Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Kraft, for the Loss

Your bratty kid won't eat her vegetables?  Well, you've got two choices:

1.  You can experiment with different ways of preparing those vegetables (you know, move beyond the "boil or microwave them and then serve the bland green stuff on a plate with something else equally bland.")  Maybe look at a few cookbooks.  Maybe try those things that come in little jars and might cost upwards of $30 a pound (but you don't have to buy them by the pound, not that anyone in these commercials cares about the cost of anything.)  They're called "Spices."

2.  You can drown them in cheap fatty garbage that disguises their actual taste.  That way your kid thinks she's eating lumpy orange cheese-flavored goo, and can't see those awful vegetables which are nonetheless getting into her system and providing at least some health value.  Of course if you take this option, that fatty sludge is doing more than enough damage to offset the benefits of the vegetables, but at least she's smiling, calm and eating, right?

We can all see which option these "parents" chose.  The kid will be the big loser- in more ways than one.  And all so that the parents can avoid effort.  Why are people allowed to breed without a license>

Sunday, April 26, 2020

A Downy Commercial that stinks of DoTerra

Pardon the pun, but this ad literally stinks of Essential Oils Woo.  Lavender has "calming effects," does it?  Please cite the scientific research, Downy.

Meanwhile, this kid is nervous during a thunderstorm, so he semi-consciously wanders through the house searching for something that smells like, ok.  That's actually kind of disturbing.  I suspect that mom isn't going to thank Lavender Scented Downy for calming down her son because that means basically stinking up the entire wash with the same smell.  More likely she's going to reach out to that former High School classmate selling Young Living products on Facebook so she can apply the Magic Calming Oil that Cures Autism to her kid's forehead every time she can foresee a tense situation in his future.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Carmax, etc. make sure that there's no escape

The whole country has come to a nearly complete stop-- but the advertising industry is apparently running on all cylinders these days.  It seems that almost every single commercial out there uses the current pandemic in its pitch- which means that almost every single commercial out there is a brand-new, fresh out of the oven product designed to remind us that there are companies out there that are well aware we are living in bizarre times and that THEY CARE VERY DEEPLY ABOUT US DURING THESE BIZARRE TIMES.

I'm convinced.  Over the last few days ordered from DealDash, Seven-Eleven, KFC, PapaJohns AND Domino's, doing my part to keep the economy going and gaining 26 lbs in the process (no problem, my Peloton bike is on its way and I plan to switch to Arbonne shakes next week.)  My doorbell rings approximately every six minutes, and I'm going to spend the next sunny day constructing an addition to my house out of cardboard.  It just feels so good to be contributing to all these companies that care. 

And now that Carmax will deliver a vehicle to me with just a few clicks, well, that's definitely next on my list.  I only hope that I can stop with just one.  Now if you'll excuse me, it's time to wave out my window to the delivery guy again.  What a time to be alive.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Just don't try to make pancakes when you're drunk, that's all.

"You flip, they flop.  You flip, they flop..."  By the time you give up and admit that you really aren't capable of making anything more complicated than a bowl of Cheerios for breakfast, it's time for lunch and your kitchen is a horrifying mess.

The "secret" to perfect pancakes?  A box of Bisquick, some water, and some heat.  I used to add a pinch of nutmeg when I made them for myself or my Significant Other, because I don't like to use maple syrup (I know, sacrilege for a Vermonter) and they can be a bit bland.  Oh, but this commercial is another one of those This Easy Thing to Do That We Are Going to Pretend is a Massive Hassle to Sell you Something commercials, so it's all about the proper use of a spatula and how it Can't Really be Done.

Except, it's really not that hard to use a spatula to flip pancakes.  Just don't make them big, and follow the directions in the title.*  Oh, and want to cut back on butter and grease?  Use a non-stick pan.  The great thing about a non-stick pan is that you can use it to make things other than pancakes- unlike this stupid device.   I mean, if you live on pancakes, sure, go ahead and invest in this thing.  Otherwise, what a dumb waste of money.

*Why would anyone make pancakes when they are drunk, anyway?  Everyone knows that Drunk+Hungry for Pancakes= IHOP.  Or it did, before the current crisis descended upon us.  I'd say that this commercial was made to fill the niche created by the sudden lack of All You Can Eat pancake houses, but it was made way before COVID-19 arrived to wreck havoc on our bad eating habits.  Fortunately, more and more liquor stores have drive-thrus, and I bet every IHOP in the country is looking for ways to encourage people to leave their houses after a night of binge-drinking and head off to the local IHOP for delivered-to-your-car pancakes.  You know, just to add some comfort to your sad, isolated, monotonous life.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Boost gives women a Big Surprise

I bet women didn't realize that Boost was gender-specific all these years, and at least some of them want to know where they can get all that money back that they spent drinking liquid non-food that was not made for them.

It's especially insulting that Boost is re-using old commercials and just changing a few frames to add the "Boost for Women" bottle where the old "Boost" bottle used to be.  "Hey, all you stupid women who have been drinking Strictly For Men Boost for all these years-don't you feel stupid now?  Here's YOUR drink, thanks for not waiting!  We didn't even have to make the bottle pink!"

All Nestle (one of the most evil companies on the planet, by the way- Google Nestle and water rights) has to do now is come up with "Boost for Men," and my brain will literally explode out of its skull case.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Geico has been selling insurance for 75 years....

...but they've only been spooning out this content-free tripe for about two decades now.  It's hard to believe, but this ad actually has less to do about insurance than the average Geico commercial-- it's just the stupid CGI lizard failing to deliver lines its been delivering year after year for seemingly...well, 75 years.

Oh, but check out the comment section-- if you dare.  Please tell me these people have been paid off to tell us that they "can't stop laughing" and think "this is the funniest commercial ever."  Because....seriously?  This warmed-over cliche'd tripe is funny to anyone?

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Bravecto knows its audience, I guess....*

So I guess what we have here is a family of clueless idiots who flirt with death several times a day simply by carrying out normal human functions.   They don't know anything, they can't remember anything, and they certainly don't want to be responsible for anything (in fact, I'd say that if this family has a common goal, it's to pass the buck to the next person as quickly as possible.  Their big problem is that they keep trying to pass it to someone who shares their DNA, and that's clearly not a good idea.)

And in the end, the two "adults" are going to wander around a parking lot for the rest of the day because one of them asked the other to remember where they parked, to which the other responded "remember where we parked" to the dog.  Or a lamp post.

It is kind of funny that the woman here bleats her "do you remember where we parked" line literally two seconds after they walk out of the (animal hospital?)  Like she's well aware that they forgot to go through the 8-step fail-safe plan usually instituted to avoid situations just like this.  Ah, if you only had two brain cells to rub together between the both of you.  Meanwhile, daughter is home on her phone, notices the time, and calls the police to initiate a Silver Alert for the fourth time this week.

*that audience being people who probably have no business owning a mammal that is totally dependent on it for it's health and survival.  This couple can't be handed a tic/heartworm/whatever medication that they have to remember to give their dog, because they are either Very Busy or Very Stupid and will never get around to actually doing it.  So the vet prescribes Bravecto in the hopes that it requires so little of the dog owners, their dog has at least a fighting chance.  What he didn't realize is that these people need a GPS to find their car and will probably forget they even OWN a dog until they notice the horrible smell coming from the back seat.

Friday, April 17, 2020 is G-d's Gift to Trophy Wives, and the guys who bought them


I know I throw that term around a lot, but seriously....check out the daddy/husband at the 17-second mark.  Surrre, this bald, middle-aged shlub got her to "fall in love with him."  I'm sooo sure that happened and it had nothing to do with the bank account and that house.

And the cute little Family By Desperation we see near the end- come on.  That guy didn't land that foreign little number by meeting her at school or work, slowly getting to know her, and getting her to see his positive attributes that didn't include the terms "hedge fund manager" or "inherited business."  This has got "financial arrangement" written all over it.

And we can see that the Trophy is doing her part, producing cute kids, keeping the enormous house clean, and at least making an attempt to get a good dinner on the table for Master when walks in the door after a busy day at the Office.  I just have to ask, though- why did these guys go out of their way to land a barely-adult woman from a foreign country if she's just going to make bland American-style meals anyway?  There are plenty of desperate American-born girls out there who have no problem selling themselves to older guys in exchange for the Just Add Water Instant Family and Security.  If you're going to go through the added expense of an Asian or Hispanic girl, at least get the good menus that come with that.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

CarShield: Always an easy go-to in a pinch

1.  You know the actual car bill is going to be really expensive when the mechanic uses three dollar signs, changes pens, and then underlines those dollar signs THREE TIMES.  And then doesn't even put a NUMBER on there, like this is information is too severe to be put in writing.  Want to know how much it's going to cost to fix your car?  You are going to have to get that information in person.  That's how big this bill is.  THREE DOLLAR SIGNS underlined THREE TIMES in DIFFERENT INK.  Just leave us a copy of your mortgage and your first-born child.

2.  I'm a little worried at the idea that there are actually people out there with old cars with lots of mileage on them who think that Extended Warranties like this are a good idea....because sorry, they just aren't.  They are really dumb, actually.  No insurance company is going to replace a $4200 transmission on a 10-year old car with 130,000 miles unless it's been draining you of big monthly premiums for years.  Otherwise...well, see that "Deductable May Apply" in the small print?  That deductable is going to apply.  Big time.

3. My parents get at least three calls a day from "easy extended warranty" companies offering to "provide" coverage on cars they haven't owned in years.  From the calls I've taken and managed to extend with "innocent" questions, the average monthly premium for "full coverage" on a car none of the choads on the other end of the phone have even seen is about $140 a month.  That's a LOT OF MONEY for something that will mysteriously fail to cover pretty much anything Too Bad You Didn't Read The Fine Print on the Contract which By The Way isn't Emailed to You until After They Have your Credit Card Number.  I don't know if any of these callers work for CarShield, but they might as well. They are all calling out of pretty much the same boiler rooms after all.

4.  Speaking of which, I had to call DirectTV today with a few questions about my mother's bill.  It took me almost half an hour of commercials (including one for a Medic-Alert bracelet presented by an ACTUAL HUMAN BEING) before I finally got to speak to someone about the issue.  I get that customer service centers aren't as crowded as usual because of the whole Pandemic thing, but why isn't this a problem for phone scam operations?  Is it just that the scam promoters don't care about their phone monkeys?

Sunday, April 12, 2020

When YouTube "reviews" are just badly disguised commercials #1- Daily Harvest

I found this looking for an actual Daily Harvest commercial after seeing the ad for yet another Non Food Delivered to the Door of Rich White People service.  Then I watched this video and realized- yep, it's just a commercial for Daily Harvest trying really, really hard to be a Review.

Couple things. First, this clown gives away that he's doing a commercial for Daily Harvest literally seconds into"review."  He "hates making breakfast" because it's a "hassle" with all the "chopping," and he's "trying to eat healthy," etc. etc. etc.  Why doesn't he just eat a bowl of whole grain cereal with a grapefruit on the side?  No hassle, no chopping, very healthy.  Oh right- because this is a COMMERCIAL FOR DAILY HARVEST and the only simple solution to his "problem" is going to have to be Daily Harvest.

Second, this guy's enthusiasm for Daily Harvest doesn't even wait till he actually drinks the crap before breaking my Skepticism Meter.  The shipping was Super Fast, the "Welcome to Daily Harvest" advertisement inside the box is great, and it comes with a sheet of magnets- "Awesome!"  Jeesh buddy, why bother to even drink this stuff and risk your winning streak?  Just toss the box in the garbage and put the magnets on the fridge.  You're already a winner with Daily Harvest after all!

"This is cool, this is dry ice.  This is how it stays cold."  Um, ok buddy.  Yes, that's super helpful when you "come home from working all day," because it means your ridiculously overpriced smoothies haven't been ruined.  But it also helps explain why they are ridiculously overpriced.  Oh, but please continue.

For the next thirty seconds or so, this guy exults at the excellent wrapping to prevent leakage, and I note in horror that we aren't 90 seconds into this six minute video yet.  You know what, I'm going to assume he spends at least two minutes complimenting the font choice for the ingredients label and skip to him actually tasting this stuff.

At 4:53 he finishes a brief commercial for his Magic BulletTM smoothie maker to tell us that yep, the smoothie he makes sure smells fresh.  He invites us to smell his smoothie.  I really wish I were kidding.

He finally tastes the damn stuff at 5:12 of this six-minute video.  Shockingly, his verdict is "That's Awesome!"  Then he shows us how we can pour the smoothie back into the cup it came in- none of us would have thought of that on our own, for sure.

"And I'm out the door with America's best breakfast going on." After one sip of one flavor.  Yeah, this is "America's best breakfast going on"- and an honest review.  Suuuuurreee it is.  And oh hey what do you know, if you use his name as a PROMO CODE, you get three free smoothies "just for watching this video."  That's right- he ends his schtick by coming right out and ADMITTING he just showed us a 6:25 commercial pretending to be a review.

What did I just watch?  Five minutes and 12 seconds of some paid choad bleating superlatives about a product as he unboxes and prepares that product, followed by one sip which leads to that spokeschoad crowning his smoothie "America's best breakfast going on, here's a promo code." Where do I go to get that six minutes back?

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Prevagen "Greg's Calling" commercial

Greg is sixty-eight years old.  What is Greg doing in his golden years?

He's a "substitute teacher, a motivational speaker and- most hysterically- a "Paid Testimonialist." (I spelled that right, despite the fact that a red line appeared underneath it when I typed it.  Because it's not a thing.  At least, it's not a thing you have any business being proud of, because it essentially translates to "someone willing to testify that a product works if you're willing to pay him.")

Greg is a Substitute Teacher.  That's awesome, Greg- I was a substitute teacher for two years in the early-90s, when I was trying to get my foot in the door in a school- any school- in Upstate New York.  I subbed more than 100 times in a dozen different schools.  The other subs I bumped into in those years were either like me- young, just-out-of-training kids looking for permanent jobs- or Warm Bodies willing to sit in a classroom picking up a paycheck pretending to be Educated Professionals.  Guess which one you are, Greg?

Greg is a Motivational Speaker.  Which means he's a guy who likes to spew bumper sticker logic at audiences for money.  Audiences of people who are so pathetic that they need a total stranger to give them hope that someday they might be capable of finding a purpose in life without having a fire lit under them by a total stranger.  Until then, they'll have an endless supply of grinning twits like Greg bleating "inspirational" garbage into their ears, or mouths- whichever orifice they choose to hear with.

Greg is a Paid Testimonialist.  I already covered this.  So I'll just finish by reminding everyone that this commercial is for a drug that Greg may or may not take himself- there's no reason to believe he actually does no matter what he says about it, because after all, he's a PAID TESTIMONIALIST along with his other non-jobs.  In the end, what Greg really is is unskilled labor who has found a way to put money in his pocket despite being unskilled (that's his true "calling.")  Good for you, Greg.  But your commercial didn't motivate me into looking into Prevagen, and I wish you'd stay away from impressionable kids and stop taking jobs better filled- and often desperately needed- by professionals.

Friday, April 10, 2020

What I can't understand about Select Quote Ads

Why are all the people in these commercials (who are in Excellent Health, btw) always so thrilled to be gabbing on the phone with a total stranger while discussing the likelihood that they are going to keel over within the next ten years and would like to make sure that the people they live with don't suffer any financial hardship when they do?  I mean, I'd get it if they looked pensive, thoughtful, concerned, etc.  I do NOT get why they look like they just won tickets to freaking Disneyworld instead of getting the specs on an insurance policy that will be total waste of money if they aren't fortunate enough to drop dead despite being in Excellent Health before it expires.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Yeah,'s still a Discover Card....

...which means the people who made this commercial know that after thirty-four years, their product is still viewed as the Brand X of credit cards, the item that is sheepishly pulled from wallets and purses and apologetically offered to cashiers all over the world by people who aspire to possessing a card that doesn't get wrinkled noses and condescending looks in response.

I had a Discover Card once- when I was just out of college.  Which is the time when it's ok to have a Discover Card.

I'll give Discover some credit, though- before it was introduced waaaayyyy back in the 1980s (come to think of it, I must have been one of the first people to even get one) there was no such thing as a No-Fee Credit Card.  Discover deserves credit (no pun intended) for forcing the Big Boys on the Block to offer one themselves.  But the thing is.....they did.  All of them.  I've had an American Express and a Visa card.  I've never paid a fee for either.  Yes, I know that they both have Extra Special Cards that give bonus points for travel and exclusive entry into airport clubs or whatever, but 99.9 percent of us don't care about that stuff and find the regular cards just fine.  Which means that the only reason why anyone would want a Discover Card kind of went away a long time ago.

So, um...thanks, Discover, for forcing open the doors of Mastercard, Visa, and American Express.  Decades ago.  I suppose you're the reason I have those cards today.  But now you have to find another way to convince me that I should carry a Discover Card.  These obnoxious, headache-inducing, insulting commercials sure don't cut it.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Brighthouse Financial's "Expedition" of Privilege

It's so heartwarming to know that when I've reached my mid-fifties, my 25 years or so of hard work at a job which allowed me to stash away tons of money in investments and insurance will enable me to retire and finally enjoy life because it was managed so well by Brighthouse Financial.  Because it can't all be about work, right?

Wait a minute- I already reached my mid-fifties.  I've already worked for 25 years, too.  So why aren't I retiring?  Oh, right- because I'm one of those Americans who while putting money away for retirement doesn't make nearly enough to even think about retiring in my fifties.  And I'm actually doing better than the TYPICAL American, who isn't saving ANY money for retirement and (if they were born around the same time I was) must wait until they reach the age of sixty-seven in order to start collecting what will be the main if not only source of their income, Social Security. 

But I'm not the intended audience for these commercials anyway.  Brighthouse Financial ads are aimed at people like this couple- Double Income, plenty of which is disposable, who have the luxury of planning for the future by depositing some of that excess cash with a broker and who might as well hand it off to Brighthouse Financial because We Manage Rich People's Money.  And this couple in particular SHOULD be planning to spend lots of money in their early retirement if they are going to go off on long treks on their own and jump head-first into unfamiliar bodies of water just on a whim.  Frankly,  I wouldn't mind being one of their beneficiaries.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Win Cleaner- Absolutely Nothing, at the low low cost of $19.99!

It's almost scary to think that anyone believed this thing worked enough to purchase it for twenty bucks, or ANY amount of money....

I mean, come on.  The big-time "clean your PC" scammers work from boiler rooms in New Delhi and are experts at convincing you to turn your computer over to them so they can "fix" super-dangerous items like "Registry Errors" which sound scary but are absolutely meaningless unfortunately the vast majority of Americans have no idea what they are and are easily convinced that they are going to eat their computers from the inside out while simultaneously sharing their banking information with the entire planet.  And then we've got the jokers who made "Win Cleaner," which is nothing more than a USB drive that pretends to do the stuff they used to pay those people in New Delhi to pretend to do.  Of course it costs "only" $19.99 instead of the $50 or more you'd pay those scammers in New Delhi- those people don't have to pay their phone banks, and that USB drive can't actually seize control of your PC and hold it hostage.  Put those things together and the makers of Win Cleaner are kind of forced to give you a "deal."

Not that the makers of Win Cleaner are actually taking customers away from the scammers in New Delhi, because once people dumb enough to buy this junk realize that it does absolutely nothing, they'll be easy pickings for someone with a weird name like Lenny Napoleon who claims to be calling from New York City but sure sounds like he's someone who grew up in....well, New Delhi. 

So if you're one of the hilarious people in this Obviously Old Ad (everyone's using a desktop here,) go right ahead and pay $20 plus Shipping and Handling for a USB that will give you some very generic information that has zero to do with your computer but will make you think you actually accomplished something for a few seconds.  I mean, it's better than spending $4800 for a new computer (like I said, this commercial is Obviously Old- $4800???)  If your only two choices are buying this worthless piece of plastic for $20 or spending several mortgage payments on a new PC, go for the worthless piece of plastic.   Just don't expect it to magically clean up all that junk which is actually slowing down your PC.  That's going to take actual virus protection which, btw, doesn't cost that much in the first place. 

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Walmart's "extraordinary" response COVID-19....

I'm sorry, but the first time I saw this I thought it was an Onion Ad and the headline actually read "Walmart to pay workers actual salaries during crisis."

And then I started watching it, and realized....I wasn't all that far off at all. The gist of this heartwarming story of extraordinary measures taken during the current pandemic is that Walmart has decided to take the unprecedented step of coming slightly closer to actually paying it's employees a Living Wage for as long as the current situation continues...or until the Walton family realizes that a tiny sliver has been taken out of that enormous mountain of profit and oh right We Forgot Charity Begins at Home.

"Cash bonuses" from the company that once famously asked customers to contribute food to its employees so they could "enjoy a happier Thanksgiving."  Extra money from a company which is well known for educating its workers on the nuances of applying for food stamps and other federal assistance.  These are extraordinary times indeed.  Meanwhile, we can expect a tidal wave of "Walmart:  The Company that Cares" ads out of this in the very near future.  Don't worry, I'm on it.