Friday, September 30, 2016
I'll give Apex this- they are still around, and still offering these classes. I bet their commercials are better now, though
"Every two seconds somebody bangs up a car. Keeping them looking new again keeps 185,000 specialists on the job..."
Well, I'd think so. After all, that's 30 cars being banged up every minute, or 1800 every hour, or 43,200 every day- or almost sixteen MILLION cars banged up every year....if they all needed servicing, that comes out to eighty-five cars per "specialist." Except, wait- isn't it reasonable to assume that the vast majority of those "bang-ups" are going to be fender-benders, scratches, and dings written off by the owners because, well, deductables? And even if every single one of those cars were brought in to a "specialist," that comes out to one job every four days...how long does it take to fix a dent or fill a stratch?*
My favorite part of this classic ad comes at 35 seconds in when the host, after giving a quick rundown of the skills his training program teaches, breaks into a chuckle and practically blurts out "now seriously, don't you agree that a monkey could be trained to do any of this work in a long weekend? How freaking helpless are you?"
Maybe in the 1970s applying bondo and smoothing out dents and spraying paint- all those things MAACO charges through the nose for- made for a good career? Considering that my father in law was able to teach me how to do all that stuff for my own car and I managed to actually do it without blinding myself or losing an appendage, I kind of doubt it. VCR Repair sounds more promising, even if it doesn't come with that awesome Probably Free When You Apply For a Sears Card tool kit...
*oh, who am I kidding? "Labor: $200 Minimum" pretty much no matter what, right?
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
The guy who drives this Lexus is the President of the company his dad started and is well aware that he doesn't pay his minions enough to ever be able to afford a decent car, let alone a Lexus, which makes him better than them, and that makes him happy as he cruises off in smug satisfaction, hopefully on his way to a horrific accident in which he is the only fatality.
And just think- the December to Remember ads are right around the corner. Must be, because Christmas is right around the corner. The local chain store tells me so.
Monday, September 26, 2016
1. The poor alcoholic in the first frame can only afford to buy single cans, but doesn't notice that one has gone missing- and I guess won't notice until she gets home and realizes that she's going to have a very rough night without that third can of cheap beer to stave off the DTs....
2. The magic rolling Corona can is SO magic that it does something that no can has ever done- it manages to roll several inches on a dry beach. Sure, that happens. Uh huh. And if you leave a sandwich out unattended the seagulls will realize it's not their property and totally leave it alone, too.
3. Is it too much to ask that beer companies just go back to showing us people actually drinking their product and having a good time doing it? This is stupid. The only way this ad comes even close to redeeming itself is if we at least get to see the guy who opens this can get half of it sprayed in his face. Instead, we are supposed to believe that the Obviously Lukewarm Can of Cheap Beer was mistaken as one brought to the beach party. If that happened, I have to believe that the partiers are already seriously buzzed from the consumption of alcohol of a much higher quality.
Sunday, September 25, 2016
1. Hey buddy, your customers aren't "counting on you" to get your sorry ass out of bed to make coffee. If you don't get that shop open, they are going to hit McDonald's, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Seven-Eleven or any of the other 2000 options out there for early morning coffee. And you'll get to explain to the bank how you "couldn't get up" and therefore lost all your business and won't be making this month's loan payment.
2. If you are happily rising from bed as the sun streams through your windows, you sure as hell aren't running a coffee shop. Hey, guess what, moron? Your customers are long gone. Unlike you, they actually have to get to jobs that start before mid-morning. Coffee shops that don't open until after sunrise aren't going to be in business very long. You wanted to run a coffee shop but you didn't want to get up before dawn to get it going? Well, I'm sorry, but that means you didn't really want to run a coffee shop.* You just conned yourself into thinking you did. And now....
3. You are blaming your back pain for your absolutely horrible business sense. You decided you wanted to be your own boss, so you figured "hey, people drink coffee, I can make coffee, so I'll do that." Then you realized that people like to BUY coffee early in the morning, and oh noes that means that if you wanted to succeed, you'd have to get up early what were you thinking? And now you're stuck with the option of hiring someone to open "your" shop for you (and splitting the profits) or just hoping that people won't want coffee until you are damn good and ready to open your shop (mid-morning, apparently. When everyone is at work.)
4. Just admit it- you thought it would be fun to run a business in which you served up very expensive coffee to really stupid people who would continue to be totally loyal to you (they "depend" on you, after all) even if you couldn't get the damn store open at a time convenient to THEM, not YOU. Congratulations on finding a loan officer even more obtuse than you are. Enjoy your backache, you entitled jackass. I'm off to Starbucks.
*Maybe this guy can start a support group with that woman in the other commercial who thinks she has a job taking pictures of sunrises but gets up after dawn and takes them with a hand-held camera....Delusionals Annonymous, perhaps?
Saturday, September 24, 2016
In the Bad Old Days, when spending $150 wasn't something you could do at the spur of the moment from your seat at Fenway Park (unless you flagged down a vendor and bought a couple of hot dogs and three or four beers,) this scene might end with an apology and a "well, I'm at a game and that's what dry cleaners are for" shrug. Or at the very most, a trip to the huge gift shop on Yawkey Way right outside the ballpark for a replacement jersey when the game is over.
Because we live in the Modern World, spilling nachos on the guy next to you means you whip out your phone (oh, who am I kidding, it's already out and you were already scrolling through stuff you were thinking of buying, not like there's a sporting event you paid serious money to watch happening in front of you or anything) and buy him a replacement jersey before he has a chance to even sit back down- "oops sorry I trashed your jersey, but there's another one on the way so don't even respond, ok?"
And never mind that there's no indication that these people know eachother- where is that jersey being sent? Obviously not to the big guy's house, he wasn't asked his address. So are they going to meet up in a few days to finish this really awkward (and ridiculously expensive) transaction made necessary by the apparent conviction that A) The guy whose jersey was damaged is big and therefore he's a humorless jerk and therefore was about to kill the slob who damaged it, stopped only by the assurance that a brand new jersey was on the way, and B) saying "oh, I'm sorry" is simply not adequate in the era of Buy It* Right Now?
*Oh, sorry- "Masterpass It." Yeah, that's going to catch on. Have I told you how much I hate this century?
Rule # 2- if you own a Jaguar, feel free to drive fifty MPH in a f--ng parking garage. Because it's not like anyone else exists.
Rule # 3- also if you own a Jaguar, you are permitted to drive as fast as you want on ANY road, and to f--k turn signals, those are for total non-Jaguar owners, also known as Losers.
Rule # 91 (according to this British chick)-- "always maintain eye contact, in spite of the distractions. F--k other cars on the road, f--k pedestrians, you own the whole road and if anyone gets in the way, just run them over with your Superior car.
Bottom line and a quick summary of the Jaguar Rulebook- Just do whatever you want in your car, because it's your world, we are just crawling around like ants in it.
Friday, September 23, 2016
Nobody is using this thing to tear through mountain streams, and I sure as hell hope that no one is using it to drive through someone's farmland (though if someone tries it, I hope the owner of that farmland has a shotgun and good aim.) This car is for hauling around soccer teams and groceries. Call it a Jeep Cherokee in a lame attempt to make some claim to being adventurous if you want, but this is just another Suburban Blandmobile, and the biggest test of it's "seamless transition to changes in terrain" is going to come when you reach the next speed bump, just before you drop your kids off at middle school.
Sorry, losers. This car isn't going to give you your youth back. Just thought I'd try to save you forty grand. No thanks necessary.
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
"Stop telling me to plug the cord into the connector, I've done that and it's not working!"
"(Sigh) ok, moron- because I don't want to spend any more time on the phone with your worthless, helpless ass, I'm sending you a link so I can see what you see."
"You can do that? Wait a minute- what button do I push on my phone once you send the App? And what's an App, anyway?"
"(Groan) ok I'm just going to send an Application which allows me to basically take over your phone's camera so I can see what you can see but are failing to see."
"Wait a minute, let me get my daughter over here to do that, I don't know what you are talking about."
"We've got the camera working now, just point it at the box. See that cord, the one in your hand? Stick it in the connector to the left, just like I told you fifteen times before getting control of your phone."
"Ok, I did that."
"No, you put the cord into the light socket. Put it in the cable box. That's the box on top of the TV. Just connect the cord to the connector to the left. Slowly now. That's right, you've got it!"
"Hey, I did it, this is a great service!"
"We know- it allowed us to fire hundreds of service techs last year and made our stock go up almost half a point. Of course, by 'we' I mean the people who own Verizon. I just work a phone bank, and if you think I'm actually a twentysomething white guy sitting in a stylish office, I understand why you were too stupid to figure out how to plug in a cord without having your hand held through the process."
Monday, September 19, 2016
(You can just ignore the embedded commercial, though it does kind of fit part of my rant because its about the LA Dodgers....)
Dear hosts of Sirius/XM Channel 89 and Major League Baseball,
1. I don't know where you got the idea that we want to hear Tommy Lasorda wax poetic about baseball for three minutes before each pre-game segment, but we really don't. I doubt even Dodgers fans are all that interested in listening to Lasorda blather about kids and dirt and bats and balls and the smell of autumn in the air blah blah blah, but if you must include his dopey dialogue you could at least confine it to those games.
2. I don't know why you think that we want to hear endless interviews with players, or why you think you can sell us on those guest spots merely by telling the hosts to sound excited about them-- "Coming next, we'll have the backup catcher for the San Diego Padres farm team, I'm really hyped about it! I mean, I am seriously PUMPED!" All they do is make me change the channel- and yes, very often I forget to change it back. For days.
3. If you do insist on featuring these interviews, could you PLEASE insist that the hosts go beyond the insultingly inane, lazy questions we simply don't give a damn to have answered and which don't provide even a modicum of insight? Enough already with the "how excited are you to be in the playoff race" and "how cool is it to be a teammate of (insert player we couldn't get to come on the show here?") These are questions a kid working for his High School newspaper would be embarrassed to ask.
4. The other day you actually had the UFC Heavyweight Champion as a guest. WTF? Why don't you just scream "I'm bored with baseball" and get it over with? I'd ask what's next, but I don't think you can sink lower than that.
5. Postgame shows provide local flavor. Stop cutting them off so you can return to generic blather with your national hosts. The less of them the better.
There's more, but I'll save it for another letter.
Sincerely, XM Radio Subscriber (since 2003.)
Sunday, September 18, 2016
Someone at Gatorade thought that this was a really good idea. And then someone else- probably several someone elses- agreed and cut a check to make it happen. And then camera crews were arranged and sites scouted and agreed upon and maybe an entire day was spent in filming.
And during all this, nobody said "wait a minute, this is really awful and it will make our customers hate us?"
Even the YouTubers agree- this is an obnoxious failure of epic proportions. If it's going to be a regular feature during tv college football games this year, I'm just going to take the season off and listen to something more enjoyable, like cats being tortured. Why can't the cicadas show up and drown out this crap?
Saturday, September 17, 2016
In the late-1980s, I had the best job imaginable for a kid working his way through graduate school- I managed a video rental store. What made it a fantastic job was all the fun conversations with regular customers about this or that latest release, how amazing it was that Superman IV managed to be even worse than Superman III, and how we all appreciated Golan and Globus for making the video rental industry even possible.
I also remember watching recruitment tapes which explained what a great career managing a video rental store could be- with awesome benefits (like free rentals, plus....well, that's about it, really) in an industry which would just keep growing and growing....um, right?
When I saw this classic Sally Struthers Correspondence Courses commercial on YouTube, it made me a little nostalgic about my days at the old video store, and also made me wonder what happened to the people who bought in to the idea that managing one might be the late-20th century equivalent of working the assembly line at the Ford factory- something you did for forty years or so before retiring with a sweet pension (or at least a hefty 401k.) Obviously those dreams did not become a reality. Ok for me, as I had no intention of devoting my life to a job suited for a college kid, but I'm sure that there were plenty of people who watched the rapid demise of the video rental industry* at the dawn of the 21st century with more than a little anxiety at the idea of starting over.
What happened to the people who decided to go all in for training in VCR repair or "Learning the Personal Computer?" An earlier Struthers ad I remember even included Typewriter Repair as one of the options. Did this training result in a few years of steady paychecks before those jobs were swept into the dustbin with streetlamp lighting and meter reading?
(I also thought it was more than a little appropriate that Sally Struthers would be pitching these courses - while she would find steady work on television over the next forty years her career peaked before her thirtieth birthday and I always imagined that while she was urging the audience to look into career options and telling us "do you want to make more money? Sure, we all do!" she was speaking for herself as much as for the company that hired her.)
*Which was already underway when I departed the industry in 1991. My last job for the company I managed for was to close three of the chain's stores through liquidation sales. The only VHS tape left unsold in one of the stores was the Justine Bateman vehicle Satisfaction (yes, I know Julia Roberts was in it, but it was Bateman's movie.) The last I heard, Bateman was studying Computer Science. Good to have a fallback, even if it's not on Sally Struther's list.
Friday, September 16, 2016
Listening to these "Real People, Not Actors" brown-nosers buzzphrase their way into a few seconds of screen time is enough to really take me off my lunch. And it doesn't even make any sense that they slavishly praise the truck they are being shown- I mean, wouldn't it be a better commercial if they were just a little bit skeptical of Chevrolet instead of being 100 percent sold on the company and their products before going in, instead of this "you don't even have to show me the vehicle, I am so totally into Chevy already" crap? Who would be convinced by any of this?
Oh right- Real Stupid People desperate for attention. Not Actors. And glue-sniffing Youtube commentators. I keep forgetting.
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
This commercial is about as welcome as a tic; I mean, this guy wasn't even gone long enough to score nostalgia points with his return.
Personally, I'm dissapointed to learn that he didn't die in a fire or at least give up the commercial gigs and go back to law school, or something. If this is the beginning of another line of "Can You Hear Me Now" commercials, well, I guess my mute button is going to get a serious workout this football season.
As for his "friend"- congratulations, lady, on your plans to become the most obnoxious, techno-addled twit on the planet. I'll be counting my blessings, including the biggest one- that I don't know you.
(BTW, why is this "conversation" taking place outside a movie theater? Am I missing something here? Never mind. I don't think I want to know.)
Sunday, September 11, 2016
I guess this commercial takes place in an alternate universe where people in an obvious American suburb populated by Indians not only know what cricket is but are aware of terms like "batsmen," can identify a particular cricket player as "the most dangerous batsman in the world," and have neighbors who are equally impressed that such a person lives on their street and is willing to demonstrate his skills in front of a bizarrely appreciative audience. I suspect that this same group of people will fall into a swoon when the captain of the Olympic Curling team moves in next winter.
Meanwhile, despite it becoming very, very obvious that the ball struck by the ---umm, batsman--- is completely harmless, the jittery jerk driving the car puts his family in peril by freaking out and crashing into a fence and an actual working fountain in the front yard (an actual working fountain in the front yard? Oh go f--k yourselves, you entitled asshats.)
This is all completely understandable to the State Farm agent- "ah yes, of course- it makes perfect sense that your wife pointed out that this guy was about to hit a cricket ball, that you saw it coming at your car, that you saw it bounce off your car and hit a window- and you responded by losing control of that car and crashing it through a fence and into an actual working fountain (again, grrrrr....rage rising.....) instead of just applying the brakes or using the foreknowledge provided by your wife to prepare for the possibility of your car being hit by the ball.....yeah, you're covered, though may I say you should probably be letting your wife drive....."
Saturday, September 10, 2016
I actually watched all two-plus minutes of this mess because after thirty seconds I figured I had invested too much time not to stay for the punchline. Plus, it really is very funny, and I was absolutely convinced by the end that someone had finally decided to make a really good spoof movie- you know, like the intelligent, well-written ones that were produced in the 1980s (Airplane, Naked Gun....)
Then the trailer ended and I realized that....wow, this is for an actual horror movie, and all those hilarious scenes were supposed to be scary. Now I feel bad for bursting into laughter repeatedly, and now I realize that if I went to see it in the theater, I would almost certainly spend more time bored and insulted than humored. Pass.
(Are we sure we can't do just a little rewriting and turn this into a spoof film? I mean, it doesn't have to come out until Halloween anyway, right?)
Friday, September 9, 2016
The current version of this mess cuts into the "action" ten seconds in and skips to the "hilarious" punchline, with the two oddly-still-alive (I mean, for fishermen) mounted on the wall of the fish's...um... hunting cabin? Whatever. So someone in marketing figured out that the original version, embedded for your displeasure here, is about as interesting as, well, fishing itself.
The long version also reveals that the makers of this commercial have a pretty good grip on what it means to be a fisherman- its pretty much a pointless "activity" featuring what is politely referred to as "patience" being exercised by "sportsmen" but what is more accurately described as "an incredible waste of time" being carried out by "losers" with "no reason to wake up tomorrow."
Oh, and who are tempted by the sight of TV dinners floating around in a lake. Seriously?
In conclusion, the only thing more depressing than actual fishing just might be this commercial. And the only thing more depressing than this commercial is reading the Youtube comments and realizing that some people actually enjoy it. Ugh.
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
...and the best thing about this emergency food is that it fits conveniently in the corner of any reasonably-sized fallout shelter. Just stack it up against the ammo for the M-15s and the spare batteries for the flashlights (we don't need radio batteries, because we got one with a crank handle with our last subscription to Newsmax.)
And let's be serious, ok? The two scary-serious white people in this ad ("survival specialists." That's not creepy at all) aren't talking about power outages when they discuss emergencies. Nor are they seriously contemplating The Stand-level pandemics or Earth-devastating storms, droughts or meteor strikes. They aren't really worried about getting grandma her hot meal on schedule during a snowstorm, and they don't really believe that they are ever going to be cut off from civilization for months at a time due to any natural disaster.
Nope- what the scary-serious white people are really concerned about is convincing a very small population of jittery racist idiots that the election of Barack Obama is the beginning of the end of a stable society based on the power of scary-serious white people with guns. The same jittery racist idiots who are responsible for the largest spike in gun sales (since 2008) in our nation's history. The World is Coming to an End because we elected a black President and OHMIGOD we are about to follow that up with a female president, Get Your Guns and Emergency Food Now While It's Still Legal. That's why companies like Wise Foods buy ads during college football game replays and Glenn Beck's The Blaze programming schedule. That's where the older, frightened, bored, gullible and paranoid people with money are to be found.
Man, I feel sorry for the children of people who feel the need to buy this stuff. I mean, ok, if you live on top of a mountain or in an area where natural disasters are fairly common and you want to keep a few days worth of dried food in a closet, fine. But again- that's not the customer base for this stuff, because dried foods are available at any sporting goods store. This is for the survivalists, pure and simple. Creepy.
Sunday, September 4, 2016
She'll be asking you to buy fruit the next time you go out for cupcakes unless you stop this madness now, parents!
1. Apparently asking that a salad be included in the family's takeout pizza order is akin to declaring martial law and shutting down the newspapers. All this girl does is ask "we're getting salad, right?" She doesn't threaten anybody. She is just suggesting that along with the greasy, disgusting warm box of sugar and carbs the High School dropout is going to bring in the next hour, maybe he could include something slightly more healthy?
2. The sluggish, atrophied family reacts as if the daughter has suggested that the annual trip to Disneyworld be cancelled and the money donated to Oxfam. The mom especially responds with body language which could be translated to "oh my god where the hell did you come from because you are NOT the product of MY upbringing! If you were you'd be opposed to the delivery pizza idea because you want a bucket of KFC instead!"
3. I can't be the only person who noticed that the makers of this commercial found a freakishly-thin young woman to play Crazy Salad Eater. "Haha, look at the weirdo who wants vegetables, she's like a stick and she thinks she's healthy!" Meanwhile the pizza-eaters look normal by comparison- they aren't morbidly obese.
4. Are there words to describe how depressed I am that wanting a salad to go along with the junk is being portrayed as oddball behavior which can now be tolerated-sort of- only because Dominos now sells salad? If there are, I can't come up with them right now. I'm in the mood for pizza, though. Won't be calling Dominos because as far as I can tell, they aren't really in the pizza business.
Saturday, September 3, 2016
THIS woman is married to THAT guy?*
Ok, either he's got a LOT of money, or this is just further proof that men write commercials. Because, come on! This shall NOT stand!
*Now, it does make a LITTLE more sense when you note that he "slept like a baby"- by himself. That's SOMETHING, anyway. Still.....
"After you've served hubby and the kids their dinners for the 4500th time in the term of the contract you signed when you sold your soul to that jackass in exchange for that house and that yard, there's nothing better than getting up yet again and heading off to your kitchen (it's yours because god knows hubby has no idea where it is) to get the dessert ready. And there's nothing that beats watermelon as a cold, fresh and healthy dessert!
But man, watermelon can be tough to cut up, and despite the fact that you live in the mansion that guy dangled in front of you like a pork chop in front of a dog you really feel kind of obligated to watch the family budget (after all, other than popping out children and keeping his castle clean, what else do you do??) So pre-sliced watermelon-- that's a no-no. We've got the answer for you- our amazing Get Another One Free Just Pay Seperate Shipping so you can cut with both hands at the same time watermelon slicer!
(Why would you want to cut with both hands? Need I remind you that hubby- who has been shopping around for a younger model for a while now- is still waiting out there on the porch for his dessert?)
And look, no more struggling with the awful rind- now you can just dump it into the garbage to attract every fruit fly within two miles to your kitchen. Sure a composter would make a lot of sense but your upscale neighbors wouldn't approve, so into the garbage it goes. And even better- you can now be CREATIVE with how you serve up the watermelon to your lord and master.....errr, husband....and now that he's seen this ad, you'd better count on being just that.
Bet you thought you had the routine down to a science, didn't you? Sorry, little woman- but we are never going to stop coming up with gadgets that hubby will expect you to use to make his life more fun and his investment in you look a little better."
Thursday, September 1, 2016
I suppose that when the internet and cable are down and you don't have a single book in the house and you absolutely cannot actually stand to be with the people you find yourself with, and are absolutely determined not to go outside and actually do something, an "activity" like this might appear attractive.
But if none of those situations exist, the only excuse for doing anything like the people in this commercial are doing is if the Zombie Apocalypse is underway and you are all just counting down the hours in your bomb shelter. If that's the case, I suppose making duck lips using Pringles might just qualify as an event in your private End of the World Olympics. I mean, it's certainly a lot safer than actually consuming that crap.
As for the people in this ad- I don't care how much you've always wanted to be on television, or how persuasive your agent was in convincing you that appearing on behalf of Pringles in a commercial that required you to act like a brain-damaged child might lead to an actual acting career. Nothing could be worth the loss of your self-respect, which can never be regained. I hate you and I hope you all die in a fire very soon.*
*And that goes for all you glue-sniffing morons who upvoted this commercial. I'm so grateful we aren't related.