuff you can do when you have no friends that doesn't involve reading" thing is actually pretty old.
But this is maybe the saddest toy I've ever seen- a jump rope for people who simply can't manage to round up even two people to play with. Maybe I was too old by the time it came out (apparently it was popular for a few minutes in the mid-80s) or maybe it just wasn't a big-time fad on the campus of the Catholic University of America, but I really don't remember this at all. I do agree with the Nostalgia Critic's take on it, though- it probably should have been called "Trip It," and maybe it vanished off the toy shelves when the class action lawsuits filed by people who had lost teeth falling to the sidewalk began to build up.
Or maybe it was just ahead of it's time and should be reintroduced in 2015, when being a socially isolated loser whose Friends are just names and photos on Facebook and where owning a stick that lets you take photos of yourself is Just Fine No Really You Are Perfectly Normal.
Sunday, March 29, 2015
1. Let's go with the "this is Billionaire Mark Cuban appearing in an AT&T commercial for some reason" take: We are supposed to believe that Cuban is concerned that he's going to be paying for data that his family won't be using because they'll be "on vacation?" Holy crap, what's next- does Cuban put a hold on his newspaper delivery and demand a rebate on unread copies while he's not at home, too? The guy made more money while I was typing this than I'll make in a year- he actually took the time to head over to his local AT&T store to negotiate a few bucks on this phone bill?
2. Let's go with the "this is just an average idiot dad who is not Billionaire Mark Cuban" take: He's about to take his family on vacation- and his theory is that he and his kids will be using less data because they are on vacation? What planet is this idiot living on? Maybe his intentions are good and he expects to be using his phone a lot less than usual because he's not actually going to be working. But if he thinks his kids are going to be taking a break from texting, tweeting, yakking and downloading just because Mom and Dad are around (and have dropped some serious money to give them a new place to text, tweet, yak and download from) he is seriously niave. I'd feel sorry for him if he hadn't already shown himself to be a total twat by getting those kids hooked on their phones with a massive data plan to begin with. Bed, Made, Lie, buddy.
Saturday, March 28, 2015
Sure, blueberry pancakes topped with strawberries and whipped cream is a good start, but it's certainly not as "American as it gets!"
First, throw in a pound or two of bacon and five slices of white toast on the side. Add a steak omelette fried in rich creamery butter. And don't forget the bottomless coffee cup. Stick a tiny flag made in China on top of the pile. And when you make a commercial featuring this REAL American breakfast, I want to see every damn customer staring at their cellphones while shoveling this crap down their cake holes. Instead of this guy muttering "what does that taste like?" I want to see him asking Siri.
See? MUCH more American than red, white and blue pancakes. You're welcome.
Friday, March 27, 2015
And so it goes in a world absolutely corroded by the mad pursuit of money. Except for maintaining his three-day growth, there is absolutely nothing more important to this guy than adding just a little more to his already enormous pile of wealth. So when he sees a lot of wireless headphones cropping up everywhere, he's the first to go to WirelessHeadphonesINC to buy stock and get in on the boom.
What I don't get is, why is he being so damned smug about it? Wouldn't this commercial make more sense if it showed him reading an article about a new Wireless Headphone Startup, investing in that Startup, and then gazing in satisfaction at the witless drones spending money they don't have on $5 headphones that cost $400 because they don't have any wires? (Oh, and if we could thought-bubble that "aren't I awesome" look on that smug face, we'd probably write something like "thank god for suckers with credit.")
Instead, this guy seems to be jumping on a bandwagon that is already pretty full, happy to be coming in on the 19th instead of ground floor. I don't see how that gets you the huge office with the awesome view, but I'm no money expert. Maybe the smug just comes free with the stupid facial hair?
Thursday, March 26, 2015
The kids in this ad are probably not glued to the latest version of Call of Duty. But THEIR kids might be.
Oh frightened lady, you couldn't know that your husband and kids obsessing over blinking lights and beeps while fiddling with a joystick was only the beginning of a long road to Nothing. I think you were better off. The answer to your question is an unqualified "yes."
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
I don't really remember how I felt when I saw this commercial waaaaay back in 1987. Was it that this was just a stupid, expensive toy that some sucker who thought he had money to burn went to Radio Shack and bought just before the stock market crashed later that year? Or was it that this was just a stupid, expensive toy that was SO expensive (I can't believe that Radio Shack calls it "affordable"- even in the high-flying 80s there's really nothing "affordable" about it- $2499 for a phone in 1987? You could buy a brand-new Toyota for less than $10Gs that year.
Or maybe I just sighed and thought "oh look, another pampered, overprivileged upper middle-class white family with money to toss around on LookAtMeStuff." I have to assume that the guy dressed as a construction worker is actually the owner of the building going up, or at least the foreman. Because I know that the 80s were a mirage of prosperity, but I still don't recall construction workers having $4000+ to toss away at the local Radio Shack for totally unnecessary, clunky Walkie-Talkies with slightly better connectivity.
(BTW, what the heck is a "Radio Shack," anyway?
Sunday, March 22, 2015
Your wireless bill is ready online!
|Dear JOHN JAMELE,|
Your monthly wireless bill for canceled account (----------) is now available online and is due
Note: Your online access is restricted and will be made available only for a limited time. Please log in and make your payment today. If you are enrolled in AutoPay, no further action is required.
I know what you'e thinking- what are the benefits of a cancelled account? Well, there really aren't any- but I just couldn't resist the awesome offer the woman at the AT&T store made if I Signed Up Right Now!
Sure it includes no talk, no texting and no data plan- but you would not BELIEVE the price, and it only required a one-year committment! .
1. We've reached a new milestone in human achievement: cars which let us know when to turn by showing us maps on the windshield. In other words, we've also reached a new milestone in pathetic human helplessness.
2. It would be ok if this family was taking grandma out into the country to dump her off at a farm with an unsigned note attached to her shawl. From their faces, I'd say they'd been through enough.
3. A few YouTubers have actually noticed that this mean-spirited ad is a really, really mean-spirited ad. Good for them- but I wonder why they expected anything better from the makers of the Self-Absorbed Douchemobile Not Named Audi or Lexus.
Saturday, March 21, 2015
Think watching an obese 59-year old man attempting to relive his "glory days" as an overrated, flash-in-the-pan NFL player back in the late-80s by basically admitting that he's known for a stupid dance and not for any actual athletic skill is the saddest thing about this ad?
Boy, are you wrong. Not even close. Because if you go to YouTube and search "Geico Cold Cuts," you'll find that dozens of morons have posted themselves spoofing on this ad. Little kids. Senior Citizens. One particularly vapid idiot who actually has a "friend" catch her act on an iPhone as she does it in a store filled with customers.
At least Mr. Woods was able to pick up a few extra dollars (he only played in the NFL for three years and has been retired for 25, so for all we know he may well need them) with his minstrel show-level antics. The rest of these people with their Look At Me Do Stupid Stuff For Your Entertainment Because Someone Convinced Me I'm Worth Paying Attention To? Beyond worthy of pity, but I've got plenty of contempt to share.
Thursday, March 19, 2015
Ok, this one's really gone to seed already. I don't want to see this freaking lunatic on my television anymore. It was bad enough when she was just a mannequin sitting behind a desk with a demented smile on her face acting as if telling people about the latest Toyota Marathon Craptacular is just the most awesome job ever available to anyone in the history of the planet. Now we've got her throwing herself around the showroom like she's on a combination of Starbucks and Speed.
And to make things worse, she's got a class full of kids convinced that her job as mewling spoakschoad is way cooler than that of astronaut- yeah, being a science whiz and going into space, how freaking lame is that compared to being a bleating, lobotomized douchenozzle?
So goodbye, Jan. You and Red and Flo need to find yourselves the exit, right now. Enough. Time for new campaigns. Here's an idea- try a little creativity this time. You know, for a change?
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
(Does the mom at the end of this commercial actually "restock" the refrigerator with exactly two cups of yogurt? Did she make a trip to the store and come back with TWO CUPS OF YOGURT, one of which is about to be eatend? What the hell?)
My totally invented word "Kindleization" refers to the taking of something valuable and healthy and turning it into junk in order to sell more of it. The original Kindle was turned into a portable television set within a few years of it's release- yeah, you can still use modern Kindles to read books, but they sure aren't marketed for that purpose anymore. We already have televisions- why do we need Kindles you can watch movies on? Oh, right- because kids and infantilized adults will buy it.
And yogurt used to be marketed as a great way to get extra calcium and fruit- but check out the new flavors at the end of this ad, Caramel and Cookies and Cream. We already have pudding and ice cream- why do we need candy-flavored yogurt? Oh, right- because kids and infantilized adults will buy it.
Man, I hate this century so very much.
Sunday, March 15, 2015
Ok, I seriously do not get it.
In this ad, a woman waxes poetic about what a "great mom" she's going to be while we see her screwing up over and over again in the raising of her (future? Present? Imaginary?) child and doing things that are either horrible (murdering the family hamster with the vacuum cleaner) or stupid (squirting baby bottle milk into her coffee- ugh, go black, moron!) or just plain dangerous (daydreaming about starting a blog while attempting to maneuver an SUV filled with inflated balloons) until her dimwitted daydreaming gets her into an accident, which segues into....an ad for insurance?
For about two seconds, I actually thought that this might be an ad for Google- she tells us she's going to be a "great mom" because "after all," all HER mom had was "common sense" (like not trying to drive around with inflated balloons which obstruct rear vision?) and SHE has Google-- but we never see her attempting to find answers (like "is it a good idea to vacuum the hamster cage while the hamster is in it?") We just see her patting herself on the back while doing breathtakingly dumb things until she wrecks her car.
Turns out that we are supposed to be inspired to buy insurance after watching this commercial. Uh huh. I'm actually more inspired to encourage this woman to keep up with the birth control. And to slap an Allstate Insurance salesman. Because what the hell is all this?
Saturday, March 14, 2015
Kyle's got a problem. He needs a woman- but he's ugly, he can't dress, he doesn't know what a comb or a razor are, he has no personality, and he has absolutely no respect for women, considering his Great Idea on how to attract that woman he needs.
Oh, and he's desperate for a date, but he's also picky about who he dates- he's got a No Crazy Cat Ladies, for example. Kyle hasn't latched on to the concept that Beggers can't be choosers.
You see, Kyle finally decided that the way to attract a mate was to buy a Magic Truck. What makes the truck magic? Well, just look what it did for Kyle- as soon as he bought it, he traded in his glasses for a wetsuit and a sense of fun and adventure. Ok, maybe the truck isn't actually magic- maybe it just comes standard with a new personality?
If you get through this entire commercial ( I don't recommend it) you learn that while Kyle still talks in a monotone and exhibits absolutely no personality traits attractive to the female sex, being able to post photos of his new truck does manage to get him dates- apparently from women who list Must Own Superflous Truck in personal ads. Good for you, Kyle- you found yourself a reason to keep living, and all you had to do was buy a truck (and start wearing contacts, and stop wearing stupid short-sleeve button-down shirts- seriously, what male over the age of ten would do such a thing?)
BTW, how is this commercial any different from the one a few years back for a credit card in which a guy is pronounced "boring, boring, boring" by his girlfriend who then dumps him- and the guy responds by getting a new credit card and using the rewards points to do unboring things? If Kyle had it in him to surf and camp on the beach and do all kinds of fun stuff to begin with, he might have been able to land a date now and then...except that he was missing the essential ingredient, which was a Chevy truck? Really? And unless Kyle is just interested in several short-term relationships with frivolous golddiggers, how does it really help him to reel in women by posting photos of his truck anyway? What am I missing here?
Friday, March 13, 2015
Yeah, because if you've got an obnoxious jackass son who'd rather watch tv than visit those ugly carbon-based life forms he's related to and needs to be bribed with nonstop television in order to carry on those horrible Being An Empathic Human Being activities, Dish Network has the answer for you.
And hey, so do I- tell your little brat to get his ass in the car NOW, that you don't CARE how much he whines through his nose how he'd rather be watching television, and tell him that if he makes one more hateful comment about Aunt Judy or anyone else, the internet connection is gone, the tv is gone, and the phone is gone. But hey, that's just me.
Of course, none of this is going to happen- because Dad is every bit as much a horrible douchenozzle as his son. The apple didn't fall far from the tree. Speaking of which, wouldn't it be great if this commercial ended with an apple tree falling down and killing everyone (including that stupid CGI kangaroo, which might as well have the label "drug dealer" stapled to it) involved?
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
"Why do we do it? Why do we fill our cars with distracting electronic gizmos and then attempt to compensate with complicated 'safety devices?'"
"I mean, when you come to think of it, it really doesn't make any sense- we put Sirius Radio and WiFi and Facebook in our cars, and then we try to tell you we care about your safety by installing cameras and warning alerts, even though you wouldn't need any of them if you weren't being forever encouraged to fiddle with all this crap instead of actually driving the freaking car."
"And while we're at it, why do we keep referring to an obsession with electronic communication through the internet as 'Connectivity?' There's nothing 'connecting' about it- it's more like providing drugs to an addict and then patting ourselves on the back for doing it. Seriously, you have to check Facebook while driving a car? What the hell is the matter with you?'"
"It's just who we are- another part of the problem."
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
1. Why the hell is this family playing football in their basement, when it's very obvious that the sun is shining outside? When did everyone become allergic to fresh air?
2. At some point, isn't that stupid tiger just intruding on a warm family moment? How does one get him to just leave already?
3. Oh wait- maybe Tony isn't really there. Maybe he's a figment of dad's imagination, or the DTs, or something. Oh man this commercial review just got really dark. I'm going to stop now.
Sunday, March 8, 2015
I'm not going to spend a whole lot of time snarking on everyone's favorite game Advertised in Commercials Not Starring Kate Upton's Breasts. Because unlike the people who invest so much of their lives in junk like this, I happen to think that time is kind of precious.
Instead, I decided that I'd just give a little bit of free advertising to the good people over at Honest Trailers, who do a far better job nailing this pointless garbage than I ever could.
And then I'll take a trip down memory lane, to the good old days when video games were innocent fun for little kids, not idiotic time wasters for alleged adults who really ought to trade in their addiction to electronic junk for something less damaging and expensive, like marijuana- I used to spend up to half an hour at a time playing this particular game, but my mom was the best player in the house:
(The cartridge cost $20- no downloading, no upgrading, no additional levels to pay for- just moderately priced fun when it was too rainy or cold to play outside, or one was suffering from an illness that kept one housebound. Oh, and when one was a CHILD.)
Saturday, March 7, 2015
(Warning: This ad may be used to induce vomiting.)
I only got through the first minute and a half of this glurge- then I noticed that it was going to go on for another two minutes, and (very wisely, I think) said to myself "to hell with this," clicked pause, clicked Embed, and went to work. I do know that the guy here is supposed to be in the military stationed in Qatar, yet he's got a wife and six kids living in a mansion back in North Carolina - which means "in the military" translates to "Halliburton Contractor." And that his wife uses framed photographs as wallpaper.
And that 11 months into his deployment, people tell him "how do you do it, you're in the military, you're a hero" apparently to set up his favorite punchline, "no, my wife is the hero..." Awwwww aren't you something? I actually agree with you- she's the one raising six kids while you wander around a non-combat zone thinking about people calling you a hero (and why DO people call you a hero, anyway? Because you're in the military and that's a throwaway line to describe anyone in the military? Or are you just BSing here?)
This giant dollop of sugary twee makes Apple and Audi commercials seem downright humble by comparison. Apparently all the experiences of our childhoods- well, the smells, anyway- can be recalled through the proper application of chemicals conveniently squirted into the air by molded plastic containers that will still be in great shape, sitting in landfills, 100,000 years from now.
Maybe this is true if you grew up in a sterile suburb with lunatic parents who made sure that every minute of your life was slathered with Pine-Sol and Vick's Vapo-Rub, or if your mom was really great at warming up Mrs. Smith's frozen "apple" pies. But if you are poor "unfortunate" like me and grew up in the country, don't expect to find the odors of your youth packaged and ready to be experienced with a touch of a button like this. I don't think Air Wick is going to be producing the odor of a barn or a forest or a dirt road during the snow-melt flooding (what we in Vermont call "mud season") anytime soon- or if they try, it will be anything more than a spectacular fail (what these people think "pine" or "rain shower" smells like....ugh....)
(And no, I don't want to know what candles that "smell like my kids" smell like. If you walk into someone's house and instantly "know they have kids," I don't get how that's a good thing. Better than "know they have unhousebroken dogs," but still, not a good thing.)
But I guess the idea here is that great distances can be crossed and life made bearable through the magic of artificial scenting. I don't know how this "story" ends up- for the third time in as many days, I found myself unable to get through the first thirty seconds of one of these ridiculous mini-dramas which tend to show up on YouTube but (mercifully) rarely on television. So I don't know if this guy actually gets back to his family, or they just find some level of connectivity through shared orafactory experiences, or what. And I don't care. I'm too busy trying to understand why someone put so much effort into such a stupid commercial for such an innoculous product. Hey, Air Wick? Nobody buys your crap because they want to sniff their way to a Better Place. The only reason anyone uses this stuff is because they are too lazy or busy to actually keep their living spaces clean and are trying to cover up that fact to themselves and their guests. So spare us this maudlin crud in the future, ok?
Friday, March 6, 2015
Here's another commercial featuring "parents" showing their kids how much they "love them" by taking the time and effort to put solid, nutritious food on the table. Because a big house and all the material comforts one could ask for are all well and good, but nothing says "I love you" quite like a well-balanced meal at the end of the day.
Nah, to hell with that. Takes too much shopping and preparation- and the DVR is overloaded as it is. Why waste all that time when you can serve up a "dinner" consisting entirely of a pan of instant mac'n cheese, a salad, and rolls? Here's a quick tip- switch to paper plates, and make the whole "we don't give a damn" experience complete.
At least the "parents" left the Stouffer's box out, instead of trying to con the kids into thinking more than ten seconds of thought went into this---umm, "meal." Way to go, people.
Hey, I got through this entire take without even mentioning that we're supposed to believe this junk is so good, one bite is enough to blow whatever witless nonsense Kim was spouting right out of her brain. Wow- if she's this impressed by Stouffer's Heat-and-Eat crud, imagine what the rest of her diet looks like. Not pretty.
Thursday, March 5, 2015
Which way should I go with this one?
A) Gee, it's a good thing that Mom and Dad decided to invest in this massive kitchen with all the newest appliances and an island and everything- without it, it might be hard for this kid to find the bottle of Instant Breakfast Just Drink It And Don't Make A Mess in the morning. What are all those appliances for, anyway? To heat up the can of Chef Boy-R-Dee ravioli you plan to serve for dinner? To nuke those Hot Pockets? To keep Dad's beer cold?
B) Gee, it's a good thing that Mom opted for the Stay At Home route- otherwise this kid might have to unscrew the cap of his breakfast all by himself. What are you cleaning there, Mommy? You've worked it out so that your family doesn't even have to dirty a glass in the morning. Once you get Hubby to buy into your Disposable Clothes and Sheets idea, you're home free. A bottle of chocolate milk for breakfast- the love is just melting off the screen, isn't it?
C) This kid is old enough to pour some milk into a bowl of cereal, cut himself a grapefruit, toast some bread, etc. Get up ten minutes earlier and make yourself a real breakfast, idiot- because that milkshake you just chugged? It's going to leave you hungry way before lunch. Like three hours.
I guess I decided to go with all three. And I 'll add this one last observation- here's an obviously very well-off family living in a big house in a comfy upscale suburb, headed by at least one adult who thinks that the best she can do for her precious spawn is provide a "breakfast" he can get down in ten seconds. I think it's safe to assume that there's an equally loving box of Lunchables in that kid's backpack. Gotta cut corners somewhere, I guess.
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Can someone explain to me why we should care which car rental company the guy who played Elaine's boyfriend for a few seasons on Seinfeld uses? Hell, I don't even know why he NEEDS a car rental company- this guy has someplace to go?
Ok, that was mean.
Still, other than Being Elaine's Boyfriend, the only thing I ever saw this guy in was a very short-lived sitcom in which he played a superhero in a bug costume, or something. No, I'm not going to look it up. I don't care. Is this gig playing his Seinfeld character just a nod to 90s nostalgia, or what? Because I just don't get it.
And I really, really don't care which car rental company he uses, or why. Any more than I care where his eyes are. Life's too short and I'm too selfish.
Monday, March 2, 2015
There are a million of these ads featuring children picking up tiny nuggets of information about certain diseases and immediately using that information to pressure their parents into pressuring their doctors into changing their medication Just Because Look There's This New Drug I Saw On TV.
Here, Daughter tells dad "hey, you've got A-Fib (man I hate that...)" I'm pretty sure Dad already knows this- after all, he's already being treated for it, as revealed when he tells his daughter "I'm on Warfarin."
In one ear and out the other- it's all very well and good that dad knows about his disease, and it's Simply Adorable that he thinks he and his doctor can manage it without Daughter's interference---errrr, help. But daughter didn't show up with her laptop and her link to a Pradaxa Ad just to be turned aside with a "yes, I'm already dealing with it." I mean, who knows more about the drug dad should be on- the doctor who has been working with dad, or dad's own DAUGHTER? Case closed.
So Daughter escorts Dad to the doctor- Dad thought he was a big boy and could go to the doctor all by himself, but Dad was wrong. If Dad goes to the doctor without Daughter, he might get fed some "Warfarin is working fine for you, there's no reason to change" BS by Uncaring, Uninformed By Television Drug Commercials Doctor. Daughter has to be there to make sure Doctor knows the score- put Dad on Pradaxa, or Daughter--- um, I mean Dad--- is going to be finding himself another Doctor to hand his Medicare Part D money to.
This being television, we are supposed to believe that yeah, Doctor was vaguely aware of this Pradaxa stuff but is usually reluctant to change prescriptions for his patients unless talked into it by someone who has more knowledge on the subject than he does, like the children of said patients. After a five-minute conversation at his desk- who needs additional tests?- Doctor agrees to switch Dad to Predaxa. If this happens in real life, I'd be asking the doctor if the medication really matters at all, we're being so flip about dumping it and trying something else.
At the end of the commercial Daughter is happy- for now. After all, Dad and Doctor did her bidding, without putting up any kind of fuss at all (it looks like she had a harder time convincing Dad than Doctor- I guess Doctor doesn't really give a damn what Dad's taking, as long as insurance is covering the office visit.) In a few months, she'll see some new drug on tv and immediately conclude "I think Dad should be taking that. Like, starting yesterday."
My dad takes a basket of pills every morning. I don't know what any of them are. I'm sure as heck not going to be dropping in to pressure him to try this or that new drug Just Because. Either I'm not as caring as Daughter, or I've got a lot more going on in my life than she does. I'm pretty sure it's the latter.
Sunday, March 1, 2015
I wondered why this commercial was treating me and the rest of it's audience like stupid children who have no idea how the immune system works, or if the makers of Airborne think that the average customer for their product is eight years old and therefore will buy the whole "immunity army of not-minions working to keep you healthy" bit.
Then I remembered that Americans just love taking unnecessary drugs* and really don't need to be talked into popping just one more thing if they think doing that means they won't catch a cold. Hey, at least it's not Viagra.
*Full disclosure- when I grade AP exams in Louisville every June, I have to spend eight hours a day for seven days in a convention hall with 1200 people- so I use Airborne or a generic equivalent all that week. But every day, 365 days a year? I'm pretty sure that constantly "boosting" your immune system like that would eventually result in a high level of tolerance toward these fuzzy wafer things. And maybe even a weaker immune system when you don't use it. At least that's how it seems to me.