Saturday, May 30, 2015

Off to Louisville Again!

Yep, it's that time of year again.  Time to head off to Kentucky to spend a week grading Advanced Placement essays in the cool confines of Louisville (likely average temp for the week 90 degrees.)

I'll try to post from the computer lab, but just in case I get too busy or the service isn't available, here's a heads-up to explain spotty or non-existent updates for this blog between May 30 and June 8.  Hope you all take the opportunity to shift through the archives if I can't post new ads while I'm away.

Meanwhile, this ad is a lot of buildup without a whole lot of payoff, don't you think?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Yeah, I'll never get it, AMC

Twice every year- on Memorial Day and then again on Veteran's Day- AMC "salutes the veterans" by running a marathon of machine-gun fire, bombings, and actors in costumes being blown apart by grenades and torpedoes.  And twice a year, I just shake my head and wonder what any of this has to do with "saluting our veterans."

I don't mind the special ceremonies before baseball games- I'm as cynical as they come, but even I find them heartwarming as long as I can mute the vapid, jingoistic faux-patriotic prattle from the talking heads in the booth.  I've never cared for the fly-overs-- those jets are expensive, dammit, and I didn't pay my taxes so they could be used to impress slack-jawed yokels waiting to watch a game.  But the salutes are generally pretty innocent and worthwhile and certainly well-deserved.

But showing Saving Private Ryan two or three times in a row?  What the hell is that all about?  I suspect that there are no more than a few hundred survivors of Normandy still living on the planet.  Are all veterans of all wars supposed to "enjoy" the carnage?  Is this something that veterans really have an appetite for?  Does AMC and other networks really work under the assumption that what veterans really crave on holidays created to honor them is wall-to-wall war movies?

Or are these films for the consumption of non-vets; a kind of "look how Awesome America Is/Was" sloppy Valentine to military service?  Either way, how does depicting the sons of farmers, mill workers, shop keepers, teachers etc. being gunned down on a celluloid battlefield accomplish that?  I really don't get this at all.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Audi's "Be Yourself- A Showy Douchenozzle" Campaign

Personally, I'd rather see Lexus's with red ribbons being handed to teenagers in front of glowing surburban palaces than be subjected to this crap.

Because while all car commercials use bad music, most don't use atrocious faux-folk music crap to sell their LookAtMeMobiles.  This song is awful and the guy singing it sounds like he died several days before taping and what we are hearing is the last puffs of air being expelled from his throat as his chest is compressed.  I imagine that the song itself is a remix of a 60s salute to non-conformity, which makes its use in this ad only about ten thousand times worse.

I mean, it's bad enough that the theme of the song is "buy this car so everyone will know you can afford to buy this car."  That's expected from Audi.  Don't try to sell us the "noncomformity" crap on top of it, ok?

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Be the Batman, and a legend in your own mind

Ugh, just when I thought that these commercials could not become more pathetic....

This stupid, disjointed, confusing drivel was, I believe, intentionally created for the sole purpose of making my head hurt.  Or maybe you just have to be a "gamer" to understand how these Unconnected-to-the-Sane scenes are supposed to come together to form a commercial that makes some level of "sense."  Since I'm NOT a gamer, here's what I get out of it-

Guys are naturally nervous and concerned when suddenly surrounded by a gang of toughs in a dark alley, especially when it's raining really hard and they've just spent god knows how long staring at an Old Timey picture of allegedly dead parents in an equally Old Timey locket.

Guys are also nervous and reluctant to react when a group of equally scary and equally Properly Diverse toughs decide to pick on an old man on a train for absolutely no reason.

On the other hand, when buildings explode into flames, firemen may hesitate, but then they'll go in, because that's what firemen do, and this

Inspires the guy being threatened in the dark alley to curl his fist, which

Inspires the guy on the train to move toward his own gang of toughs, causing them to consider backing off

Which leads Batman to stand on a roof and sneer, because apparently he's a lot better at doing that than actually stopping all these bad things that are happening below him, but he's not really needed because we are now being told that we can

Be the Batman.  Uh huh.  WTF-ever.  Actually, the only thing anyone watching this ad is supposed to be inspired to do is

Get into your not-Batmobile No Matter How Much You Like To Pretend It Is car and

Get to your nearest Secret Tactical Weapons Storehouse, which us sane people refer to as Walmart, and buy the latest version of what seems to be two or three hundred video games involving Batman and a hospital for the insane featured for about five minutes in Batman Begins, and

Get back to what your Batcave, which we non-man/boys call dens or basements, and spend the next eleven hours engaging in all your violent fantasies which involve fighting back against all the fellow sapien life forms inflicting imagined slights upon your weird, paranoid sad little self on a daily basis, and

Actually, "and" nothing.  Just stay there.  The fewer doughy juveniles with persecution complexes there are out here in the Real World, the better.  Just stay there.  Be the Batman.   Your avatar is much, much more fun and interesting than you'll ever even attempt to be.  Leave life for us idiots who don't have 60-inch screens and an insatiable desire to remain children forever.  It's just not for you.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

And an 800 score on the Loathsomeness scale to go with it

Hey, lady- I know my credit score too, thanks to my ability to just ask my credit card company.  I didn't have to give any information to Experia or whatever the hell this Let Us Plant Cookies On Your Computer To Provide Information You Are Too Stupid And Lazy To Find Yourself company is.  I didn't need any "tools" to bring it up, either- just an ability to live within my means and regularly pay my bills on time.  Stuff I manage to do on a regular basis without giving myself a fist-bump or otherwise pretending that I accomplished something worth pomping over.

And "kaboom?"  If I were this salesman, I wouldn't sell you a car on principle.  In fact, I'd stop trying and start consoling your ex-porn star husband (what the hell is with that mustache? Is it 1979 in this commercial?) for being attached for such a disgusting weirdo.  This woman should be Exhibit A for the defense in the case of There Are Worse Things Than Being Alone v. Fear.

The only way this commercial ends on a high note is if this woman is so distracted by her own sense of awesomeness that she steps off the curb into a speeding car.  Failing that, this is pretty awful, Whatever Company The Ad Is For.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Living Dead: Suburban Loser Edition

Because if you find yourself living in the suburbs and taking the care of your lawn so seriously that you are "concerned' because a neighbor is feeding his for a second time in the same year, you really need a hobby.

And if you get excited at the prospect of feeding your own lawn for a second time- never mind the hobby.  It's too late.  Your life ended quite some time ago, and you died.  In the immortal words of Tom Hanks in Joe v. The Volcano, "let's arrange the funeral."  All that's left is to pick a corner of your beautiful green lawn to bury your worthless corpse under.

Here's the good news for your family- this guy will be on hand with tips on how to get rid of the ugly brown spot you left in less time than they could have imagined possible.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Why didn't I choose advertising as a career?

I remember watching Bewitched when I was a kid and thinking that Darrin Stevens had it pretty good- nice big house in the suburbs, beautiful wife, etc., and a lifestyle financed by a job which required nothing more than his ability to come up with a stupid, obvious jingle or catch phrase every so often.  I remember thinking "hey, I could do that!"

(I also remember thinking "geesh, Darrin spends a lot of time lying on that couch."  I didn't know about Dick York's severe back issues at the time.  But anyway....)

The message was reinforced later with movies like Mr. Mom-- want a salary that can support an entire family in suburban luxury?  It's no trick- all you need is the imagination of a prairie dog.  Anyone can do this- why not me?

For some reason, however, I never followed through- which is why I can't claim credit for this really, really stupid waste of 30 seconds which I guess is supposed to convince us that 1) we should go to Subway and spend money there right now, and 2) "hey, isn't it fun to say Guacamole?  The only thing more fun than saying Guacamole is watching total strangers say Guacamole, don't ya think?"

Hey, Subway?  I apologize for ever making fun of your "Five Dollar Foot Longs" campaign.  Could you bring that back, please?  Because this ad just reminds me of what Might Have Been if I had decided to choose another path and become one of your Idiots in Gray Flannel Suits.  Like Dick York.  Or Dick Sargent.  Or Terri Garr.  Or whoever.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Oh STFU, Sherman Williams

Oh yes, you are the Hero of the Household  (or, more to the point, Hero of the Vast, Cavernous Mansion that guy you sold yourself to provided in exchange for regular meals, free sex, a clean house and heirs arriving every couple of years.)  You got that label by never, ever complaining about being asked to do all that cooking and cleaning and copulating and reproducing even when Hubby sprung the "hey, as long as you are just at home all day Doing Nothing While I Earn The Paycheck, why can't you do the painting, too?"

Except, I simply cannot use the word "hero" to describe you, MommyWife.  Because you bought in to all this.  Nothing stopped you from building your own life and career, buying your own house, and then painting it any color you wanted during otherwise leisurely weekends with the boyfriend or girlfriend or just on your own, without juggling all that other crap that Sherman-Williams seems to think qualify as "heroic."  In fact, I'll come right out and say that I'm more comfortable calling you a simpering little coward who sold her life for the easy route as handmaiden to a guy and chief cook and bottle washer to kids.

Congratulations for the massive house.  No medal, though- we reserve those for actual Heroes.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Nissan's Repulsive New Ad Campaign

I'll ask my readers to pick an appropriate label for Nissan's "let's try to convince people that Nissans are fun to drive by showing slack-jawed morons screaming their fool heads off" campaign.  Here are a few taglines that come to mind that are more appropriate than the "Nissan=Excitement" crap the ad men seem to have settled on:

1.  If you drive it on a racetrack, even a Nissan can seem fun to drive!

2.  Look what we can get attention-starved jackasses to do by promising them a few seconds of face time on TV!

3.  Think we can't show this ad 400 times over the space of a single ball game?*  Sounds like a challenge, and at Nissan, we love a challenge that doesn't involve building a car you'd really want to drive!

4.  Does hearing people yell like drunken hicks make you want to buy a Nissan?  Great!

Here's the bottom line for me- if you drive a car equipped with Nascar-approved restraints and other safety features on a race track with no speed limit, it really doesn't matter what kind of car it is, it's going to be a lot more fun than sitting in traffic on the way from picking Suzie up from swim practice.  We've already seen ads featuring cars jumping cliffs and skyscrapers and flying down ski slopes and doing all kinds of things that no one will ever actually do with any car once it's driven off the lot.  Driving is not fun- that's why every car company is in a race to provide as many electronic distractions designed to help you forget that you are in your car as possible.   Driving a Nissan?  Even less fun than driving most cars.  Because- hey, it's a freaking Nissan.  You can't even say the name of the company without yawning.

*No kidding.  If you wanted to watch tonight's Orioles-Angels game, you were going to have to listen to this freaking monstrosity of a commercial during Every. Single. Break.  Often more than once.  Thanks, Nissan, for making me turn off the TV and listen to the game on the radio.  XM/Sirius should send you a thank you, too.  And MASN?  Fire the guy who saved himself time by agreeing to book this ad for HUNDREDS of plays during the game.  Please.

Why would you buy cat food from people who hate cats?

It isn't just Iams.  Pretty much every pet food company which has ever made a tv or radio commercial advertising its product has slapped human voices on animals, and they all have one thing in common: they all portray cats, dogs etc. as being spoiled-rotten jerkwads who live to demand food from their human slaves and are snarky, selfish and downright dickish in doing it (if this cat wants meat so badly, why doesn't it get off it's furry ass and catch a freaking mouse like it's supposed to? )

Seriously- when was the last time you saw a commercial in which a cat or dog "thought" something kind or polite or grateful?

If our pets actually could express themselves with human words and used the ones advertising execs insist on giving them, I think most of us would give them their walking papers and tell them to hit the freaking road.  Kids are bad enough- who the hell would want to live with one of these nasty things?*

*I have to admit, I haven't understood the attraction to pet ownership thing since my dog died when I was fourteen.  If you own a dog where I live, you have to get them hundreds of dollars worth of shots and they are still going to get sick and die after costing you a small fortune to keep them well.  When you take them for walks you have to carry a plastic bag to pick up their leavings (and to all you people who use transparent bags for this purpose- seriously, what is with you people?  Are you all colonists from planet douchenozzle, or what?)  Cats use a lovely little box which stinks up whatever room it's in and must be cleaned out regularly.  I just don't get this at all.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Hey, Subaru? We can wait, too

Specifically, we can wait for the kids in this commercial to grow up to be impatient, self-absorbed, entitled knobs who think that the rules of the road simply shouldn't apply to them because after all, they were only gone five minutes and are in a hurry and where does everyone else get off being on THEIR road, anyway?

Hey, maybe a few of these kids will even grow up to say "to hell with it" when it comes to getting stuck in traffic jams, being handed parking tickets, etc. and just learn the bus schedules or (gasp) just WALK to places within a reasonable distance.  Not only will they avoid the joys of car ownership demonstrated here, but they might just find themselves wealthier and healthier because they aren't spending so much time sliding their well-fed asses into padded seats and then basically being immobile as the car does all the work.

Assuming that doesn't happen and these twerps grow up to be proud owners of gas-guzzling, environment-raping money vampires just like Dear Old Dad, well, like I just said- we can wait.  Enjoy your toy car and exercise and fresh air while you can, kids.  For some reason I can't explain, you'll be giving it all up for an expensive, showy pile of tin, fiberglass and electronics soon enough.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

"Stop messing with the insane Toyota lady!"

"You know her brain is so fried on Uppers that she'll talk to anything that gets within three feet of her desk!"

In this commercial, Toyota finally admits that Jan is a loopy basket case who might as well have a pull string attached to her back.  I'm not sure why a toy drone was used in this ad- a squirrel wandering in to the showroom would have worked just as well.  Oh, but that would have deprived us of the Obnoxious, Ugly Kid Motif.  We would have managed, Toyota.

I think Jan should be introduced to Red.  Jan could bleat the virtues of Toyota's latest Can't Miss Sales Event, and Red could reply by reciting the Wendy's menu and expressing amazement that anyone would ever eat anywhere else, ever.  Those loons totally deserve adjoining cells in whatever asylum worn-out spokeschoads end up in when their companies finally realize (usually two or three years after their audience) that no one thinks that they are funny, interesting or persuasive anymore.

(BTW, I can't help but hope that toy drone ends up scratching an unsold car or causing an injury to some customer who innocently walked into Toyota expecting to be able to look at automobiles without being victimized by yet another parent-deprived little brat.  Because- enough, already.  Hire a babysitter and leave your spawn at home, or take away the potentially destructive toy for a few minutes while you're in the building.  You know, like PARENTS would do.)

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Here's a better idea: Parent your freaking brats

I guess the message of this stupid pile of dreck from Volkswagen is that children are destructive, nasty little creatures who are totally incapable of being taught how to behave (or, at least, incapable of being taught how to behave when their mom is an easily-distracted, totally disinterested, self-absorbed jackass who lets them run around convenience stores unsupervised while she pumps gas.)  The solution?  Nope- it's not Unlimited Talk, Text and Streaming this time.  It's to buy a car that allows you to get from Point A to Point B without stopping- so if your kids want to be horrible little monsters, they'll have to hurl themselves out of the moving car as it passes 7-11 to do it.

BTW, we know where the "mom" is in this ad- putting gas in the car, and (if she has any brain cells left) contemplating taking off, faking her own death, and starting a new life in another country.  But why aren't there any store employees around to stop these awful creeps from doing so much damage?  Are they just watching this happen?  Are they distracted by the losers carefully picking out scratch-off tickets at the counter?  Has the last ounce of life been sucked out of them and they are fully aware of what is going on at the store- but simply don't give a damn anymore?  I  mean, what the hell?

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Frankly, I couldn't get past the 7:02 time stamp*...

But before I get back to that, let's watch in horror as people react to seeing Flo like people in another, saner, less rock-stupid time reacted to seeing the President or at least a famous movie star.  Let's see the doubletakes and gasping and OMIGOD ITS THAT HORRIBLE PALE WOMAN FROM THE COMMERCIALS looks and the inevitable selfies.   Because there's no loser like a "I'm swooning over what passes as a celebrity these days" loser, is there?

*What hemisphere is this ad being filmed in?  Wherever it is, it sure is bright there at 7:02 AM.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Offer not available to certain couples in Indiana

"Ok, guys, I'm off on vacation!  See you when I get back!"

"Hey Flo, before you take off, could you just do one commercial for us?  You know, just to tie us over?"

"Come on, guys, my plane isn't going to wait for me.."

"It'll only take a moment.  Just hold your old pricing gun, stand next to this cake pan, and say something like 'it's a piece of cake' and then say something about wanting a piece of cake."

"Um, seriously?  We're that out of ideas?"

"You said you were in a hurry.  Just bleat the stupid line please.  We can do this in one take, honestly."

Yeah, this is a company I'm going to trust with my insurance.  Sure it is.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Mindy's got Nationwide Issues

1.  The idea that a good-looking woman could be invisible is more than a little absurd on its face.  And this woman is good-looking.  Her personality?  Revolting.  Her looks?  Not an issue at all.

1(a) could it be that Mindy has been "invisible" because her chip-on-her-shoulder personality is so caustic, a lot of people just try to screen her out and pretend she isn't there?  You know, as kind of a defensive measure?

2.  Try to imagine this commercial with a man in the title role.  Can't, can you?  Maybe that's because it's still acceptable to show women doing things like gorging on ice cream and getting bent out of shape at the idea of being ignored and even touching someone without asking first.  But if this commercial featured a man touching a female stranger and then copping an attitude when called on it- nope, sorry.  Can't see that happening.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Nature Valley: your new home for easily-digestable, manipulative tripe

Ugh, really?  So, Nature Valley- you decided to right out and prove that you have absolutely no shame at all?

On the other hand- if you want to convince yourself to eat this junk, being blind is probably an advantage.

As for the rest of this drivel- well, to be perfectly honest, I didn't watch past the first ten seconds.  That was enough saccharine to last me at least a month.  The only thing worse are the YouTube comments that follow.  Like I said- Ugh .

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Meet Dale, the saddest tool in the Domino's box

I'm sorry, but there are very few ads out there that fill me with more bile than this one.  There is just so much wrong going on here, it's hard to figure out exactly where to start.  So I'll just plunge in--

Maybe Dale is actually proud of his ability to make boxes faster than anyone else on the Domino's payroll.  Hell, I'm sure that if you took a time machine back to 1790, you might actually be able to find a slave on some Virginia plantation proud at being the very fastest at picking out the cotton seeds by hand.  Guess what?  Doesn't make it worth celebrating.

That this middle-aged doofus is thrilled at his "celebrity" as the Most Famous Domino's Trained Seal (even that stupid, pointless laugh- what is he laughing at? The depressing absurdity that has become of his life?)  isn't heartwarming or interesting- it's just pathetic and diminishing and, well, gross.

That we know the only payoff this guy is going to get for all of his work is a pat on the head from some corporate tool making 800 times what Dale can expect IF he gets the hours he wants next year is predictable and expected.

And that this video will be shown to thousands of other Domino's drones as an "inspiring learning experience" which can be more accurately translated into "why can't you be more like this idiot?  Because if you don't make an attempt at emulating him, it's back to the unemployment office, prole.  Oh and BTW, you've used up your benefits."

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Subaru's latest just made my brain snap

"When our little girl was born, we bought a Subaru...."

Ok, so when your little girl was born- in 2015- you bought a 2015 Subaru.  And then all of these banal little things happened in that 2015 Subaru- your little girl rode in the car seat, made a best friend (in carpool, or something, I suppose.  Whatever) and said goodbye when it was time to be dropped off at school.  You know, all that white bread boring crap that happens when people do the whole get married and buy Subarus and have kids and watch them grow up stuff.

Here are the two problems I simply can't get past-

1.  When the commercial ends, the Little Girl Who Grew Up In Your Subaru looks to be around 14 years old.   So is it the year 2029 in the ad?  Nothing looks particularly futuristic- the iPhone being used looks like the model you can buy right now- no holograms or anything.   Or did this saga start with a 2000 Subaru purchased when the little girl was born?  That doesn't make sense either, because Subaru didn't start producing this particular model until 2009.  Is the girl supposed to be six years old at the end of the commercial?  That doesn't work either- I know what six year old girls look and sound like, and this girl doesn't pull it off.  So what is really going on here?

2.  Whatever model this Subaru is, it's supposed to be 13-14 years old at the end of the commercial.  Yet, it's still showroom-condition gleaming.  Sorry, no.  Unless this MommyWife was taking it in for detailing every year, this is not what 13-14 year old cars which are actually used to do stuff look like.  There doesn't necessarily have to be dents and scratches- I did a great job keeping my car looking great for the first seven years I owned it (in the last two, it suddenly started to attract shopping carts, other car doors, stone walls and wood piles.)  But not this great.  That car at the end of this ad is brand new.  It hasn't even been driven to church on Sundays by a little old lady from Pasadena.  It sure as HELL hasn't been used in the Real Life of a MommyWife.

So again, Subaru- what is really going on here?  I know you were in a bit of a quandry when you made this ad, because you needed to come up with a pitch for a 2015 Subaru but wanted to continue your twee "love/life" campaign, but that doesn't mean you get to bend the laws of Time and Space to do it.  WTF?

Friday, May 1, 2015

Little Caesar's? "Legal" is not the same as "Right" or "Responsible..."

Yes, the bacon-wrapped pizza is legal.  But so is deep-fried butter, fried dough slavered with butter and sugar, and bacon and mayonaisse sandwiches held together with fried chicken instead of bread.

In other words, it's legal because this is the United States, Land of the Stupid-Fat, where Type 2 Diabeties has replaced baseball as the National Pasttime.  And where we woke up one day and decided that the average lifespan was getting just too damned high.

So don't worry, Mr. Stereotypical Southern Lawyer Who Aced the Boss Hogg audition and then was told that there would be no Dukes of Hazzard II after all.  Not only is no one going to be suing Little Caesar's, the only thing that- ahem- "restaurant" has to worry about is running out of the porcine fat needed to wrap around it's greasy white carb-and-cheese-topped-with-sugary tomato sludge pizzas. Build a tastier death trap, and the world will beat a path to your door.