Sunday, June 30, 2019

I remember when dirty dishes and empty Coke cans were the serious roomate problems....

I'm old enough to remember when "Multitasking" didn't mean having the ability to watch tv and watch something else while talking on the phone, and instead meant being able to perform several tasks at the same time.   One of these sisters would consider eating, daydreaming, and binge-watching Game of Thrones multitasking.  The other would probably describe complaining about her sister/roomate while giggling for the camera multitasking.  I would not agree with either of them.

All that being said, this is kind of a cute commercial when you ignore the fact that these are two sisters whose biggest complaint about being roomates involves sharing broadband.  Then it becomes either unrealistic, or just sad, or kind of cool that that's their only major issue, or meaningless because they JUST became roomates and haven't realized they can't bear to be together so often, just more evidence that I'm too old to comment on commercials like this and need to just stay out of it.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Another of these casual "when I die it won't be a problem" insurance ads....

So this old woman's son expresses relief that mom is going to be ok- and mom's response is to calmly let him know that hey, no worries, she's got this plan to pay for her funeral.  Maybe she knows her son better than I do, because that's not what I thought he meant when he said he was relieved she was ok.  I really didn't think he meant "'cause jeesh, if you had kicked off, that would have cost us serious money and our Honeymoon in Ireland is only a few months away."

Anyway, Mom launches into a calm explanation of how she's got this awesome policy that will pay to stick her in the ground when she finally DOES kick off, and she's greeted with uber-creepy smiles from her appreciative relatives.  They aren't even asking her how she's feeling or when she's going to leave the hospital.  The IMPORTANT thing is that she IS going to die sooner or later- probably sooner- but it's not going to set the kids back to put Mom in a hole.

Ok, I don't know if that's her son or her son-in-law-- her body language suggests to me that's her son, so I went with that.  But would daughter-in-law be sitting on the bed like that?  Why is she sitting on the bed at all?  No wide-angle lens available?  That's just weird.

(Oh and BTW, I guess I'm supposed to know who David Denowitz is?  I don't, and I don't recognize this guy at all.  No, I don't want to be enlightened.)

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Hey look it's the "the best companies are the ones that pay me" guy, today it's Sprint!

Someday, someone will explain to me why Sprint thinks that this annoying jackass with the Most Punchable Face on Television who has already demonstrated a willingness to pimp for whichever phone service is willing to pay him is at all persuasive in his arguments for their company.  Because I just don't see it- he's just an ugly knob who seems determined to get us to throw heavy objects at our screens.  Maybe Sprint sells televisions as well as phone service?

At any rate, check out the people in the background walking the dog.  Wonder what they are saying to eachother?

"Hey, what's going on over there?  Looks like they are filming a commercial."

"Yeah and that guys looks familiar....oh god, it's that guy who used to tell us one phone service as the best option available, then ran out his string and got canned, then got picked up by another phone service which he's now telling us is the best option available."

"Jeesh, what a transparent BS artist.  And with a really, really punchable face, too.  Let's move on."

Monday, June 24, 2019

Why does Geico treat it's potential customers like this?

Count how many times the idiot NOT acting like a child having a stress attack uses the phrase "help with homeowner insurance."  What the hell does that even mean?  Geico sells homeowner insurance.  It "helps" with insurance the same way a grocery store "helps" provide you with milk and bread.  What's with that language?  Is Geico afraid to use the term "sell" in it's ad?  Does it think we're going to become convinced that we aren't capable of buying home insurance and we need someone to "help" us through the process without actually taking money out of our pockets?  Does Geico think we're all a bunch of children?

Wait- watching this commercial again, maybe that's exactly what Geico thinks.  So it distracts us with this fat doofus acting like an infant at a McDonald's Playland instead of someone seriously considering purchasing a home.  And it uses language which suggests he just needs someone to hold his hand while he buys insurance- not someone to sell it to him.  WTF-ever, Geico.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Samsung is either confused, or incredibly full of itself

Hey, Samsung?  TV didn't "make history" when man landed on the moon in 1969.  TV captured a moment of history BEING MADE.  Suggesting that this means that television "made history" is like saying that Zapruder made history by capturing Kennedy's assasination on film or that Da Vinci made history by painting the Last Supper.  Pointing a camera at history or painting a moment in history after the fact isn't "making history."  It's almost sad to imagine that a large segment of your audience probably thinks that man landing on the moon wasn't such a big deal- it was television broadcasting the moment that was "historical."

Television recorded an event.  It did not create the event.  There IS a difference.

Meanwhile, well, congratulations on producing a somewhat Better for Some Reason Boob Tube.  just don't call it History, ok?  That word means something.  Or at least it used to, before ESPN and choads like you decided to water it down to the consistency of Bud Lite.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Samsung Presents: A new phone with a feature nobody in their right mind will want to use

"Setting aside the "designed for this generation in mind" line for a moment...

Yeah right, Samsung.  I've seen people refuse to let old men cut in line at the coffee shop.  I've seen seated twentysomethings ignore standing pregnant women on the metro.  I've seen countless drivers flatly refuse to give desperate neighbors a battery boost with their cars.  And more to the point, I've seen people of all ages fight over the last available charging station at the airport gate.

Bluntly put:  No one's draining their phone battery to give someone else's phone a boost.  Certainly not a total stranger at a bar.  And the idea that it will become a natural thing to do because hey, they'll pay it forward, is an even bigger joke. 

How would this work anyway?  "Hey buddy, my cell phone is at 20%.  Can you give me some power?"

"Well, I'm going to be out all night. and my battery is at 80%...I don't know, I have calls to make and I kind of wanted to watch a podcast later....."

"Oh come on, this is an emergency."

"Well, ok, I'll get your phone up to 30%, how's that?"

"Ugh what a selfish jerk, forget it.  I don't know what's happened to society.  My kid wants to watch cartoons, and my phone is almost dead.  You don't have any kids, but your precious podcast is more important than my kid?  You're breaking her heart.  You just don't care."

"Um, why don't you just carry a portable charger?  I mean, the really good ones cost like thirty bucks."

"Go to hell you selfish creep."

Seriously, who the heck is going to volunteer cell phone charge to anyone?  I think people will avoid getting this phone so they DON'T find themselves constantly dunned for free boosts from fellow cellphone addicts who couldn't be bothered to think ahead.  In this way it's NOT AT ALL like the pregnant woman who needs a seat or the stranded motorist who needs someone to help him with his jumper cables.  This is about enabling someone's "need" to be on their phone constantly.  No thanks.  Here's a better idea- keep your phone charged.  If you simply must drain your battery when you're out on the town, carry a charger with you.  But asking me to drain my cell phone battery so you can stay connected?  I'm going to opt out.  I'll let you cut in line at the coffee shop and I'll definitely give my seat on the train and when I had a car I sure would have helped you out of a jam by getting your car going.  I'm drawing the line here though, because dammit, you need to show some responsibility despite what commercials are teaching you.

"Designed with this generation in mind"--ouch, that''s a pretty nasty slap at millions of people who happen to have been born between an arbitrary set of years, Samsung.  I'm insulted on their behalf.

Friday, June 21, 2019

PNC Bank's weird casting decision inspires an entire blog post....

I totally get that yes, it's a good feature if you can put a lock on your credit card when you note it's been lost.  And yes, it's 2019, "cash only" food or merchandise stands simply should not be a thing anymore (as far as I'm concerned, "Cash Only" translates into "We Don't Really Want Your Business" in 2019.  If you are selling something that costs more than $5, you better set yourself up to accept credit or plan on not having any sales.  It's 2019.  People don't carry wads of green paper with Presidents on them these days.  Sorry.)

But jeeeeesh PNC Bank,  that girl about to flush her dad's credit card down the toilet?  SHE'S TOO OLD TO BE DOING THAT.  That kid has to be eight years old!  Flushing valuables down a toilet is something kids 3-5 years old do!  NOT EIGHT!  Which means I just have to assume that this little aspiring actress is the daughter of the producer, right?

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The Curse of the Insurance Spokeschoad

Agent: "This happens all the time, I'll help take care of it."

Sports Figure Appearing in State Farm Commercials instead of Winning Championships:  "What happens all the time?"

Agent:  "We get called by a sports figure who makes huge amounts of money while either playing for an Also-Ran non-championship team or retired from that team."

Sports Figure: "What?  What do you mean?"

Agent:  "Well, currently you guys keep showing up in State Farm Commercials.  You're well-known members of the Houston Rockets, a team which failed- once again- to win the championship this year. Hell, you didn't even make it to the finals.  But no problem, you're recognizable, so you get to be in State Farm commercials showing off your awesome cars and ridiculous mansions, pretending to be friends in the off-season."

Sports Figure:  "And that's really common?  What if I appeared in commercials for some other insurance company?"

Agent:  "Maybe.  Remember Peyton Manning? He won two Superbowls, but he spent his entire career in the shadow of Tom Brady.  If Brady hadn't been around, Peyton certainly would have won 4 or 5 rings.  But it didn't really matter- even when he was at the top of his game, and having most seasons end with a loss to the Patriots in a playoff game, he was being regularly featured in these ads.  Heck, he's been retired for years and he's still pimping for Nationwide."

Sports Figure:  "Well, ok but that's Peyton Manning.  Anyone else?"

Agent:  "Do you ever watch TV?  88% of our ads feature Aaron Rodgers.  You know Aaron Rodgers- he's the guy that douchenozzle Max Kellerman says Tom Brady isn't better than in the same breath he uses to call Tom Brady the greatest QB of all time.  He's the guy who has exactly one Superbowl ring from eight years ago but is still recognizable enough to be a State Farm spokeschoad."

Sports Figure:  "But they DID win championships. So there is SOME hope for me."

Agent: "Yeah, sure, sure there is.  Can you go back to being a bug-eyed idiot for an insurance company now?  I mean, it's not like you have a parade to be in or anything like that."

Monday, June 17, 2019

UpWork: When you don't know how to do what you were hired to do....

And collect a paycheck to do.....

No worries.  Just like there's a place for the functionally illiterate to go to have their grammar fixed (Grammarly) and there's a place to go to find unpaid interns desperate for "experience" (Reddit, Facebook, etc,) there's now a place to go to hire people to do the work you told your prospective employer you were capable of doing, which btw got you that job it turns out you don't know how to do.

UpWork essentially provides out-of-work Freelancers to do the thinking-and working-for salaried professionals who enjoy making that paycheck but have no clue how to earn it.  Take a look at the jackasses in this particular ad:  They are salespeople.  Their sales have leveled off.  Naturally, this is a big problem because they were hired to keep those sales up.  They COULD have a brainstorming session in which they try to come up with just one or two decent ideas.  OR, they could farm out some of their responsiblities- and their company's money- to UpWork, where some desperate choad in front of a laptop is eager to take care of their problem for a few bucks which will allow him to avoid homelessness for another month.

Employed lazy twits give eachother high-fives and celebrate with a round of Coronas after leaving the office.  Desperate Choad runs out for some more ramen before sitting back down in front of his laptop awaiting his next assignment courtesy of overpaid douchenozzles who can't be bothered to do their job but who make enough to pass on a few crumbs to Desperate Choad.  Life is good.  For somebody. 

And to think, I feel guilty at times when I purchase a lesson plan at 4:30 AM  from TeachersPayTeachers because it's easier than trying to come up with something for my kids to do so I can call in sick. I don't think this is quite the same thing.

Still....gotta love how this all works, don't you?

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Jersey Mike's Hates Kids- and maybe Moms, too?

Ugh, this woman is such a nasty harpy.  How about instead of just yelling "NO!" over and over again at your obviously bored, lonely and frustrated son, you help him find something to do?  Seriously, what the hell is wrong with you, woman?  You've got this freaking palace of a house that's so damned spotless it must be regularly cared for by a team of cleaners, you clearly have nothing to do with yourself until the Breadwinner comes you're going to spend your day yelling at that poor kid, telling him to stop trying to stay sane by doing things that are perfectly normal for a little kid?

Oh, but then you say "yes" to....a slice of pig fat from Jersey Mike's.  Oh, good plan, Mom.  An imagination which distracts Mommy? That's bad and wrong.  Salty ham?  Absolutely, help yourself, Son.

This kid is going to learn very quickly that the only thing he can do that doesn't draw mom's gape-mouthed disapproval is eat.  I see big problems down the line for him.  For chrissakes, Mom, take that kid to the freaking park or at least out in the yard.  Or just admit that what he's doing indoors is perfectly fine and that the person with the problem is YOU because you can't bear your kid doing something that might make noise or a small mess.  They way you're going now, when your kid grows up he's only going to remember you as a screeching mouth which never stopped smothering his attempts to let his imagination take him other words, to act like a freaking child.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

American Home Shield is at it again!

1.  The customers in these ads don't seem to be carrying copies of their homeowner insurance policies; nor do the agents have copies....yet, the customer assumed that the broken appliance (in this case, an air conditioner) is covered and the agent is quite certain it isn't.  Hey Mr. Customer, if you don't have a copy of your policy, why did you think your air conditioner was covered?  Hey Ms Agent, if you don't have a copy of the policy, why are you assuming it isn't? 

2.  In every one of these ads, the agent points out that some ridiculously implausible appliance-damaging scenerio IS covered.  In a previous commercial, it's a fire-breathing dragon.  In this one- and in a lot of the radio ads- it's a "zombie apocalypse."  The joke is that these things never happen in real life...yet in the commercials, they DO happen.  So is American Home Shield saying that we SHOULD have actual, non-scammy homeowners insurance covering things like fire-breathing dragons and zombies?  And that AHS doesn't cover these things?

3.  Here's one thing I know for sure about the customers in these ads:  they didn't have to pay for the opportunity to sit down with an agent and file a claim.  But guess what?  If they are dumb enough to sign up for a policy from American Home Shield, that's exactly what they'll do when something in their home breaks down.   They'll pay a "processing fee" up front before AHS will even consider their claim.  And, of course, that's only the beginning of the headache.  Then they'll get the run-around from the bottom-of-the-barrell one-step-above-handyman-drifter contractors AHS sends out to inspect the broken appliance.  Then they'll get one excuse after another concerning why what they thought was Covered isnt' actually Covered and after all AHS only promised to Cover repairs that are Covered, sorry filing fee isn't refundable make sure you get that monthly premium out on time byes!

Got a house filled with appliances?  Try to get a good, long warranty when you buy those appliances, but once they expire, just start saving money so you can get them fixed when they break down.  Extended Warranties are ALL scams, American Home Shield is just among the very worst of a bad lot.  You will NEVER get an Extended Warranty to pay off, which is why these companies are so profitable.  Well, that and the fear-mongering promoted in ads like this.

Friday, June 14, 2019

SCOTTeVEST: Another product you'd never admit to owning...

Because the only reason you ever leave ANYTHING at home when you go for a walk is because you don't have enough pockets?

Seriously, WTF? Why would anyone need to carry so much crap around with them all the time?  Why would anyone WANT to carry around another 10-15 lbs of electronics, sunglasses, water bottles, novels, playing cards, notepads, mace, jacknives, Mentos, candy bars etc. while they are taking a walk?

And "breeze through the airport?"  Not so fast there, buddy- if you've got anything electronic larger than an iPhone in there, you're going to have to take it out and place it in a seperate bin anyway.  And if you've got fifteen different items in fifteen different pockets in that vest, get ready to stand at the Security Station for ten minutes after you've gone through the detector yourself while three agents molest your vest before handing it to you with sympathetic, condescending looks on their faces.

The most realistic parts of this ad are the ones that feature middle-aged guys wearing the vests.  I can totally see this being something Men of a Certain Age wear because they are beyond giving a damn what anyone thinks or have long since past that stage where they hang out with guys who judge their clothing style.  The guys who would wear those Forever Lazy full-body pajamas in public would be very happy in SCOTTeVESTS.  Anyone younger than 40 wouldn't be caught dead in one of these things unless they are already friendless and have totally given up on the idea of actually forming a meaningful connection with a fellow human being.  Well, at least they've got their electronic cocoons with one of these pockets.....damn, I forgot which pocket I put my phone in again!  There goes the next twenty minutes!!

*I actually have a pretty good idea for a motto to be used in future SCOTTeVEST commercials: "SCOTTeVEST:  Now you can fall down, not get hurt, and still be out thousands of dollars!"

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Wow, T-Mobile Sounds like it's going to be so awesome....someday!

So two years ago, T-Mobile put out this ad explaining how it was going to be "radically" changing the way people can access the network and use their phones even in rural areas.  The narrator sure sounds pumped- I kept expecting him to just say that T-Mobile was going to Kick Ass all over the country because it was engaging this Revoution of Ultimate Conectivity or something.

Thing is, I am a T-Mobile customer.  I live the Washington DC suburbs and have no problem making and receiving phone calls without ever experiencing call drops.  My ability to stream video is a little more clunky but usually not bad.  In short, the network seems to function very well here.  But again, I live in the Washington DC suburbs.  Of course it functions well here.

Every summer, I spend six weeks visiting my parents in rural Vermont.  I know that when I leave the house to do shopping or run other errands for them, I need to leave my T-Mobile phone at home and borrow my mother's little AT&T Nokia because I am NOT going to get reliable service with MY phone.  In downtown Barre- the third-largest city in the state- I'll get "No Network Connection" messages and on the rare ocassion I'm able to make a call, it will inevitably get dropped seconds in.  I can't check my email and forget about watching a video.

So it's nice to see that T-Mobile is dedicating itself to improving it's rural service- but, again, this ad came out two years ago.  I was in Vermont in April and had exactly the same problems I've always had.  For all the bluster and confident boasting, T-Mobile doesn't seem any closer to connecting people who live in certain rural areas (and seriously, it's not like Vermont is the Alaskan tundra or the middle of a 10,000 acre ranch in Montana.)  More Walk, Less Talk, please, T-Mobile

Monday, June 3, 2019

Back to Louisville!

This is the brand new hotel I'll be staying at June 4-12 while grading AP US History exams in Louisville; looking forward to checking out what looks like a pretty big (24 hour access) gym, swimming pool, and reading areas when I'm not struggling to keep my eyes from falling out my head as I fill in bubbles at the (also brand new) Kentucky International Convention Center a little less than half a mile away.

When I'm not working, working out, and sleeping, I'll be checking out the awesome fossil beds across the bridge in Indiana and taking in a couple of Bats games at Louisville Slugger Field (the Pawtucket Red Sox are in town the night before I return to the DC area, which should be very cool.)

Anyway, I'm assuming that I won't be able to post again until June 12 or 13th, enjoy the archives while I'm away!  (If it turns out that I can post, I may drop one or two here during my visit, but it's most likely I'll be too busy in any case....)

(I point out in the comment section that in this entire video we don't see a single actual hotel room; I guess the makers of this little film think that hotels are all about eating and shopping, period.)

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Unintentially Funny Commercial from Car Shield

These guys are total scumbags, selling crap non-insurance to people who drive lemons and live in constant fear of a repair that will ruin them finacially.  Companies like Car Shield prey on such people by using that fear to suck money they can't afford to part with out of them on a monthly basis.

But I have to admit that there's one moment in this ad that just makes me break out laughing every time I see it.  That moment shows up at the 18-second mark, at which point the arm-waving spokeschoad stands in front of a hypothetical car bill which lists two items under the red letters "WHAT YOU OWE."  Here's what it says:

Quantity 1:  Replace Defective Part in Car  Price Each:  $4143  Total:  $4143
Quantity 13:  Labor  Price Each:  $100  Total:  $1300

Where to start?  First of all, will some mechanic out there tell me which car part costs $4143?  And as long as I've got a mechanic responding, can one tell me if they've ever written up a bill which says "Replace Defective Part in Car" without actually naming the part?

Second, why is the word "Replace" in the first line of the bill?  That sounds like a LABOR COST to me, but the labor cost is in the SECOND line.  Clearly the people who wrote the script for this junk have never looked at a car bill....or, they just like treating their audience like children who need things dumbed down to the point of hilarity.

Third, I guess the "Labor Price" is the hourly rate.  It's also the only believable part of this ad.

Speaking of this ad, it goes on for another forty seconds but there's really nothing new to comment on here- just another "All Covered Repairs will be Covered with your Coverage" extended warranty scam which will make poor people poorer and leave them holding the bag when they find out that the repair needed on that beater they are desperately trying to hold together Isn't Covered, Sorry.  Probably because that Defective Part in Car was Defective when you bought the insurance and you didn't tell Car Shield about it so sorry your Coverage is void check the fine print next time. Good luck paying that bill all by yourself (but first, seriously, ask your mechanic what that defective part is, because I'm still super curious.)

Saturday, June 1, 2019

At Aaron's, Two out of three ain't bad!

Aww, look at all the helpful people rescuing cats from the highway, carrying injured teammates across the finish line, etc!  Really restores your faith in humanity, doesn't it?

Know what all those scenes remind me of?  A rent-to-own company called Aaron's.  You know, that chain store which rents and sells to people with crap or no credit.  No, not Rent A Center.  The other one.  Aaron's!

Aaron's is what you would get if you took the best qualities of people who would rescue kittens from traffic or create human chains to save people from drowning or throw themselves on hand grenades and put them into a store.  That's because Aaron's doesn't care if you are down on your luck, or you have a history of defaulting on loans, or you think that living within your means is for Stupidhead Losers.  They also don't care if you are only semi-literate and just want to be told where to sign your name never mind the contract just give me the jist of it.  In fact, they actually PREFER those people.

Because at Aaron's, you can find Low Low Weekly Prices on that Xbox, Big Screen TV, and Laptop Computer the meanies over at Dell and Best Buy told you were out of your price range because they don't love you like Aaron's does.  At Aaron's you can Get What You Need- like that gaming system- for as low as $19 a week.  How many weeks?  Who cares it's only $19 even you can afford that!

And Aaron's makes it easy!  REALLY easy!  I mean, it's as easy as picking out the toys you want and signing on the dotted line, Aaron's takes care of the rest- including figuring the interest rate (300 percent or more, but so what remember how low those payments are) and helpfully calling you to remind you when your Low Low payment is twenty minutes late- and if we can't get in touch with you, no worries we'll call your family, neighbors, employer.  We'd like to see Sears care that much!

And if you need more time to pay?  We'll work it out, that's what late fees and ballooning interest rates are for!  Check out the free delivery!  Check out how happy your kids will be with a washer and dryer and don't forget the Xbox and Big Screen TV!! 

At Aaron's we're all about helping Good People live their dreams, as long as their dreams include having an apartment filled with ridiculously overpriced used junk which literally sucks money out of the pockets of those Good People and keep them in a ruinous debt spiral!

Remember, Aaron's is Easy, Beautiful, and....something else.  Can't remember what that other word is, but don't you worry your empty little head about it!  And do NOT watch this investigation by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation into EasyHome, a company TOTALLY DIFFERENT from Aarons , those guys are just haters!  They don't love you like we do!