Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Another quick look at that AT&T ad....

(After all, if AT&T is going to make me watch it fifty times an hour, I should be allowed to get more than one post out of it...)

Let's imagine that this commercial featured a black woman straining to push a giant 5G prop across the floor of the AT&T store.  She's interrupted in her work by a white man who isn't even IN the store, who then proceeds to bark questions and then suggestions at her from the other side of the glass. 

The black, female AT&T employee's response is not to politely remind the non-customer that he's yelling at her through both a mask and a window while she is only trying to do her job.  It's to stop doing that job so she can better listen to the white guy demand that she explain what exactly that prop is all about, and then proceed to lecture her on how she SHOULD be doing her job. 

That go over well with you?  Anybody?

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Dominos has our number

"Here at Domino's we figured out something during this pandemic:  Americans like to eat cheap, processed, fatty crap that ISN'T pizza or pasta.  We couldn't quite believe it, but statistics don't lie: It turns out that a whole lot of you are actually ordering Taco Bell and even McDonalds for delivery!"

"Needless to say, we were stunned.  We thought that Taco Bell and McDonalds were and always would be that spur of the moment crap you eat because you're in a massive hurry because you are working long hours plus it gives the illusion of being low-cost even though it really isn't at all when you factor in the negligible nutritional value, not to mention the addictive chemicals added in to keep you coming back in again and again and again.  It never occurred to us that people sitting at home would actually ORDER from those pig troughs!  Silly us, we apparently forgot that we live in a country where people line up for all-you-can eat cardboard pizza and cinnamon buns."

"So....better late than never, we're jumping on the bandwagon.  You want greasy taco-flavored garbage delivered to your door?  Here's a taco pizza!  You like cheap hamburger and processed 'cheese' on bread?  Here's a cheeseburger pizza!  Delivered right to your door, just like McDonalds and Taco Bell!"

"We apologize for misjudging you, America.  It won't happen again.  From now on, we'll be watching to see whatever horrific poisonous junk you're willing to pay to have delivered to your door despite the kitchen and stove being right there and despite the fact that you for sure own a refrigerator that is actually capable of keeping real food fresh until you are ready to spend a few minutes prepping it.  Our phone lines are open, our delivery cars a warmed up, and we're just waiting to be of service!"

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Don't Mind Me, I'll just be in this Snow Fort I built next to you....The InnovaGoods Travel "pillow"

Anyone who has spent any time in airports over the last twenty years has seen multiple display stands featuring travel pillows being offered for sale.  They are pretty much all the same, designed to wrap around your neck so your head doesn't shift while you sleep and wake you up.  The more expensive ones are filled with some kind of beads or seeds, while the cheapo versions need to be inflated with your own lung power before you attach it to your neck and try to get to sleep while being worried that it will lose air during your nap and you'll wake up with a crick in your neck and the guy in the next seat trying really hard not to snicker.  

I actually own a travel neck pillow thingee which is filled with beads or seeds; I've used it on long (11 hours on paper, 12+ in reality, all the time, because America) train trips.  It works ok, but it's obviously limited in it's utility as it will not prevent your body from shifting sideways as you sleep.  This is a big deal if you are one of those people who can fall asleep on a train, I guess.  I wouldn't know, because I'm not one of those people.

Anyway, here's a commercial for what I can best describe as a larger, more cumbersome version of the travel pillow.  It looks a lot like something I saw being advertised in one of those SkyMall magazines that sit in the pocket in front of your seat on American Airlines flights.  It goes a step further from providing stabilization for your neck and actually provides a mini-bed for your entire upper body to rest on.   You have to inflate it (which means you have to worry about it deflating, but let's be real- this thing isn't going to sell if it's filled with beads, weighs 15 lbs and counts as your carry-on) but once you do, you've got a little comfy personal space to lean into to take a nap or watch movies on your phone (without headphones, of course.)  Heck, if it isolates me from the person sitting next to me, maybe it's even worth it. 

But seriously- can you imagine using this if you aren't in the window seat?  Put it another way- how'd you like to be in the window seat and have the person in the aisle seat using this?  You're sitting there about to take off for a six-hour flight and the person sitting next to you, blocking your only exit to the restroom, is announcing "I'm going to be completely oblivious to you, probably asleep, in a few minutes- if you want to get up you'll have to interact with me physically, and btw this is also going to make it very difficult for you to get your drink or your meal because I'm basically creating a wall between you and the rest of the plane."  

You know what?  Just get one of those travel neck pillows at the gift shop and accept that you can't recreate your freaking bedroom for the flight.  You aren't the only person on the plane.  More to the point, you aren't the only person sitting in that row.  So unless you have the window seat, you don't get to use one of these stupid things, ok?

Friday, September 25, 2020

Remember Big City Sliders? Another As Seen on TV Commercial Gem

Original Commercial Here:

I don't want to spend any time ragging on the late Billy Mays here- not my place to knock another man's hustle, especially when that man has been dead for more than a decade now.  If you aren't that familiar with the guy, this is vintage Mays BTW- shouting his head off over an extremely underwhelming product  no one in their right mind would buy as if it's as essential to any kitchen as the sink.   The guy made a pretty decent living doing this, and as I said, it's not my place to knock it.  He found his niche.  Everybody has to.

Ok, on to the product.  Apparently, back in 2009 Americans just couldn't get enough of the mini-hamburgers you buy by the sack at White Castle and were struggling mightily to recreate that Tiny Hamburger taste at home.   This lead to frustration and awful greasy messes because it's the hardest thing win the world to make small hamburgers without specialized equipment.  So the wonderful Made for TV people decided to sell refigured muffin tins as slider molds and the rest wasn't even close to History.   

I wonder how many people actually bought these things- I admit that the hamburgers look pretty good, and I'm sure it was reassuring to learn that it was ok to stack several on top of each other and add CHEESE (wow!) and condiments (double wow!) just like they do at White Castle, don't worry it's not trademarked or anything.  And then you and your family can eat just as well as your average drunk college kid with the munchies at 2 AM on a Sunday morning.  

Sunday, September 20, 2020

I take on Rocket Mortgage's Weird Non-Sequitur

 Original Commercial here:

"When it comes to buying a house, THEY say 'Cash is king.'  But you're a queen, and that's just as powerful."

My brain just broke, and it's leaking all over the floor.  

Whoever "they" who are saying "cash is king" are, I'm pretty sure what they mean is that it's always preferable to pay cash for a purchase whenever necessary because that eliminates the issue of Interest.  In other words, it's the cheapest way to buy anything, be it a loaf of bread or a house.  When it comes to the latter, it means that you should save as much cash as you can so that you can borrow as little as possible.  Whatever you borrow is going to come with SOME interest payment.  

This isn't complicated, and it isn't Sexist because the phrase is "Cash is king," not "Cash is queen."  I mean, please.

"But you're a queen, and that's just as powerful..." I seriously have no idea what this means.  All that stuff I just said about paying cash is equally applicable regardless of the sex of the person making the purchase.  I mean, this is an ad for Rocket Mortgage, so it makes sense that it would sneer at the idea of paying cash.  But is it actually encouraging us to ignore the blatantly obvious truth in the term "cash is king" merely because some invisible "they" are insisting on it's accuracy?  Is Rocket Mortgage actually arguing that paying cash is NOT preferable to taking out a loan with Rocket Mortgage?  Is Rocket Mortgage offering zero percent interest on home loans?  Because if it isn't, well-- I'm sorry, but that old chestnut still applies here in Real Life.  If you can afford to pay cash, you immediately saving money by doing just that.   

BTW, Rocket Mortgage sure gets a lot out of it's "instant pre-approval" promise.  Pre-Approval is pretty much a meaningless joke in the loan industry- it just means that they ran your name and SS number and no massive red flags immediately jumped into their faces.  I'm guessing that more than 99 percent of people who contact Rocket Mortgage- or any other lender- gets a "Pre-Approval" in about three and a half minutes.  It means nothing, and is followed by an actual, detailed credit check which reveals that you are a good risk or a poor one, and whether you are going to get a low-interest loan, a high-interest loan, or no loan at all.  These ads make it look like you can just decide you want to buy a house and have the loan money in your account within seconds, which is just nonsense.  What you can do is get an instant "Pre-Approved" message on your phone that makes you feel like you are suddenly much more credit-worthy that even you thought you were.    Might even make you feel like a Queen- for a few days, anyway. 

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Campbell's sells the very last thing you'll go to in the bomb shelter.

 Original Commercial Here:

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Someday, maybe someone will explain to me how exactly the most god-awful mass-manufactured mushy bland soup which has hints of actual taste only because it's saturated in salt contributes anything to bringing us "together' during Social Distancing.   Is it a throwback to this spring, with its panic shopping, because Campbell's Canned Liquid Dull is something you could quickly buy by the case and shove into a corner of the closet somewhere, hoping you never have to resort to heating it up and consuming it but deriving some very, very small amount of comfort knowing it's there if even Amazon runs out of food it's willing to deliver to the door of your freaking bunker?

Wow, the warm feels.   I'm so motivated to eat the liquid equivalent of Wonder Bread right now.  

Thursday, September 17, 2020

A not-very responsible Snickers ad*

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Original Commercial Here:

Husband:  "I thought we were being good citizens and continuing to practice social distancing; I didn't think we were having people over in person."

Wife:  "No.  We're all done that.  Didn't you hear Trump on Fox the other night?  We are all done bowing to the Plandemic, which after all was sent here by China to defeat the President."

Husband:  "We aren't even wearing masks.  What the hell is going on here?"

Wife:  "You aren't listening.  Fake news.  Masks are for the Libs.  Now put some damn pants on, Libtard!"

*Seriously, what the hell?  

Sunday, September 13, 2020

And if you are Anthony Rizzo, you might even be able to afford one....

 Original commercial here:

This "first ever" something-or-other vanity car STARTS at $133,000.  So if you play a professional sport- and aren't making your league minimum- you might be able to buy one of these.  If you want to let people know you have the money to buy one of these.  

You still won't be able to go "zero to sixty in 2.5 awe-inspiring seconds" unless you rent a race track and are willing to risk your six-figure car testing out the honesty of the commercial that hooked you into buying this shiny ego grip.   And as near as I can tell, all the regular traffic laws apply so forget about driving 70 MPH through busy city streets just because you saw Anthony Rizzo or some other pro Orb Ball Participant doing it in an ad. 

I seriously wonder who these commercials are really aimed at.  Are there really a lot of people watching the Bucs-Saints game who have over a hundred thousand dollars burning a hole in their pockets who don't ALREADY own a BMW or Lexus or Audi, or are always on the market for another car even if they do?

Meanwhile, I'm trying to find someone to install a dashboard-mounted SiriusXM radio in my 2010 Honda Accord.  I live in a totally different world than these people.  But I knew that already. 

Saturday, September 12, 2020

It will go great with that VariDesk he doesn't really need either

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Original Commercial here:

Hey look everybody, it's the perfect chair for your boss (because let's be real, your company is NOT going to be spending a thousand dollars to make YOU, an employee who actually DOES sit all day in front of a computer, comfortable!)

You are invited to walk past your boss's office every once in a while to admire his X-chair (just don't you even THINK about sitting in it.)  Try not to get too irritated at the fact that he's rarely actually IN that chair- or that when he is, he's usually just on a personal call and not actually doing work.  And try not to think of your own aching back and how you have to sit in the same old computer desk chair you've been using for going on five years now.  You are not the boss!!

Thursday, September 10, 2020

I am really trying to understand this Nissan Sentra ad with Brie Larson

 Original Commercial Here:

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So this woman is told by her boss that she's not getting the promotion she thought she was due.  Apparently Brie Larson was told ahead of time that this was going to happen because at that moment, Captain Marvel herself shows up and orders The Unpromoted to jump into her Nissan Sentra for a lecture and a very fast tour of the city...

Brie Larson tells this woman that she should "not compromise" on....something or another.  Larson demonstrates her "no compromise" attitude by driving dangerously fast through busy, crowded city streets.  Seriously, she seems to think that speed limits and stop signs are for Your Mom's Generation (or maybe your grandmother's or, at this point, great-grandmother's.  Because, seriously, it's 2020.  

Larson spits bumper stickers at her passenger who by now has to wonder what any of this has to do with her failure to attain a promotion, if she is going to be complicit in the accidents Larson is certain to be in or cause with her insane driving, and if Larson is ever going to let her out of the car alive.  At the end of the ad Larson drops her off right where she left her, leaving us- and, I would think, this woman- wondering what the hell any of this was all about. 

I mean, think about it.  The tagline of this ad is "No Compromise."  But the woman wasn't asked by her boss to compromise.  She was told that she's not getting a promotion right now.  How does being kidnapped and terrorized by Captain Marvel get across the "No Compromise" message?  Someone please explain this to me.  I'm totally lost.

I guess I am glad that the comments section is turned off for this ad- considering the crap Brie Larson got for having the audacity to play a comic book character traditionally depicted as male from the gatekeeper geek incels on YouTube, I shudder to imagine how this ad plays with that crowd of pathetic, dateless creeps. 

Monday, September 7, 2020

My first-ever take on Seven-Eleven, prompted by actual experience

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Original Commercial here:

Yep, for almost twelve years of maintaining this blog and more than 1200 posts, I have managed to avoid commenting on 7-11 commercials.  Probably because I almost never see any.  I guess the owners of 7-11 figure that since they are on every other street corner in one region of the United States, they kind of advertise themselves.  

But this commercial is referring to 7-11's rewards system, which I use, so I feel I need to break my silence over This Region's Favorite Convenience Store and toss some snark its way.  7-11 offers an App for your Smartphone which, WHEN OPENED, allows you to earn points whenever you purchase something which can then be used basically as currency to buy pretty much any food item in the store.   It also keeps track of drink purchases, and every seventh Big Gulp is free.  I do a lot of walking and visit a lot of 7-11s especially when it's warm out, and I have accumulated a lot of free Big Gulps since this service was introduced a few years back.

Here's my issue:  When I approach a 7-11, I tap the App icon on my phone and am immediately sent to a page where my options are to look at an absolutely worthless graphic or SKIP.  So then I hit skip, and after several seconds am asked how I want to LOG ON to my ACCOUNT- do I want to LOG ON using my password, or with FACEBOOK?  Since I'm not super-adept at typing a password on to a tiny screen while standing in the bright sunlight OR a cramped store with other customers trying to buy things, I hit FACEBOOK and proceed to wait some more.  Finally- if I'm lucky- the scan code appears before I've just given up and paid for my drink or have paced up and down in front of the store for five minutes. 

Hey 7-11, I just gotta ask you- what is the purpose of the LOG IN/PASSWORD page?  Why can't I just tap the App Icon and be immediately brought to my account and scan bar?  Oh, I know what your answer is- "Security."  But seriously, what are you "securing" here with these annoying steps?  Are you actually concerned that I'm going to get my phone stolen by someone who figures out my PIN number and proceeds to use my precious reward points or maybe even (gasp) gain access to my Free 7th Cup?  Because, seriously, if I lose my phone the LAST thing I'm going to be worried about is someone emptying my 7-11 points wallet.  

Hope this doesn't hurt your feelings, but, please.  Just create a patch for this thing that immediately opens up the scan window as soon as we hit the App, please.  I'm more than ready to sign a disclaimer if that's what you want.  This is seriously something I'm willing to risk rather than go through the current hassle of hitting my phone four times to get to a freaking scan bar so I can get credit for my drink.  You guys are kind of weird, did you know that?

Saturday, September 5, 2020

More Beating up on, because they deserve it


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Original Commercial here:

One woman in this ad has accepted that when you take on the 100 percent voluntary responsibility of pet ownership, that means you've got to deal with bringing home heavy bags of food and/or litter as part of the bargain YOU AGREED TO.  The other two assure her that no, that kind of thinking belongs in the pre-Chewy Era, and now you can just push those responsibilities on to total strangers who will risk serious injury delivering that stuff to your door while you go about having fun-- like you used to, before you chained yourself to a pet.

In other words, nowadays when you decide to give away some of your freedom in the service of a dirty four-legged mammal, you can sentence some poor delivery guy to many years of carrying out the hardest part of the job of being a pet owner.  Just let him suffer the backache, you need to focus on having fun with that walnut-brained anvil you like dressing in sweaters for some reason and taking it to the P-A-R-K (because one of the alleged joys of pet ownership is cultivating the illusion that you've actually purchased a temporary child who obeys your commands and eats off the floor while you and Hubby enjoy dinner in peace.)

It's just too much to ask that any of these women being reminded that delivery guys did NOT sign up for this- they are in jobs with crappy pay and little or no health benefits because that's what they could get, and now they might as well be working in a cement factory because spoiled-rotten princesses like you want pets without the hassle.  A few years ago, someone living on the third floor of an apartment building with no elevator would have said "hell no" to owning a pet because hauling heavy crap up those steps was just not worth it.  Now it's a quick trip to and the delivery guy will be straining to get that stuff to your door- and if he dares leave it in the lobby, well, that's what security cameras and YouTube Shaming were invented for.   And that friendly relationship you had with your next-door neighbor on the third floor was overrated anyway. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

What Progressive, and a lot of other companies, simply don't get about the current situation

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Original Commercial Here:

Nobody wants to be reminded of pointless "just because we can" meetings in which there is clearly no direction or agenda set up by the person or persons who organized them.  By now pretty much everybody working at a job requiring an office or regular interaction with more than three people has already dealt with this.  Trying to get away from this phenomena by turning on the television and seeing a commercial featuring a "team leader" trying to invent reasons for why she's called together her "team" in a Zoom meeting hits a bit too close to home and reminds too many of us how undervalued our downtime is.