Sunday, June 28, 2015
Remember when beer commercials used to feature girls in bikinis?
There are approximately 280 versions of this rock-stupid ad playing during every Major League Baseball game. Each one is dumber than the one before, and I can't help hoping that Mr. Harris is doing this because he lost a bet, and not because he's willing to be a Jackass Pretending To Be Cute* for a few extra bucks. At any rate, I'd still rather see this than the Hicks Screaming in Nissan ads that dominated my June baseball viewing. Doesn't make it worth watching, though. And it's definitely not cute or clever.
It's also an ad for a beer with the word "Light" in it's name- meaning that I know the product isn't worth consuming, either.
*(Full Disclosure- I never watched a single episode of either Doogie Howser, MD or How I Met Your Mother. In fact, the only thing I've ever seen this idiot in is Starship Troopers, where he had a very small but significant role as a telepathic military scientist- or something.)
Sometimes, no matter how long a commercial is, there's just one scene that jumps out and sticks with me. Sometimes I can't get past that one scene, and it becomes the only thing I comment on. This is one of those commercials.
I really don't care about the "haha isn't this funny it kind of looks like a Lifetime Movie trailer" bit- it's been done before, it's old, it's stale, and it can just go away now. There's nothing especially clever about disguising an ad as something else, and there's certainly nothing clever about this version.
But here's the part that really rankles- the narrator is talking about "new beginnings," inferring that it's time for someone- the scruffy suburban jackass drooling over the Audi- to get himself a new car. Scruffy Suburban Jackass is so determined to get himself one of these sweet Audis that he's got a FOR SALE sign on what is obviously a brand new BMW.
Oh yes, we can so relate, Audi. It's so easy for this particular reviewer to relate that I hope if someone like Scruffy Suburban Jackass actually exists in real life, and if he actually manages to sell his showroom-gleaming BMW (another impulse purchase) by sticking a FOR SALE sign on the windshield (instead of, oh, I don't know, taking it to an Audi dealer as a trade-in,) he eventually grows up and stops being such a stupid, impulsive, dissatisfied idiot when it comes to his gilded yet oddly pointless life. Or that he bursts into flames for absolutely no reason. Either would be fine with me.
Saturday, June 27, 2015
At the end of this noxious pile of dung, one of the kids is so delighted at her ability to finish watching a movie while sitting in the back of an automobile that she hugs the car. You know, like she probably hugs her mom and dad and favorite pet. Because hey, the car comes with WiFi which means you can watch a movie while riding around in it. What could you possibly love more?
And let's all pretend that this about the kids, and not jackass adults who want to be able to send email and watch movies and update their Facebook pages while maneuvering through traffic. Because paying attention to the road? That's so Pre-WiFi In the Car.
But these children ARE the future, which means that we are setting ourselves up for a generation of adults who will EXPECT WiFi in the car, just like they now expect it in airplanes (not just airports) and restaurants and coffee shops and everywhere else. They'll tell THEIR children that there used to be these things called "Hot Spots," which meant that there used to be places without internet access, and they'll all struggle to understand the concept.
Civilization is coming to an end. It was fun while it lasted. Sometimes, anyway.
Friday, June 26, 2015
Family Gathering, Before Xfinity: Frustrated parents and frustrated kids forced to be in the same room (otherwise it wouldn't count as "family time" or a "family gathering," and Mom and Dad absolutely insist on at least twenty minutes of this every day, no excuses) desperately trying to avoid actually talking to each other (because that's not required during family time) despite the fact that their lame internet is soooo slow and they can't all stream their favorite crap at once. If this keeps up, they might actually have to put the electronics down and god knows where that would lead to- board games? Story-telling? Actual human interaction? Horrors.
Family Gathering, After Xfinity: Everyone has lightning-fast streaming on their very own internet-connected device and Family Time is Fun Time again because it's just like Non-Family Time, except instead of being in seperate rooms they are All Together in the same room, like good families should. Heck, I bet this contributes to even more Family Time, as long as Family Time continues to mean Everyone Is In The Same Room.
Awesome or not, I'm glad the future is for other people. I don't want to live there.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
I arrived in Vermont just after noon yesterday for a summer of mowing lawns, country hikes, swimming, Mountaineers Baseball (New England Collegiate Baseball League, Champions in 2006 and 2007) a week at the ocean and the wedding of a sister. Except for the wedding, it's part of a ritual I've been practicing since my parents retired and moved back here in 1997. I actually kind of like the humidity of the DC area, but it's certainly a lot easier to sleep when temps drop into the low-60s every night.
Anyway, we don't have 7-11s around here. We have this place- Cumberland Farms, or just "Cumbys" to the locals. Cumbys has pretty much everything you can find at a 7-11, including cheap iced coffee. Like 99 cents for any size iced coffee. It's actually pretty good- certainly worth 99 cents.
But this commercial is still pretty stupid- not for the reason the poster suggests- I don't think it's especially "sexist," because I don't think it makes men look especially stupid. Like the guy at the end says, "you would have done this for any of us." It's not the Big Stupid Guys falling all over themselves to save the Little Lady's iced coffee- it's that the iced coffee is so awesome that it would be a tragedy if it were to spill. But that's what make it stupid- the iced coffee is 99 cents. If it fell on the ground, she shrugs her shoulders and goes back in and gets another one (in fact, if the store is in Vermont, chances are the person in the counter tells her "oh, that's too bad- just pour yourself another one, don't worry about paying again, honey." Because people are kind of like that here.)
I mean, it's not like this woman is walking out of Starbucks with a $7 Venti Frappacino. I can totally see people diving to save that from hitting the pavement. That's not an impulse buy- that's an investment.
Sunday, June 21, 2015
The trend being "commercials disguised as serials." We all know the drill- since people tend to zone out during ads which all basically look the same, more and more companies are trying to con us into paying attention by pretending that they are showing us a trailer for a wacky comedy or drama, nailing us with the "haha this is just a commercial, sucker" at the very end. It works really well- if you are intensely stupid, as 99 percent of YouTube viewers seem to be.
For anyone with even a modicum of intelligence, that these are advertisements becomes obvious within three or four seconds. But we aren't the intended audience, clearly.
Instead, the people these are aimed at are incredibly easily-deceived, slack-jawed morons who will not only be taken in by the "storyline," but will also fail to be insulted by the deception and will think it's cool that a company went to the "trouble" to produce something so "witty." Believe it or not, there are plenty of them. Check out the comments.
Personally, I blame that Taster's Choice series of commercials back in the 1980s featuring a budding romance between a woman and her next door neighbor who dropped in for coffee one day, was treated to horrible instant junk, and yet was so enamored that he kept coming back for more. Or maybe she was the one who dropped in- I don't remember. But it was the first set of commercials with a storyline that I remember, so I'll blame them for our current situation.
Meanwhile, I don't care about this ugly woman or her ugly, stupid family or why she thinks she needs to make sure they have clean breath (they all look perfectly old enough- I won't use the term "capable," because check out their behavior, ugh- to decide what to do about their oral hygiene, geesh is mom going to check their butts for bits of toilet paper like the cartoon bear in the Charmin commercials next?) I'm just going to let Listerine know that I don't appreciate the effort they put into this, at all, and I don't care what "happens next" with "The Franklins." So please, stop this "series" and get back to just telling us how that stinging sensation proves your product is working, ok? That was much better and probably didn't cost you nearly as much money anyway.
Saturday, June 20, 2015
You know why McDonalds started putting "Playlands" in their "restaurants?" It's the same reason they've been putting toys in Happy Meals for the past several decades- to imprint on young minds the idea that McDonalds=Fun. It's just another take on the concept of "Comfort Food"- when we become adults, we are more likely to associate McDonalds with happiness, without even really knowing why. So when we are sad, moody, out-of-sorts, bitter, etc.-- in other words, Being Adults-- we will gravitate to the place that, for some reason we don't quite grasp, will make us reasonably ok with our lives, at least for a few minutes.
This commercial seems to be tossing the facade into the waste basket and blatantly exposing what is supposed to be this trade secret- yep, here it is, folks- McDonalds is sold to very little children as a magical land of fairies and fun and if you allow this place to be associated with All That Is Good And Comforting In The World, they'll grow up seeing it as a sanctuary from the Real World. This poor little girl- who seems to have OD'd on something, BTW- sees nothing but joy in a trip to the Land of Greasy Junk that can be purchased with the change found under the car seat. Mission Accomplished, McDonalds- here's another kid who is going to grow up eating your crap and not even knowing why, unless as an adult she sees this ad. And by then it will be too late, of course.
There are two parts of this ad I'm not even going to deal with, because- just too weird even for me. One is the Bluto character staring down at this little girl. I don't know what that's all about, and I don't think I want to. The other is the kid with the blue balloon- I don't know what he's doing, and I don't care. I will say that if kids are doing these things at my local McDonalds (there are about thirty of them, actually) it's yet another good reason to stay away.
Oh, and the kid who whips the straw out of his drink because he's decided it's a sword (I guess)- well, whatever. Kids will do stupid things like that, and make messes in the process, because parents aren't going to parent when they bring their kids to McDonalds. If they were interested in parenting, they wouldn't bring their kids to McDonalds, after all....
Friday, June 19, 2015
For at least sparing us the sight of this douchenozzle yacht owner actually spitting over the rail of his douchenozzle yacht. That's something, at least.
As for the rest- I don't see how this is an advertisement tha is supposed to make me want to use Listerine, as it's being sold as a chemical so powerful that it will cause my mouth to explode and will actually rip the barnacles off my yacht, assuming I'm ever a one-percenter and can actually afford to own one. I want to put this stuff in my mouth because......otherwise I might have slightly offensive breath? Really? So what's this guy's excuse- he's completely by himself here. He's using an incredibly harsh chemical to impress his boat, or what?
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
This ad is running FOUR TIMES between each inning during tonight's O's-Phillies game- back to back, then a break for another commercial not quite as obnoxious, then back to back again. Seriously, we need to reconvene the Nuremburg judges, because this has got to be a war crime.
God I hate you, Nissan. Are you really going to pound this moron hick's screeching into my brain until Labor Day? Do you really hate me that much?
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
1. We Americans are being told that our lives will simply not be complete until we gorge ourselves with a genuine "third-pounder sirloin burger" from the place everyone thinks of when they really want a good piece of sirloin, McDonalds.
2. It's almost sad to think how many Americans are really going to buy the line that if they miss out on this limited opportunity to consume twice as much fat in one sitting than the average human eats in three days, they might never know what a good peice of sirloin tastes like. Like McDonalds is actually selling high-grade cow on a bun here. Let me assure you, people in the audience, that unless you think McDonalds is providing "good seafood" with it's Fish Filet And Mayonaisse sandwiches and "good poultry" with it's Chicken and Mayonaisse atrocities, you can skip right over this deal and not miss good sirloin. Just trust me on this, ok?
Sunday, June 14, 2015
As in, "Remember when you actually had to think for yourself instead of letting your car do your thinking for you?"
Or "Remember when becoming an adult meant accepting responsibilities and not being a child who couldn't be expected to do a lot on their own?"
Or "Remember when the simplest things in the world might be minor inconveniences, but they were things you put up with because after all, life is not perfect and you are capable of dealing with them?"
Remember all that? It was yesterday. Before Hyundai and every other car company on the planet decided that it's customers weren't pampered enough and were in the market for automobiles that treated them like oversized infants and did everything but wipe their buttoms and their noses for them. I kind of miss those days. Does anyone else?
Saturday, June 13, 2015
Intrusive, judgemental jackass: "Are you single?"
Innocent bystander looks sheepish- "yes, yes I am...."
Intrusive, judgemental jackass: "Have you ever tried Match?"
Innocent bystander who is easily manipulated into thinking that Being Single Is Just Plain Wrong: "No, I haven't, actually....."
Obvious message: "Ohhhh, you poor lonely baby. Can't find anyone by conventional means, huh? Well, there's hope even for you, believe it or not."
My reply to the IJJ: "Why do you assume that I'm not single by choice? Why do you assume that everyone who doesn't have someone really significant in their life Right This Very Minute is somehow an abnormal, introverted loser who is desperate to be hooked up? Who the hell gave you permission to evaluate the life of a total stranger on the street?"
I once had a conversation with a person who said that her "mission" was to pull a shy person she knew "out of his shell." The exact words she used were "I'm going to save him." I'm not going to repeat the entirety of the rant that followed, but I let her know that hey, guess what, "Extrovert" doesn't mean "Superior," and "Introvert" (a term invented by Extroverts) does not mean "Inferior." Quiet people who don't care for crowds or loud places or late nights drinking aren't patients waiting to be cured by their Betters, ok?
The IJJ in this ad needs to have that mike shoved into his nether regions.
Friday, June 12, 2015
Ah, the Lazy Cross-Promotion. It's the drum solo of advertising- pointless, time-wasting, mind-numbingly dumb.
Sometimes, cross-promoting makes a little sense. Like using the characters from Marley and Me to sell dog food (even if that ad required bringing the main character back to life.) Usually they are astounding nonsequitors which leave us wondering "what the heck were they thinking?"
(One of my favorites which fell into the latter category involved the Lorax selling Denny's breakfast specials- including sausage links. Um, no.)
In this ad, Jurrasic World is real and it has actual customers and Dairy Queen has purchased a rental license to operate a restaurant inside it. Ok. But the movie is apparently taking place within the commercial, because the dinosaurs are attacking and people are being killed throughout the park- except inside Dairy Queen, where it's business as usual. Um.....ok. And the response of customers to the fact that the people outside are being eaten is....well, good thing we are in here, where the dinosaurs can't get us (because the windows are dinosaur-proof, I guess.) If they are eating dinner, I guess they'll want to look at the dessert menu after all, because it might take a while for the dinos outside to finish killing off everyone else and eating them. Might as well just keep consuming Dairy Queen's version of sort-of-food and die at a more leisurely pace.
Ugh, WTF-ever. I was actually probably going to see this film (even though the two sequels were beyond horrible) until another trailer clued me in to the fact that it was going to feature at least one annoying kid whose safety I was going to be expected to be concerned about. Deal's off. As for Dairy Queen- well, I'm not under thirteen, and I don't have a death wish, so why on Earth would I go to Dairy Queen?
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Every once in a while I have to comment on a commercial I like. This is one of those times.
I like it first of all because of the message- yes, Couple doesn't mean what it used to, and there is absolutely, positively nothing wrong with that. The deaf child in this ad is about to get two loving parents, and she's quite naturally thrilled with the idea. So am I. Very cool.
I also like it because of the impact it's had on Franklin Graham, heir to his father's Empire of Hot Air which has capitivated an army of slack-jawed, drooling alleged adults for almost seventy years now with it's promotion of fairy tales featuring more magic, spells and monsters than all of the Harry Potter books put together.
You see, when Franklin Graham heard about this ad, he went ballistic on Facebook (oddly, Franklin doesn't think that Facebook is a tool of the devil- my guess is that his accountants have explained to him that while there's a lot of "immorality" and "sin" in Social Media, there's also a hell of a lot of money, too, so....) and announced that he would be moving his ill-gotten fortune built on the backs of ignorant, frightened rubes from Wells Fargo to BB&T Bank. Take that, Wells Fargo! That will teach you to promote Understanding and Diversity instead of sticking to what Graham found perfectly acceptable- taking advantage of prospective college students and home owners with high interest-rate loans financed by a 2008 government bailout!
"Problem" is, BB&T bank isn't exactly what Graham would consider a "right-minded" bank when it comes to homosexual rights (I refuse to use the term LGBT Rights- that's a phrase allegedly high-minded Liberals like to throw around to lump anyone who isn't "straight" into a single group for their own convenience.) Specifically, BB&T Bank has been a regular sponsor of the Florida Gay Pride parade, and even once financed the building of a chapel in one of it's banks so that two gay employees would have a place to marry. Oops, sorry, Mr. Graham.
Here's my suggestion, you wizened old Jackass Who Has Never Held An Honest Job In His Life Yet Is Richer Than The God He Claims To Worship- stick your money in a large number of coffee cans and bury them in the back yard. Or just spend it on charitable pursuits (you know, like you claim to be doing when you aren't flying around the world in your own jet or relaxing in one of the mansions you built to "reflect God's glory.") Of course, I don't expect for one minute that you'll adopt one of these suggestions, because hey, money is money. Much more likely that you'll find a bank that isn't Openly Non-Hating and try not to notice that it doesn't quite share your medieval bigotry. Because being a Hater for Profit only works if you're willing to keep your eye on the Profit part.
1. The punchline of this ad should actually be "I'm never giving up the Unshaven Slob Look," because that's the only thing this guy is consistent about.
2. Would a woman really tell her husband "I'm pregnant" as an "Oh by the way" aside while carrying laundry upstairs? She acts as if she knows her hubby will see this as bad news and wants to get it out there and run away before he can respond. That's pretty depressing, when you think about it.
3. Logically, doesn't the guy's last line mean that he IS going to let go of this family? That's even MORE depressing.
4. Can I relate to any of this? Absolutely not. Manchild ogles women and thinks "oh yeah, I love the bachelor life, I'm just going to jump random, half-drunk women I meet at parties, I'm never getting married! Then he gets married and moves from a $2000 per month apartment to a million-dollar house in the suburbs and buys the prerequisite $40,000 SUV. In other words, he turns out to be a square peg that fit firmly into the square hole created and adjusted only slightly since roughly 1946. WTF-ever, State Farm.
Monday, June 8, 2015
Melissa McCarthy has been perfectly satisfied to make one movie after another in which she plays a "funny" fat woman doing what America thinks "funny" fat women do (like eating their own napkins- that's considered so "funny" it's actually included in the trailer) like be fat and make stupid, snarky and decidedly unfunny comments about being fat until the credits mercifully roll and the tasteless clods who paid upwards of ten bucks to watch this dreck giggle their way out of the theaters.
Hey, I get it- it's a living, and we all need to make a living. When Cass Elliot's career was on the wane she allowed herself to be humiliated on one awful variety show after another, celebrated for her weight issues much more than her beautiful voice. Every generation since the Silent Era has featured comedians trading on their girth, from Fatty Arbuckle to John Candy and Chris Farley. And we know what they all had in common- they were "funny" because they were so big and clumsy and goofy. Oh, and they all died early - Farley at 33, Candy at 43, Arbuckle at 46.
Mama Cass? She didn't make it to 34.
McCarthy will be 45 in August. She's been pretty fortunate in her career- inexplicably popular sitcom, inexplicably popular movies. Unlike Farley and Candy, she's apparently decided that her health is more important than her ability to make slack-jawed idiots laugh at her Just Because She's Fat And Fat Means Funny, because she's recently lost fifty pounds in order (in her words) to become a "healthier, happier person" for herself and her family.
I'm not a Melissa McCarthy fan, but I'm rooting for her to keep this up and break the cycle. No, I'm not going to see this movie, partially because from the trailer it's clear she's still playing on the "laugh at me because I'm unhealthy" theme, but also because what passes for humor in movies these days just isn't for me. But I'm pulling for her to move beyond the Fat Lady stage and be funny AND healthy. Because I was sick of seeing talented people drop dead way too early a long time ago.
Saturday, June 6, 2015
1. This is a series of commercials featuring these same two guys bantering for several minutes at a time while cruising around in a Nissan. No, really. It's a series.
2. Read the comments, I dare you. The people who wrote them actually share the planet with us, the Sane Ones. These posters are the biggest tools on the planet- one of them things these guys should have a reality show. Another thinks that specific parts of the "conversation" between the two "stars" are actually "funny, " even "adorable." I'm not kidding. Check for yourself. I hope that every day, their parents thank them for posting using fake names.
3. This four-minute lump of Obviously Made-For-YouTube steaming dung almost made me appreciate Nissan's current Made-For-TV ad campaign - you know, the one featuring drooling rubes screaming their fool heads off with excitement at the experience of driving around in- a Nissan. Almost, but not quite. Because at least this dreck is only on YouTube. The Hicks Yelling Woo Hoo commercials are on my television twenty or thirty times an hour during every baseball game, almost impossible to avoid. I hate you so very much, Nissan.
Tuesday, June 2, 2015
It's been eighteen years since this woman stopped gulping down eight Tylenol every day and instead started gulping down two Aleve every day. So my question is, did she ever actually go to a doctor to look into her daily back pain issues, or did she just continue to take over the counter masking drugs until her liver finally exploded?
(BTW, I found this ad while searching for the recent obnoxious Stereotypical Italian Mom With the Nasal Accent who loves to make Sunday dinner for her family but doesn't like back pain or asking for help. I'll post that one when it shows up on YouTube because....ugh.)