Wednesday, July 18, 2018

A good Amtrak Commercial. Don't worry, this won't be a trend.



Back in the 1980s I was a student at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC and at least once each year I used Amtrak to travel home to Vermont for vacation.  I always traveled coach, and back then Amtrak not only didn't offer WiFi but it wasn't even really great at consistent lighting- if you traveled at night and tried to read you could expect to have the lights go on and off as the rickety train rolled up and down the Northeast Corridor- which means that unless you liked arriving at your destination with an upset stomach and headache, you probably didn't try to read.

And because it was the 1980s, you didn't yak away on your cellphone and neither did anyone else because hey, no cellphones.  You were pretty much out of touch with the world while you were on that train.  And oddly enough, this was ok.

During one trip- I think it was around Christmas- I was sitting in my seat on the train to Vermont when a young woman my age asked to sit next to me.  She introduced herself and we ended up talking for hours.  At one point she fell asleep on my shoulder while using my headphones (oh yeah, we had Walkmans so we had headphones.)  We said goodbye when I exited the train at Montpelier- she was going on to Montreal.  I never saw her again, though we did write for a while. Her name was Astrid.

Anyway, I don't have a problem with this Amtrak commercial at all.  It  looks like these kids are doing what I did on a regular basis almost forty years ago- taking a train home during a break in classes because it's still cheaper than an airplane ticket and can actually be kind of fun if you know how to relax and watch the scenery and enjoy being with fellow human beings.  I don't even mind the selfies, because they aren't being obnoxious about it.  I also like that they aren't constantly on those phones but are actually doing things like talking, daydreaming, taking in the scenery and napping.  It's actually pretty cool.

Ok, back to being a curmudgeon next time.  I promise.

Monday, July 16, 2018

More fun with Grammarly, the BFF of Lazy, Illiterate Twits....



...who don't want own the fact that they are lazy, illiterate twits and actually DO something about it instead of embracing this electronic crutch?

Anyone want to comment on the fact this college student is using Grammarly to write a term paper on "The Power of Words?"

Anyone want to comment on the fact that this college student seems completely incapable of constructing a sentence without resorting to cliche's, buzzwords, or outright plagiarism? 

Will this college student ever admit that if she had been born five years earlier, her college career would have ended in the first semester because she's an illiterate doofus who has no business taking up a seat in a class which should be occupied by an actual student with actual writing skills, or at least someone who is interested in improving her writing skills rather than letting an online editing program do her writing for her?

Anyone else wonder why teachers even bother assigning research papers or any kind of writing that takes place outside the classroom when we've got programs like Grammarly out there?  Unless the student is sitting right in front of you writing in longhand, how do you even know it's her work? 

Is it time to admit that Grammarly is to English skills what the calculator is to Math skills, and that asking people to learn how to write is the modern version of asking them to work out calculations using a pencil and paper?  I mean, in a world where "do research" means "Ask Google," what's the point of even pretending anymore?

Saturday, July 14, 2018

I have no idea why Southwest keeps assaulting me with this



Seriously, this ad is running during every commercial break- sometimes twice- sometimes TWICE IN A ROW- of tonight's Red Sox v Blue Jays game.  And I'm pretty sure that no matter how many times it hits me over the head, I still won't understand what exactly is going on here.

I mean, I get the message.  Southwest has high consumer satisfaction ratings.  Great. Cool.  Whatever.  I won't even point out that judging one airline against another in consumer satisfaction is like looking for the tallest dwarf in Narnia these days.  Everyone hates the airlines, and for good reason.  All the domestic carriers suck.  Each and every one.  The internationals?  I have very limited experience there, but no complaints from me.

What I want to know is, what are these stupid grinning idiots grinning stupidly about?  They don't look like they sit on the Board of Directors at Southwest.  They look like stewards and baggage handlers and maybe pilots.  What are they getting so excited about?  And why are they incapable of showing excitement in a realistic, relateable way?  I mean, Jesus- they look like they just won the freaking lottery, not that the airline they happen to draw a paycheck from is more popular than an airline they DON'T work for.  Why does it matter so much to them?

I guess it's probably a good thing that I have never been asked to fill out a customer satisfaction survey by Southwest.  The only time I ever used the airline was in June, 2017 when I had to fly to Tampa.  The flight was fine.  I liked not paying for my bag.  But man oh man did I hate the "pick any seat" strategy.  At least a dozen people in front of me on the line to board the plane were lying about their boarding numbers and cutting in front of people who should have been ahead of them.  Then I get on the plane and NOBODY wants to sit next to ANYBODY- you walk down the aisle and get surly "well I guess you can sit next to me IF YOU MUST" looks.  Very awkward.

Assigned seating, Southwest.  It's not that hard.  Get on it, will you?  And until then, please tell me what the hell these people in your commercials are on, because I want a bottle of it myself.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Oh come down off your cross already!



So I guess everyone this woman knows is sick of her ignoring her nasty red rash which causes her to scratch, or maybe a little sick of her "it's a horrible skin disease that I insist on showing the world by wearing strapless dresses and scratching constantly but just ignore it it's ok" martyr bit.  So one of her friends responds to her "I'm suffering it's ok" drama queen act by whipping out a tablet and showing her a conveniently downloaded ad for Eczema Exposed, or something.

Clearly the friend has more than had enough of the whiny Not Suffering in Silence idiot who thinks that it's perfectly ok to suffer from ugly red itchy skin- and maybe even preferable to actually dealing with it if you can constantly blather about it to everyone you talk to.  She's got her tablet and she's letting the idiot know that there are these things called "doctors" who can offer other things called "treatments" so maybe she should get her tired butt and her played-to-death illness down to the nearest heath care facility and check it out.

Or stop fishing for sympathy like an overgrown baby.  Either way, the friend has put her foot down.  She- and everyone else this woman knows- is done with this nonsense.

Monday, July 9, 2018

BMW + Mission Impossible = Two Sad Trends



1.  Remember when the first time you learned about a new action movie coming out WASN'T when you saw it being used to sell some unrelated product on tv?  I can't, either.  A few years back, I first learned that The Lorax was going to be totally updated and bastardized through a Denny's ad.  More recently, I learned that the Jurrasic Park franchise was going through a reboot through a Dairy Queen commercial.  Are these movies made JUST to provide cross-promotion?

2.  Check out the comments under this ad, if you dare.  The level of brown-nosing is almost impressive.  These guys are literally having orgasms over a car they know nothing about, will never own- hell, will probably never even test-drive.  Why?  Because you can actually pick up a little money squealing like a pig on YouTube comment sections, and shame went extinct decades ago.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Five Hour Energy: Mother's Little Helper comes in a tiny bottle these days....



You COULD stay hydrated and consume a balanced diet with an emphasis on fruits and veggies and lean proteins.

You COULD re-evaluate your schedule and be realistic about what you can get done in the time you have, taking into account that your body needs adequate rest and that the world's wants and "needs" kind of need to respect that- and will, if you make it....

Or, you could ignore your body and chug a little bottle of caffeine with sweeteners.  You'll get a momentary little energy high that will allow you to be productive for a few more hours, and your body will just have to deal with the fact that you used this artificial junk to cover up it's natural warning signs because you're a Superperson after all and You Don't Have Time to be Tired because look at this work you have to do plus your kids want- sorry, "need" you to be at 100 percent all the time.

So pretend that your body is just like your cellphone- with the right addition it can be recharged super-fast with no ill effects.  Just take a swig of this stuff and get back to work, monkey.  Natural vitamins?  Rest?  You sound like your parents- you know, those people who are still active and healthy into their eighties because they understood that it was ok to take a break now and then.  What dopes, huh?

Friday, July 6, 2018

Mila Kunis sitting alone at a bar. Only in a Jim Beam Commercial.



Yeah, it's an invitation.  It's an advertisement, and all advertisements are invitations to purchase something.

So, woman at a bar, if you take advice from coasters, "accept" the "invitation" to buy a glass of whiskey.  Because your coaster has an ad for Jim Beam on it.  And because Mila Kunis encouraged you to before bleating something about "making history."  I don't think I want to know what kind of "history" this woman can make if she drinks a glass of whiskey, but whatever.

Meanwhile, Mila, I've been tossing coins into fountains for years, and we still aren't married yet.  What the hell is that all about?

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Or maybe Arnold's Organic Bread Company exists in Fantasyland?



Ok, so this gorgeous young woman has a big, beautiful house with a big, beautiful kitchen where she loves to make and consume sandwiches made with organic bread- and she walks and trains dogs for a living?

I call BS on all that.  This woman is a classic Trophy Wife.  She trains and walks dogs because she likes doing it and she and the old guy she sold herself to agreed she could do that for a few years before she got busy popping out heirs.  Sorry if that sounds overly cynical, but that's the way it is.  Dog trainers don't make Big House, Big Kitchen, Organic Bread Money.  Not in my universe.

(On subsequent reviewings, it appears that this woman is NOT a dog trainer.  She just has a dog.  And a lawn in the suburbs big enough for a garden.  And time to play with her dog and grow tomatoes in that garden.  So the main point still stands- this woman is a Trophy Wife.)


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Buick gives me a chance to demonstrate why I don't get invited to baby showers



1.  This woman's only job for the baby shower was to pick up the cake- and she couldn't get the sex of the child right?  Did nobody tell her, or did she hear wrong, or did she not bother to ask?

2.  "You know she's having a boy, right?"  Um, unless she's dropping that cake off at another baby shower before heading to the one you're both going to, she clearly DIDN'T know.  Again, why not?

3.  Is this how it works- when you go to a baby shower and bring a cake and you think that the guest of honor is having a girl, you make sure the cake is pink and has "GIRL" in fake blocks on it?  Why not just blocks of any color which read "HUMAN MAMMAL" or "PERSON?"  Wouldn't that be thinking-outside-the-box clever?  Or at least more clever than pink icing and "GIRL?"

I sure think so.  But I don't go to these things normally.  I'm going to one in a few weeks because my awesome great-nephew will be there and I don't pass up any opportunity to be with that little guy, not even a baby shower.  I'll bring him a set of Hot Wheels, and I'm quite certain he won't care at all what color they are.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Seeking Forgiveness from your Grill, or your Audience?



When the white guy's lounge chair collapses, sending his food sprawling, the immediate reaction of the black guy is to point and laugh.  Because he's an asshole.

The immediate response of YouTube viewers who see this ad is to post how much they love it, because they are assholes who like things they know are supposed to be funny Because Reasons. 

I'm convinced that most viewers have the brains of young house cats who react instantly to shiny objects in the form of cliche'd crap on tv.  Cats react instinctively to laser pointers, dangling string, and mice.  YouTubers react instinctively to people tripping, falling, getting seriously hurt, or just plain being humiliated in a moment of vulnerability. 

So this ad- featuring absolutely nothing more than a guy's chair collapsing causing him to lose his food and then being mocked by another guy ten feet away who actually interrupted his conversation with another human being to do the mocking- is "funny" because.....again, I don't get it.

And I CERTAINLY don't get why this ad is supposed to make me want to buy a grill.  Because it's "forgiving?"  A lounge chair might collapse and force me to get up, clean myself off, and go get some more food.  What can a grill do?  Give me third-degree burns.  How is that "forgiving?"  What does all this even mean?

Saturday, June 30, 2018

A 9-year old Black and Decker Commercial....



...is all I've got on a day in which the mercury is expected to hit 95 and feel like closer to 102 which is following two days of much the same and will be followed by two days of much the same before I can fly out of this nightmare and get to Vermont, which is expected to be maybe five degrees cooler.....

.....and I'll be at the Baltimore Orioles game today.....pretty sure I'll be in the shade, but still.....

But anyway, nine years ago Black and Decker made this commercial about two zombies and their dog.  Seriously, this couple died ages ago- who has been feeding that perfectly-groomed Toy You Have To Clean Up After?  Certainly not these people, who act as if getting off that couch requires a call to hospice services.

The joke is that the dust is so deep under that couch that it turns the perfectly white dog black- never mind that the rest of the house is flawlessly, almost obnoxiously clean.  Why couldn't the ad show these people living in a filthy house?  Oh, because even nine years ago, ad companies simply didn't do that.  Back then, as now, everyone on television lives in a gleaming house.  Even when the point of your ad is to show extreme dust buildup.

Why is the "guy" in this ad wearing that robe?  Sorry, I drifted off again.  It's very hot out. 

So Black and Decker makes a vacuum that can reach under couches, which is a good thing 'cause it's clear these people aren't about to move it two feet so they can vacuum there.  These warm corpses just don't do stuff like that.  Because they are dead.

Ok I'm done.  I have to shower and change and get to that ball game in the steam bath which is currently my world.  Stay cool and safe and check pets and elderly people, etc. 

Friday, June 29, 2018

Napoleon Grills is making me hate summer



My favorite YouTube comment associated with this commercial is "this ad gave me cancer."  I'd just suggest a slight amendment to "This ad IS cancer."

Every single one of these Napoleon Grill commercials feature males of my species acting like total dicktards for absolutely no reason except They Are Males In The Suburbs And This Is How They Act We Guess.  If a guy is humiliated, that's worthy of a laugh.  If a guy is hurt, even better.  Now, let's get back to grilling that meat because, well, Remember What We Said About Males in the Suburbs.

How bad are these ads?  So bad, they are going to make summer feel too long.  In other words, they are cancer.  And we aren't even into July yet.  Sigh.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

For When the Commicrats come for you....and they will.....



Sometimes, the snark just writes itself. And those are the commercials I live for.

This ad is allegedly for cheap-quality non-Blublocker sunglasses called "Special Ops" (I guess.  I'm not watching this more than a few times.)  It's actually a parody for every product peddled by phony weekend warriors and pitched to paranoid survivalists who have already maxed out on Glenn Beck's Emergency Food and guns....right?

I mean, this can't be real.  Kris "Tanto" Paranto (whose nickname is known only to himself) can NOT be serious with his schtick, can he?  All that "matter of life and death" to "know your surroundings" while crawling through the desert or a swamp....that's either a joke or an Alex Jones wet dream, take your pick.

Anyway, these amazing sunglasses are just what you need to spot the enemy- Obama or Hillary, specificially- before they get close enough to make a grab for your Bible or your gun.  So they are an absolutely essential addition to any Patriotic, Freedom- Loving American who wants to do his part to Make America Great Again.

Or, like I said before, this is a joke.  I'm going with joke.  I have to.  This is the world I need to live in, after all.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Roman.Com's "Funny" Erectile Disfunction Ad....



First, let me point out to all of you who are not regular readers of this blog- and that's pretty much all of you, based on the numbers- that I don't do erectile disfunction ads here.  I mean, I've done like three of them over the course of nearly ten years.  That's three out of more than a thousand posts.  I don't do them.

Second, let me assure you that the only reason I even looked at this ad was because I was searching for a particular Napoleon Grill commercial and found this instead.  I was not looking for an erectile disfunction ad, I was looking for one about these obnoxiously overpriced grills.

But, since I've found this ad and actually watched it, I'll take a moment to snark on it's rank offensiveness anyway.  We've got a white guy and a black guy standing next to a grill while insisting to a disembodied voice that they've got no-- um-- problems.  I'm frankly surprised that no women make an appearance to give an eye-roll to their "if anyone here as an issue, it's the guy standing next to me" defensive stutterings.  I'm not at ALL surprised that one of them spends the entire commercial holding a hot dog impaled on a fork, because that's how Subtle works in these ads.  Which is why I don't do them.

Ok, now back to the great Napoleon Grill Search.  Sorry about that.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Rocket Mortgage continues to hate on women



Here's yet another Rocket Mortgage/Quicken Loans  commercial which is willing to concede that a woman can be extremely smart and successful and even exciting (Megan is a lawyer who totally demolishes the other side AND is on the verge of confirming the existance of Bigfoot?) but when it comes to doing the Maths is basically just a helpless, silly, addled little girl.

Megan has the Sads because for all her brilliance, mortgages are full of percentages and numbers and all those other things that hurt her little Girl Brain.  Law is words and talking and we all know how women can talk the bark off a tree, but when it comes to numbers, well, let's not get silly.  And let's not judge, either- we wouldn't expect a man to be able to diaper a baby without stabbing it or cook a meatloaf without burning down the kitchen, so it would be totally unfair to expect a woman to work out a mortgage schedule.  Everything- and everyone- in their place, as they say.

Fortunately some GUY invented Quicken Loans and since there aren't THAT many numbers on a phone (not that it matters- who has ever met a woman who doesn't know how to use a phone LOL!) Megan can use one to find the perfect mortgage.  After all, it's "simple," and nothing appeals to women more than stuff that's simple. 

Now she just needs to use that phone to find herself a man, because when you think about it, she looks like she's around thirty and no way a female should be worrying her pretty little head about mortgages at her age. 

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Galaxy Presents: A woman going nowhere fast



The woman in this ad....oh, I could spend all day on this post, but I'm tired after a long week of classes and have other things to do.....

1.  She's at the airport and she's holding up the people in line because she didn't think to upload her boarding pass until she reached security.  Um, I'm 54 years old and I know enough to TAKE A SCREENSHOT OF MY BOARDING PASS so nothing needs to be loaded.  I also know that boarding passes can still be printed up- and I ALWAYS get a printed copy of my pass, because, you know, stuff still happens. 

2.  She's on the plane and oh noes she can't use her phone to keep what's left of her atrophied brain amused for a few hours, meanwhile she's got a case of the jealous sads because everyone else on the planet is watching movies on their Much Better Much Faster Phones.  You know, stupid woman, there are these things called "books" and "magazines" that don't need to be streamed or downloaded, right?  Even better, they don't need any external memory.  They just need you to have a vocabulary, but you probably tossed that out a few years ago when you discovered Grammarly and talk-to-text, right?

3.  She's trying to get a taxi- oh what am I saying, she's trying to get an Uber, taxis are so 20th century- but she can't because her phone is, again, too slow.  So she's in the rain (we can assume she didn't know it was going to rain because her phone failed to tell her, so no umbrella)  and totally helpless because she's tossed aside all her life experience and sense to lean on her ubiquitious electronic crutch. 

4.  She finally does get a ride, but then she sees a Samsung store and tells the driver to let her off so she can run in and get her slow phone fixed or something.  It takes no time at all for the commissioned salesperson to convince her that there's nothing she can do to make her phone be at her beck and call to save her from her helpless self.  I mean, she COULD get rid of some apps but that's just silly.  So she'll just shell out some more money and upgrade, problem solved.  In the final scene, we find her Loving Her Phone Again 'Cause It's Fast Enough to allow her to sit in an easy chair and stare at something on the screen.  We don't see the phone actually saving her from a situation her non-cellphone owning parents would have had no problem dealing with.  She's just watching something, giving her atrophied brain yet another vacation.

(Oh, and we get some weird scene where a total stranger and his kid stare at her like she's the last free human in "Invasion of the Body Snatchers."  They can just TELL she has an inferior, slow phone and she MUST be assimilated or she can expect to be sneered at for being such a luddite.  How do they know that her stress is being caused by her phone and not the heavy rain or some unspoken problem in her life?  There's probably an App for that.)

Seriously, WTF Samsung?  Paper boarding passes.  Books, Magazines, Daydreaming.  Taxis.  How freaking helpless and dependent on electronics do you want us to be?  Do I really want you to answer that?


Friday, June 22, 2018

Up into your neighbor's Napoleon Grill? Get help!



I've had more than enough of these Napoleon Grill ads which feature rich white guys standing outside ridiculous suburban mansions playing with equally ridiculous, utterly opulent grills which feature more bells and whistles than most automobiles.

In this one, a creep is so damned obsessed with all the fun he can have with his neighbor's grill that he's actually snuck on to the property in the middle of the night to engage in a little fantasy grilling.  He doesn't steal the damn thing, he just shovels raw food on and into it so he can engage in what can only be described as illicit grill sex.  I'm sorry, but I don't know any other way to put it- the weirdo is having an affair with his neighbor's grill.

And of course the punchline comes when the seriously disturbed jackass is interrupted in his fantasy play by the grill's owner, who doesn't seem at all surprised to find a guy he clearly knows very well cooking with his grill, right in his yard.  Maybe this is just something that rich white twads in the suburbs expect from eachother, I don't know.

What I do know is that the grill featured in his ad retails online at the official site for something north of $5000.  No, I'm not kidding.  This grill costs more than a two-week, 4-star tour through Europe.   So maybe that's why I don't understand the guys in these ads- I don't know anyone with that kind of money to throw away on an outdoor kitchen, and I don't WANT to know anyone who covets his neighbor's barbecuing system.  Just too disturbing.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Match.com went there, one year ago today



In this ad, Match.com goes totally Seven Brides for Seven Brothers on us.  From the opening scene, it's made totally clear that the ONLY reason this guy needs to find himself a female is because his kid is sick to death of burned food.  Howard Keel/Dad needs to go into town and find himself a woman- ANY woman, because there's a kid to be taken care of and food to be shopped for and cooked and a house to be kept clean. 

And as if this isn't creepy/retro enough for you, Match.com ramps it up by having the KID take charge of the whole Getting Dad Back Into The Game thing.  This little boy simply cannot WAIT to have another woman in the house so he can actually have a damn meatloaf that isn't burned for a change (women are genetically designed to cook meatloaf, you know.)  So he fills out his dad's dating profile, selling his dad not as a worthless, helpless, scared little doofus but as a Real Catch because Oh Freaking Lord We Just Need a Woman Here.

And then we get the hilarious punchline- when a susceptible female bites on the hook and agrees to a date, the kid sets her up to meet Dad at the aquarium.  And then he comes along! 

Let's take a look at this from a few angles, shall we?

1.  If you are the guy, you are telling the woman straight out that you are property of this little boy who runs your life, and if she's going to get a second date she'd better impress that kid.  I'm frankly surprised the guy came along on the first date, he doesn't seem necessary here at all.  He could have just given his credit card to the kid- he's got the computer password and unfettered online access after all, why not?

2.  If you are the woman who showed up for a blind date and found yourself being sized up as Potential Housekeeper Material by this kid, well, you know a lot about that guy that wasn't specifically listed on his profile page, don't you?  You going to go through with this?  Why?  So you can have a great story to tell your female friends who talked you into Match.com later?

3.  If you are this guy's ex-wife....well, what do you think about your kid being introduced to your ex on the first date?  Just curious.

4.  If you are the kid in this commercial....oh no, I can't even begin to go THERE.  Someone else is going to have to wade through THAT damage.  Way too disturbing for me.

Let's keep in mind that this is specifically a FATHER'S DAY AD.  A Father's Day Ad with the message that fathers are totally butt-worthless as well as being guilty of neglect every day they continue to pretend they can raise a kid without a woman in the house.  Stop acting like you can be a parent, Stupid Man!  Kids need decent meals and clean houses!  Get back out there and lasso yourself one of them women folks so we can get some decent service around here!

Sick.


Staples will promote the personal touch right up to the moment it becomes Staples.com



This Staples ad carries the message that it understands the value of building a relationship between it's employees and it's customers and that nothing can replace that one-on-one, face-to-face human contact which builds trust and brand loyalty.

Meanwhile, Staples is aggressively pursuing the shutting of it's brick and mortar stores all over the United States and moving to a web-only presence, almost certainly achieving this cost (and employee) slashing strategy by 2025.

You reconcile these two things.  I can't.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Wealthsimple's Super Bowl commercial gives me a severe case of the Sads



I can really relate to this confused, harrassed individual.  He's got a high-paying job and a nice house in the suburbs but he's having nightmares and his head is spinning because he can't decide how to invest his excess money.  And the world sure isn't doing him any favors, offering him unsolicited advice everywhere he turns.  He can't even enjoy a nice soak in the tub or a relaxing breakfast in front of his flatscreen without being tortured with thoughts that he isn't turning his pile of cash into a bigger pile of cash more quickly.  Oh woes.

I wonder how many people watched this ad and thought it was cute and/or clever but also had absolutely nothing to do with the reality of their lives.  Every year a larger percentage of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, carrying credit card and other debt from month to month as part of the normal cost of living.  "Investing" means possibly buying a house you can borrow off of and perhaps sell when it's time to retire- if you're lucky enough to hit retirement age during an upswing in the real estate market and not one of the all-too-frequent "corrections."   "Retirement Funds" means "Social Security" and not much else to more people every single year- and that's not because investing is "complicated."  It's because stagnant wages and the death of pensions have made surplus income at the end of each month a fantasy.  Figuring out what to do with wealth isn't the middle-class problem it used to be, Wealthsimple.  For a whole lot of us, there's already a creditor out there waiting for every bit of it we can- briefly-get our hands on.

So pardon me if I don't shed a tear for anyone who gets dizzy at the dizzying buffet of investment options.  BMWs come in different colors, too- that doesn't mean I'm going to sympathize with anyone struggling to make that choice.  The guy in this ad is going to have to look elsewhere for a tissue or a shoulder to cry on. 

Friday, June 15, 2018

Meet Mr. Cooper, your Friend in Denial....



Is owning a home the American Dream?  Maybe.  I bet the kids in this ad would settle for financially responsible parents.  I mean, look at these people- they've got a house in the suburbs they can't afford without rolling up credit card debt and making themselves vulnerable to predatory loan companies like "Mr.Cooper."  They buy stuff then can't really pay for, digging a big hole for themselves while pretending that they are better off than they actually are, just so they can "give their kids everything" while maintaining smiles and relaxed attitudes that are fake or clueless or both.

So they'll sign with Mr. Cooper and get a debt consolodation loan using their property as security, and if they just keep on doing what they've doing to get into this mess in the first place they'll end up right back where they started- except, this time, in something a bit less substantial than that nice house in the suburbs.  Where will the "American Dream" be then?  Where will those stupid, vapid, fake or clueless smiles and relaxed attitudes be then?

How about living within your means, Stupid Suburban "Adults?"  Maybe pretend that the "American Dream" is being happy with what you have and knowing how to set limits?  Just a thought.  But if it's a thought that doesn't seem particularly attractive, there's always Mr. Cooper there to help you delay your inevitable rendevous with Reality.

Just remember- it really is inevitable.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Honda Fit itself? Well, you'll have to check out other commercials for any actual info....



I could spend this entire post complaining about the blatant, phony diversity game being played by the good people at Honda here.  I mean, look at the characters in this ad- an Asian girl, a black guy, a red-haired white guy, and two brunettes of uncertain ethnicity.  For chrissakes, Honda.  Please.

Or I could beat up on the YouTube weirdos who really, really like the Asian girl.  I really hope I'm never that lonely.

Instead, I'll just point out that this Honda Fit commercial, like so many others, focuses entirely on the car's impressive trunk space.  So the car is being advertised as a $20,000 closet with wheels.  Wow, I'm so sold.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Ocean City presents the...um...."Fun" Family



Get it?  Because their last name is "Fun."  And they like to have "Fun."  Isn't that clever?

I wonder why they aren't the Inane Family.  Or the Doofus Family.  Or they Whitebread Family.  I mean, come on.  This perfectly ordinary, boring man-child bumped into a desperate, Clock-is-ticking Equally Uninteresting, Depressingly Fertile female of the species totally willing to mate with anyone who could provide sperm and a reasonable amount of money for a bank account and a House in the SuburbsTM.  In due time they managed to pass their DNA on to the next generation of perfectly ordinary, probably Just As Boring kids who will grow up to marry people of their same race and mind set and start the whole vicious cycle all over again.

In the meantime, these are the people you'll meet if you go to Ocean City, Maryland, otherwise known as Six Flags For People of Moderate Income.  Moron adults with their moron kids acting like morons. 

Now, if all this cloying - not to mention all the noise that goes with crowds of kids and their stupid parents and water slides and rides and ride lines- isn't for you, you could head a few miles down the road and enjoy the windswept dunes of Rehoboth Beach in Delaware.  No arcades or mini-golf or water slides or rollercoasters, just sand and surf and nature quiet time with your kids.  For people who don't need constant stimulation to keep their "brains" going, might be worth a visit.  But if you aspire to be like the "Fun" Family, please stick to Ocean City and the glitzy carnival atmosphere and the corn dogs and the cotton candy and the noise.  You wouldn't find the quiet beaches fun- in fact, you might find it downright terrifying having to entertain your kids without assistance from colorful shiny junk.  And we don't want you there anyway. 

Friday, June 1, 2018

Off to Florida for my annual Working Vacation!



I treat you to a minute of this woman with a very punchable face and waaaay too much enthusiasm in her voice to remind you that I will be grading AP exams in Tampa again from June 2-10, and won't be updating my blog until I return.

I was able to visit a few of these attractions last year- I walked the Riverwalk every day and took in a few museums.  The amusement park and George Steinbrenner field are a little too far away, so I missed minor league baseball, however we will be returning to Louisville Kentucky for the Reading next year and I'm looking forward to seeing the Bats play at Slugger Field again in 2019....

Enjoy the archives until I get back, everybody!

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Line-by-Line Fun with Root Insurance



"Do you think your car insurance rate is fair?"

I don't have a car, so I don't have car insurance.  I pay nothing for the car I don't have, which I think is completely fair.

"See, here's how car insurance traditionally works.  Your premiums go into a pool of money that covers expenses when you get into an accident."

Yes, just like your heath insurance premiums cover expenses when you get sick.  Waiting to see what the problem is here.

"Here's the flaw in that system.  Those premiums cover the accidents for ALL insured drivers."

Just like my health care premiums are used to cover health care for ALL other customers of my health insurance.  Still don't see the problem- unless you are about to argue that a much more "fair" system would be if my premiums went into a bank account and could only be accessed by ME when I needed it?  What if I need more care than that personal account can provide?  Gotta be a catch here.  Let's go on...

"And...not all of them are good drivers..."

Ah, ok.  So Root Insurance is arguing that it's not "fair" that someone else could have an accident and get covered, because that brings my rate up.  Root is also arguing that only "less than good" drivers have accidents and therefore need to access that coverage.  Which is also not "fair."  Is this a joke?  Let's continue...

"Fact is, the worst 30% of drivers cause half the accidents."  Well, that means that the other 70% cause the other half.  Even if I'm in that other 70%, I'm causing accidents, whatever that means.  Are you about to tell me that the secret to Root's low low premiums is that they only cover people who don't get in accidents?  Really?

"We had an idea.  Let's take the worst drivers out of the equation.  That's right, We don't insure them."

That's what I thought.  So you won't offer insurance to 30% of the population you call the "worst drivers."  Just to the other 70% who still cause half the accidents.  The other 30% can go to The General or whatever.

"Which means fewer accidents, which means more money on hand, which means your premiums can shrink too."  That "can" is pretty significant- it's also significant that you tried to cover it up with a stupid graphic of a hand waving "Number One" and graffiti flying about.

"With Root, you're not paying for other drivers accidents, which means you're saving up to 52%..."

how did you come up with a 52% savings?  Why isn't it 99%?  Or 70%.  Did I hear you right?

"Yeah, that's right.  52%. Find out how much you can save- download the App today."

And that's it.  I've already mentioned Root in a previous post, but this part bears repeating- the way this thing works is, you allow Root to monitor your driving habits for a few weeks, and then it gives you a quote based on your monitored driving habits.  The quote is good for 90 days, and you continue to be monitored to determine your next 90-day rate.  I fail to see how this is any different from The General or any other cheap, temporary and barely legal car insurance deal which technically provides coverage but will dump you first chance it gets, except that those other companies don't require you let them be a passenger on every trip.  And if they dump you the first time you have a fender-bender, they don't say so in their ads, like Root basically does- the moment you hit something and are at fault, say goodbye to your low rate because Root only insures GOOD drivers, which you used to be until you made that one mistake.

But hey, again, I don't own a car, so it would seem I don't have a dog in this fight.  Except I think it's inevitable that the Root strategy for selling car insurance will be moving into the health insurance industry in no time, and we'll have BlueCross and Kaiser and MetLife monitoring our donut intake and our visits to 7-11 and we won't even think about it because after all I've Got Nothing To Hide What Do I Care If They Know What I Eat and Drink It's Not Like I Don't Tell Everyone on Facebook Anyway.


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Verizon Fios Presents: The Modern Version of Babysitting



So this couple has hired Dustin the Creepy Fios WonderSomething to "babysit" their kids for the evening, and immediately give him the password to their internet connection while warning him that "if" the kids go online (seriously, "if?" Really?  Are they ever NOT online?) his own speeds will be really slow.  Naturally Dustin the Fios Gnome freaks out and wonders why his Employers of the Evening don't invest in much better internet service for his own convenience.

Did I miss something?  I used to babysit.  It involved playing games and telling stories and actually KEEPING AN EYE ON KIDS.  Not just physically being in the same house with the kids while they surfed the web on one device while I used another one- maybe because the last time I babysat, the internet was still over a decade away.  Or maybe because I was being paid to take care of children, not just be nearby in case a fire broke out or because state laws required that an adult be in the home and the parents didn't want to deal with Child Protective Services.

But I guess with the internet sitters don't really have to pay attention to the kids at all anymore- they just have to be in the vicinity for a few hours until Mom and Dad come back home.  But for chrissakes, Dustin, can't you just read a fricking book for a few hours if the internet speeds are slow?  You can't even do the modern version of babysit, which involves no effort, if you can't also be online?  What a jackass.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Candy Crush's Salute to Lowered Expectations



My guess is that the fat doofus sitting next to you can totally relate to the feeling you get when you beat a level on Candy Crush, you pathetic, phone-addicted bag of skin.  It's probably a lot like getting to the next level on Cuphead or finally managing to eat an entire pie in one sitting- you are tempted to call your mom and tell her that you actually accomplished something, but you quickly change your mind and just tell your 4000 Facebook friends instead.

Meanwhile, you're still an overweight, directionless loser finding pleasure in beating a stupid, brain-numbing waste of time game on your bestest electronic friend.  And your significant other doesn't look like he needs more excuses to stay on his lazy fat ass either.  Maybe you both need to go outside and actually DO something that involves burning calories, getting some fresh air, etc?  You might accidentally accomplish something for realsies along the way.  You could give yourself BONUS points if that happens.

Candy Crush?  Oh, don't worry.  It will still be there when you start to feel short of breath and decide that the simple pleasures of a walk or other non-phone-related activity just don't cut it as they lack the instant gratification of bells and whistles and pretty colors, not to mention the image of a cartoon cat on a motorcycle OHMIGOD THAT IS SO EPIC LOL I HAVE TO POST HOW MUCH I LOVE THIS (just check the comments.  That is, if you want to lose your last shred of respect for humanity.)

Sorry to distract you from your zombie phone game, you losers.  Go tackle that next level!  Make yourself proud!

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Tasting Room goes after your toughest First World Problem!



Ugh, the White Privilege just DRIPS from this callow one minute flat of pampered dreck, doesn't it?  The "problem" this guy has is finding Just the Right Wine without spending hours and hours going to shops and using trial by error- you know, like pretty much every person who has ever consumed wine has done for eons.  There MUST be a better way!  There are only SO many times I want to take the SUV to Whole Foods per week, and that number is six!

So now you disgusting rich pampered jackasses can get tiny bottles of liquor in the mail to sample in the comfort of your own private palatial estates until you figure out which one is juuuuuuuusssst riiighhht.  Then you can order whole bottles of wine suited exactly to your taste which of course will never ever change, nor will you ever feel the slightest bit adventurous ("adventurous" to these people IS trying a new wine, when it isn't taking the family caravan to the Catskills to walk around for a few minutes filming the kids frolick, or dumping the kids with the nanny and heading off to Sandals for the weekend.)

Have I made it clear how much I hate ads like this which appeal to maybe one-hundredth of one-percent of the people watching because the other 99.99 percent aren't desperately searching for ways to spend their excess money that doesn't involve a charity or college fund?  Burn in hell, Tasting Room.


Thursday, May 24, 2018

Toyota Jan Presents: Stuff happening you might need a way to get to



There's stuff that happens during the summer, and having a car can help you get to that stuff.

Here's some of the stuff that happens during the summer- Mother's Day, which you may have thought happened on a Sunday in Spring, but Toyota Jan is here to clear that up for you- is an example of that stuff.  So is Memorial Day which, again, your faulty memory might have tricked you into thinking happened during the Spring, but nope, it's totally a summer thing.

There's also family reunions, but only for black people.  There's the beach and fishing and baseball games and the park if you're white.

There's all this stuff to do, and most of it isn't taking place in your front yard, so here's a vehicle with an internal combustion engine you can use to get you to the area where that stuff is happening.  Go check out your local Toyota dealer to purchase your very own travel machine thing to get you to places where stuff is happening but might be too far away for you to walk.  Do it now, while the prices on these wheeled people boxes is comparatively low, because Summer.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Drivetime's Insurance Commercials Don't Add Up



This is what Drivetime Insurance thinks a Mathematician looks like in the year 2018- a skinny old guy with long, gray hair and a wild look in his eyes using a chalkboard the size of a football field to do calculations.  Haha those people who do The Maths are so silly!  Such crazy old guys (no women of course, that's silly- women don't do maths!  That's why they can't manage a checkbook LOL!)  No laptops or projection screens for these crazy old men!  They'll be covered in chalk dust scratching out figures on green slate 200 years from now, just you wait and see, 'cause they're so weird with all their numbers and such!

Not sure what this has to do with insurance, but whatever.  Hey, Drivetime?  I personally know people who teach The Maths.  They actually use computers and projection screens now.  They also come in all colors and sexes, what a world we live in.  How about getting your brain out of the 1950s already?  Because this doesn't make me want to buy anything.  Certainly not insurance.  That's what your selling here, right? 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Is Root Insurance the Mark of the Beast?



A few years ago I bashed Progressive Insurance (and Flo) for promoting some kind of "safe driver" device that one could stick on their dashboard which would then record certain things concerning driving habits, which could then be used to determine how "safe" the particular drivers were and then determine how much those drivers should pay for car insurance.  My main gripe was that Progressive was pitching this Spy Box as a really cool way to get a discount by letting your insurance company into your car to watch how you drive.

Well, it seems that there's this new insurance company whose entire premise is based on watching its customers every move and only selling policies to people who convince it that those drivers will never need to actually collect on those policies.  It's a pretty slick idea, considering that there's only two reasons why people buy car insurance:

1.  To be covered in case of an accident, and
2.  Because state laws require it.

So if you want Root Insurance, you download the App, which then spies on you for a few weeks to make sure you live up to Root's extremely high standards.  If you "pass," you get to buy the insurance, which I assume is discounted because most people don't pass.  I'm also going to assume that if you get into an accident and file a claim, your insurance premiums are going to skyrocket or you'll be cancelled- after all, this insurance is for GOOD drivers and the whole point of this ad is to tell us that other insurance policies are awful because they cover less-than-perfect drivers (who at the moment don't need to be spied on by their own companies, though it's only a matter of time, isn't it?)

So go ahead and download the Root Insurance App and know that every move you make in your car will be judged by a company which has told you in advance that it only insures drivers who drive according to an extremely high standard and is ready to dump you overboard the first time you hit those brakes just a little too hard for it's tastes.  Don't even think about changing that radio channel or talking on the phone while driving, because you can bet that's a big no-no over at Root HQ.  Or you could just buy a policy from a company that doesn't insist on being a passenger on every drive.  Your choice, but this is just another reason why I don't miss owning a car. 

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Prager U- offering a PhD in Hate



This episode- err, "class," is presented by Douglas Murray, the author of "The Strange Death of Europe," yet another hateful, stupid polemic which argues that Europe becoming more brown and less Christian = Europe Dying.  In other words, he's a great fit for Prager U, the blog that thinks it's a school which dispenses ignorant propaganda it thinks is education.

Murray "explains" to us "students" that some decades back waves of immigrants came into Europe from the Middle East- "most weren't expected to stay" (he doesn't tell us whose expectations he's quoting.)  I guess Murray believes that people of particular skin tones and beliefs also have particular areas of the world they've been assigned as Homelands, and that any dark person who travels to Europe really ought to be made aware that they are "just visiting" an alien world and are expected to return to their "proper home" in the very near future.

Despite the "expectations" of someone, "many stayed.  And why wouldn't they?"  Murray goes on to complain that the "visitors" didn't "go home" because Europe foolishly offered two things- a better economy than the one they could find in their native land, and (of course) a stronger social welfare system.  In other words, the migrants stayed because they found more opportunity in Europe, Oh The Horror.  Never mind that Murray just described why millions of Europeans fled to North America for centuries, that's Different Because Reasons.

The bottom line of this rancid, steaming, putrid pile of xenophobic cow pie is that Murray is attempting to hide his obvious racism behind a defense of "tradition" (Europe has "always" been Judeo-Christian-- actually for centuries just Christian with the Judeo junior partner being viciously discriminated against, but never mind that inconvenient truth) and equating Europe becoming more diverse to "committing suicide."  What a disgusting Neo-Nazi (I don't use the term "Alt-Right," because "Neo-Nazi" fits just fine, thank you.)  And what a great fit for Prager U, the blog where brain cells go to die.  I guess since people watch this junk voluntarily, it is itself a form of suicide, isn't it?

Friday, May 18, 2018

CENTRIC - the channel for Black Women? We sure about that?



I'm the least-qualified person on the planet to argue what black women want in a television channel, so I'm not going to criticize an ad which suggests that what black women want is a channel which celebrates black women who are mothers, jet-setters, go-getters, "bad-asses," or just stare at the screen like they are trying to make my head explode with their minds.  White women have had Lifetime for years- if there's a channel designed to appeal specifically to black women, that's just fine with me and the last thing any black woman needs is a white guy telling them that what they want is really stupid and shallow and brain cell-killing unconstructive, pointless drivel.  So I won't go there.

But here's where I will comment:  I was on the elliptical at the gym the other day scrolling through the channels looking for something to watch until I reached my mileage goal and naturally came across a showing of The Shawshank Redemption.  I say "naturally" because it's a little known fact of television science that The Shawshank Redemption is playing on at least one channel in the television universe every minute of every day, it's just a matter of finding the right one at any given moment.  Thing is, I found it on Centric.

Now, again, I am not qualified to know what black women want in a television channel.  But The Shawshank Redemption does not feature a single black actress.  It includes exactly one scene featuring a white woman who has no lines.  It includes exactly one black male actor who spends the film surrounded by white male actors.  It's one of the most male, most white films made in the past forty years.  But there it was, on Centric, the channel for black women.

Here's what I suspect- Judging from the previously-stated fact that The Shawshank Redemption is on tv all the time, it's a film that is practically in the public domain, available for nothing or next to nothing to any cable channel that wants to chop it up, inundate it with seemingly endless commercials (mostly for the channel) so it's run time extends to three and a half hours, and throw it on the air to save the money original material costs.  Doesn't matter what the target audience is or the niche the channel is allegedly trying to fill- The Shawshank Redemption is just fine for Comedy Central, UPN, USA Network*, the SciFi Channel, the History Channel, whatever- it's a cheap gap-filler.  But even as a white male, I can see it's especially jarring when it's used for Centric.  Cripes, what's next- you going to run episodes of The Big Bang Theory or Friends on the Network for Black Women?

*Well, ok, not USA Network.  They'll never run out of episodes of Law & Order.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

What's FAIR? Nativism with cute animation, that's what.



Note that at NO point in this ugly, bigoted rant is the "why is it a problem" part of the title ever addressed.  Sophia comes to the United States for a better life, and inspires members of her family and their friends- a whopping total of 36 people over god knows how many years when you think about how long it takes to fill out the applications these days- and the negative result is....well, what, exactly?  That a nation of 300 million has added 36?  What is the crisis here "Fair?"

And check out the YouTube cretins, using the same arguments put forward against Catholics in the 1850s, the Chinese in the 1880s, Jews in the 1920s....the "arguments" which boil down to "I'm here, that's enough, my family should be the last allowed in, shut the door because these people aren't assimilating they are just retarding our wage scales and eating up our resources blah blah blah I wish I could say what I really mean but I don't want to get called the racist jackass I am....."

Oh, but I'm sure I'll get a response along the lines of "when my ancestors came they followed the rules."  First, that's exactly what these people are doing.  They are coming here legally, filling out forms, following the rules.  Second, what "rules" did your ancestors follow?  Until 1924 there were virtually NO rules for entering the United States and becoming a permanent citizen- your chances of making it through the screening process was about 97%, and the whole deal- from luggage inspection to medical check to intelligence test- took about 3 hours on average.  Your ancestors didn't jump through hoops to prove their worthiness to be American citizens, unless you think that standing in a crowded line for an afternoon constitutes a trial by fire.

Tell you what, you wannabee modern Know-Nothings:  Let's be totally FAIR and put the system your ancestors used to gain entry into the world's largest refugee camp back into place.  Oh let me guess- it's "different" now because America is really crowded and the world is really dangerous, right?  Well, fact is that we have a skilled worker shortage in this country, which is why your kids' doctor is very likely to be an Indian and why tech companies are begging the government to allow more educated workers in on at least temporary visas.  The world is really dangerous?  More dangerous than when Europe was embroiled in one war after another, which was probably when your own family arrived?

Kiss off, FAIR.  Stop producing the most nakedly anti-American hate propaganda not actually featuring Alex Jones already.  This is just crap, and you should be ashamed.  You should also read some history about the country you claim to support.  Because you clearly don't know anything about it.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Walgreen's Seriously Stupid Red Nose Ads scream "punch me here!"



First, to the person who decided to repost this commercial and include an intro:  "Important Notice: If an agency or product owner does not want any publishment, it is withdrawn back?" What the HELL does that mean?  Seriously, English Much? 

Second, does Walgreens even get that the only thing less funny than some random stranger on the street wearing a red nose is EVERYONE ON THE PLANET WEARING A RED NOSE?  Red noses aren't funny.  At best, they are banal because they are just red noses- if you think they are funny, you think everything is funny (see the next paragraph.)  At worst, they remind us of clowns, which are terrifying until we reach the age of four, mildly amusing until we reach the age of six, boring until we reach the age of 10, and then go back to being terrifying until we die (those three babies we see early in the ad would not actually giggle at the sight of a total stranger making faces at them while wearing a rubber nose.  They'd scream.  Guaranteed.)

Third, what is this red nose thing all about other than showing white people doing something really stupid and demonstrating that no white people have any sense of humor at all, and then showing that black people are perfectly willing to act like white people in the service of being really stupid and showing that they also have zero sense of humor?  I mean, come on- the black married couple just stick red noses on and get their photos taken so they can either cringe at those photos for the rest of their lives or skip them altogether when they look at the album.  You know, it's kind of rare when people do something they KNOW they'll regret forever at the moment they are actually doing it- but if this couple doesn't realize that sticking red rubber noses on before sealing the deal at the wedding isn't something they really, really wish they hadn't done at the moment they do it, they should not breed.  Like, ever.

Fourth, this was not the Walgreens Red Nose ad I was going to use for this post, but I couldn't find the one currently making the rounds which features a perpetually delighted pregnant woman, her perpetually delighted little girl, and their adventures prancing around with stupid red balls attached to their punchable, incredibly self-satisfied and smug faces. But this one will do, because it's every bit as pointless and stupid and cringey. 

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Wrapping up McDonald's "Speechless Thoughts" Trilogy....



This one with Charles Barkley is different from the others only in that Barkley isn't completely silent throughout, but instead treats us to a few "mmmm mmmm mmmms" at the very beginning.* Otherwise it's the same already-tired schtick we saw with Gabrielle Union and John Goodman- he just holds the cheeeburger next to his face while rocking back and forth and ocassionally pretending to take a bite by moving it slightly closer to his mouth.

I don't know why McDonald's made these ads.  They aren't funny, they don't make me hungry for a cheeseburger, and they sure don't make me think "wow, McDonald's is being very clever here."  I'm sure that at some point someone will comment "hey, you paid attention to it, and that's what advertising is all about," which is the inane drum solo of "gotchas."  I notice and pay attention to car wrecks, too, and the other day watched a flock of tiny birds attempt to save one of their own from a crow's beak.  Didn't make me want to buy anything- which IS the point of commercials.

I DO know why McDonald's locked out comments on all three of these stupid ads, however.  They know this is stupid trash, and they don't want to hear it, and they don't want to pay people to pretend they are funny or clever, and they know that by artificially inflating the "likes" when all the honest responses say the ad is crap is an old con everyone sees through nowadays. 

*I wonder if Barkley's inability to be completely "speechless" during a 30-second ad is supposed to be a "clever" take on his reputation for having a big, constantly-running mouth that can't even stop expressing itself long enough to do a commercial in which he's supposed to be 'Speechless?'  Still not clever, McDonald's.  I hope you are done with these things.  They won't be missed.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Episode II of McDonald's weird new Speechless campaign



In this episode of McDonald's bizarre new tv series Let's Watch Washed-Up Actors and Sports Figures Eat Cheeseburgers, the featured player is John Goodman because well, why not?  (Or, "well, what could better convince people to buy and consume McDonald's cheeseburgers than watching an elderly, obese actor eating one while making stupid 'I can't act at all' faces?")

I don't know why McDonald's thought this was a smart way to sell food, but I'm no marketing genius.  I know what I like, and this doesn't resemble that.  I know what makes me hungry, and this SURE doesn't do that.  Maybe Charles Barkley can do it?  Stay tuned.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

McDonald's cheeseburger ads leave me almost speechless. Almost.



The most horrible thing about these horrible, horrible ads is that they all feature actual actors, yet when tasked to do nothing more than signify pleasure in eating a cheeseburger all they can do is grimace and squirm and act as if eating that burger is an act of pure torture.  Leaving us, the viewer, tortured in turn.

I mean, look at this.  What is happening to Gabrielle Union in this ad?  Is she struggling to keep the burger down?  Is she tearing up?  Is she in severe need of a bathroom break and mentally begging the director to yell "cut" so she can make a b-line for the little girl's room? Is she sitting on a sharp rock?  Nothing about her facial expression is delivering the message "gee, she sure looks like she's loving that cheeseburger."

Anyone shocked that comments are blocked for these ads?  Not me.  I can only imagine that McDonald's produced them, showed them to a few focus groups, and responded to the feedback with "oh what the hell, we made these things and paid for them, let's just slap them on tv, don't know why we even make commercials for a place everyone already goes to anyway, but we've got this budget and we have to show something for it, so...."

Meanwhile, someone get Ms Union some freaking acting lessons.  The stand-in at any High School spring production could do a better job showing joy for thirty seconds than this "actress."  Just terrible.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Botox Treatments: When you don't know what you got till it's gone



The guy in this ad is a rich, successful architect with a big house and a beautiful child.  He has his health, as evidenced by the fact that we see him jogging through the woods.  Looks to me like he's got it all.

Oh, but he also has "moderate to severe" crow's feet and frown lines to go along with the gray in his beard,* and there's this young guy at the office he feels threatened by, so he's going to go through botox treatments which carry the risk of these symptoms:  Difficulty breathing, swallowing, eye problems, muscle weakness, all of which could be signs of a life-threatening condition.  Side effects may include "rash, welts, asthma symptoms and dizziness."

Oh, there's more you may have missed because it was partially drowned out by the punchy music:  treatments may cause some kind of pain I could not catch no matter how many times I listened, plus "eyelid drooping" and "eyelid swelling."

"The details make the difference, the man makes them matter" is the glorious punchline.  I have another one: what kind of cretin would be willing to make his little girl an orphan in exchange for a few more years of looking like a slightly younger Eurotrash version of his true self?  Hey, buddy- that little kid who loves and depends on you?  She doesn't notice your crow's feet.  She might notice all those horrible side effects you are risking because you can't deal with getting older.  Something to think about:  This isn't all about you.  Not anymore.  Not since you had that kid.  Dicktard.

*A simple hair coloring to take the gray out of the beard seems to be the last thing this guy considers- first, botox injections that might destroy his health, THEN Just for Men haircolor.  Yeah, this makes total sense.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Bullymake Box? BarkBox? Give me a break.



Look, I know that there are people out there who like dogs, even "love" them, for reasons I will never, ever understand and probably don't even want to.  And I appreciate that if those people care deeply for the little mammals they share a home with and take walks with and pick up the filth of and allow to monopolize the sidewalk and are constantly telling pedestrians like me things like "he's just being friendly" and "don't worry he doesn't bite" etc. etc. want to make sure that little mammal that does wonderful things like eat and walk and lie around and drop feces everywhere is as healthy as possible for as long as possible.

And I'm not going to go into a long lecture about how this barkbox or bitebox or whatever the hell this is is just another nail in the coffin for brick-and-mortar stores, because that's a lost cause and lazy point-and-clickers clearly don't give a damn that with every click they are helping to undermine the economy.  That kid who hoped to work at a pet supply store this summer?  Sorry, kid.  Go to Plan B (and I hope Plan B wasn't working at Staples.)

But seriously, if I ever found myself talking about ANYTHING in the giddy, lobotomized squeal that this narrator uses in explaining how this "service" provides endless boxes of fricking chew toys to pollute your house and neighborhood with, I'm willing to be put away and for my family to visit me every other weekend.  Because for cripes sakes people, they're dogs!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

In the uncut version of this Zillow ad, Daddy shows his son where he buried the Jehovah's Witnesses



So the scruffy Gen-Xer in this ad obsesses over his boyhood home while his wife regularly asks if it happens to be on sale- either this family is never going to buy a house unless this particular one goes on sale, or they are so damned rich they can just jump on this house the moment it goes on the market and move there.  Literally ten seconds after the damn thing finally does get listed- for $450,000, convincing me this palatial estate must be in the middle of nowhere, tough luck kid- the couple is totally into buying it.

Turns out the guy buried a time capsule on the property- a time capsule consisting of some knick knacks and including what's probably a very valuable set of baseball cards and a photo of himself and his father.  This stuff was put into a dented box and not wrapped in plastic but it's not ruined by water or anything Because Television.  Personally I think that the ad would have ended much better if when he opened the box it contained nothing but a lump of moldy paper that used to be rare baseball cards and an irreplaceable photo, but that's because I'm a jerk.

"Told you I grew up here" says the Dad, which is kind of weird unless this was a bone of contention with Son.  It sure wasn't a problem for Mom, who was perfectly willing- even eager- to move to an old house in the middle of Iowa because Dad Wants This House.  Maybe Son just wanted to stay in his old neighborhood, which was actually a neighborhood with neighbors that weren't corn stalks, and refused to believe that he was really being forced to uproot and move to Nowhere, Nebraska Population 0 Until You Show Up because Dad wanted to relive his childhood?

This is all super-heartwarming according to the YouTube gluesniffers, who are tearing up when they aren't asking what the twee music in the background is.  I suspect that they are like 99 percent of thumbs-up YouTube commenters, which is to say, paid whores for the company being advertised.  I sure hope so, anyway.  Because if you really get a lump in your throat from this banal, manipulative nonsense you are beyond sad.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Harvoni Ad: "Let's Go" dazzle the public into buying our product



This ad for Harvoni, which I guess is supposed to be a treatment for Hepatitis, is a good example of how all drug commercials function.  So I'm going to pick on it, even though I could have used any of a hundred commercials for any of a hundred medications to make the same point.

Like all big pharma ads, this one includes smiling people moving in slow motion, doing something that has absolutely nothing to do with their condition but which is supposed to illustrate the simple joy of living or provide a metaphor for hope or life or promise or some such poetic treacle.  We see a crowd of zombies who look like they just walked out of the Kingdom Hall walking across a field before watching lanterns float into the night sky. 

There's zero context- why are they doing this?  Do people do this?  I thought this was a Japanese thing- do these people look Japanese?  Is the drug turning them Japanese I really don't think so?

Meanwhile, the dramatic music swells just in time to at least partially drown out the list of potentially fatal side effects casually being read out by the narrator.  And this is why you never hear ads for powerful, dangerous drugs on the radio- it's because the radio is an auditory medium.  There's no way to distract you from hearing about all those awful side effects.  Notice also that the side effects are never listed on the screen- the only words we ever see are the name of the drug and pointless, distracting lines like "I Let Go" and "I Am Cured" which are being spoken anyway.  Oh,  and a brief claim as to the drug's success record.  Seems like the side effects are kind of more important than all that- but the makers of these ads don't want you to note the side effects. Look at the glowing lanterns and smiling people!  Can't do this on the radio.

These ads are all masterpieces of glitz and showy distraction which never have anything do with the actual drug and everything to do with trying to convince your brain that using the drug will lead to a higher level of satisfaction with your life.  In other words, commercials for powerful, chemical-altering drugs have exactly the same message as ads for cars, phones, fast food and detergent.  Scary, no?

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Sexist Crud from Groupon



Let's imagine that this ad features a thirtysomething guy sitting by his pool telling us that he's "totally on" with his much younger, and clearly disinterested, "pool girl" before barking at her to acknowledge his presence.  Yeah, that would so not cause problems today. 

What is it with this meme featuring women lusting after the pool boy?  That bit is so old it's got moss on it, besides being totally retrograde these days.  Not to mention that it doesn't advance the cause of selling this service one inch.  So what the hell did I just watch?

(Oh and BTW I guess I'm supposed to know who this woman is, and I'm very, very proud that I don't.) 

Prager U continues to get everything wrong



The pretentiously titled "Prager U" channel- which is, again, not a University but rather a forum for right-wing radio hack Dennis Prager's narrow-minded viewpoints and those of his friends- is at it again, this time trying to explain to us that even if we aren't sure if there is a god we should just believe anyway because beliefs have benefits that non-belief does not.

Today's guest choad starts by asserting that "if god exists, then the universe didn't just evolve by chance, but by deliberate design."  There are at LEAST two fallacies in that one sentence.  First, even if there IS a god, you need to prove that it "deliberately designed" the universe.  Proof that a god exists wouldn't prove anything about it's works or it's intentions.  Second- and related- is that buzzword "evolve."  I'm guessing this idiot is about to be Clueless Idiot #234897 on the internet to confuse Evolution with Abiogenesis. Let's see.

"There's an artist behind this incredible work of art, this big and beautiful world."  Oh, I'm not sure I can do this after all, not if you're going to jump right from a binary argument to the Argument from Analogy.  This planet is a "work of art," and all art must have an artist, therefore god? This world is "big and beautiful?" Big compared to what?  Beautiful compared to what?  This guy is going to use the phrase "fine-tuned" to describe a universe in which life as we know it can exist almost nowhere, isn't he?

Never mind, this guy goes completely off the rails in the very next paragraph and it's clear that his actual argument is the Argument from Emotion.  We're "living in a story" and the story must "have a happy ending, eventually...maybe not in our lifetime, but it must, for as surely as god exists.." which you haven't proven, "Professor," but to be fair you made it very clear early on that you had not intention of even attempting to prove it, just to convince us that belief was beneficial without proof.

He then goes into the Argument of Evil problem- evil exists because god allows it to exist, because of Free Will, which is a gift to all of us except Adam and Eve of course who were punished along with all of their decendents, forever, for exercising it never mind that they did not have knowledge of good and evil before making that "choice."  "God will reconcile all injustices in the end"- that would be the god you haven't proven exists, let alone gives a damn what's going on, and as we're only a minute in to this four minute video I'm sure you're going to be explaining very soon why god doesn't stop child rapists, cancer, hurricanes, etc BEFORE they happen rather than allowing all of this suffering and then "setting things right" in some distant future?

I'm a minute in.  One. Minute. In.  And this guy has already buried his audience with baseless assertions and empty promises.  My original plan was to tackle this one in four or five parts, but I just can't see myself going back to it just to get to the inevitable "if god doesn't exist there is no ultimate justice and that would be unfair therefore you should believe god exists so you don't get the sads about injustice" claptrap.  So I'm just going to leave it here.  You got ten minutes of my time, Prager U.  Can you sign my drop sheet please?


Friday, April 27, 2018

Grammarly: Because we can't write OR speak anymore



I'm not sure why the viewers are treated to the sight of this moron talking with food in his mouth for the majority of the commercial, but I guess that's just the way Grammarly rolls these days.  I'm also not sure why this disgusting slob has any friends, let alone one close enough to went him to give a wedding toast (you'd think that honor would go to someone capable of giving a thirty-second speech without spending hours with a laptop and a Fix Your Elementary School Level Errors App.)  And I certainly have no idea how the American Educational System failed so miserably that there is now an actual customer base for a program designed to save it's users from being exposed as the illiterate morons they are, or why the groom at this wedding would expect anything more from the hairy douchenozzle standing next to him during the ceremony.

Very likely, the cretin's speech will be greeted with comments like "who wrote that for you, it sure didn't sound like you I mean it included words of more than one syllable?"  Maybe he could make it sound more authentic by jamming some food into his mouth after every sentence.

BTW, the comment section for this ad is blocked.  Gee, I wonder why?

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Napoleon Grills salutes the Upgrade



When I saw this guy standing next to his $100,000 car parked next to his $2 million dollar house, I thought that when he said he was ready for an upgrade it meant it was time to ditch the spouse and move on to the trophy wife.

Then it got weird- he walked past his Olympic-sized backyard swimming pool and his Clearly Not Trophy Wife before congratulating himself on his purchase of a Napoleon Grill.  Not Trophy Wife gives the guy who provided the massive house and swimming pool a condescending eyeroll before bonding with equally ungrateful daughter.  They seem to be congratulating eachother for being clever, or something, when all they've actually done is provide some level of justification when Daddy completes the whole upgrade thing and replaces his wife with someone roughly his daughter's age- you know, someone who will look much better in a bathing suit next to that awesome pool.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Hilarious As Seen on TV Arctic Air Commercial



Oh my god these ads are sooooo very cheesy, I have to believe that the same company makes every late night commercial out there.  It just doesn't matter if they are for Eagle Eyes Sunglasses, Magic Tomato or Upside Down Banana trees or plastic moving parrots complete with cage for some reason- it's got to be the same company with a trademark on this level of in-your-face oversell.

This one is for something called the "Arctic Air Conditioner," which claims to both cool and "purify" the air which is suffocating the people populating the advertisement.  Look, you could turn on the AC but that will put you in the poorhouse.  You could turn on that massive fan but that's just going to blow hot air at you, don't do that.  You could just lie around the house with a wet towel on your head.  Or maybe you could stop dressing like it's fifty degrees in your home, that's not suggested but the thought did pop into my brain while watching this.

Or, you could buy a "portable" (capable of being unplugged and moved into another room means "portable" for the purposes of this advertisement) air conditioner which is basically just a fan in a box which blows the air through the water you fill it with.  Oh wait that's not quite true, it's also a nightlight with five "mood color lights" which I have to admit is kind of cool, but still doesn't justify the $40 price tag, and I don't care if I CAN get another one Just Pay Extra.  It's a fan in a box and that's all it is.  $10 tops at the Dollar Store.  $40?  Sorry, no- and still no even when you try to con me into thinking it's cheaper by cutting the cost into "two easy payments" and giving me another one for a "little extra."

And what's with the special effects that make it look like the fan in a box is "radiating" temperature-reducing cooling rays?  They look exactly like the effects used to demonstrate the efficiency of Magic Ears hearing aids and plug-in vermin repellents.  It's a FREAKING FAN in a FREAKING BOX which blows the air through water.  Why do they make it look like it's sending a distress call to Aquaman?

I do love these ads, though.  Whichever company is making them- please, keep it up.  I can't get enough of these Frustrated By Life's Little Annoyances people and their delight at the relief they get from your weird junk.  They sure make maintaining this blog easier.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Another FUNNY Dunkin Donuts Commercial that's FUNNY BECAUSE LOOK



Hey everybody, I'm a bit too busy to do a post today so I asked Frito Pendejo from the film Idiocracy to do a guest appearance on the blog and write today's commentary.  Take it away, Frito!

"This Dunkin Donuts Commercial, like ALL Dunkin Donuts Commercial, is wicked funny even hilarious but for totally different reasons than the others are, that just shows how smart the Dunkin Donuts Commercials people are!

This one is fun for LOL so many reasons!  First, because there's this really really old guy sitting on a bench who is so OLD LOL that it takes a half an hour for him to get his food to his face ROTFLMAO I bet he hasn't had anything hot to eat in maybe like thirty years!  Plus check out that look in his face OMIGOD CLASSIC it's so obvious that he's got dementia or some other really really FUNNY old person disease, he probably doesn't even know what planet he's on MY RIBS ARE TOTALLY SPLITTING NOW.  And don't even get me started on how long he's been sitting there I mean once these guys sit down you can bet they never get up without some kind of weird chair assist thing OLD PEOPLE AND THEIR MOBILITY ISSUES OMIGOD THERE OUGHT TO BE A SHOW ABOUT THEM I WOULD SO WATCH!  I bet he lost control of his bowels hours ago LOL!!

And as if that's not enough hilarity for one VERY VERY FUNNY Dunkin Donuts Commercial, a disease-ridden rat with wings swoops down and steals the guy's food I ALMOST DIED.  I guess it might be a little sad if that meant the old guy is not going to have anything to eat now, but don't worry the young woman sitting next to him replaced the sandwich with another one 'cause you see the point is that it's buy one get one free or two for $2 or something I don't know didn't really pay attention 'cause too busy focusing on the REALLY FUNNY OLD MAN AND HIS PROBLEMS!!

Thanks Dunkin Donuts for another SUPER-FUNNY Ad I just HAD to share with everybody!  Made my weekend (how f--ig sad is THAT?)  Now I'm gonna go get myself some Dunkin Coffee 'cause this ad so put me in the mood for it and a sandwich too, well done!"

Friday, April 20, 2018

Honey's vision of the Good Life is really weird



During the 9th hour of this friendless, disgusting loser's marathon binge-watching of Game of Thrones, her stomach suddenly reminded her that she had not budged from the couch except to use the toilet (because couch-toilets won't be widely available until sometime next year) and that she really should consume some calories before the rest of her body goes the way of her brain somewhere around Hour 4.

The kitchen is in the next room, but that's All The Way Over There and besides she hasn't been outside to see if Peapod made her grocery delivery and the porch is Even Farther Away, so she reaches for the laptop and starts looking for a good deal on a pizza.  Turns out that she's not just lacking in a life or friends or any interest in getting her pathetic ass off that couch- she's also kind of short on money, because instead of just going to LocalPizza.com she has to hunt around for a coupon first. 

Meanwhile, she's getting REALLY hungry.  I mean, just listen to her stomach.  I mean that.  Listen to it.  I had to, so you do too.

In the end, this twat somehow managed to get to the front door when the pizza showed up- I'm sure she was totally put out that the delivery guy didn't just bring it into the living room and shove the first piece into her mouth, but maybe she made an arrangement with him so he will next time.  And the commercial ends with us getting to see her pig face smeared with tomato sauce as the population of Idiocracy has a big belly laugh over all of this because OMIGOD That Is So Me Sometimes.

After she's consumed a few slices, it's back to bleaching her brain for another hour or so, or until the carb and sugar infusion puts her into a semi-comatose state, right there on the couch.  Tomorrow she wakes up in dirty, stained clothes, stuck to the cushions by her own perspiration, next to a box of cold, stale, half-eaten pizza swimming in it's own bacteria.  Yep, she's living the dream, all right.  Thanks, Honey!


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

I am not a good person, which is why I'm going to keep picking on this Verizon Fios thing



Hey look everybody, it's the squishy blob of protoplasm currently employed as a spokesomething by Verizon Fios!  Seriously, though, I don't like being mean- but what the hell is WITH this kid?

It's bad enough that he sounds like he's sucking on marbles and he looks like leftover genetic material from a Science Fair experiment gone horribly wrong, but what makes it truly horrible is his endless pimping for a crappy internet service devoted to keeping us glued to our electronic devices 24/7.

So I have only two questions for this thing-

1.  Have you ever made a friend other than online, or do your fellow gamers labor under the false impression that they are playing against a fellow human being?

2.  Do you get your raw fish treat as soon as the shoot is over, or do you have to flap your flippers and bark some squeaky code first?

Sunday, April 15, 2018

More fun from the Verizon Fios Gnome



Seriously, this creepy kid is devoting his entire life to judging other people's online entertainment equipment?  WTF is that all about? How much is Verizon Fios paying him to be the most annoying, nosy little brat in the neighborhood?

He's so freaking obnoxious in his whoring for Fios that I'm not even going to get triggered over the little girl's "it better" response to the question about a woman's new setup's ability to provide endless electronic entertainment to all the kids on the block.  Personally, I'd rather NOT own the house that is a kid magnet because it's the Place to Be when you want to turn your brains into puddles of warm pudding watching television or "surfing"* the internet.  "It better?" Hey kid, you're threatening to pull a little hissy fit if your connection isn't up to your standards?  I suggest you re-evaluate your position in this family.  See, you're a child.  You don't pay the bills and you don't make the decisions.  Want to waste your life watching tv?  You can start doing that the moment you move out.

We desperately need an SNL parody of these ads which include the neighbors just telling this nasty little jerk to just f--k off and report back to the science lab he escaped from.  Yes, I went there.  No, I'm not going apologize.  This kid is WEIRD.

*Actual surfing is exercise.  Looking for stuff to watch on tv is not.  So, it's not surfing. 

Saturday, April 14, 2018

This Edward Jones Investment Woman sure knows how to reel in the next generation



So this thirtysomething guy walks into an Edward Jones Brokerage office to meet with the woman who has been handling his parents' money for years.  The parents have been talking to her for years about their son, no doubt mentioning on more than one ocassion that he has a decent job and a wife and family but has shown very little interest in planning for the future.

Finally, the son has been guilted into visiting with Mommy and Daddy's investment fund manager.  The very first thing she does is let him know that she's got at least some of the backstory.  The very first thing HE does is let her know that he's basically still just a little boy whose parents have been nagging him to do at least a LITTLE thinking about tomorrow and how maybe buying a house and establishing a college fund for his son just MIGHT be something he should be looking into.

Edward Jones lady lets the son know that she's really not all that interested in what Mommy and Daddy think (I really doubt that's what she told them when she was urging them to get their son to give her a call.)  Never mind that house and college stuff, what does Son want for the future?

For the sake of this guy's wife and son, I kind of hope that he ultimately puts aside his pride and admits that yeah, actually, his parents are spot on with their ideas of what he should be doing now that he has a wife and a kid.  Especially that whole college fund thing.  But what if he doesn't, and the next thing out of his mouth is "that's so cool, because what I REALLY want is to take a couple of years off to find myself in Tibet and then get a kick-ass dirt bike for the weekends.  I figure my kid will get a scholarship?"  How does Edward Jones I'm Really Interested In What You Want Never Mind Your Parents lady say to that?

I don't think it would have been SO bad for this woman to reply to his opening statement with "yes, a college fund is really important, even if you had to be told that by your parents."  Because it kind of is regardless of who said it first, right?

Friday, April 13, 2018

Oh seriously bite me, Mazda



If the last frame of this noxious dumpster fire of an ad doesn't leave you wanting to punch someone, you are much more tolerant, calm person than I am.  Because I didn't just want to punch the guy spreading his arms out in a "I own the universe 'cause check out my LookAtMeMobile" gesture- I wanted to punch him, knock him down, and roll him off the nearest cliff.  And then send his car down after him.

You have the right to be proud of an accomplishment like climbing a mountain with a heavy bag on your back.  You do not have the right to feel the same way for purchasing a trinket with four wheels and a sound system that makes people even more shallow than you turn and stare as you roar past, dicktard.

All of this "Feel Alive By Driving This Car" bilge is even worse if you watch it without sound, as I originally did.  Because without sound you focus on the smug, cocky-for-no-reason jackanapes who populate the ad.  These people are all doing things that really ought to make them "feel alive"- hiking, cardioboxing,etc- and yet they don't quite achieve actual "Alive-ness" until they blow 80 grand on an impractical automobile which says nothing to the world except "I've got money to burn, and charity begins at home, with me."