Friday, April 30, 2021

The International Union of Police Associations, GoAnimate, and a check no longer in the mail


First- ugh this is so cringe, using GoAnimate to create a pitch for the International Union of Police Associations and how awesome it is at building a team of attorneys to defend its members when they are accused of murdering black people, gassing black people, assaulting black people, or generally just being gangster wannabees who think they have the right to put anyone they don't like "back in their place" because after all check out this badge and, more to the point, This Gun.

Second- these people called me pretty much every day for several weeks, never once being deterred by my quick hang-ups on the rare occasions I even bothered to answer the phone.  Finally, about ten days ago, I gave in and listened to their pitch for donations.  When I explained to them that I don't donate over the phone unless I have made the call myself, I was directed to an operator to get my address so they could send me a contribution pledge envelope.  The nice woman who asked me for my address then asked how much she could put me down for.  I told her I'd figure that out after I received the information she was sending me, and she replied "we can't send out an envelope unless we get a pledge first."

This should have convinced me to just hang up (I have to promise something before they "agree" to send me a pledge envelope?  Exactly who is in control here, again?)  But I was in a decent mood, so I said "fine, I'll pledge $25."  And we were done.

The other day I got the pledge envelope, but before writing the check I decided to do a quick search for the organization online.  Here's what I found on Wikipedia:

In September 2019, well over a year before the elections, the union formally endorsed the re-election campaign of Donald Trump, while stating that the Democratic contenders vilified the police

So sorry, IUPA.  You endorsed Donald Trump?  Then you can ask him for the $25 I pledged to you.  Your check was left unwritten.  Your pledge envelope is in the trash.  And I'm really, really hoping you call to ask about it, because now I'm looking forward to talking to you.  Come on, just one more call.  You have my number...

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Ryan Reynolds' weird "Enticement" ad


Why would anyone looking for a new phone service be impressed by Ryan Reynolds being the "owner" of that new service?  Does Ryan Reynolds have some kind of experience with phone tech or the management of a large company that I'm unaware of?  Or is he just another Tom Hanks* "I have a trustworthy face so what I say carries unwarranted, unearned weight" celebrity willing to sell his Middle Class Values Down to Earth image** to the highest bidder?

I'm sorry, but just because you are talented enough to survive playing a superhero in Green Lantern to go on to play another superhero in Deadpool doesn't mean I'm going to trust you to provide me with decent mobile coverage.*** Besides, it might be your agent who pulled that off, not you. 

*Did you know that Tom Hanks is not actually a veteran of World War II?  I just looked it up. 

**I thought Reynolds was relatable and fun to watch in Just Friends.  And that's about it. 

***If I were interested in decent coverage, I wouldn't be with T-Mobile now, would I?

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Another 15-second dollop of dumb from Folgers


The only good thing about these Folgers "zoom" ads is that they are mercifully short.  Not short enough, but short.  There's still plenty to snark on here:

1.  Who goes on a Zoom call without checking their camera angle and background before joining on video?  For this commercial to make any sense, we have to believe this guy is sitting so far away from his laptop that he'd have to get up to type anything, or that he intentionally tilted his screen to show his bare legs.  In other words, this guy WANTED his female coworkers to catch a glance at his legs, but also wanted to avoid a call from H.R. by making it look as much like an "accident" as possible.

2.  It looks for all the world like this guy is in a breakroom, not his office.  What's with the enormous pot of coffee for one person?  Even I don't drink that much coffee.  And what does he think he's covering up with that coffee?  Does he think this is going to make his coworkers forget what they just saw?  

3.  This guy's "whole team" (consisting of two people) has no reaction to this guy's Zoom faux pas. They just don't care.  

4.  And again, one of his coworkers turns her video off, leaving a giant Folgers logo on the screen instead.  Ok, I get it.  These people work for Folgers.  

The best part of waking up might be bitter, otherwise bland coffee in your cup.  The best part of Folger's ads are when they are over.  Again, I'll give Folgers credit for at least making these short. 

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Folger's joins the Apple Down With Remote "Working" crusade


First of all, who is the artist singing this song?  She sounds like she was hired because she's the out of work sister of the producer.   Her voice is AWFUL.  And was she also left responsible for writing the lyrics, too?  Because, come on- nobody in this ad looks like they are "trying hard not to snap."  They just look comfortable, if half-asleep, and perfectly fine in their new reality of waking up a little later every morning, avoiding the commute, and making showering optional.

Second, why is this woman so determined to keep her little kid off the screen?  The brat just wants to know what's going on.  He'll take one look at these boring ugly choads and lose interest, I promise you, mom.  You don't have to wave that hot coffee pot around his face and then move your mug from side to side for fear that your coworkers will realize that you have a kid.  This is just dumb.  

Why can't this woman give that kid something to do so he isn't "preventing" her from blathering whatever bland nonsense she is blathering into her screen without manipulating coffee pots and cups?  Oh right- because she isn't used to this whole "parenting" thing and doesn't know what to do with this kid because usually he's in the care of professionals and she is  at the office drinking coffee in front of another screen.

Finally- one of her workers switches his camera off, leaving a Folger's logo.  This tickles some of the people in the YouTube comments.  It suggests to me that these people all work for Folger's and that's the official camera-off default screen they are required to use.  And now I have to rethink this entire ad and wonder if the woman wasn't trying to shield her kid that whole time but was instead just trying to hypnotize her coworkers by waving coffee in their faces and her kid just happened to be standing in the background.

Friday, April 23, 2021

Liberty Mutual lets Geico know they aren't going to let the gekko Own the Dumb


I get that the Statue of Liberty is in the public domain so Liberty Mutual can't be prevented from using it in all of it's advertising, but the thing is-- they DON'T use it in ANY of their advertising.  It's just a stupid backdrop for commercials that are becoming increasingly brain-dead and pointless.

I mean, it wasn't all that long ago that these ads were actually talking about INSURANCE- how Liberty Mutual allows you to "only pay for what you need" (as if any of us "know what we need" before the fact- if I'm a "safe driver," I guess I only "need" the bare minimum required by law...until I hit a kid dashing across the road in front of me and put him in the intensive care war, at which point I "need" considerably more coverage that I don't have because, after all, I'm a "safe driver.")  Then we started to get stupid "hey, Liberty Mutual has a cool App" nonsense featuring a kid in a cell phone suit jumping into piles of rice.  Those weren't informative in the slightest (are there any large insurance companies that DON'T offer apps these days?) 

And now, we've hit what I hope is rock bottom with an ad featuring a guy selling...wet teddy bears.  Because maybe that's "what you need?"  What does this have to do with insurance at all?  Absolutely nothing.  Just a big neon "we've run out of ideas" middle finger from Liberty Mutual.  One that I didn't ask for or want, let alone "need."

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Verizon's obnoxious "drop a better phone next time" commercial


1.  I find it hard to believe that the first guy we see is real.  That's CGI, isn't it?  He looks like he's made of plastic.  I mean, I can't be the only person who finds him downright creepy.

2.  This woman is an absolute gibbering moron.  She's "broken every phone she's ever owned."  And she's giggling about it.  She demonstrates her clueless clumsiness by dropping her phone for our benefit. And then she suggests that she "wants something new."  Well, sure.  I know that if I was constantly breaking an expensive piece of electronics, that would be my response, too. 

3.  So now you can turn in your broken phone for credit on a new one.  Because the only thing more satisfying than breaking something that costs $500 is breaking something that costs $1000, especially when you got a $500 credit for the phone you are turning in.   Feel free to continue to break expensive, fragile electronics, people- Verizon is ready to "reward" you with credit for a new piece of expensive, fragile electronics.

4.  Somehow, the stupid thoughtless doofuses who are constantly mishandling and breaking items that the vast majority of people on Earth (including the people who assemble them) can only dream of actually owning are quickly talked into believing that they "deserve" an even better phone because they broke their old one through utter carelessness.  Not only is this not worthy of a smile and a giggle, it isn't even worthy of my contempt or further comment.  So I'll just stop here.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Ready or not (and we are not ready,) Disney World is Reopening


(Anyone else think that statue in the opening of this commercial looks like it belongs in Red Square, not Disney World?)

This is Disney's "f-- it, we played nice with this whole COVID thing but business is business" great big middle finger to responsibility.  No more excuses, parents:  your kids are going to see this ad sooner or later, and they'll remember how many times you said "as soon as Disney World reopens, we'll go."  You'll regret not saying "as soon as everyone is vaccinated" or "as soon as we've achieved herd immunity" or at the very least "as soon as I consider it safe."  But you didn't say that.  You decided to leave the fate of your kids and yourself in the hands of the gigantic money monster that sees you as nothing more than walking credit cards waiting to be drained which was just waiting for a green light from one of the most anti-mask, anti-science governors in the entire country.  The Walt Disney Corporation and Ron DeSantis say "welcome back," so it's time to stand in line at the airport, take a plane to Orlando, and get ready to spend several days standing in sweltering,* stinking (hopefully mask-wearing, but this is Central Florida, after all, so good luck with that- you're likely to see a lot more MAGA hats than masks) sweaty crowds filled with screaming kids and noxious, cloying tinny music coming out of speakers disguised as rocks.  Enjoy all the Superspreading fun!

*I've never been to Orlando, but I've been to Tampa in June.  I can't imagine wanting to spend hours outdoors by myself in those humid conditions.  Add tens of thousands of people and a lot of noise? Pass.

(And what's the most depressing thing about this ad?  Check out the date it was released.  July, 2020.  
Yep, super responsible, Disney.)

Subway Is Really Making Me Hungry


Because nothing could make me want a cheap, mass-produced junk sandwich made by an underpaid high school dropout who thinks that COVID is a hoax than seeing a basketball player, comedian or some other somewhat-famous tv personality hold up an obviously rubber facsimile of a grinder* and tell me how much he enjoys eating at Subway when he isn't doing the basketball or comedy thing.

*I'm from New England.  It's called a grinder or a hoagie.  It can only be a "sub" if it's cold, and Subway Sandwiches can be hot.  So they are grinders or heroes, not subs.  I feel like I should block comments now, just in case this one of those triggering subjects that I'll wish I had avoided, like "Howard Stern is overrated" or "DirectTV ads are racist."

Friday, April 16, 2021

Not in the mood to be generous to phone sales losers


I found this gem of a training video while looking for a visual version of an ad for sales training I keep hearing on XM.  If you have XM or it's running on terrestrial radio you've probably heard it too: the one where the guy spits a hundred stats at you at about a hundred miles an hour with absolutely no citations:  "Did you know that 90 percent of your sales are made by 20 percent of your sales force?  Did you know that 88 percent of salesmen never even make contact with the customers?  Did you know that 79 percent of customers are 56 percent more likely to walk into 96 percent of stores offering at least 81 percent of what they want to purchase?  Does this ad make you at least 68 percent more grateful that you stayed awake in school and didn't turn out to be a piece of s--t sales monkey?"

Anyway, this video is definitely worth a listen, and is especially more fun when like me you've just wasted some cold-calling Car Warranty scammer's time (almost 22 minutes today,* and I only hung up because mom needed to use the phone!)  I've talked to enough scammers to know that they are very quick to ask "when is a good time to call?" when you tell them you're too busy.  Much better to waste their time with friendly chitchat so they aren't available to try to steal someone else's money.  

I didn't get through the entire video- does it end with a polite suggestion that lots of pawn shops sell handguns and a quick bullet to the brain will end the misery of being one of these sad little sales monkeys?

*not actually "today," but I've had this post stored in the archives for a while......

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Geico hands Dikembe Mutombo some money to beat that dead horse some more


This schtick has made an unrequested return from the dead because Geico, as usual, has absolutely nothing to day about its insurance. Come to think of it, Geico has NEVER had anything to say about its own insurance except to say its been around for a long time and might be cheaper than its competitors.  So these "happier than...." wastes of brain cells are callback to an old ad campaign with the same message:  Geico either doesn't know how to sell insurance or might know how to sell insurance but doesn't know how to sell ITS insurance.  So we get CGI pigs and lizards and crap like this instead.

And maybe I'm not the only one out there who didn't want to see this stuff make a comeback- the comments are, after all, blocked.  Good sign.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Apple reminds us that homework, like everything else, is more fun if you're rich


The weekend's homework is "Gravity."  Well, this teacher certainly isn't running any risk of confusing kids as to the parameters of the assignment, is he?  

"What's your science homework this weekend, honey?"  


"What about it?"

99 percent of the kids who are given the assignment "gravity" and who actually want to get a good grade in the class will look up the word "gravity" on Google (if they have internet access) or an Encyclopedia and write a few words about what other people have said about gravity.  If they are lucky, there's a library open nearby and they can get a timed-entry appointment to visit it the few hours it's open on Saturday, and maybe they can find some good articles about gravity and photocopy a few pictures on the library's copying machine for ten cents a page.  The result of several hours of work is a decent-for-the-grade-level report on gravity stapled together or placed in a three-ring binder, and once upon a time that report would probably earn an A and praise for the effort.

The other 1 percent will whip out their thousand-dollar iPads and put together a two-minute film featuring gravity at work.  Those other kids wrote that watermelons and eggs fall to the ground at equal speeds, but here's a film SHOWING that phenomenon, created by the iPad Cody got for Christmas which is in a color that matches the Lexus mom got.  That 1 percent had a great time doing their homework because they had this expensive piece of technology that did practically all the work for them while they "demonstrated gravity" by playing on tire swing and dropping food off of bridges.  And while a pile of stapled hand-written essays on gravity sit on the teacher's desk, the teacher is in raptures over the awesome, professional-quality film about gravity that 1 percent of kids were able to produce while having fun. 

I teach Advanced Placement US History.  The cumulative test is scheduled for next month.  It will be taken by some 350,000 High School students, some of whom have access to Apps, review videos and practice tests created by The College Board to help kids with access to tech maximize their performance on the exam.  Most of the students who take the exam will rely on their notes, textbooks, and maybe a prep book or two because they do NOT have the ability to access this tech.  Watching this commercial from Apple, it's more than a little depressing to see that the gulf between the haves and have nots is not being created when kids get to High School but much earlier- like, the moment the children first enter the public school system.  I wonder how much attention and praise those homely hand-written reports sitting on his desk will get compared to the flashy video created by a piece of expensive tech and a group of kids who learned how to use it before they learned how to count because their parents could afford to purchase it.  

Oh, and one word to the obnoxious narrator attempting to bleat a poem during this awful celebration of privilege:  As you describe homework, it still "stinks" for 99 percent of kids.  The message of your little poem is actually "homework does NOT stink if you're rich.  Since 99 percent of kids are not rich, it still stinks for 99 percent of kids.  But this commercial is not aimed at those kids." 

Friday, April 9, 2021

PapaJohns: the official pizza of intolerance for everything but The Dumb


"Wait up wait up wait up!  PapaJohns has stuffed pizza now, only thirty years after it became a thing pretty much everywhere else!  Wow, ain't that something!  All our texts and tweets and Facebook posts and phone calls we spent years producing because if we stopped and thought for one minute about what we think is important we'd kill ourselves finally paid off!  FINALLY, PapaJohn's Only Slightly More Tasty Than The Box It Comes In Carbs and Sugar 'pizza' comes with stuffed crust to make it even more toxic!  Wooooheee next time we have a family reunion we're skipping Golden Corral and just having PapaJohns deliver!"

I hate this country so very, very much.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Apple and "The Underdogs," Part II


Ok, I get it now.  These "Underdog" commercials are all written- or at least approved by- executives who are convinced that Remote Working translates into "paying people to sit around in their pajamas doing pretty much nothing."  

It's really hard to believe that any of the "underdogs" ever actually functioned in an office setting.  Outside of the office, their lives are a disorganized mess all the time.  Worse, they feel compelled to set up their cameras so their coworkers can SEE that they are a disorganized mess.  One guy won't even get dressed- he's unshaven, in a bathrobe and shorts, and he's got his camera rigged so you can see his disgusting messy house and screaming kid.  He's practically begging his boss (who he's deathly afraid of- like all his coworkers are) to can his sorry butt.  And the rest of them are also acting like they have no idea how to function if they aren't being monitored in the office.   I have been in a lot of Zoom meetings this year.  I have never treated any of them like they are intrusions on my Sleeping or Binge-Watching Netflix or Yoga time.  And many of them have been After Hours, when I might feel comfortable to be somewhat more casual.  These people are acting like they aren't quite awake- and their brains certainly aren't at work- during Office Hours. 

One of them has his kids all week.  Um, maybe you should take the week off.  Oh, but maybe you don't have any vacation days saved up.  Well, then, maybe you should just Deal.   One of them has his mother "all the time" (the same disgusting dicktard who finds it necessary to eat spaghetti and meatballs during a meeting.)    And you're using this as an excuse for why you can't be expected to work on a deadline?  Seriously, what planet are you guys from?

I really, really hope that my school administrators never see any of these "Underdog" commercials.  I'd hate for them to think that the time I spent teaching online bore any resemblance to what is happening here.  These jackasses are just asking to be fired, except they certainly appreciate that paycheck that keeps coming as their will to be even a little bit productive crumbles by the hour.  

I'm really looking forward to the sequel: "the Unemployed." 

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Apple and "The Underdogs," Part I


Wow, so this woman got a meeting with a Much More Important Person Than She Is because that MMIPTSI hit her car?  And when that MMIPTSI said "is there anything I can do" in a threatening "I'm better than you, what are you going to do about it? tone, this woman's response was to beg for a meeting- and then be willing to be VERY flexible about when that meeting would take place?  Personally, I would have been screaming that I had been severely burned by my spilled coffee, plus we needed to exchange insurance information BECAUSE YOU JUST HIT MY CAR DAMMIT!

Instead, the victim goes up to the office and informs her sad group of shlub coworkers that they have an opportunity to present their Super Awesome Idea to a MMIPTSI this Thursday (yes, THIS Thursday.)  One of her coworkers complains that they need two weeks, not two days.  Another says he's going to be sick.  Because there's just no way they are going to put together their Super Awesome Idea delivery pizza in round boxes* instead of square ones.  I mean, that's such a complicated, out-of-the-box (lousy pun not intended) concept, there's just NO WAY they can figure out way to sell it in what I guess is a non-tv version of Shark Tank in just TWO DAYS!

Anyway, this goes on and on AND on and we get to see these stupid whiny putzes complain nonstop as they maneuver the next two days and try to convince us that this round pizza box concept requires more than a few seconds of thinking and an entire staff to bring into reality.  We get to see someone in bed.  We get to see another person in the shower.  The idea is that the lives of this entire staff of morons has been turned upside down because they have literally hours to turn the concept of round pizza boxes into a "prototype" (no kidding, they use that word) to show to Vivian, the VIP (I'm just going with VIP now) who hit a woman's car and is paying the damages by giving her and her sad coworkers a meeting.

I don't know how this turns out.  I don't care.  Something to do with Apple.  It's just way too stupid and I've spent enough time on this already, and comments are turned off and I've never seen this ad on TV which suggests to me that my reaction pretty much lines up with the common response to this steaming nugget of dumb from the most awful corporation on the planet that doesn't belong to Jeff Bezos (yet.)

*the reason why pizza boxes are square is because square boxes are easy to fold, close and stack.  This is so obvious that it will completely escape this entire group never mind that they've spent countless hours thinking about it.  It will be the first thing Vivian brings up in Thursday's meeting, which will end fifteen seconds later with a lot of downturned eyes and red faces and memories of a bumper which still needs to be fixed. 

Friday, April 2, 2021

Terrance,, and ten reasons I don't give a flip


1.  Kids are not hobbies.  I know this was a throwaway line meant to make you endearing and relatable, but it fell flat.  And it gets even flatter when we hear your pathetic story later.

2.  "I worked for the Ford Motor Industry, and as you know that took a big hit.  I got into real estate..." wait, hold up.  You lost your job in the auto industry, and your first move was to get into house flipping?  I have less and less sympathy for you by the SECOND.

3.  "It kind of pushed my situation back so I had to file bankruptcy...." that's an interesting way to put it. You had no job, so you got into real estate, and it "pushed your situation back" (you took a bad situation and through a really stupid, irresponsible decision you made it worse.)  And then you had to file bankruptcy.  Uh huh.  The sympathy well is bone dry, and I'm moving closer to "F-- off with the sob story" territory.

4.  "And that's the first time I was told what my credit really was....being really young...." now we are digging UNDERNEATH the sympathy well.  This assclown lost his job, got into real estate...and didn't know what his credit was.  Glad you took the time to produce children too, because it demonstrates that there's at least one adult out there even dumber and more irresponsible than you are.  

5.  "About three or four months ago, I started thinking about buying a new house..." we are less than a minute in to a two-minute commercial, and I'm already so very done with this guy.  And I just KNOW we are going to hear the word "deserved" used unironically before this is over.

6.  "My score was...well, I don't want to say it was poor...well yeah, it was poor.  And that's when I decided to get into getting the score fixed."  The score wasn't broken, moron.  It was exactly where it should be for a guy who declared bankruptcy.  The score is there to protect creditors from bad risks.  You admitted you are a bad risk.  

7.  "We had a good conversation....when I see a deletion, I know it's not just sitting there, and they are doing what they are supposed to be doing."  They are supposed to be removing warning flags from your credit report, so you can screw over future creditors?  "I have a sense of gratitude..." yeah, I bet you do.

8.  "I feel like it's a time saver, it's worth...whatever the cost is..." just keep digging, buddy.  You don't know how much this is costing you, and you DON'T CARE because it's a "time saver."  This guy has learned absolutely nothing from his experience.  He got into severe credit difficulties because he was in a hurry, and now he's in a hurry to get those difficulties fixed- and, again, Cost Be Damned because hell, if it turns out to be too much, there's always bankruptcy court, right?  Terrance probably has the number on speed dial by now.

9.  He's going to "sit down and show his kids what good credit is."  And how to get it, right?  I want to be in the room when that conversation happens:  "See, kids, it's ok to f--k up and make really dumb financial moves because you can just declare bankruptcy and call a credit repair service and they'll make it all go away for money which doesn't mean anything because you don't have it anyway."  And the damage is passed to the next generation.

10.  "Thanks to I'll be able to get that house my wife has been on my about...." why the hell did she marry your sad, sorry ass if she wanted a house so badly?  Where you completely honest with her about your situation before she tied herself to your pathetic life and lousy credit?  And I'm sorry, but even if your credit is "repaired," that prior bankruptcy is still going to be there- who the hell is going to hand you a chunk of money to buy a house?  Seriously, what the hell is the matter with you? 

And why didn't you say the word "deserve" like I thought for sure you would?  Every other person in these ads uses the word "deserve," because somehow borrowing money and not paying it back equals "deserve more credit at a decent interest rate."  Because I live on Mars and I'm constantly taking Crazy Pills.  Enjoy getting bitch-slapped by reality when you go for that home loan, Terrance.