Monday, December 31, 2018

The Pro Bowl: Television's annual celebration of celebrations

No, you didn't see Tom Brady at the Pro Bowl last year.  You haven't seen Tom Brady in the Pro Bowl any year, because a few decades ago they changed the Pro Bowl from the week after the Superbowl to the week before, and Tom Brady is too busy getting ready for the Superbowl to be in a stupid, meaningless All-Star Game where the only drama involves the constant possibility that someone's career is going to be ended by an injury occurring in a stupid, pointless, meaningless All-Star Game.

And you won't even see most of the best players in the NFL in the All-Star Game, because they've just finished their season with a playoff loss and want to start their brief vacations before tryouts start up again.  Plus there's that getting injured in a stupid, pointless, meaningless All-Star Game again.

But there IS a bit of honesty in this commercial, and all commercials for the Pro Bowl:  Pretty much all of the highlights will involve players posing, primping, and posturing for the camera whenever they do pretty much anything at all.  You know, just like every other NFL game during the regular season and the playoffs.  They just won't be the BEST players.  But if you just can't deal with a week without watching grown men flex their muscles and jump around to draw attention to the fact that they just did something they are paid to do, there's the Pro Bowl.  Enjoy.  I'll be doing something else.  ANYTHING else.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Open question for Nissan and Verizon

Can you guys explain to me why you think that greasy Eurotrash creeps in tight pants are the best possible spokeschoads for your product?  All together or one at a time, either way, fine with me.

Because, seriously- these look exactly like the kind of people I would warn children to stay away from, and if either suddenly jumped at me to start pitching a product they wouldn't get halfway through the first sentence before I gave them a faceful of mace, or fist, or whichever was most available.

Hey, Toyota? More is NOT better

So much worse than pretty much anything else on television....

Seriously, Toyota, here's a New Year's Resolution for you:  find another spokeschoad.  A decade of this woman's face and chirpy voice and ridiculous enthusiasm for peddling Japanese automobiles to the middle class is more than enough (here's something unintentionally funny:  her IMDb page lists her filmography and notes at the bottom that she's "also known as Toyota Jan." Um, no- she's known as Toyota Jan, and look she's been in other stuff, too.  And now that she's been done to death by Toyota, she's beyond typecast and will never get a serious acting gig ever again.  See Progressive, Flo From.)

These days we're supposed to pretend she's pregnant for some reason, like she's become part of our family because she invades our living room via TV 300 times during every football game.  Well, here's one blogger who doesn't find her charming or interesting or funny or even an effective salesmonkey as she gushes nonstop and never takes that stupid freaking smile off her intensely punchable face just because she keeps showing up.  I just want her to go away already.  Can we get this done in the New Year?  I mean, she's got a kid to take care of, right?

*by the way, check out the genius in the comment section who was reminded of the opening of The Brady Bunch.  Nothing gets by some people!

Saturday, December 29, 2018

The Release of E.T.- a "just for fun" look back at the golden age of VHS

From the spring of 1987 (a few months before I graduated from college) to the spring of 1991 (when I was in the process of finishing up my Master's Degree and preparing to move to New York with my fiancee) I worked for a video rental store chain in the DC/Northern Virginia region.  I started out as a part-timer and ended up managing several stores, making enough money to pay my tuition, take girls out to dinner, and generally have the kind of fun you are supposed to have when you're in your mid-twenties and getting ready to start Real Life.

E.T. - The Extra Terrestrial was released on VHS in October 1988, a month after I had started grad school and right after I had been bumped up to Assistant Manager at The Video Place's hole in the wall store in the underground mall at Crystal City, Virginia.  I can remember taking multiple pre-orders every day for months beforehand, taking down deposits of 50% for the $24.95 tape (minus the $5 Pepsi promotion) and answering one "is it there yet" call after another (nobody seemed to quite understand what the term "release date" meant, and in the pre-Google age nobody seemed to know how to find it anyway.)

There were a lot of big films released on VHS while I worked at The Video Place- An American Tail, Lady and the Tramp, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Rocky Horror Picture Show where probably the biggest, but I can also remember selling Janet Jackson and Phil Collins and Tears for Fears concert compilations at a pretty quick clip.  I wonder if they are still collecting dust somewhere.  But I don't think we ever experienced anything from our customers that approached the excitement of the E.T. video release.  It was even bigger than the rush to grab a copy of Legend of Zelda they were experiencing across the hall at Waxie-Maxies.  I think we sold about 300 pre-order and hundreds more off the shelf before that Christmas.  I still have a copy lying around somewhere, I'm sure.

Anyway, like all Golden Ages, this one didn't last forever, and The Video Place didn't long survive my departure- in fact, three of the four stores in the chain had been closed before I left, and the final one shut down before the end of 1991.  I spent most of my last months with the company going from store to store organizing close-out sales- I've mentioned before at this site that when I closed one store there was exactly ONE unsold VHS tape on the shelf- Satisfaction, "starring" Justine Bateman but including Liam Neeson and Julia Roberts.  I didn't know it then, but the rental industry had passed its peak and the internet was looming on the horizon.

Thirty years after it's release, E.T. is still a solid seller on Amazon (I don't know how well An American Tail aged) and a generation is growing up less susceptible to the charms of the brick and mortar store, so I guess the idea of a place where you could go and browse movie titles on the shelf is going to sound more and more alien as the years go by.  For us, it's still a loss, just one that's going to be harder to describe and explain to the next generation.  I like to remind myself of those days anyway.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Consistent Fidelity to the wealth of rich white people

These Fidelty Investment commercials, with their endless parade of self-satisfied, grey-haired white people whose favorite pasttime is to look whistfully into the middle distance  who obviously have plenty of money but who are forever fussing with brokers to make sure they have even more in the future, never fail to warm the heart, do they?

I guess it's all about making sure that you get to travel all over the world when you retire (while in your mid-50s, of course) while still leaving a buttload of money to the kids.  It's every couple's dream, but it's only available to people who make enough money to live in big houses and spend freely yet still manage to keep brokerage offices busy with the excess for several other words, to a smaller and smaller percentage of people every single year.

Anyway, I'm sure we're all super-happy that the reward for settling for that one huge suburban mansion and only the ocassional overseas vacation and one car per person in the household is a long retirement filled with exotic places and robust health because, as I've implied, these people are retiring in their mid-fifties having spend their entire adult lives with excellent medical care, the best of nutrition, etc. while performing jobs which weren't the least bit physically taxing.   I know I am!

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

If I worked at Best Buy during the Holiday Rush....

"Here's my list- I wrote it out on a register slip from 1975, don't ask me daughter.  She's getting into gaming."

Me:  "Ok, let's nip that right in the bud.  Why not head over to Barnes and Noble and ask what's big this month in the Young Adult genre?  Because you don't want to feed that particular passion.  I mean, unless you WANT her to be a fat, housebound, socially isolated tribble."

"But she really likes games...."

Me:  "That's great!  Maybe it's not too late to get her on the neighborhood hockey team.  Or ask her if she prefers non-contact ice skating.  How about signing her up for skiing lessons?  And keep an eye out for softball and baseball tryouts when spring comes.  Fresh air, exercise, and new downside there!"

"Um...ok.  Now, for my husband...."

Me:  "I was told to tell every female who comes in here that guys are really into drones.  Since drones have only been available gifts for maybe 2 Christmases, I'm not sure how anyone could possibly know that.  So I'm not going to tell you that your husband wants something that is insanely dangerous to use unless you live on an isolated farm somewhere.  Since you're one of the 90 percent of Americans who live in an urban area, a drone would be a really stupid, senseless, and as I just mentioned dangerous toy, I suggest the hottest video game."

"I thought you didn't like video games...."

Me:  "I fight the battles I can win.  If your daughter is 'really getting into gaming,' you probably already have a nice gaming system, which means your husband is an overgrown child who likes to waste his life staring at a screen.  It's probably too late to save him.  So here's the latest Pretend to Be What People Who Have Never Seen Combat Think A Soldier Is game...."

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

A Good Day to revisit this classic from Folger's, with more questions....

1.  How far did that Volkswagen go to bring Peter home for the holidays?  It's caked with frost when it drops him off.  I know that Volkswagen heaters were notoriously bad, but least the back should have been clear of snow after twenty minutes or so.  That's where the engine was, after all.

2.  Does Peter just assume there isn't already a can of coffee open?  I mean, he starts right off by opening a new one.  Maybe he brought that one? 

3.  Why does Peter set out the glass coffee pot with no lid on it instead of leaving it on the heating plate until people begin to wake up?  That coffee is going to get cold in about five minutes.  And it's already Folger's- the only thing nastier than Folger's coffee is cold Folger's coffee. 

4.  Why is this family drinking the coffee out of those stupid tiny teacups?  Oh, right, because it's a commercial and it's important to show the coffee as much as possible.  Doesn't seem at all important today- generally in modern ads we see people carrying around huge mugs.  Maybe today it's all about the consumption level.

5.  Why is this family drinking Folger's in the first place?  Oh, right- because it's the 70s, before gourmet coffee was a thing.  I bet the only place to get a good cup of coffee in this town is the local diner or maybe McDonald's or Dunkin Donuts.  So Folger's is the standard for this family at this time.  Which is probably why nobody is nostalgic for the 70s. 

Monday, December 24, 2018

Warm Holiday Exchange, brought to us from Portal

They aren't having an "ugly sweater" party.

She isn't having a "burnt cookie" party.

They are both having a "stupid, passive-aggressive party."

They are both better off being hundreds of miles from eachother during the holidays.

They only own Portal so that they can continue to be stupid and vicious to eachother even while hundreds of miles away.

And in keeping with television commercials in general, the woman with the burnt cookies has a kitchen larger than my apartment.  Happy holidays to you, too, Portal.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

I remember when Stouffers and the Holidays were inseperable

This hilarious throwback to the glorious 1980s reminds us of the time when every holiday party simply had to include plate after plate of toasted bread topped with cheap cheese, tomato sauce and something that at least looked like pepperoni.  I can remember every party being pretty much over as soon as the Stouffer's ran out.

But until it, such awesomeness.  Big smiles, laughter, and gathering around the piano with friends to sing in between scarfing down flavored toast from the freezer aisle.  Everything was so perfect back then.  I'm pretty sure President Reagan had a lot to do with it.

As a sidenote- notice that nobody in this ad is texting or taking photos with their phones, because nobody- except the owner of the house- has a phone.  Yet, they all seem to be having a good time, despite the fact that they are totally unable to take photos of their chunks of crunchy bread or anything else and where forced to socialize with the people in the room rather than people not in attendance.  They couldn't even update their Facebook pages back then!

We were so weird back in the 1980s.  Better, but weird.

These Febreze Commercials are all really, really weird

The woman in this house can't understand why her gleaming-white house doesn't smell as good as it looks despite the fact that she clearly spends 99 percent of her time polishing it to a high gloss.  She can't understand why it smells bad because in all her cleaning she totally forgot that she owns a dog that she lets stink up the couch.

Now that she's been reminded by her eyes than she owns a dog, she's put two and two together and figured out the whole Cause and Effect thing, and it's time to reach for the bottle of chemicals and start spraying it all over the place.  The problem is, as soon as she's done spreading House Deodorant she's going to forget that she owns a dog again, and if she does that often enough that dog will probably die of malnutrition. 

Then she'll have a dead dog, which will start to stink, and then more chemical spraying until the nice people from the state show up to remove the carcass and take the woman to another gleaming-white building filled with nice people wearing lab coats. 

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Maybe you shouldn't be a Lert, either.....

In both of these ads, A Loof is brutally murdered by a bus or a train, a horrific event which has zero impact on A Lert, which goes about it's perfect, everyday life of using the still getting Back2Good Metro System as if absolutely nothing has happened.  So either A Lert is deaf and blind (in which case, he ought to have a dedicated series of Metro Safety Ads) or he's some kind of bizarre Sociopath who simply doesn't care that the train he's happily getting on just ran over a fellow sentient creature.

What a sad world we live in.  When I was a kid I remember Gallant being a goody two-shoes perfect little boy and Goofus being a (much more relateable) jerk, but I don't recall Goofus ever being punished for his behavior by getting maimed by mass transportation while Gallant celebrated his Obvious Superiority by whistling softly to himself and being totally oblivious to the horror that unfolded fifteen feet away. 

We should at least be seeing A Lert crying out in terror and calling 911.  Isn't he supposed to be A Lert?  If you see something, say something!

Heineken's "Holiday" ad: Sorry, but I just don't get it.

And I don't get certain YouTube posters concerning this ad (which is showing up twice per commercial break during bowl games today)  either.

What exactly is non-traditional about this ad?  There's a Dad here.  There are twins. There's a stepdaughter, and a "reveal" that mom- who I guess is either divorced or widowed- has a boyfriend.  Is it that the stepdaughter isn't wearing a pretty dress, or that she' swearing "untraditional" makeup?  Is it that mom's new boyfriend is an artist, and he's not wearing a cardigan or smoking a pipe, or that he has long hair and a beard?  What is it about any of these people that makes them "untraditional?"

Is just that the ad features a blended family?  Does Heineken think that this is a 21st century phenomenon?  Is it even possible that anyone could think this?

I can't get the answer from the YouTube posters who think that this ad represents "degeneracy" and "the breakdown of the nuclear family"- no kidding, check it out.  So can you help me with this?  What am I missing here?

Friday, December 21, 2018

What are we Hungry for? Never, EVER this crud, Stouffers!

If you didn't notice the tiny Stouffers logo in the corner of the screen, you probably thought that this was a commercial for insurance, or McDonald's, or Gatorade, or something that was unrelated to the story that was unfolding on screen and which was supposed to pull at your heart strings or whatever.

With ten seconds left in a 79-second ad, we learn that this guy....eats Stouffers brand frozen boxed crap faux-lasagna.  And this is important because....oh, sorry, can't tell you, because the ad is over.

WTF-ever, Stouffers.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Maybe English is a second language to the Lavazza Family

"For over four generations, the Lavazza family has been perfecting the art of blending coffee."

How can a family "perfect" the art of blending coffee "for four generations?"  Either the art has been perfected or it hasn't.  Once it's been perfected, it can't be perfected any more.  So shouldn't this ad really say that "for over four generations, the Lavazza family has gotten better and better at blending coffee?"

Also- why are all the other ads for this stuff so chock-full of stupid celebrity cameos?  Why does anyone think that this is the way to sell coffee?

Finally- America runs on Dunkin, and there's a Starbucks on every corner. Does this Lavazza family really think that Americans are still looking for "perfectly blended coffee?"  We're not.  We just want the caffeine.  If we cared about the taste, there wouldn't be a Dunkin Donuts every fifty yards in New England and a Starbucks every fifteen feet everywhere else.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Geico's "So Easy" Campaign is Nonsensical, Offensive Rubbish

Notice how every Geico commercial is constructed exactly the same, with five seconds of non-information about the insurance company (usually how long it's been around, or how easy it is to sign up for it or file a claim) followed by ten seconds of banal nonsense that is only funny to people who think that EVERYTHING EVER MADE BY ANYONE is funny?

Check out this particular steaming pile of non-informative nothing.  The fat doofus sitting on his lawnchair tells us Geico has been around for "over 75 years" (eighty-two, actually) and therefore "it's easy to trust Geico."  This is the entirety of the educational part of this ad.  This one line explaining that Geico has been around for what I guess is supposed to be considered a long time for an insurance company.

I'm not going to point out that several of Geico's chief rivals are even older companies and therefore, by this jackass's logic, are even more worthy of trust.  For example, State Farm was established Ninety-Six years ago.  And Allstate, which was established the year before Geico, making it at least a year more worthy of confidence.  Even Progressive is only a decade younger than Geico.  But as I said, I'm not going to point any of that out.

Instead, I'll stick with the as-usual-nonsensical "funny" part of the typical Geico ad, which is always designed to make you smirk or roll your eyes (or, if you are a YouTube commentator, spit your beer out of your nose and fall on the floor laughing before running to YouTube to let everyone know how much you LOL loved the ad.)  This time, the theme is how easy it is to trust Geico, so the guy delivering the punchline tells us it's "Master of Hypnotist easy."  As in, it's as easy as your life would be if you could mentally enslave your neighbors and order them around.  Lovely.

Except, what?  Is becoming a Master of Hypnosis easy?  If not, what is the point of the punchline again?  It seems to me that this guy is actually telling us that trusting Geico is as "easy" as doing something that is pretty much impossible for almost everybody- and if not impossible, certainly not desirable if one's goal is to improve societal health.  Yeah, having slaves makes one's life "easy," if we embrace a very surface-level view of slavery and if one happens to be a slave owner and not a slave.  Even if one is a slave owner, we can see from the few seconds of this commercial that Geico understands the corrosive nature of slave ownership- the guy in the chair isn't using his abilities to enrich anyone but himself, and is turning into a disgusting, worthless slug in the process.

Wait- "disgusting, worthless slug?"  I finally found the right words to describe a typical Geico commercia.  And you can trust me on that, this blog is almost ten years old, after all.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

KFC Carols all over our most sacred traditions

The only thing more disturbing and utterly heartbreaking than this horrible ad is the number of YouTube commentators who think it's "damn catchy" and want to know what the lyrics are.  Holy crap, people- Hark the Herald Angels Sing dates back to 1739 and it's one of pretty much everybody's favorite holiday hymns EVER.  But you rape it (sorry, I can't think of another term which expresses my feelings at this moment) in the service of selling fried chicken parts, and the mentally deficient box turtles gush all over it as if KFC has done something wonderful here.

Well, no, but KFC has NOT done anything wonderful here.  It's taken a beautiful song (which was originally meant to be sung at a slow, almost mournful pace) and run it through the Shredder of Ultimate Corporate Disrespect because it's in the public domain.  Well, F-k you, KFC.  And Double F-k you to the mouth-breathing jagoffs over at YouTube- you winners really need to just take a break from commenting online for.....well, frankly, EVER.

Touch of Modern Gluttony

Back in the 1980s- a decade pretty much dedicated to the art of Conspicuous Consumption- there was this awesome store in the local mall called The Sharper Image which sold all kinds of nifty gadgets which all had one thing in common.  Everything in the store was really cool, and really pointless (or, at least, way ahead of it's time- which meant that the concept was there but the tech had not yet quite caught up yet.  For example, The Sharper Image was the first place I saw Wireless Headphones, Hoverboards, and Robot Vacuums, and I'm sure they all worked equally badly.)

It was, essentially, a place for poor kids like me to ogle fancy Toys for Adults, and for upper-class adults to buy toys for themselves.

Well, that particular The Sharper Image has gone the way of almost every other store at that mall, vanished off the face of the Earth to be replaced by a massive Filene's Basement, though I was a bit surprised to learn that the company itself does actually exist somewhere (perhaps as an internet-only entity.)  About fifteen years ago I walked into my first Brookstone's and thought "hey, The Sharper Image is back with a new name," because Brookstone's does pretty much cater to the same audience, but it wasn't as cool probably because I wasn't 18 years old anymore.

Now there's Touch of Modern, where Stupid Rich People Who Have No Change For the Guy with the Bell can purchase electronic coasters which allow coffee cups to hover above the desk or floating Death Star models or super-nifty-SciFi Swiss Army knives or belts which don't quite work like the belts that the plebs buy at JC Penny.  It isn't Toys for Adults- you can get vintage GI Joes at Ebay and video games at Walmart.  These are showy pieces of pointless junk which serve exactly one purpose- to let everyone else know that you can afford to buy showy pieces of pointless junk.  As in "Don't think for one minute that I saved for three years or took out a second mortgage to buy that Lexus in the driveway.  I've got money coming out of my ears!"

So for that rich guy in your life who has everything- here's something they don't have, because they didn't know it existed.  Because there's no reason for it to exist, except that there will always be people out there desperate to throw money around in the most ostentatious manner imaginable.  And because it's 2018 they don't even have to drive to the mall to do it.

Friday, December 14, 2018

I wasn't fooled, Peloton

See, the gag here is that you thought the guy was getting up at 5 AM to work his butt off on the Peloton bike so he could stay in good shape for his wife.  Sure, you thought it was kind of weird, since pretty much every other Peloton bike commercial you ever saw featured a twentysomething woman with the body of a triathelete/Sports Illustrated model getting up before dawn to sweat for an hour while being shouted at by another hot woman on a screen.  Each of those ads ended with the woman toweling herself off before being greeted by two little kids and- eventually- the shlub she sold herself to who is finally getting HIS ass out of bed and who has no need for a Peloton bike himself because hey, Bank Account.

It's all made right at the end, as it's revealed that, yep, this is actually HER Christmas present and he was just taking it for a test ride, like that guy who put a whole 900 miles on the brand new Jaguar last year before handing it over to HIS trophy wife.  This time the Grateful To Be Reminded That She Could Be In Better Shape spouse doesn't notice the slightly damp seat or any other signs that this gift has been broken in- she's too busy gushing with delight at the modern equivalent of a new washing matchine as an appropriate holiday present.

"Hey look, honey- a Peloton Bike, just for you!  Now you can cancel those classes at the gym you clearly hated even though they were pretty much the only time you ever left the house to take a trip that didn't involve buying groceries or cleaning products!  Now show how much you appreciate me by taking a pound off before making me breakfast!"

"Oh and BTW, don't bother looking out into the driveway- there's no Lexus wrapped in a ribbon for you again.  How many years in a row does that make?"

Monday, December 10, 2018

Roll the dice at Kay Jewelers?

I get that this is supposed to be super-cute and not at all trite or manipulative or drowning in BS g-d forbid.  It's supposed to be just adorable that this guy not only decides he has to ask this little kid's permission before marrying his mom, but feels compelled to show the kid the ring in a way which, if you watch this without sound, looks as though he's offering it to the kid and not to the mom.

Because I'm a commercial curmudgeon, I'm going to point out a few obvious sticking points which make this ad kind of screwed up and certainly nothing that any guy interested in marrying a woman with a young child should take inspiration from.

First, I'm more than a little squicked at the concept of an adult man asking a male child for permission to marry an adult woman, as if that adult woman has no real say in the matter.  He even pushes the ring toward the kid like he's offering payment for his mom.  I guess it would be worse if we saw the guy asking the woman's FATHER for permission to marry her, but this really isn't much better.

Hey, buddy?  This is the son of the woman you want to marry, not her master or her boss.  Did she send you into his room to do this?  I get that you're going to be a family and maybe there's even something a little sweet in getting the little boy ready for his mother to be married again, but how about a little conference with all three of you in the same room in which it's explained to the kid what is GOING to happen?  Because, after all....

Second, this guy has pretty much set this up as the kid's decision to make.  I guess he's been around for a while and he knows the kid very well, and the look on the little boy's face suggests that he really likes the guy and OF COURSE he's going to say "yes," but what if he doesn't?  Is this a decision that ought to be made by a kid who can't get to sleep without his favorite stuffed Porg toy?  What if he kind of still likes it being him and Mom and isn't quite ready to share her with this guy or anyone else?  What if he says "maybe in a few years?"  I don't imagine that the guy is really going to take a negative reaction as the signal to take the ring back to Kay Jewelers and renew his membership with  It's a lot more likely that the kid will be informed that umm, sorry, we were just trying to be cutesy and nice by asking, but we're getting married anyway, suck it up, buddy.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

The horror of Lexus December to Remember Ads is underway.....

All year, very wealthy people who live in fabulously large suburban McMansions with their trophy wives/husbands and trophy families will enjoy the Lexus someone in that house received as a Christmas present last December.

You know, that Lexus that was ostentatiously wrapped in a giant red bow to let everyone in the neighborhood know that yes, the family living in that ridiculous house is just as obnoxiously rich and willing to be conspicuous with it's consumption habits as you suspected they were.  And that the horrendous performance of the stock market in 2018 did nothing to take the shine off their perfect lives.

All year, this family will enjoy the privileges of owning a Lexus SUV- like parking it right next to the stands at a sporting event instead of in the lot with the lesser cars, for example.  They'll remember that Fourth of July when for some reason they took it to the beach so the kids could run around it holding sparklers like it was the center of a religious ceremony.  Or that time someone was nice enough to invite them to an outdoor wedding so the guests could appreciate their car all day and not just as they arrived and departed.

Not shown: the daily trips to the car wash for the Luxury Detailing which allowed the family LookAtMeMobile to keep that Just Off The Showroom Floor shine.

Want a year like this?  Then take advantage of Lexus' December to Remember offers and get yourself and your family one of these giant middle fingers to decency which make garages superfluous because after all, what is the point of owning a Lexus if you can't remind people you own a Lexus 24/7?

Toyota Jan Presents Holiday Nightmare Fuel

When is this woman's fifteen minutes of career as Toyota's Stupid Spokeschoad going to be over already?  I mean, Toyota isn't going to pull a Progressive on us and keep this woman on contract until she looks like a fat, pale old vampire, are they? 

I was looking for the ad where Jan is descending a staircase in front of a wall festooned with about 200 framed photos, 99 percent of which are....Toyotas....before we find ourselves in the Toyota showroom, suggesting that Jan actually lives above the shop that is the love of her life.  Haven't found that one yet, but man it's weird. 

Anyway, Toyota thinks that we want to see NINE Jans singing to use for a few seconds, probably because Toyota has long since stopped caring to find out what we really want, which is for Jan to just go away already.  Oh, and I'm guessing Toyota thinks that this will remind us of The Brady Bunch,* which will tweak some nostalgia impulse and....make us want to go out and buy a Japanese car?  Huh?

*One commenter was indeed reminded of The Brady Bunch when he saw this ad.  And felt compelled to let us know for Reasons.  So congratulations, Toyota, you managed to accomplish...umm, something.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Another rant

I guess the only reason why anyone would be interested in visiting The Phillipines or eating Spanish food or experimenting with Lithuanian cooking would be if they discovered that they can trace their ancestry back to these places?

Let's cut to the chase, shall we?  It's time to be painfully blunt about all of this DNA test nonsense.  They aren't about learning more about your background or appreciating the hidden diversity of the population.  They are about further indulging the navel-gazing Upper Middle Class with a new toy they can purchase with the money that seems to be forever burning a whole in it's pocket.

Just look at the people in these ads.  They aren't all white, but they ARE all obviously well-off financially and they all carry this obnoxious level of smug piety while absolutely oozing liberal suburban "values."  They all adore everyone and "don't see" color or sexual differences and loudly condemn racism every chance they get, slapping "We Love Our Muslim Neighbors" on their front yards (which almost universally exist in neighborhoods with zero Muslim neighbors.)  They are way, way above the concepts of bigotry and intolerance.

And yet, they are also obsessed with their own bloodlines and convinced that DNA is Destiny.  How else can we explain the fact that they not only went through the effort to send a vial of spit to Utah along with $59, $99 or whatever (as if the amount matters to these people) but also instantly respond to the results by seeking out cheap, surface-level ways to advertise their newfound "roots?"  Kelly Ripa reacts to discovering that she's 24% Italian by spitting out catchphrases in that language as the cameraman and her loving cultists follow her around a bakery.  The nobodies in this ad simply MUST visit the Home of their Ancestors or at the very least learn to cook some of the stuff they had to eat before they escaped to America (if I find out that I'm 24% Mississippian, does that mean I should learn how to prepare chicken-fried steak with greens fried in lard, or can I just visit The Golden Corrall after church every Sunday?) 

So you tell me- how does "embracing diversity and recognizing that we are all part of a rich tapestry of cultures" jibe with "I need to find out what percentage Lithuanian I am so I can adopt a new diet and jet off on a vacation to visit places that have no actual meaning to me but which I intend to look at teary-eyed and wistfully for the camera?"  How does any of this "you are what your blood says you are" get us any closer to breaking down tribalism?  Seems to me that as these kits get cheaper and more and more of us learn exactly what percentage Albanian Orthodox we are, the level of race-and-origin obsession is just going to become deeper and more dividing. 

But hey, at least these bored, pretentious, bloodine-obsessed twits have something to talk about at the next dinner party beyond the next farmer's market and how Tolerant they are.

"God Friended Me." He's right behind Justin Bieber in Twitter followers, too

As usual, G-d as portrayed by television producers has all the time in the world to f--k around with Upper Middle Class people in highly advanced Western societies.  Now he's on Facebook, suggesting that G-d hasn't been keeping up with social media trends lately.  If he was better informed, he'd know that Facebook is kind of old school and he'd be doing his communicating through Twitter or SnapChat, not Facebook, which is so Your Mother's Social Media.

Meanwhile, that kid sitting by a river in Kenya waiting for the worm that is boring a hole through his eye to leave him blind before he reaches his teen years- well, sorry, kid, but G-d is too busy contacting pretty people in the Upper 10% tax bracket to help you out right now.  Too busy making friend suggestions to those people, too.  Maybe if you got yourself an iPhone and Verizon you'd rate a little assistance.  Sucks to be you, but that's how G-d rolls.

According to American television producers, of course.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Discover the Courage to ask for what everyone else has already

So I guess the guy in this ad is visiting from the year 1980, because he feels like he has to psych himself up in order to work up the courage to call Discover and

1.  Apply for a card, and

2.  Demand that there be no annual fee attached to that card.

And of course he's going to end up looking like a total idiot because it's 2018 and the only credit cards that carry annual fees are those Platinum things which also give you free sky miles and allegedly awesome hotel deals and a free ride through security at airports and the opportunity to sit in a plush easy chair in some airport bar rather than along the dregs in those uncomfortable plastic seats at the gate where you have to deal with listening to everybody else's "personal device" and scramble for space at the phone charging station.

Not to mention that he's trying to get a DISCOVER card, the favorite card of first-year college students with maybe $500 to their names and no credit history- in 1982.  Holy crap, I bet this guy spends the entire weekend chanting "you can do it you can do it you can do it" before heading off to Starbucks and asking for extra foam on his caramel latte.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

'Tis the season to be brutal to your pets, according to Walmart

Because nothing says "Christmas" like torturing your house pet by making it wear stupid crap which makes it hot and will probably end up injuring it's paws by slipping all over your hardwood floor.  Whatever, it's hysterical and great for "sharing," so it's all good, right?

Before the holidays are over, this dog will respond to the doorbell ringing by whimpering, wetting all over the place and hiding under the bed, because by then it will associate every ring with a new horror that's going to be wrapped around it's already suffering, cringing body.

Oh, but the YouTube Gang just adores this ad.  Check out the comments- one of them is "What is this song?"  No kidding.  Never mind that the name of the song is the only part of the song we actually hear.  Someone has to ask that question in every YouTube comment section, and this one will be no exception.  And as for the other comments- well, let's just say that there are a lot of stupid people out there.  Stupid people willing to share their stupid on YouTube.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Revisiting this Vector ad for a moment....

I still can't believe that this Vector thing is for real and I could actually buy one if I wanted something for my apartment that never shut up for one moment but instead chirped, trilled, whistled and beeped nonstop until I finally crushed it by repeatingly stepping on it while wearing steel-toed boots (while it beeped and shrieked for mercy, no doubt.)

I don't get it.  How desperately lonely do you need to be to want an electronic device that just kept reminding you that it existed all the time?  I'm not there yet.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

I can so relate to this VRBO ad*

Because like pretty much everybody else I know, when it rains for a few days in a row I just go to the internet, find a beach vacation, and away I go.  On a beach vacation.  Because I "haven't seen the sun in days."

Because like everyone else I know, I don't work for a living or have any actual responsibilities of any kind.  The only reason I stay in any one place for more than a very limited amount of time is if the weather stays nice.  When it turns nasty, I give it a couple of days to clear up, but if it doesn't, well, it's off on another beach vacation.

You know, like pretty much everybody else.

*37,000,000 views?  Yeah, right.  More like a gigantic salute to the power of bots and their ability to generate a fake audience.  If anywhere near 37 million people actually watched this garbage (which has about a dozen replies and a massive 128 thumbs-ups) it was because it keeps showing up in front of things they DO want to watch.  You know, like Prager U with 99 percent less obnoxiousness.