Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Yeah, sorry, Jack Daniels

Yes, when it comes to forgetting, nothing beats a good glass of whiskey.  But there are several brands to choose from.  Any you know what?

I really don't care how much CGI fire you use in your commercials.  I don't care about what I guess is supposed to be high-energy music.  And the sexual imagery? Meh, whatever.

Want my business?  Get Mila Kunis to defect and do ads for you.  Because, sorry- this doesn't even come close.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Mila Kunis finds her level, or Jupiter Descending

What happens when you are one of the stars of a very popular sitcom for eight years- but that sitcom was cancelled nine years ago?

Well, maybe you do a few stupid camera commercials and star in a few stupid but otherwise harmless comedy and one really stupid, really bad time-travel movie.  But that only works if your name is Ashton Kutcher and you've obviously sold your soul to the devil.

If you're Mila Kunis, you try to cash in on the fact that you're really, really cute and after puttering around doing a few harmless but also profitless comedy-romances you find yourself starring in a big-budget sci-fi film because sometimes Hollywood just does really, really stupid things with it's money.

And if you're Mila Kunis and your big-budget sci fi movie is a disasterous flop which loses $170 million (so much for that three-sequel deal, huh Mila?) you wind up using your exceptionally easy on the eyes looks* to pitch whiskey.  Because hey, the rent's gotta be paid, a gig is a gig, and it doesn't look like the makers of That Seventies Show are planning a reunion movie any time soon.

*I mean, did you SEE Friends With Benefits or even Forgetting Sarah Marshall?  Jeeeeeshhh........

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Re-Discover this really awful ad

I'm pretty sure I've written a post on this one already, but every time I see it, it just makes me angry.

If there were Oscars for Laziest, Most Insulting Commercial, this one would sweep the category, no question.  It has one joke and exactly one joke, it's not a very good joke, and it becomes a truly awful, pointless joke with repetition.  Nothing about it makes any sense at all- did the frogs in the ad eat this idiot's credit card?  Is he actually being attacked by frogs, and thinks that the proper response to being attacked by frogs is to call a credit card company (a credit card company whose popularity peaked in the 80s and whose cards are in pretty much nobody's wallet these days?)

(I mean, seriously- Discover?  They still make that card?)

And then, having told us the joke and repeated it, the commercial picks it up and wacks us over the head with it.  Because the people at Discover aren't satisfied with reminding us that yes, there is still this thing called the Discover Card which can still be used to make purchases just like real, popular credit cards we actually possess.  Nope- they have to let us know that their company is Every Bit As Vile as those real, popular cards.  Mission Accomplished, Discover.  Again.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

On the other hand, I can totally see Red hiring Wendy's to cater her wedding fact, I can't imagine her hiring anyone else for the job...

One of the many problems with this stupid ad is that two seconds in, we know exactly what we are going to be pitched.  This woman has become such a ubiquitous prescence on our tv screens, her image instantly conjures up Wendy's and it's fine menu of life-shortening Not Food products.

So when she slowly walks toward us wearing what I guess is supposed to be a wedding gown (I didn't get this until I saw the description on YouTube- I thought it was supposed to be just a white dress, or maybe taking each and every one of her meals at Wendy's finally caught up with her and she's now ascended into heaven at the tender age of 29.)  She's in a field because being stupid Americans when we see fields we think outside which means we think nature which means we think healthy which means we think Pretty Much Anything Except Wendy's.

Then we are supposed to be caught unawares when the dress drops and Red is wearing a dumpy maternity outfit and "explaining" to us idiots that hey, just because you want a salad instead of a bowl of greasy chili or an environment-and-artery-destroying hamburger or a chicken sandwich drowning in mayonaisse doesn't mean you shouldn't be heading off to Wendy's As Usual.  Because hey, we've got that too.

But it simply doesn't work because- again- we all know who this woman is and what she's selling.  She can't be used to trick us into thinking she's actually talking about healthy food any more than Flo can be used to sell us quality insurance that actually covers damages or the cute AT&T girl can be used to sell anything other than outrageously priced, totally unnecessary Data Plans Built For Four and never you mind that we aren't ALL married with two kids, dammit.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Another slice of the banal, courtesy of State Farm

1. If you didn't know how this commercial was going to end ten seconds in, well, either you aren't particularly bright or you haven't watched anywhere near as many commercials as I have (which kind of contradicts the first possibility.)

2.  If you care about this hipster eurotrash wannabee doofus with his prerequisite beard and flowing hair and office job, you're a far, far better person than I am.

3.  If you wonder where this guy is running to the hospital from (come on, he's either fleeing his house where he left the water on, or he abandoned his desk at work.  Not both)- hey, me too!  This makes no sense at all!

(And yes, if it's the pregnant woman who left the water on, that makes a bit more sense.  But it's still stupid.)

4.  If you are sick to death of bloodsucking insurance companies inundating us with BS "we care" commercials, join the club.  State Farm doesn't see a baby about to be born here.  State Farm sees a Dependent about to be added to this couple's insurance policy.  And dollar signs.  Period.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Chevy Boldly goes where too many car companies have already gone before

Car commercials which wedge actual family issues and life-altering events and everyday humdrum moments that everyone experiences whether or not they own a particular car are quite the rage these days, aren't they?

I have absolutely no idea what ANY of this has to do with being "bold," because there's nothing especially bold about being an empathic human being dealing with a kid going through all of the banal struggles involved in growing up.  I know this guy wants a statue and a parade if he can't actually get his profile carved into Mount Rushmore because He Was There for a daughter he willfully created, but what he really needs is a good kick in the ass and directions back to the No Awards For Doing What You Are Supposed To Do Corner- at least, in my humble opinion.

So please, Mr. Bold Dad Who Wants To Convince Us That He's His Daughter's Hero- get back into your Bold Camry and hit the road.  Because, seriously- you're so full of helium, you must put lead in your shoes to keep you from bumping up against the ozone layer.

And please, Bold Camry Commercial Makers- give this smarmy, twee Slice of Life crap a rest.  No one is impressed by your idea of what it means to be "bold."  You seem to think it means "perfectly ordinary."  Which, come to think of it, is a lot better description of your crappy round-peg-into-round-hole cars than "bold" will ever be.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

This will all be coming out in therapy sessions down the road

Yeah, I get that this commercial is supposed to be all about the kid's fertile imagination, and how it leads him to imagine dangers where they really don't exist.

And yet, I can't help but notice that, again and again, this kid's idiot dad is in fact putting him in constant danger by driving way too fast on city streets, engaging in unsafe passing, etc.  While it's true that the car is not actually being attacked by trees or chased by bears, the kid's defensive mechanism- to imagine the hazards he's being subjected to because Daddy isn't being very responsible toward his Precious Bundle of JoyTM- is being triggered by something very, very real.  The kid is nervous because he gets that the guy behind the wheel- the same guy who just gave him a loving, "you are the most important person in the world to me" look before starting the car- is being reckless because hey the car will tell him if there's anything to worry about, right?

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Chevy Presents: Soul-Sucking Sad

Never mind the first 17 seconds of this banal, insulting little nub of a car commercial, which features the done-to-death bs "focus group" which has been lured into sitting around a table (probably with nothing more than the promise of having a few seconds of face time on tv) to answer exactly one question by a Chevrolet Spokeschoad (I hope they at least served cookies.)  It's a pretty typical commercial for the genre- "hey, here are a lot of really cool things about this new car, guess what car company we are talking about?"  It's been used with coffee, pasta, frozen pizza, diet soda- why not cars?

No, don't worry about those first 17 seconds.  I suggest you skip right to the seriously depressing part of this commercial- when the Obviously Dead Inside woman responds to the fact that this car comes with internet connectivity you can carry with you with "that's the dream, to have WiFi in the car."

Um....I guess that's your dream, lady.  I really hope to god that it's no one else's.  In fact, I hope to god that you are just reading off a cue card and your "dream" doesn't REALLY include driving a car that allows you to stream movies as you travel from Point A to Point B.  Because if you are being sincere, well, seriously.....your dreams need some serious evaluating.

Maybe I'm overreacting a bit because I walk so much, and despite my blaze-orange backpack I know I have to be constantly on guard against stupid, distracted douchenozzle inattentive drivers.  At least two or three times a week I have to audibly remind some jackass behind the wheel staring at his/her phone that a human being who has the light is crossing in front of their car.  I'm not too excited at the idea of vehicles becoming moving theaters with continuous Facebook connectivity, even if it is some thoughtless moron's idea of "living the dream," sorry.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Subaru's Legacy is just one stupid ad after another

1.  Is this really "easier" than just fixing the toy car or buying a new one?  Driving around like an idiot, wasting a lot of gas, and risking a rollover or other accident rather than just telling the kid that he'll have to wait until his toy is fixed or can be replaced?

2.  How does the guy in the car know when to turn right or left- he can't possibly have any idea how his kid is manipulating the remote contro.  And if he's just doing it randomly, how does the kid get any satisfaction out of watching his dad act like a dangerous idiot with a real car?

3. What's the lesson being taught to the little kids in this commercial?  Is it

A)  Cars are toys, to be used in reckless, stupid ways on a whim?

B)  Driving like a lunatic is fun fun fun (so much fun, in fact, that it can make dad totally forget that his two small children are standing nearby?) or

C)  If you put on a really sad face, you can manipulate your dad into acting like a freaking puppet on a string to wipe that sad sad little face away?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

If this doesn't solve the overpopulation crisis, nothing will

Because there's absolutely no way any kid who ever grows up playing with one of these freakish things will ever, ever want to have actual children.

"Look, a magical charm!"  If you find yourself saying something like this when your Precious Gift From HeavenTM gives you a "Diaper Surprise," your soul is long gone and your brain cells have absorbed way too much Pine-Sol.  But hell, maybe you're better off.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Back to the drawing board, Wrigley's

In six years of doing this blog, I think this is the first time I've ever snarked on a gum commercial.  Mainly because I don't see a lot of gum commercials.  As little as advertisers have to say about anything, they seem to have even less to say about gum.

This ad is kind of a concession to that point- the people who made it have absolutely nothing to say about their product, but they apparently decided that every few decades they have to make a commercial featuring Juicy Fruit anyway.  Even if it makes no sense and features two disgusting old creeps doing things no adult male should ever do- chew sugary gum and make arm farts.  During their annual one-day visit to a gym.  In the middle of a locker room.  Like I said- makes no sense.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Passat's newest contribution to Commercial Fail

1.  "Go on, step on it!"  Yeah, because Passats come with a licence to speed, right?  Or are we supposed to believe that when you step on the gas in MOST cars, they don't speed up?  Seriously, what the hell?

2.  The first "pinch me" is creepy.  Is the driver in this ad trying to pick the passenger up?  I'm trying to imagine the reaction of any normal heterosexual guy in being asked by a male friend to "pinch him."  I don't see what happens here ever happens in real life- the friend actually obliges and pinches him.  Hmmm....

3.  The second "pinch me" weird, sorry.  This is all about a freaking Volkswagen, after all.  If the friend obliges again, well....good luck, fellows.  Hope it works out.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Idiots Without A Country?

There's not a whole lot to say about these Taco Bell "Breakfast Defector" commercials.  Apparently we've all been citizens of a country which requires us to eat eggs and sausage and cheese on biscuits wrapped in greasy paper served up on plastic trays at McDonald's, Burger King, etc- and we didn't even know it.

Yet it must be the case, because all of these ads feature people who call themselves "Breakfast Defectors"- they aren't "defectors" because they started eating their breakfasts at home, saving both money, calories and arteries.  Nope, they are "defectors" because now instead of eating disgusting junk served on a biscuit, they are eating disgusting junk served in a taco.  I'm not sure this means that they are still living in the United States- they seem to exist in a sepia tone universe in which only fatty, salty crap purchased at taco bell has any color- or in a country even more obsessed with empty calories and DVRing everything (Canada?)

Anyway, since I don't eat breakfast at McDonald's (just because things aren't going so great doesn't mean I'm going to actively engage in shortening my life) I guess I've been a defector for a long time.  Still not eating tacos for breakfast though.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Again, State Farm- what the hell did we ever do to you?

I guess the idea here is that a really stupid idea gets better with repetition.  Thought seeing a bad Elvis impersonator sing the State Farm jingle was really dumb and painful?  Well, how about three more times in the same ad?  Better now?

Like a good neighbor, State Farm was there when a drunk driver crashed into my car- then made me threaten legal action before finally giving me a decent settlement and paying for my physical therapy.  All is forgiven if you just stop it with these craptacular commercials and focus on the benefits of your insurance coverage.

In other words, stop treating us like morons you hate.  Please?

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Dolmio's Pepper Hacker: Passive-Aggressiveness Squared

At first, this seems like kind of a cool idea- just shut off the electronic devices and MAKE the addicted jackasses you happen to share a home with interact with you.   But after a few viewings, this commercial became more disturbing than hopeful.  Here's why:

1.  Everyone in this ad except Mom is a drug addict.  The drug just happens to be what is laughingly referred to as "connectivity."  Why did mom let things get so bad?  Because mom's a spineless jellyfish when it comes to disciplining her kids?  If that's the case, why am I supposed to feel sorry for you, Mom?

2.  The kid who throws his phone to the floor in anger because he's mysteriously lost his signal- I don't care if that phone is broken or not.  This kid has a serious problem that isn't going to be addressed by cutting off the signal.  Again, this is drug addiction.  I wonder- if he were shown a video of himself acting like this, would he recognize his behavior as being irrational?  I also wonder- if that phone is broken, is Mommy going to rush him to the store to pick out a new one?

3.  The little kid who freaks out and throws a tantrum because he can't play with the tablet at the kitchen table- well, now we know where the phone-thrower came from.  In a few years that kid will be a mute, passive potato curled up in his room staring at a glowing screen 12 hours a day.  Because by then...

4.  How long is it going to be before one of those other people see this commercial and get rid of the Pepper Hacker?  Considering that their lives are spent "online," I give it an hour.  Then the shaker is myseriously broken or missing, and everyone can go back to ignoring that Older Female In The House Who Always Seems To Want Something.

5.  I'll finish up by going back to the general theme- if you aren't going to parent your kids, if you are going to let them do whatever they want including ignoring you, play with their idiot devices at the kitchen table (seriously, this makes me retch, why would any adult let their kids do this?) and throw tantrums when they are "disconnected," this Pepper Hacker thing is simply not going to solve your problem- that you are a wimpy, pathetic enabler who also happens to be scared to death of her kids.

There is simply no reason for ANY of this to be happening in a sane household.  Kids need structure and boundaries.  If you aren't going to give those precious gifts to your kids, please DON'T HAVE ANY.  Because these dullards are the kind of people I end up having to dodge during my walks, as they are too busy staring at their phones to devote more than a third of their attention to operating their deadly motor vehicles.  They are emotionally chained to their glowing boxes, and if you introduced them to Unlimited Talk, Text and Data before they were potty-trained, it's your fault and you need to stop whining and looking for ANOTHER electronic device to fix the problem YOU created.

Monday, April 6, 2015

You can never find a good Plantagenet when you need one...

All I can think of when I'm subjected to these celebrations of pointless, bland suburban idiocy featuring unshaven Upper Middle Class douchenozzles wasting their lives obsessing over their f--ing lawns is how much better off we all would have been if Edward had just razed Scotland to the ground, and then burned the ashes, 700 years ago like he wanted.

Sure it would have been a real tragedy for the people of the time, but we'd be spared the vacous bleating of this jagoff with his "quit yer lollygagging" crap, and people have to die of something anyway, after all.

I'm going to build a time machine, drop in on 1300 or so, and tell the English Royal Family to go all out and finish the job.  Don't stop at Sterling.  Posterity will thank you.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

An open letter to State Farm

This skit was mildly amusing in 2-minute doses once a week on Saturday Night Live 25 years ago.  I don't know why you think that translates into "funny in 30-second doses repeated forty times over the course of a three hour football or baseball game," but take it from me: It really, really doesn't.

And just to cut you off at the pass- "Mr. Bill" was a great SNL skit in the late-70s.  I don't want to see Mr. Bill and Sluggo trying to sell me insurance, either- though it would be more entertaining than this crap.  And that's saying absolutely nothing.

Oh, and a side note to Mr. Carvey and Mr. Nealon?  I don't want you guys to lose your houses because you can't pay your mortgages.  I really don't.  But if it's either continuing to watch you do these awful commercials or having you lose your houses?  Hey, life sucks, guys.  I'm sure there are plenty of cheap apartments in the less-fashionable neighborhoods of LA.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Sears doesn't know what the word "possible" means.

"Doers:  They don't worry if something's possible, they just do it."

Um, come again, stupid narrator reading stupid script?  If they "just do it"* then it's been proven to be possible.  If it's position on any possibility scale is unknown, did you mean to say that they don't worry about this and just go ahead and attempt it?

And by the way, what's the thing we non-Doers were supposed to consider possibly not possible that Doers just tackle because, hey, they're Doers?  As near as I can tell, it's scraping rust off a bike.  Raise your hand if you weren't sure this was possible.  I guess there are more of us Doers than I thought.

*Nike's legal team called.  They'd like to talk to you about this whole "just do it" crap.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Verizon Presents: The Saddest Commercial of All Time

Here's something everyone who has ever been in love and has had that love returned has in common:  Each and every one of us can remember the exact moment that the object of our affection first said "I love you."

In my case, it was a slight variation on the phrase- she said "I think I'm falling in love with you."  I will never, ever forget what I was doing at the moment, or what that statement did to my heart, or what I said in response.  Never.

The horrible people in this ad will, I suppose, never quite forget that moment, either.  If things work out, they'll someday tell their children that they heard it over a tablet's speakers.  They did not reach out and touch or kiss their Suddenly Very Significant Other because she was just a voice in a box.  By that time- ten or fifteen or twenty years from now- I doubt the kids will think that there's anything strange about this at all.  It will seem perfectly normal- "when did mommy first say she loved you- was it in a phone conversation, or a conversation streaming over your tablet, or did she text it, or tweet it, or did she leave it as a message on Facebook, Daddy?"

I'm so glad I was born when I did, so that the woman I will love for all of my life said those words right next to me, whispering them into my ear, instead of into an electronic device, hoping that some phone or cable company managed to get them to me before our call/video chat was dropped.

Sometimes I wish I was younger.  Not today.