Sunday, March 31, 2019

Blatantly Sexist Credit Karma Ad

The couple in this ad have better credit.  What's the solution?

The GIRL in the couple must negotiate a 17% raise (no problem- she gets the raise.  She must be absolutely vital to the business.  I've been a teacher at the same school for 24 years.  When I go in to negotiate a raise, I'm thrilled when it matches the rate of inflation.)  The GUY in the ad has to get his debts in order.  Message: Only one person in this couple has a credit problem which is keeping them in the girl's dad's basement.  It's the guy.  He's an anchor on this girl's dreams of a house of their own.  So she has to make more money in order to drag his sorry butt out of debt, because she married his debt.

This is going to take a while, because the GUY keeps making stupid purchases to demonstrate that he's still a child who doesn't know how to handle money.  He brings home a guitar he purchased without talking it over with his significant other first.  She responds by rolling her eyes.  She does that a lot.  Stupid guy.  He's so lucky to have her. He's not good enough for her.  She lowered her standards for him.  Obviously.

Their credit rating goes up, and after an EIGHT MINUTE INSPECTION (Seriously, WTF?  That part only makes sense if the GUY went to look at the house BY HIMSELF) this couple agrees to buy a house.  The next day their mortgage is approved, and just in time 'cause look the guy got the girl pregnant which kind of explains why she's willing to put up with this loser who has no money sense.

I guess we're supposed to be all happy at the end because two actors in a Credit Karma commercial managed to buy a house.  Not quite sure why.  And we're supposed to believe that they got the house in spite of the guy's efforts to sabatoge the whole thing.  Very sure why.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

McDonalds IS Soma

All I see in this ad is a couple of "parents" who brought what looks to be about thirty kids to McDonalds to eat non-food and play with junk toys....and continue the process of subliminally connecting "McDonalds" with "Happiness" so they can grow up to be depressed, fat adults who run to McDonalds for Comfort Food whenever life gets them down (which, if they are like me, means every couple of hours.)

But oh, it gets worse- now you can whip out your Personal Electronic Device and have your kids play "interactive" video games in between scarfing down french fries and playing with whatever stupid, Fun For Three Minutes "collectable" toy that came in the Brightly Colored cardboard box all that stuff came with.  So McDonald's doesn't have that 20 Minute Limit For Consuming Food thing anymore?  Or does it only apply to losers who just want to rest their feet and drink some coffee after walking a dozen miles or so, and not fat families who buy $20 worth of Fried Junk in Pretty Boxes and who expect the "restaurant" to entertain their kids for at least an hour- if not "play areas," then with dazzling eye candy you can show them on a screen?

I bet these "parents" think they are doing those kids a favor by helping McDonalds wire their synapses toward favoring a lifetime of cheap non-food made up primarily of sugar and empty carbohydrates.  'Cause hey check out the apple slices and milk, that just SCREAMS "responsible!"

Friday, March 29, 2019

Honda gives me stuff to do

1.  Buy a garage.

2.  Clean it out.

3.  Buy a Honda.

I guess that's the way things are supposed to work.  I mean, it's safe to assume that none of the families featured in this ad ever owned a car before, right?  Why else would they suddenly be cleaning out their garages to make room for the new Honda they'll be welcoming into the family soon?

Oh, I forgot a step:

4.  Move the motorcycle that I bought after I bought a garage to the side to make room for my new Honda.  That's a pretty cool bike, buddy- probably cost a pretty penny, too.  Hey, is that why these weird suburban families never had a car before?  Someone spent all the family money on a motorcycle?  Seems kind of selfish.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

United Healthcare steps on its own message to knock down men

Mommy is sensible and calm as she notices something that looks odd to her about her baby. She takes advantage of her awesome United Healthcare coverage and has a video chat with a Real Live Doctor in the middle of the night because she can do that 'cause United Healthcare coverage.

This is all very straightforward and effective and to the point.  Every parent has had moments of concern with a newborn.  Wouldn't it be great to have access to instant peace of mind through your Smartphone?  Of course it would.  And you can get that through United Healthcare.  Important message, well-delivered, cut to credits.

Oh but no, of course we can't just have a clear and simple commercial which effectively sells a product to a worried mom.  We have to throw in a bumbling doofus dad who almost gets himself killed in the very complicated act of Backing Up In a Darkened Room.  See, it's FUNNY because while baby is just fine, DADDY is now hurt and is perhaps in need of medical assistance himself.  The clear, consise and effective message is tossed aside for a cheap sight gag because nothing trumps the Stupid Dad Being Stupid trope.  NOTHING.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

It doesn't work like this, Buick

Nobody gives a damn about your Buick McBlandmobiles, Buick.  I imagine that people are pretty curious about that ridiculous house, though.  Except that every family in Television Commercial Land lives in a house like that.

Holy Crap, GoodRx!


I watched this ad several times without sound, and here's what I thought- this woman was dragging her two sick grandchildren to the pharmacy in the middle of the night because they both had high fevers.  She had neglected to bring them to the doctor because she's a nurse and her schedule is just hell, but the situation finally went critical and she finally caved in and decided to get the prescription a coworker illegally wrote for them filled.

When the pharmacist rang up the total of $67, grandma recoiled at the idea of paying that kind of money just to break something as silly and common as a raging fever, and turned to bring her kids back home and re-apply the ice packs and hope for the best.  Then the pharmacist pointed out that there's about 200 coupons available through the GoodRx app which cannot be used with health insurance but that doesn't matter because grandma/nurse doesn't have health insurance anyway.  Pharmacist does a good job hiding her horror at the fact that grandma/nurse, while really wanting her grandkids to feel better, doesn't want that to the tune of $67.  (Bet you wish this wasn't your weekend with grandma, kids!)

Finally, I watched the ad with sound- and it turns out that the grandma dragging her sick kids to the pharmacist in the middle of the night isn't grandma, she's mom (cripes!  Why did you wait until you were fifty before you started having kids, lady?)  And only the boy is sick- he needs a drug called "Pediasten" (40mg) which, as it turns out, it totally made up yet STILL costs $67!  For the 40mg strength of a non-existent drug!  Damn you Obamacare!!

So it turns out that MOMMY/nurse had "no idea" that she was a few swipes on her SmartPhone away from actually getting her kid the meds he needs.  Oh, and she HAS health insurance but GoodRx gives her a better deal than her insurance can (by the way, why didn't she call her provider to ask if the medication was covered before dragging her kids to the pharmacy in the middle of the night?  Why didn't she ask her DOCTOR when the meds were prescribed, so he could offer a generic alternative or something else or maybe even give her some free samples?)

The happy ending is that Mommy/nurse decides that while $8.90 is still pretty expensive- I mean, it's not $67, but it's not free either- you can buy four scratch-off tickets with that kind of money and have change left over- it's worth it if it eases her son's pain and lets her get a decent night of sleep for a change.  Not quite sure why she doesn't take the lowest cost option that shows up on her screen, but I think we've already established this woman is not the sharpest scalpel on the tray.  Enjoy your Pediasten, kid.  I wonder why that ISN'T a real drug?

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Natural Gas: Power Past Sanity! It's Magic!

Natural Gas doesn't just cook dinner!  It also cooks the water in the faucet before it even hits the sink!  What a time-saver!

It creates power.  It IS power!  It promotes mountain bike riding, somehow, shut up it just does!  It produces adrenaline- not sure how, maybe we are supposed to huff it from sports bottles?  Not quite sure what that's all about, but...Check out all these images of people doing super-cool stuff somehow related to the Awesome, Natural, Cheap, Natural, and abundant 'cause it's Natural energy of Natural Gas!

The United States (not private companies, shut up it's OUR power and it will continue to be OUR power, we'll just have to pay for it again 'cause reasons) is the leader in Natural Gas production!  That's something to be proud of,  again 'cause Reasons!  "We" produce more than half the world's natural gas which is pretty awesome considering we're less than 4% of the world's population!  'Course, we are responsible for 25% of the world's energy consumption so maybe it's kind of fair that we chip in SOMETHING, so Natural Gas and Oil it is! Aren't we awesome!?

Oh, and Natural Gas does other stuff do.  It pipes in jobs (we aren't paying AMERICANS to build this infrastructure after all!)  It allows us to use cool 3D printers to do cool sciency stuff!  Confused?  Just read the damn captions and enjoy the upbeat music then!  And support Natural Gas!

Any questions?  Tough, the comment section is closed!  Relax and enjoy another glass of Natural Gas in front of the TV, and don't sweat the small stuff!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Another weird CiCi's Ad

1.  Why is the wife/mommy in this ad so determined to stand behind her husband at all times?  Why does she stop with a confused look on her face when he stops, as if uncertain what to do next because Hubby isn't leading the way?  I kind of get why their little son has stopped- maybe he's never been to a Cici's before (he's used to his parents being responsible adults and giving him nutritious food rather than poison to eat) and he's not willing to rush ahead without his parents- but Mom acts as if something terrible is going to happen to her if she doesn't let Hubby go first.  That and that concerned, almost frightened look on her face makes this all more than a little off-putting.....

2.  Why is dad stunned into immobility by the sight of multiple pizzas?  What did he expect to find at Cici's?  Ah, maybe he thinks he's living in real life, and he's never seen a CiCi's like this one before, because....

3.  Why does the television version of Cici's never resemble a real-life version?  On tv, they are always squeaky-clean and gleaming, and the pizzas are lined up perfectly on an equally clean table under immaculately clean sneeze guards as if the customers being highlighted are the first people to walk into the place at the opening bell.  In real life, Cici's are disgusting pig troughs fifteen minutes after the doors have been unlocked.  There's blobs of sauce everywhere, random slices of pizza are scattered all over the table, and it looks exactly what it is- a Golden Corral for people on a Budget who want to stuff as much sugar and empty carbs into their pie holes as possible for $5.99 each.  None of the customers look like they pull down more than $20 K annually.  They ARE mostly young families with kids who don't want the headache of the Chuck E Cheez but just want to store up a lot of calories for not much money. 

4.  What's the appeal of Cici's to anyone with more than $10 in their pockets and just a little bit of taste?  It's an all-you-can-eat junk pizza and cinnamon buns leper colony.  It's not even really that cheap- the price I normally see posted is $5.99, with the fountain soda not included.  All the "food" is engineered to fill you up fast with coma-inducing carbohydrates and sugar (yeah, there's a salad bar, but who the heck is going to Cici's for the salad bar?)  So what are we talking about- two slices of pizza and a cinnamon bun and a cup of soda for $8?  How is that a bargain?

Of course, it's not.  It just LOOKS like one, like every All You Can Eat buffet looks like one.  Just like all $199 per month lease deals look like one.  It's not hard to con stupid people into thinking they are getting a great deal because Check Out The Price Tag.  I live in the United States.  I know.

Racist Geico Ad: This guy does everything but bow

I watched or listened to the first five seconds of this ad about 200 times before watching it all the way through (simply for the purpose of using it at this blog.)  Thank god for the Skip Ad feature, but the first five seconds are painful enough....

1.  What does any of this have to do with car insurance?

2.  Nothing racist at ALL about showing an Asian guy engaging a group of ninjas (or whoever, I don't watch this again) in defense of....something....I don't know.  And of course it's an Asian guy who is just a stupid fat middle-class schlub who has been fantasizing about being a martial arts expert/secret agent when he was supposed to be discussing car insurance.  And I guess all this has to do with "style" which, again, has exactly WHAT to do with car insurance?

Any chance any future car insurance ads will actually explain the coverage offered?  Any chance at all?

Sunday, March 17, 2019

McDonald's Stupid St Patrick's Day Commercial- Another Look Back

Ah, the good old days- when portraying certain nationalities as cartoonish cliche'd caricatures was just fine because Hey I Know People Like This And They Think It's Funny.

Here's a family of....well, I'm going to guess they're Irish, only because it's about ten thousand time even more offensive if they are not..."celebrating" St Patrick's Day by heading off to McDonald's and ordering green milkshakes and wearing stupid green plastic bowlers because That's How You Show You're Irish and that You're Proud of Your Irish Heritage.  Then they do a little dancing because That's How Irish People Are, too.  Later the kids will walk in the parade while grampa gets blasted at O'Dooley's like he does every weekend anyway.  The day ends with the whole family gathered around the tv to watch Notre Dame win the 1977 NCAA title on VHS.

I'm sorry, but this is pretty rank, nasty stuff even if it is just making fun of the whitest people on the planet.  I'm guessing it wouldn't pass the smell test today.  Certainly if it did manage to accidentally make it on to the airwaves, it would be greeted with protests and "grow up you SJW snowflakes I know Irishmen and they all love this ad" counter-protests.  Heck, since everything old is new again, I wonder why McDonald's doesn't just throw this ad on tv for today and today only to see how much attention they can get out of it.

(One thing people might note is that in 1983, these milkshakes didn't even come topped with whipped cream.  It's as if people back then thought that there were enough empty calories in these things without it.  Weirdos.)

Saturday, March 16, 2019

34 years later, I have to comment on this Fancy Feast Ad

I'll use my usual excuse first:  the internet simply wasn't a thing back in 1985.  When this ad first appeared on tv, I was a Sophomore in college and probably too busy working on an essay assignment or studying for anthropology with my girlfriend to take much notice of stupid commercials. But also, being a non-pet owner it's very easy for me to just tune out during ads featuring food for the dirty little mammals some people just insist on populating their homes with. 

Anyway, a few things about this vintage Fancy Feast commercial:  First, there's the butler bringing in a tray holding about a dozen cans of the stuff to show the "customer."  What, is that cat going to pick out which flavor it wants to eat tonight?  I kind of doubt it- so why not just open the can somewhere else and just bring in the food?  Why go through the trouble of stacking all those cans and carrying them on a tray into a room just so you can open one and bring the rest back?  Think this butler guy ever took a moment to reflect on how horrible wrong his life had gone?

Also, what's with the idea of serving the food in a wine glass (is that a wine glass? Or a tiny candy dish?  I really don't know what that container would be used for if not cat food- but are there really cat dishes that look like this?  If so, why?  Are they made of glass?  Plastic?  I bet plastic.  Is it safe to assume that this glass/dish thing is for the exclusive use of the cat, and it's not going to be washed and added to the family china set?)

Why is the very least impressive thing shown in this ad the actual cat food?  It just looks like cat food, at least until it's flaked with the fork.  Then it looks like cat food that's been doctored up to make it look better than it is (didn't work.)  Meanwhile, what's the cat thinking?  My guess is it's thinking "just put the damn food down so I can get at it already." 

I'd say people were weird in 1985- and I'd be right- but it's not like they are any better now.  Check out radio ads for Vitabite dog food.  Those people are INSANE.  It was fun to be nostalgic for a few minutes, though.  So there is that.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Buick: Enough already

Nobody Nobody NOBODY has a fixed idea in their heads of what a "Buick" looks like, sorry Buick!

And Nobody Nobody Nobody says things like "that's my Buick," "where's my Buick?" or "how are we all going to fit into your Buick?"  Because no matter how hard you want us to think of them like BMWs or Audis, they aren't BMWs or Audis.  They are just freaking cars- cars that impress nobody, cars that look like every other car that isn't a BMW or Audi.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Navy Federal Credit Union lets us know that our vets are as obnoxious as anyone else

I guess this would have been even FUNNIER if this woman's friend hadn't been holding on tightly when she was pushed and ended up suffering a severe injury.  Wouldn't that have been an absolute laugh riot?

Meanwhile, this woman feels "absolutely secure" in using her instant-pay Federal Navy Credit Union app while in the middle of the woods, connected via who knows what crappy, probably very insecure service.  Why anyone would need to use this app is beyond me- I go away from time to time, even into the woods, and manage to get my bills paid without EVER using my phone to do it because, well, I'm capable of planning ahead.  I can use my laptop from home or even write a check and mail it now and then rather than wait till the last minute when I have to interrupt a vacation including tromping through the woods to get on an App and send money I could have sent before I left the freaking house.  What the hell is with you people, anyway?

I'd like to end with a shout-out to a very special YouTube commentator named Vince Cartelli.  Vince Cartelli is very, very upset with all us snowflakes who don't like ads like this.  Actually, I'm not even sure that "upset" is the right word.  It's bigger than that.  Vince sounds like he sees complaints about commercials as a sure sign that the End Times are upon us.  For the sake of your own heart rate, I want you to avoid this blog at all costs, Vince.  But by all means, keep after those Triggered Social Justice Warrior Snowflakes!  You tell 'em, Vince!

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Wells Fargo Dog Ad

"It's fine.... your human isn't listening...."

And nor should she.  If Wells Fargo wants to make an ad in which a dog "talks" to the dog in the viewer's home, the viewer should feel perfectly free to tune out and let that dog deliver whatever message it wants to the viewer's dog.  Hey Wells Fargo, if you can sell my goldfish a line of credit, feel free to do that, too.  But you don't get to insult me with this crap and think you're going to win me (the one with the actual money and language skills and legal ability to seek you out for a mortgage) over with noxious, manipulative nonsense like this.

Meanwhile, to those of you who think steaming piles of dung like the Talking/Thinking Like a Human Trope is still cute (or ever was,) let alone persuasive, let my remind you that the dog featured in this ad has no idea it's being filmed, has no idea that a horrifically annoying human voice is being used to narrate it's non-thoughts, or that it's being used to sell a product it can't come anywhere close to comprehending.  Because it's a f--king DOG.  It thinks "its human" is a bigger, more powerful dog it must respect if it wants to survive.  The "home of its dreams" is a shelter with enough warmth to be comfortable and enough food to allow it to continue to carry out its regular bodily functions.  That's IT.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Robocop, KFC and the endless revolving door of "Colonels"

1.  The family in this ad is so uninterested in the free chicken and biscuits which has suddenly shown up at their doorway that they have no reaction at all to the Robocop character presenting it.  In fact, when the character repeats the offer, one member of the family actually attempts to "shush" it, I guess so she can focus on the thirty-year old* film on her screen.

2.  It's not until the Robocop character actually threatens the family with punishment unless it "complies" within fifteen seconds that the family lunges for the fried bird parts.  So the message of this commercial seems to be "you'd never voluntarily consume this crap.  You will, however, agree to eat it if faced with violence if you don't."

3.  What is it with KFC and it's never-ending parade of Colonel Sanders impersonator spokeschoads?  Randy Quaid has had the job.  Then Darrell Hammond.  Norm Macdonald had the gig for a while and seemed to be doing ok.  George Hamilton, Ray Liotta...and about five minutes ago, KFC made a bit of a splash by hiring Jason Alexander for the role of fried chicken huckster who died forty years ago.  Is getting hired for this gig just a matter of hanging around Hollywood long enough?

*Which Robocop film is this family watching?  I hope it's not the original, which is way too violent for that kid, and probably not something anyone wants to be watching while eating.  If it's Robocop 3 or the more recent remake it's nothing anyone wants to be watching period.

Monday, March 4, 2019

James Harden, Genius

So I guess James Harden is just fascinated by the workings of the modern microwave oven.  Can't say as I blame him, it's not like microwave ovens didn't become common household appliances years before he was born.

He's so fascinated in fact that instead of putting the chinese food container in, setting the timer (five minutes?  Have you ever used one of these things, James?  That's not a large amount of food) and walking away, he just stands there staring at the window.  I guess his plan was to just stand there staring at it for five minutes. Maybe watching it go 'round and 'round is super-fascinating for some people.  I got over it myself, when I was, oh, five or six.

Harden's decision to just stand there and watch the food go 'round and 'round doesn't pay off however because when he sees the metal handle on the chinese food container spark, he doesn't do what 99.99 percent of adults would do- quickly open the door to prevent a fire or any damage to the oven.  Instead, he just keeps staring at it.  So first we learned that James Harden likes to watch chinese food containers go 'round and 'round through the glass window of microwave ovens.  And now we've learned that James Harden is one of the one in ten thousand adults out there who do not know how to react when the item being heated up lets off a spark.

And then we learn even more about James Harden- when the container bursts into flames, he.....continues to just stand there and watch.  He really, really enjoys looking at that microwave do it's work, it's so mesmerizing.  First it spins food, then it sparks, then it turns into a little fireplace.  And Harden just stands there.

In the end, James Harden lets out a little scream- I guess it's suddenly occurred to him- about two minutes after it would have occurred to everyone else- that something is not quite right here- and his response is not to call the fire department or get out of the house, but to let out a little scream.  Dustin Hoffman in "Rain Man" responded about 100 times more intelligently to a smoking countertop stove.  I'm frankly surprised that Harden survived his little adventure with the microwave oven- does a deleted scene show him being carried out of the burning kitchen like a mannequin by the local fire department?

And here's a depressing endnote- how much money did James Harden make in the time it took for that fire to start?  Probably more than you make in a month.  Understanding that you should not put metal in a microwave is an overrated quality.  Being able to quickly respond to the resulting malfunction is also overrated.  Being able to dribble a basketball?  Here's some more cash.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Pluto TV adds it's contribution to an already-saturated market

"Saturated" is being charitable.  How about "inundated," "done to death," or just plain ENOUGH ALREADY?

I mean, who the heck thinks that what we really need is another option to allow us to watch more television?  Don't we already have Hulu and Netflix and Amazon and YouTube and Plex etc. etc. ETC. feeding our apparently insatiable appetite for brain candy?  Does anyone f--ng read or just take walks or have conversations or just commute with their thoughts anymore?

Ugh, I feel like an old man shaking his fist at the clouds.  But I also feel like I'm justified in doing it.  This is a seriously messed-up world we're living in.

Earth to People:  Watching TV is not the be-all and end-all of existance.  It really isn't.  There's so much more to life than staring at that stupid f--ng screen.  At least, there is for me.  The rest of you?  Well, you're free to make your own choices.  But could you at least stop watching long enough to operate that motor vehicle in a way that doesn't threaten my life on a daily basis?  Please?  Because I kind of LIKE the life I have, most of the time.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Geico thinks we're nostalgic for this crap

Because a commercial which was totally devoid of humor - not to mention any information at all concerning the product allegedly being sold- was pretty popular among the paint-huffers a decade ago, let's repackage this stale pile of dung as "The Best of Geico" and put it back on the airwaves.  It's not like it's audience has grown one ounce more mature since then.  Heck, Donald Trump wasn't even president when this originally aired after all.

So here's your nostalgia fix for the day.  Remember when those CGI squirrels intentionally caused a horrific, fatal car accident and then celebrated with fist bumps?  Remember how funny that was because we never saw the results for the people in the car but in fact only heard some mild crashing noises (no screaming or sobbing or anything like that, because that's totally not associated with car crashes in real life?)  Remember how we could enjoy watching those hilarious squirrels celebrating their success at causing multiple injuries because those injuries were off-screen and therefore non-existant?

Remember also how we turned our brains off and never considered for one moment why a non-suicidal squirrel would want to do this in the first place?  Remember how we never wondered how many of these stupid squirrels failed to consider how many of those drivers were on their cell phones and ended up being smushed like- well, like squirrels- as those drivers went on their merry ways after briefly wondering what that little "thump" noise under their wheels was all about?

Ever wonder why companies like Geico have so little respect for their audience?  Well, I've got an answer to that.  Check out the comment section, if you dare.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Probably still cheaper than Scientology

Meet the cult leaders who want you to buy into the idea that you are just a "free" ($2000) seminar away from unlocking the secrets to house-flipping (just another $30K investment required) so you can become successful just like these adorable people.  Think they might be trying to scam you?  Come on, look how sweet they are, and check out that adorable dog!  Nobody who talks about their dog the way this wonderful couple does could be anything but 100 percent honest, right?

So tune into the next chapter of "Meet the Yancey's," get to know these amazing people who Just Want to Show You How to Be The Best You Can Be Just Like Them, and maybe you'll learn how to get rich while sitting on the couch.  Well no, not really- Scott Yancey and his Wife From Central Casting don't teach their "students" how to create youtube videos designed to draw suckers into "free" seminars which look and sound like revival meetings.  They teach you how to empty your wallet into their bank account to learn how to (yawn, seriously, still?) flip houses.  In other words, the packaging is shiny and new but there's nothing original about the product; cripes, hucksters were pitching this garbage before the internet was a thing.  I bet you can still find this basic pitch on VHS tapes somewhere, sold to some loser forty years ago in a commercial which showed up during Late Night Monster Theater on Channel 56.  It was probably more convincing than the version these wax figurines present here.

Oh and by the way, Yanceys?  Unless the title meant "Meet the Yancey's Dog," there's no reason for the apostrophe before the "s" in Yanceys.  Maybe your marketing guru should invest in Grammarly?

Oh, and one more thing: check out this hilarious "unbiased review" of the Yancey pitch.  Gag.