Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Nissan Rogue Presents: "The Perfect car if you..."


...simply can't be expected to pay any attention to what is actually going on on the road in front of you.

...want to look at everything EXCEPT what is going on on the road in front of you.

...want to go from Point A to Point B while maintaining your "connectivity" through Facebook, listening to your favorite music, and enjoying all the bells and whistles and screens which pop up to distract you from the road in front of you, which as we've established you aren't the slightest bit interested in anyway.

...couldn't find your butt with two hands and a flashlight because you've gotten ludicrously spoiled with GPS.

...are totally incapable of even PARKING YOUR FREAKING CAR which makes us wonder how you managed to do something the vast majority of us have been doing for decades with the use of low-tech side and rear view mirrors.

...are a smarmy little runt who just enjoys sitting in a metal cage surrounded by all this ridiculous tech that constantly reminds you that you can afford a metal cage filled with ridiculous tech.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

OnStar Guardian: Credit where Credit is Due....


Ugh, I have to admit it:  this commercial totally works.   The first time I watched it, I thought it was a Silver Alert situation- Dad was sitting in the park cold, scared and confused, and Daughter uses technology to rescue him.   As it turns out, Dad just didn't feel like answering the phone and instead just wanted to spend a little time with his memories in the park.   This is actually a little better- if it WAS a Silver Alert situation, I could criticize this woman for not immediately calling the police if she had the tech to locate him, but I assume that her father has no record of cognitive failure and was just mystified as to why he was not answering his phone.  So I can't criticize this ad at all.  

Don't worry, I have no expectation that I'm about to have to give up this blog because commercials are about to become effective and to-the-point.  This is more like a finding-a-flower-in-the-manure-pile situation.  

Saturday, June 26, 2021

A 2-minute Nissan Rogue Commercial that feels like 2 hours


1.  I really thought this was going to be one of those twee "important message" ads about disconnected parents when we see the father blathering away in bumper-sticker "business speak" while the rest of the family looks like their valium is kicking in.  Which confused me because it's clear in all these ads that we are supposed to admire the "connectivity" and see it as a bonus.

2.  It couldn't be more obvious that the kid in the back seat was asked by the director to "show sadness" or something, because that miserable hand-in-chin, eyes-on-the-floor posture is so cliche'd it's almost painful.  We get it.  He's sad.  Probably about his dad being "disconnected" from his life, or something.

3.  Nissan really, really wants to highlight the mirrors in this ad.  I don't know why.  All cars have mirrors.  This one has a rearview mirror that can be adjusted-- manually.  Wow, that's innovation right there, Nissan.  And mom uses the mirror too, to-- check what's behind her?  Show us her face from a different angle?

4.  These people spent a ridiculous amount of time just sitting in that parking lot before getting out of the car.  What the hell is going on here?  Combined with the monotone of their "conversation," I'm starting to pass out here.  And I'm not on valium.

5.  They ask the kid to exit the car and check the back, and the look on the kid's face tells you that the director told him to smile slightly as he goes through the motions of taking his cue.  The acting here is just atrocious.  I am not invested in the slightest.

6.  The kid waves his foot in front of the rear hatch which opens it- never mind that Dad is still in the driver's seat (are they going to get out of the car at some point, or are they just dropping this kid in an otherwise abandoned park?) and is more than capable of opening it from there.  Maybe the kid really, really likes using the magic foot-sensor thing which added hundreds of dollars to the cost of the family SameMobile while having no real utility.  

7.  Hey look, the "parents" actually managed to get out of the car to see their kids' response to getting a bat for his birthday- just think, if they had exited the car WITH him, they could have just given him the bat themselves and seen the look on his (sleepy, bored, painfully unconvincing) face when he got it.  And the kid is sooo excited about getting the bat, you'd think he had just listened to his father finish a conference call or used his foot to open the hatch.  This kid is totally pumped about getting that bat, I tell you....

8.  Now what?  I guess the kid was nervous about trying out for the team, or being in the first game- perhaps feeling the pressure brought on by the fact that both parents are dressed in team colors and are therefore 100 percent invested in this whole baseball thing.  Not sure why the kid needs a bat, though- teams usually provide those.  His own glove would have made a lot more sense here, but it's clear that a whole lot of thought was put into something else and not this ad which, by the way, is for a Nissan Rogue which has great internet connectivity and a motion-controlled hatch.  The one featured in today's commercial included three non-actors who clearly met five minutes before shooting started and who all woke up ten minutes before that given the haze in which they speak every line and the painfully obvious lack of chemistry.  Wow, this one really hurt. 

Friday, June 25, 2021

Apple misunderstands our desire to get back to being Part of the World...


So instead of sitting inside staring at your computer screen, you can buy this and....sit outside staring at your computer screen.

And this means being "part of that world."  Uh huh.

How about this- turn your computer off and go outside and actually be PART OF THAT WORLD.
Oh right, I forgot- that's not being Productive.  We must be Productive.  You can go outside if you want, but only if you buy this Apple Product so when you go outside you can remain Productive.  And somehow this is supposed to be "better," because Reasons. 

But hey, at least the drooling minions who seem to populate every YouTube comment section featuring an electronic device loves this ad, love the song, love The Little Mermaid, and especially love being Charmed By That Song That Was In The Little Mermaid.  So that's something slightly more than nothing...I guess.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

I'm going to rag on DailyPay a little more now.


This is such an obvious disaster in the making, I just can't stop thinking about it.

I mean, let's just consider this for a moment:  When you get a job, the first thing you learn is how to budget your money so you can get to your next paycheck.  As your salary expands, so does your budget.  You learn how to manage your money because you learn what money is actually worth.  If you're smart about it, you don't go through a period of youthful foolishness (like many of my fellow Boomers assume all kids go through when they first go to college.)  If you're like most people, you eventually figure out how to use your paychecks to get your bills taken care of, plus save for something special (like vacation, or retirement.)  But no matter what, you figure out how you are going to use your paycheck- and just as importantly, how you are going to manage between paychecks.

Besides the little "convenience fees" you are going to get sucked out of your earnings if you use this stupid App, I think the biggest reason this sends up red flags with me is because it's encouraging you to just Spend as you Go.  Never mind budgeting between paychecks- just spend your money as it comes in, Because You Can.  And if you go a little overboard, well, just read my previous post on the same product- it's just so easy to get an "advance" on your NEXT paycheck, for that "convenient," "small" fee.  

There's nothing fiscally sensible about any of this.  Nobody encourages their kids to spend their money as they make it, and certainly nobody encourages their kids to spend money BEFORE THEY HAVE IT.  Only people who are facing eviction should be using BS "services" like Rapid Refunds (pretending to get their tax refunds "faster" but actually just getting a loan using their anticipated refund as security.)  Only people in desperate straits- or people who just don't know how to budget, aren't interested in learning, and want to live day to day because paycheck to paycheck is too slow and besides remember that stuff about budgeting- will be using DailyPay.  And getting themselves in deep, deep trouble.

Monday, June 21, 2021

The Dailypay app: Making it even more expensive to be poor!


I guess it was really only a matter of time before the wonderful world of Payday Loans went high tech.  Here we've got a Really Ought to be Sad woman who can "afford" to fill her tank up with gas because she can get her paycheck "any time she wants" by using the "free" Dailypay app.  In other words, she can keep spending money even after her paycheck has been used up by borrowing on her next paycheck. 

It's just a Payday Loan.  I mean, how can this not be obvious to everyone?

I did a little research, and discovered something about as surprising as finding fat people at McDonald's. Turns out that while the Dailypay app is, technically, "free," the amount of money you can "advance" yourself is very limited unless you are willing to include "tips" along with your "advance" (unsecured loan) request.  The most common "suggested tip" is 9% for every one hundred dollars "advanced" (borrowed.)  Want to "access" your $1000 paycheck a day early?  No problem- it's just going to cost you $90.  You won't even notice, because you won't get a bill- it'll just get deducted from that $1000.  Easy Peezy, that's what Dailypay is all about, after all.  Well, that and convenience, anyway.

It's JUST A PAYDAY LOAN.  You aren't living within your means if you are willing to hand over a sizable chunk of your paycheck in order to get it a few days in advance.  And yes, in order to sign up for the "free" app you have to provide all kinds of information beyond your name- your address, sex, age, information concerning your income and BANK ROUTING NUMBER which of course will be used to quickly (and conveniently!) put the money you want "advanced" into your account so you can fill that tank, never mind that you just handed really sensitive information to anonymous people operating a sleazy loan shark operation.  You got your gas money!

You can also transfer money for a "low flat fee" ($2.99 to $5.99) which far exceeds the transfer costs of Paypal, Venmo or any other service which caters to people who have credit cards and good credit scores.  Telling me that Dailypay is going to be really popular among those people who use Green Dot Cards, Money Orders and Pawn Shops to get along month to month.  So I guess if you have a Smart Phone, you've got a quick loan to help you gloss over the fact that you're drowning in this awesome, "recovering" economy.  But seriously, woman, you don't have to be so nonchalant about the fact that you technically don't have to make your money last paycheck to paycheck because you can use your phone to take out a high-interest loan.  I'd rather you be at least a LITTLE sad about this instead of acting like this is all just no big deal and Life is Good. 

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Lume Cube fixes a problem I don't want fixed, thanks anyway....


"I'm driven.....and I really just want to help people.  That's why I would make a great candidate." 

Seriously, I decided to write an entire post on this stupid, over-engineered light that attaches to your laptop to "improve" (why does anyone thing people being able to see you makes remote connectivity better?) Zoom conferences.  Because I really couldn't get my head around a minute and a half of watching people with what is seriously the ultimate First World Problem trying to deal with that First World Problem.  Especially that first guy, who apparently sat down an hour before his Zoom conference was supposed to even start, considering the acrobatics he and his Significant Other go through to try to get the lighting Just Right.   And to think that there are people out there who think they have problems!  If only they could see your story!

The other people in this ad- like the family that decides they need to call Aunt Somebody and Share whatever Amazing Thing they think is happening that She Would Really Appreciate Dropping Everything and Becoming Involved With- are just going along for the ride.  I don't care about them, because they don't utter that One Line Everyone In Commercials Featuring Job Interviews utters.  That just totally made my day. 

*Still, it would have been even better if she called herself a "people person" or told the guy on the other side of the call that her biggest fault was that she "cared about quality too much" or was a "workaholic" who cared more about being productive than getting paid because Some People Just Care About Money I'm More than That.   

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Domino's gives us a great example of American Exceptionalism


Driverless cars might not catch on for a while as a way of transporting our sorry lazy butts from point A to point B, but wouldn't it be SO VERY AMERICAN for us to embrace them as a way of getting our tasteless discs of sugary cheap sauce, cheese and bland wheat carbs delivered to our doorsteps?  Just call them the Domino's DiabetesMobiles and don't forget to salute as they pass by.

Oh, and Domino's?  Nobody misses the Noid.  Those of us who remember this sad attempt to create a "cute" cartoon mascot back in the 80s kind of wish we didn't, because he was always nothing more than a cheap, loud, obnoxious distraction from your god-awful pizza that simply didn't work (no matter how big the Noid logo was on the box, the crap inside was still crap, after all.)  

Nobody misses the Noid.  Nobody wants to see the Noid again.  Nostalgia doesn't reach into every aspect of our lives, sorry.  McDonald's should bring back the McDLT.  It should not bring back styrofoam containers.  The Noid is a styrofoam container.  Leave it in the past. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Shaq, The General, and Two More Total Sellouts

"Hey Shaq, remember when you told us that The General offers quality car insurance, and we said we didn't believe you because it's not the insurance you carry, you are a paid spokesman for The General and a bunch of other stupid crap so it's really really obvious that you'll endorse anything as long as someone pays you for the endorsement, and the commercials are really stupid?"


"Well, it turns out that we are also willing to endorse stupid crap as long as we get paid, so we came into this commercial to let you know that we've changed our mind because Reasons and we now believe The General is quality insurance even though that's not even the name of the actual insurance company- to get that you have to read the fine print, plus it's not available in all states, both of which are really sketchy, but like I said they paid us to change our minds about The General so we did."

"I see.  I'm going to have this stupid kid sitting next to me take a drink of his soda and say 'ahhhh,' and then I'm going to do the same, and then I'm going to tell you that it means 'no you can't sit with us anyway,' because of YouTube algorithms requiring that these commercials be a certain length and we have to pad this steaming pile of stupid out for that length because what are we going to do, actually talk about the insurance?"

"Not a problem, Shaq.  We read our lines and we can collect our money now."

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Well, at least it's just Verizon and not another Ghostbusters disaster....


1.  Kate McKinnon isn't going to be able to sell me anything, sorry.  I just find her face annoying and her voice too nasal.  Maybe it's just me.

2.  Showing me a few dozen zombies standing around a room which terrifyingly looks like it has no walls or windows or doors (because it doesn't matter, I guess, because there's no place you want to go when you've got an electronic device and 5g*) staring at their phones and tablets etc. doesn't make me think "wow, that looks awesome, where do I sign up?"

3.  I grieve for a society that finds any of this worth emulating.  I know people who can't seem to spend enough time staring at their stupid phones while the world goes on around them.  

*I really don't know what's going on with this in Verizon commercials.  Is it that the world might as well not be there if you have a screen to look at and play with?  Is Verizon worried that we might be reminded that the world IS there and maybe there are other things to do besides play with our phones?  Please explain this to me, Verizon.  As soon as you get done explaining why you thought Kate McKinnon could sell me anything. 

Saturday, June 12, 2021

The Geico/Black Widow Cross Promotion is as stale and brainless as it gets


Not to mention predictable, manipulative, and just plain insulting.  

I mean, look what we've got here:  An insurance company which ran out of ideas on how to pitch its product roughly two decades ago teaming up with a studio desperate to keep a superhero franchise alive despite the (merciful) end of the 12-year, 47-film Avenger v Generic Galactic Villain Looking to Secure Control of Magic Macguffins saga (or is it epoch?  It was Age, in one of these headache-inducing money-printing time wasters.)  An insurance company which wasn't even willing to pay Scarlet Johannsen to show up and be in the commercial promoting her stand-alone (presumably prequel/origin story) film?  

We are all used to this garbage by now:  Dairy Queen promoting the latest Jurassic Park film.  IHOP being pimped by the Lorax.  Any number of automobile companies trying to get us to go to this year's insult to the once-valuable Star Wars universe.  This is not novel in any way.  What it is is so damned lazy that it looks like the "brain child" (to be generous) of an ad man who was given the assignment as he was walking out the door at 4:55 on a Friday afternoon and had tickets to the game that evening. "Ok, we'll just have the stupid lizard thing sitting in a car, he'll see a billboard for the movie- that will get the name of the movie in there- and then he'll imagine being in the trailer of the movie.  And we'll shoot it in a way that will trick people into thinking that Scarlett Johannsen is there, but she won't be so we don't have to pay her.  We'll use quick cuts and throw in an explosion or two and nobody will notice how stupid it is and will forget what they saw the moment we get back to the stupid lizard thing anyway.  Done and done." 

Friday, June 11, 2021

"Before Anything, Forget who has the Medical Degree here and demand this treatment."

Once upon a time, when someone in the United States got sick, that person would call their doctor and ask for advice on how to treat the illness.  Probably this would involve making an appointment and having the doctor examine the person and suggest proper treatments, medications, etc.

Those days are, apparently, over.  Nowadays, according to Television, what you're supposed to do when you find out you are sick is call you doctor and tell HIM about your condition and how you believe it should be treated.  Because Television Knows All, I guess.  Television even knows how the whole diagnosis thing works- you get a call announcing you've got an illness, and then the person who gave you this information promptly hangs up and leaves you to figure out the next step....the next step naturally being to call your doctor and prescribe your own treatment As Seen on TV.

I often wonder what doctors make of all this; I'm sure they all went to medical school figuring that they would be examining patients and then going over the available treatments for whatever conditions the patients were determined to have.  But now they find themselves facing the demands of half-informed, frightened sick people who were told by Doctor Television to demand Such and Such Right Away.   As if doctors cannot be trusted to respond to diagnoses like "my patient has COVID-19" with anything other than "well, ball's in her court now.  Guess I'll just sit here and wait for her to call and tell me what treatment she wants."

I mean, come on.  I was tested for COVID-19 twice last year.  If either test had come up Positive, my immediate response would have been to call my doctor AND ASK FOR ADVICE.  Not to hit YouTube for commercials featuring this or that treatment and make a list of them to hit my doctor with.  That's just stupid.  But it's easy to imagine liability-wary doctors just prescribing Whatever because they don't want to be charged with neglect.  These ads are weaponizing fear and putting patients in adversarial relationships with any doctor who wants to consult before just saying "yeah sure fine" to Monoclonal Antibody Treatments, and I think that's more than a little irresponsible.   Notice that the title isn't "ASK your doctor."  It's "CALL your doctor."  Because he doesn't know already.  Because he's not Dr. Television. 

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

The LG Wash Tower would fit perfectly in my apartment. Not my budget, just my apartment..


This is another one of those commercials which is face-palm dreck but So Bad its Good with the sound turned down, but if you try to watch it with the volume up it becomes grating to the point of being almost intolerable in it's mind-bending stupidity.

These people are actually dancing around because they own a freaking $2300 washer-dryer combo that fits into a small space....as if anyone who can afford a $2300 washer-dryer combo can't also afford a space large enough to accommodate a regular sized washer-dryer combo.  I mean, come on- are these things built exclusively for those idiots who spend 80 percent of their paycheck on a Manhattan Efficiency because they want to live in a neighborhood where they might run into a cast member from the Big Bang Theory at the corner deli? 

If not, the people in this ad have no business dancing around like that, because their priorities are seriously screwed up.  If this is just another vanity purchase because they've got money to burn, well, dance away, I guess, but jeesh keep your eye on what you are doing, because every time I watch this 30-second bucket of Dumb I think that guy is going to forget himself and throw that baby into the dryer. 

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Geico Reminds Us that it's another Olympics Year and we are supposed to care and share


I just gotta love the overbearing condescension and utter lack of respect displayed by the makers of the commercial in the final scene, where the viewers are reminded that if they like the ad, they should, maybe, feel free to share it with other people who might like it.  As if there is anyone watching this ad on YouTube who isn't aware that they have the ability to pay it forward when it comes to sharing rank garbage.  Weird Al Yankovic wrote an entire song about our ubiquitous Sharing Culture several years ago.  Thank you, Geico, but we were already very familiar with the "share" feature.   If we don't pass along your videos, it's not because we don't know how to.  It's because they are stupid crap and we don't want to irritate our friends.

That being said, this commercial is just the beginning of what I expect to be an onslaught of "Keep in Mind that the Summer Olympics is being held this year, it wasn't cancelled just postponed tune in please please please" ads featuring gymnasts, runners, etc. who can be featured without jeopardizing their amateur status because there's no professional status for their particular skill set.  Get ready to see a parade of young people attempting to cash in on the tiny sliver of fame they'll enjoy for a few months before they compete in mostly-empty-due-to-C-word-restrictions-stadiums and then vanish back into the ether.*  Young people like this one, who in the bizarre world of a Geico commercial was instantly recognized by two shmoes* playing frisbee but in real life could walk through any grocery store in the United States without causing anyone to so much as bat an eye.  

(And don't even get me started on how these guys are treating this woman like a freaking dog who is going to keep fetching their frisbee no matter how many times they throw it on the roof; though it might be helpful if she hadn't jumped in to volunteer to retrieve it the first time without even being asked, apparently because she just happened to be in the neighborhood, was dressed for her routine, and wanted to show off?)

*Mckayla Moroney is 25 years old.  She's been retired from gymnastics for five years.  

*Mckayla Moroney is best known as a meme.  She's the "not impressed" girl from that week back in 2012.  Which is why we see her fold her arms and do "her look" here.  If she's recognizable, it's from that moment.   Can't really blame her for milking it, but I wonder how she feels about being in the same category as Ratt and Tag Team- the "hey remember these guys, well here they are doing their shtick for Geico" category- at the age of 25.

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Kia sells crappy cars, not Therapy for Boomers


Not that anyone is ever going to do anything like what we see in this commercial while driving a freaking KIA anyway, but....even if some middle-aged boomer with inadequacy issues decides to take his Suburban SameMobile off-road and roar up a path to the summit of some mountain in a vain attempt to feel just a little bit alive for a few seconds, I am sorry to report to Said Boomer that the mountain you just "conquered" with your the OvercompensationMobile you purchased because your bank account isn't quite large enough for the kind of vehicle that actually does stuff like this doesn't give one flying damn that you reached the top of it.  You may be roaring because you depressed a gas pedal and got yourself somewhat sexually excited because you went Really Fast up a Mountain Trail and (bonus) probably ran over a few animals while doing so, but all you really accomplished was putting a few deep scratches abd some noticeable dents into the car that will be sitting in the driveway of 506 Whitebread Avenue when you slink back to your- um- castle.  And the mountain isn't whimpering.  The mountain doesn't give a damn about your issues. 

Friday, June 4, 2021

I have a better question, McDonald's....


...and yes, it's going to sound mean.  Maybe even cruel.  But I have to ask anyway....

What planet is the boy in this commercial from?  I mean, come on.  That is the creepiest, weirdest looking kid I've seen in an ad since that squishy blob  who used to go around his neighborhood bleating to everyone he knew about how to get better Broadband so he'll want to hang out at their houses.  What the hell is with that hair? Why does he wear it so that his head looks like a 2000-watt bulb?  Why does it look like he hasn't washed it since the Lockdown started last spring?

Ok, never mind.  I know I'm just being an insensitive jerk.  I'll just ask another question instead.  What the hell is it about this commercial that would make me want to hit the McDonald's Dollar Menu?  I'd have to be ravenous to go to a McDonald's for anything other than coffee in the first place.  This ad makes me far less hungry than I was before I saw it.  It's stupid, cringey and kind of gross because, seriously, that kid....oh sorry, I'm fixating now.  

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Nissan Rogue's "Runaway Bride" ad has disturbingly racist undertones


1.  I watched this several times without sound before finally turning up the volume and hearing the bride's "explanation" of what the hell was going on here.  It didn't help in the slightest.  Without sound, it appears to be the story of a victim of a sex-trafficking ring managing to sneak the keys to a conveniently parked Nissan Rogue and making a mad dash for freedom.

2.  The bride doesn't look the least bit frightened, despite the fact that she's being chased at high speeds by the groom.  She's too busy telling us how she made the right decision in jumping into the Nissan Rogue to make her escape, otherwise she might....um....

3.  What are we supposed to think will happen if the groom manages to "catch" (run off the road?) his intended?  Is he going to knock her unconscious with a clout to the jaw and carry her back to the ceremony over his shoulder?  Is he going to murder her for shaming him and disgracing his family?  This is so disturbing.  If it's much more innocent than it appears to me,* well, I guess I apologize, Nissan.  But still....

4.  Where is this wedding taking place?  It sure looks like an American wedding, what with the very Western dress, cars, etc.  So if she doesn't want to get married, why does she feel the need to make a run for it like this?  Why not be an actual adult and just tell the guy she doesn't want to marry him (and do it before the ceremony, so you don't leave him heartbroken/humiliated?

*this is one of those commercials where a little less diversity might have been a better choice.  I can't be the only viewer who is more than a little disturbed by a commercial featuring a white, blonde woman fleeing a marriage to a dark-skinned, Middle-Eastern looking man.  The optics are just awful here, Nissan.