Sunday, November 29, 2020

Burger King invites me to indulge in my mean side

You may call the following comment mean, but I prefer "to the point." Except for that first young woman, none of these people have any business being excited about getting two Whoppers for $5. Instead, they should be wondering why the universe (or, just Burger King) is conspiring to keep them morbidly obese future diabetes/heart attack victims. Because you know darn well they ain't sharing that extra thousand calories with ANYBODY and all that just happened is a slight improvement on the odds that there might be a little bit left by the time these land whales pull into their driveways and a slight decline in the odds that any of them will live to see their grandchildren. 

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Healy: A TENS Unit with 50% more Woo


 I was in a car accident 17 years ago (hit from behind by a drunk driver.) Part of my physical therapy involved using a TENS unit on my back. At the time, TENS units were only available directly from licensed therapists- to get mine, I had to put down a refundable $200 deposit and pay $20 per month for the three months I had it. It was pretty easy to use, and I got good at placing the sticky electrode things just right to send pulses into my back and ease muscle pain.

Some years later, I found a TENS unit available through a pharmacy in England, where they let you buy them off the shelf because, after all, it's not medication, it's not addictive and it's not all about making the company that owns the TENS trademark rich.  It cost me $40.  It still works more than a decade later, though I've purchased a new one recently (from America, because times change) so I can have a set at home and in Vermont for when I visit (it can be a pain to get these things through airport security.)

Anyway, what about this thing which uses "vibrations" to "solve" (not cure) all kind of "issues" we can have with our bodies?  Well, the people who made this thing are being both super-clever and super-sleazy at the same time.  This item is, in fact, FDA Approved- as a TENS unit.  It doesn't read your chakras (because you don't have any) or align your feng shui (because that's nonsense, too.)  It just sends electrical impulses into your body.  Because that's what a TENS unit does.  But this thing runs upwards of TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS.  That's something your everyday TENS unit does NOT do.  It doesn't cost you an arm and a leg.  This thing costs an arm, a leg and probably one of your ears.  For a TENS unit.  Come on!!

Friday, November 27, 2020

Aflac and the Church of the Duck. It's Just Go Away Time.


I'm sorry, but what the hell is going on in this commercial?  Why is Nick Saban pimping for insurance?  Why are these people so damned psyched about the insurance?  Is this a group interview?  Where are they going in that bus?  

Is this a cult? 

And what is it with the comments in YouTube- they are even more cringey than usual.  If you're over 20 years old, this duck bit predates you.  Back then, it was mildly amusing.  Then it became annoying.  Then it became played.  And then there were another 19 years, until we got to today....and this.

Seriously, who are these people and where are they going in that bus?  Am I going to read a tragic story about them in the papers in a few days? Am I going to see weepy interviews with their family members over the next several days about how their loved ones first got involved in what looked like a nice man in a blue blazer who kept talking about insurance and then slowly started to change, become more chirpy, couldn't stop talking about the nice man in the blue blazer and his pet duck and how they were late for the weekly Park Meeting?  Will a cauldron of Kool Aid be involved?  

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Another Experian "Credit Boost" ad, this one with John Cena Because Reasons


 "You didn't get the credit card you wanted" deadpans the apparently stoned girl at the bar. "There's nothing I can do" answers the greasy creep she's with. Ah but then John Cena shows up on a horse (whatever) and tells the greasy creep that there IS something he can do- he can downloan an app and push a button and like magic erase part of the lousy but totally-accurate credit history that is keeping his FICA score down. 

 Wow, problem solved and now- as the video description tells us- he can get that credit card he obviously needs because it's not like debt-to-credit ratio has an impact on your credit score or anything. 

Allow me to step in here, Mr. Cena. Because as someone for whom a 709 credit score would be a cause for investigation into identity theft, I have a few pieces of actual advice for Mr. "there's nothing I can do" here: 

1. Don't buy what you don't need. Having money is not an excuse for spending money. 

2. If you have debt and you continue to buy, you are just borrowing more from your debtors. Let me put this in simpler terms for simpler people: When you owe someone money, and instead of paying that person back you buy something else, you are using that person's money to buy yourself something. There's no "debt money" and "fun money." Don't believe me? Owe someone money. You'll get it then. 

3. Pay your bills on time, every time. 

4. And this is most important- live within your means. If you don't like the way you are living on the money you have, strive to make more money. Don't play Let's Pretend with debt. That big-screen tv and nice car you can't afford on your low salary isn't fooling anyone. It's lipstick on a pig. I might add- stop looking for a quick, easy, magical solution to the problem you created for yourself. But being patient and willing to sacrifice for the long term has never been a popular message on tv OR in real life, so I don't know why I should even bother. I'd also like to suggest that the guy in this ad should probably be grateful he can't get another credit card since he clearly couldn't manage the ones he current has- but again, why bother?

Monday, November 23, 2020

Kaiser Permanente's "Thrive" Commercial makes me want to shop for funeral homes


 Pardon me for feeling more than a little attacked by these Kaiser Permanente "thrive" commercials which celebrate the fact that SEVERAL people throughout recent history actually accomplished some amazing things DESPITE the fact that they were (GASP! REALLY? I demand to see the raw data!) in their FIFTIES.

I can only assume that each of these people were consuming the blood of young virgins during weekly Satanic ceremonies or had simply sold their souls to the devil in exchange for the gift of unnatural powers at such advanced ages.  I mean, Ernest Hemingway WROTE A BOOK at the age of FIFTY-TWO?  Clearly SOME black magic was at work- everyone knows that the average person who has NOT made an unholy pact with a demon is barely capable of getting out of bed at FIFTY-TWO!

Sunday, November 22, 2020

These Lincoln Christmas ads....I just can't....

This woman walks into her freaking palace and sees that her mother and father have arrived early (and had keys to the palace, apparently) and have brought farm animals with them for reasons I don't want to begin to contemplate. Her response is to turn around without a word and get back into her car. This is a commercial from last year. This year's version, which I just saw on tv but have yet to find available on YouTube, features what I'm pretty sure is the exact same woman walking into ANOTHER ridiculous McMansion to find her husband and children (gasp) HAVING FUN playing with toys under the Christmas tree. Once again, this completely breaks her spirit and sends her running back to the unquestioning, unthreatening comfort of her freaking Lincoln. This woman has a pimped-out car and fabulous house but her life isn't perfect because every time she tries to take a break from looking at her fricking phone she finds things happening in that house that she doesn't exactly like and (for some reason) simply can't deal with at the moment. It's like her family just doesn't give her the level of serenity and apprecation her Lincoln does, so she might as well just sit in her g-d d---ed car because it's her safe space and sanctuary from what to 99 percent of us looks like a pretty damned good life. Seriously, turn the key and just go away, you spoiled rotten idiot. Everyone else in these ads can do better, and deserves better, than your sorry pampered butt. (BTW, the title of this ad is "Christmas Wish List." What on Earth does this woman wish for? I suspect it's that everything else in her life that is not her car just vanishes and never returns. Which leaves me wondering something else: what would be on her family's wish list? I doubt it's very complimentary to her.)

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Why do car commercials think that parking garages have 50 MPH speed limits?

So I guess this nasty piece of Eurotrash and his significant other didn't really have any plans to exit their car and actually do anything; the driver just wants to drive around agressively at dangerous speeds until he runs out of gas because he's obsessed with a car he likes to pretend is not a mid-level Nissan Blandmobile. If I were this woman, I'd be progressing from amused, to mildly irritated, to deeply concerned once I realize he was leaving the city limits and suddenly barelling through snow (seriously, how many miles out of town ARE they by the end of this ad?) In fact, I'd start to suspect that his ultimate plan was to bludgeon me to death and dump me in the woods so he could have more Alone Time with his freaking car.

Remember when life was Tacless?

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Every time I turn around, there's another cheap piece of crap with the word "tac" tacked on to it (hey, that works...)  Tac lights, Tac Sunglasses, Tac portable chargers....and now "Tac Shavers."  As a very intelligent YouTube commentator (now that's a rarity) noted, we seem to be living in an era where just adding the letters "tac" to the As Seen on TV product is supposed to turn it from junk to Must-Have.

Because you never know when you'll be submerged in a swimming pool and suddenly feel the overwhelming urge to shave.

Because you can't be asked to find time to shave while you're actually at home, so you need this thing sitting in your glove compartment so you can run it over your face while stuck in traffic or sitting in the parking lot of a box store or wherever.

Because your last ounce of awareness that you're living in a society died a long time ago (around the time you had that $5000 earthquake-causing Suburbs-Shattering sound system installed in your car because everyone within 20 miles should know the kind of music you like listening to at 2 AM) and you just don't give a flying damn what anyone thinks of you anymore.  It's why you don't care if the people in the next lane see you shaving with one hand and staring at your cell phone with the other while you're supposed to be paying attention to the road (last week, a guy on the beltway was cruising along in the center lane at 30 MPH while propping a tablet against the steering wheel.  Because FU world, I guess.)  

Because you think "made with the needs of the military in mind" is a great argument to buy anything.  The customers of this product AREN'T in the military.  They don't need to be able to shave while standing in the pouring rain- I doubt they ever even need to shave while submerged in water.  I mean, what soldier is going to find himself in that situation and think "I need a shave?" anyway?  

Set your alarm 5 minutes earlier and shave your fricking face in your fricking house with a regular, house-bound razor, you morons.  

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Another really awkward AT&T ad

Watching this commercial for the first time, I really thought that one of two things was going to happen:

A.  The extremely uncomfortable-looking groom would admit that he desperately needed to urinate and excuse himself.   Seriously, the guy looks like he's going to explode and that the act of simply standing there is downright painful.  

B.  The bride, having taken a good, long look at her intended (perhaps for the first time?) realizes that he looks like a dyspeptic mannequin who looks about as enthusiastic about this whole thing as a miner entering the shaft elevator at 5 AM and maybe the MRS degree isn't worth what she thought it was. 

Either way, when the sassy black woman delivers the punchline, we are supposed to think it's HI-larious.  That part I know for SURE.  

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Acura's in love with it's own commercial concepts

(This is the kind of ad that makes me almost look forward to the Lexus December to Remember season that is about to descend on us....hard.  Almost.)

At this point it should no longer surprise me that this insufferable wall of noise, blurred images and self-congratulatory garbage is followed by drooling morons posting "I love this ad" in the comments.  It's just par for the course these days:  put together an expensive minute or so of flashy, shiny junk, give it a soundtrack, slap it on tv and pay the bleating sheep a nickel a post to tell you how awesome it is and especially how much they adore and need need need the song that's attached to it. 

Meanwhile, this steaming pile of manipulative crud is topped off with what looks for all the world like a guy racing his blue Acura to run down a woman tied to the train tracks before the train can finish the job.  I seriously have no idea what his plan was once he got to the tracks- it's like he's playing a video game and running over the girl is worth 250 points and an additional life.  And don't even get me started on how the woman he "saves" ends up the driver....because I don't want to think about this noxious nonsense anymore.  Jesus Acura, just show the damn car sitting in a dealership somewhere.  We already know that if you push the gas pedal, it will go forward.  We already know that if you turn the steering wheel, it will make the car go in different directions.   I know that a couple of film art majors are super-proud of this commercial, but that doesn't mean I'm required to appreciate it.  It's an f--ing car ad for an f--ng overpriced luxury automobile, period.  Get the hell over yourself.  

Saturday, November 14, 2020

The Talking Bucket is the most believable part of this KFC ad

I mean, if the bucket is going to include gigantic pieces of nothing that looks like KFC which also remains overflowing no matter how many pieces are removed from it, that bucket might as well start talking because the commercial is already off the rails when it comes to realism.  Not to mention the gigantic piles of potatoes and gravy and five-inch tall biscuits that are practically falling off the plate.  Not to mention the dad agreeing that the $50 or so worth of food we see on the table is "a lot better than microwave hot dogs," which may be true but it's not like those are the only two dinner choices available to anyone.  If you're going to include all that, a talking bucket is downright ordinary.  

(I do like how, in one scene, two people are excitedly talking in the background instead of daring to attack the enormous mountain of chicken which absolutely dominates the screen- it looks more like a barrel than a bucket in MOST of this ad.  And the beautifully choreographed scene where the kid is clearly waiting for his cue to reach for a piece of not-chicken.  Seriously, was that the best take you could get, KFC?)  

Thursday, November 12, 2020

All this, and it still doesn't work in Vermont?

I actually managed to get through this ridiculous, overwrought, played-out-way-before-its-over self-congratulatory pile of steaming feces on the first try, even after realizing thirty seconds in it was going to just be another "we've got a budget and a minute and a half to fill, so let's spend that money and fill that time with insulting levels of dumb" commercial.

Woah....I just realized I said so much in the first run-on sentence paragraph, I really don't have any more to add.  Except that I lost count how many times this ad was about to end but then was padded out even more with unnecessary dialogue and repetitive WE GET IT button pushing and key-turning (how many times can you act like you're "ready" to do something and act like you are "doing" something which just leads to doing something else?  At least three, according to this ad.)  Oh, and that I'm even more appalled than usual with the comments.  What is WITH you people?

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Yeah- no, Volvo. Just....No.

The last thing I need from you is the portrayal of a greasy Eurotrash white suburban family which cruises around in a freaking Volvo compared to the people who worked from dawn to dusk in the mills.  Give us a fricking break.  

Oh, wait, maybe I'm being unfair.  Let's see- both this family and the mill family wake up before dawn.  Sure, one does that to make Espresso and get the children up, cleaned, clothed and off to school while the other ate last night's leftover scraps before trudging off for another 12-hour day surrounded by the incessant noise and cotton or coal dust of the mill, but that's just splitting hairs.  Sure, one family bundles into the Volvo while the other walks through the dark morning to the factory gates, but again- splitting hairs.  Sure, one will get two days out of every seven off for rest and relaxation from their office jobs while the other worked on average 6 and a half days per week at grindingly hard, dangerous work, but AGAIN I need to stop being so pedantic.   This really is an Apples to Apples comparison here, really.

So I'm going to stop being infuriated at the comparison of a wealthy family living in luxury in the American suburbs to the masses of half-starved, overworked, underpaid, oft-injured laborers who shook off sickness, weariness and a heavy sense of helplessness to get to the mill every morning to put food on the table.  After all, that first family owns a Volvo, not a Lexus or Audi.  Hard times in the mill, indeed.  

Friday, November 6, 2020

Is Alien Tape just punking us?

I just have one question about this "amazing" tape/not tape product which allegedly can be used in place of wall-ruining tape and nails to do everything from hanging portraits to cementing bowls on to high chairs and fixing furniture in place:  Is it a "permanent solution," or is it not?

Watch this commercial very carefully.  Again and again, we're told how powerful this stuff is at holding things wherever you want to put them.  Several times the words THIS IS A PERMANANT SOLUTION shows up on the screen.  But at the same time, we're told that it's completely removable ("just twist and remove.")  That doesn't sound like much of a "permanent solution."  You can't have it both ways, Alien Tape!  Is this stuff that I can use to mount my 500-lb Rembrandt to the wall of my one-bedroom apartment, knowing that it will stay in place for ever and ever (that's what "permanent solution" means, right?)  Or am I at risk of knocking it off the wall if I bump into it, causing the material to "twist" slightly?  

It's really easy to miss that "this is a permanent solution" line, as it's never uttered, and meanwhile we keep being shown people making adjustments to the stuff that's been mounted with Alien Tape, including taking them completely down so we can see how the wall isn't damaged by the tape because "it's not an adhesive."  It's really easy to see people just buying this stuff, using it to mount something on their wall, seeing it's crooked- and not being able to budge it because THIS IS A PERMANENT SOLUTION, just like the small print in the commercial said but the narrator never did.  It's a lot easier to believe that this stuff doesn't actually work at all, and that expensive thing you mounted falls down and breaks in the middle of the night. Which is why I'm sticking to good old poster putty when I mount my Rembrandts.  But seriously, what the hell is going on here, Alien Tape?  Are you trying to get people to cement things to their walls, or get their priceless shower shelves broken, or what?

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

AT&T keeps circling the bay, jumping that shark

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In the bizarro world of AT&T, salespeople sit down with potential customers of comfy couches to discuss the benefits of the product as if they are in a Charles Schwab office ready to go over portfolio options.  I'm pretty sure we don't see anything like this in real life, where purchasing a phone and plan is far more likely to involve punching your name into a display and then waiting for your turn to talk to a twentysomething kid who will continue to juggle four customers while also giving you a twenty-second tutorial on why this new package isn't exactly the deal you heard about on TV because your FICA score is under 780.

It's also a world where being able to watch something called HBO Max on a tiny screen if you are already a subscriber is seen as an attractive feature.  Because being able to watch prime cable tv shows while squinting at a little box in your hand is something everyone really demands from their phone plan these days.  It's such an attractive feature, in fact, that Everyone's Favorite Spokeschoad will be interrupted by a blast of theme music every time she attempts to talk about it.  Boy does THAT get old quick. 

Sunday, November 1, 2020

No, Jeep. Just- No.

Carl Sagan is spinning in his grave.

Seriously.  The Jeep ad that has been running all day today is not this one.  Instead, it features people driving jeeps in deserts, crashing them through forests, fording streams, jumping rocks, and basically doing everything possible to increase their carbon footprint for absolutely no reason other than Because We Can Cause Check Out This Jeep.

And then we get this "Jeep Cares about Climate Change" manipulative twee.  Lifting a recording from a true legend in about a dozen different disciplines including the environment.  To sell a freaking combustion engine gas-guzzling toy to Suburbanites with money burning holes in their pockets and (let's face it) a bad case of Midlife Crisis. 

Total fail, Jeep.