Friday, December 31, 2021

What's in my wallet? The last Commercial Curmudgeon post of 2021, that's what!


1.  As far as I'm concerned, there are two very obvious signs that the middle class is sinking in financial security and that this situation is becoming the New Normal.  The first sign is the rapidly growing popularity Online Betting "Services" becoming standardized by full-length commercials featuring well-known stars of television, music and film.  The second is a succession of "get paid two days early" ads like this one.  If getting your hands on your paycheck 48 hours earlier than usual is this important to you, you've got problems that a bank simply won't solve, people, and maybe you should give that some consideration.

2.  The "first gift" this spoiled rotten little girl is going to "open" doesn't need to be "opened" at all.  It's a freaking pony.  Who the hell thought it was a good idea to "gift-wrap" it?  When was this done, and how was the pony hidden before the party?  Where is this pony going to live- it looks like this house is in the suburbs?  How do those other kids feel about the gifts they brought basically being dirt underneath this girl's shoe at this point?  Seriously, Capital One, what the actual hell?

Wendy's asks us to"wisely?"


Probably not a great idea for this guy to spend so much time thinking about what a horrible shambles his life has become, considering that he's so disgusted with the lack of quality in the greasy mcmuffin-something he picked up on the way to work that he's sitting in the parking lot at work contemplating it before attempting to toss it out the opposite window.  For one thing, he'd have to wonder why he didn't act like any other inconsiderate idiot on the planet and just toss it out the window next to him instead of attempting to heave it across to the passenger side.  For another, he'd have to consider the fact that he had ample time to make himself a nutritious breakfast at home instead of asking some kid trying to save money for college to throw together a clump of warm soggy carbohydrates and fat while you waited in the drive-thru instead.  I mean, you aren't being especially productive at the moment, are you?

On the other hand, one could argue that this guy is doing all right if he can put off going to work long enough to dissect his 7-11 microwaved sandwich thing, throw it away, and then cart his expanding butt off to Wendy's to get TWO slightly more appetizing diabetes enablers thrown together by a different teenager trying to save for college.  Seriously, this guy's got nothing but time on his hands.  Brings me back to that original thought about maybe just making breakfast at home?  Sure would make a good New Year's Resolution, now that the gyms are in the process of closing again. 

Thursday, December 30, 2021

No, Celebrity Cruises, it really isn't actually....


Yeah, I get that people are anxious to get back to vacationing.  I have been waiting to go on a paid-for trip to Croatia since June 2020.  So while I will never understand the attraction of traveling via floating hotel/casino/restaurant, I totally get the idea of doing something other than Staying At Home.  

But a cruise ship where you're basically trapped with hundreds of other people for days at a time as you all crawl from one tourist destination to another while COVID is still, not at all.  I've never wanted to get away THAT badly.  Cruises have always looked like a colossal bore anyway.  A colossal bore which includes denied entry into included destinations, the possibility of serious illness and quarantine, all for much, much more than I'll pay for air travel and hotels on any of my trips to Europe.  Oh but I don't get the casinos and the big pools which I'd miss if I ever wanted to just hang out in a giant hotel with a bunch of mostly old (I don't care what they show in these ads, the average cruise ship passenger is a wealthy 50-year old white guy) tourists who are on cruises because God Knows Why- they can't find their preferred strain of COVID in their home suburbs, or what?

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Duracell thinks this is funny?


If I have to spend any time at all explaining why this is a horrible commercial demonstrating horrible parenting of a horrible brat created by that horrible parenting, I just give up on my audience.  Seriously, people, figure it out.

Meanwhile, I will agree with one YouTube commentator who points out that this ad is basically condemning the standard (and still available for sale) version of this product as inferior, downright sanity-threatening garbage when the stakes are really, really high (and when the loss of battery power will result in your daughter throwing an unholy fit and thrashing about like she's been bitten by a rabid dog, the stakes are really, really high.)  I really hope that this dad is driving this daughter to a therapist or to the adoption agency so that her care can be taken up by competent adults who don't want to inflict another horrible, uncontrollable brat upon the world.  Because this...this is just awful.

Sunday, December 26, 2021

This vintage Carnation Instant Breakfast commercial is a Triumvirate of Wrong.


1.  You're gonna love it for an instant.  Then the taste is going to catch up to you and you're going to be wondering why you didn't wake up 20 minutes earlier so you'd have time to make yourself a decent breakfast.  Or why you didn't wake up 2 minutes earlier so you could sit down and have a bowl of cereal.

2.  You're gonna be full for an instant (maybe.)  Then you're going to be really hungry and finding yourself pulling into the McDonald's drive-thru on the way to the office and wondering why you bothered to rush off to work if you're just going to waste time buying breakfast on the way anyway. 

3.  You're gonna be spilling that glass of chocolate milk all over you in an instant.  Seriously, buddy, cup holders were not really made to hold large glasses.   You think you're getting to work without it all over your suit?  And when that happens, you think you won't be reminding yourself that if you had just set the alarm for 2 minutes earlier you could have just consumed that stuff in your kitchen and left the glass in the sink?  That would have spared you looking like a disorganized idiot to the rest of the guys in the office AND a large dry cleaning bill.  

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Walmart: There's no Halfway. This Christmas, Go Full Stupid.


No matter what else you do this holiday season, don't forget to constantly jam your ugly mug into your phone while you prance around and make a total ass of yourself for posterity (don't remind yourself that once it's on the web, it's Forever.)  Never put down your phone because if you do, you might miss a "moment" that needs to be captured on your phone and shared and (probably) never revisited or thought about ever, ever again.  (Remember that moments are to be Captured and Shared, never Experienced or Enjoyed!)

Friday, December 24, 2021

On it's Thirtieth Anniversary, This is Still My All-Time Favorite Holiday Commercial


"So much shopping to do for my family before Christmas, what do I buy everyone?  Especially since there's so many people, and I want to buy something for myself too!  What a dilemma!"

"Wait!  I've got it!  I'll buy everybody in my family EYEGLASSES and CONTACT LENSES!  That's a GREAT IDEA!  I mean, I remember how much they all appreciated those flu vaccines I got them for their birthdays, and when I treated them to new Corrective Shoes even though I had already bought them shoes several years ago for absolutely no reason!"

"I mean, what could make a better gift than something that will cut down on their headaches and their walking into things like walls and traffic and may even improve their school grades?  What a great mom I am! Maybe next year I'll buy them all haircuts for Christmas- as long as I can do it and still have money to buy myself something, of course!"

Meanwhile, I'm guessing that this woman is spending Christmas 2021 wondering why her kids and grandchildren never visit anymore.  Maybe it's the Omicron variant?  No, wait- they haven't visited for a decade.  Must be something else.  

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Lexus Brings the Awful, just in time for Christmas!


At the end of this ad we see that this little girl actually does have parents, and is not being raised by her grandmother who sleeps most of the day and leaves her to her own devices.  I wasn't sure- until that last scene, it looks for all the world that this kid is completely unsupervised through the day, as she is able to haul wires and decorations outside and make an elaborate "landing strip" for the Lexus she wants for some inexplicable reason.*

And of course "it worked! It worked!" because luxury cars do happen to find their way to the driveways of rich people, don't they?  In this case, the Lexus apparently came with a price, though, since the "landing strip" has completely vanished overnight, replaced by this ridiculous car and a giant bow. 

And now that this little girl thinks she can manipulate Santa into dropping very expensive items into her yard, what's coming up next year?  I'm assuming she won't be using this awesome power to summon a cure for grandma's Alzheimer's, or an end to COVID, or anything super-selfish like that.  Especially when she gets a look at the 2023 Audis.  

*maybe she heard Mommy tell Daddy that she's leaving him right after the holidays unless he buys her a Lexus?  

Sunday, December 19, 2021

SuperBeets: Bipartisan Snake-- Um, Powder


A lot of the YouTube comments following this ad focus on it's host- Fox News talking head and NRA enthusiast Dana Loesch, and how they would or would not buy any product she promoted.  And I totally get that- I mean, if I came across a MyPillow and thought it was the most comfortable thing I'd ever rested my head on I still wouldn't buy one.  But I have too much to say about the rest of the ad, and the product itself, to reach for the low-hanging fruit.  So- you are dismissed, Ms Loesch.

We hear the term "healthy energy" a couple of times in this commercial, and I seriously have no idea what that means.  In what way is energy "healthy" or "unhealthy?"  Having energy allows you to do things helpful OR harmful to your health.  So it's just a nonsense phrase.  We might as well hear the phrase "positive vibes," but I'm guessing that there wasn't enough money in the budget to convince Ms. Loesch to utter that level of hipster doofus woo.  Almost, but not quite.  So we get "healthy energy" instead.

This stuff is just powdered beet juice.  Beets are high in antioxidants.  They are good for you, especially if you want to reduce inflammation of the joints.  They are vegetables.  They are good for you.  Wait, I said that already.  But this doesn't mean they are "super foods" because there's no such thing.  They aren't a magic bullet to restore youthful energy (or even "healthy energy,") they won't accelerate brain function and they won't turn you from a couch potato to an Olympic athlete.  They are just beets. 

They won't do any harm, that's for sure.  But buying into "SuperBeets" will cause harm to your wallet- this junk is $40 per shipment, and each shipment is a "month's worth" (who determines how much you need per month? Why, this company of course) and to get that "special deal" you have to get a SUBSCRIPTION which sends a jar of powdered beets to your door every thirty days.  That's forty dollars you could spend on 6-8 three-pound bags of frozen fruit at the grocery store (like I do.)  For powdered beets.  Uh huh.

Fact is, this crap will do nothing for you that a balanced diet with lots of fruits and veggies, little or no processed sugar, and limited fats and carbs won't do much better.  And it'll even make it more likely that you get regular moderate exercise (probably because of the "healthy energy" you'll feel.)  And you won't have to go broke as part of the bargain.  A double win!

But who am I to disagree with Dana Loesch?  After all, SuperBeets are something both she and Thom Hartman shill for (I mean, Endorse Wholeheartedly Because They've Seen The Results Firsthand.)  If a Trumpist and a Bernie Bro agree, how could they be wrong?

Saturday, December 18, 2021

How about "Diabetes EZ Pass?"


Or "Heart Attack Fuel?"

Or "Obesity Express Lane?"

Or "Afternoon at the Office Sleep Assist?"

Or "Roadblock to Universal Health Care/This is Why Americans Can't Have Nice Things?"

Or "Latest Contribution to the Problem?"

Any one of these would be more accurate than "Five Dollar Grande Crunch Up Meal," where the only accurate word is "Crunch," to describe this Unnecessary, Disgusting Carbohydrate and Fat Overload.*

*Hey, I just came up with another one!!

Friday, December 17, 2021

WynnBET, Ben Affleck, Shaquille O'Neal, and our modern Rake's Progress


This is the kind of commercial that makes me wish that well-known actors and sports figures would just stick to whoring for credit card companies, high-interest furniture rental, high-priced car insurance, and BS "Medicare" insurance coverage. 

Yeah, gambling is a "team sport," the "team" being your dependents who kind of count on you to be responsible with your hard-earned money because they kind of need it to keep a roof over their heads, food in their stomachs, and the heat on.  When you let multi-millionaires who are just picking up another paycheck (and keeping their faces in the public eye) talk you into feeding your gambling addiction, you are inevitably going to let your team down.  That is, you're going to lose a lot more than you win- the House doesn't get rich by losing money, stupid.

I imagine there's more than one App out there for people struggling with gambling addiction.  Maybe download that and leave WynnBET with it's awful manipulative ads which try to convince you that by betting on sporting events you become part of a "team" and therefore make your life more "fun."  You know, just like smoking and drinking hard liquor, except instead of eventually being bankrupted by cancer treatments or ending up in rehab as part of a court order after you kill someone with your car, you end up losing your home and your family because you broke their trust in you because you were too focused on having fun with that other "team."  

And it all started so innocently, didn't it?  Just download the App.  Make a few fun bets ("bet responsibly," remember.  Says so in tiny tiny letters at the bottom of the screen.)  Feel the dopamine rush when you win a few times.  Get angry at YOURSELF (not WynnBET) when you lose most of the time.  Engage in Sunk Cost Fallacy when you bet "just a little more."  Find yourself on this damn thing at least an hour a day instead of being with your actual friends and family.  Take out another credit card to use exclusively for your WynnBETTING because your wife is concerned and what she doesn't know won't hurt her.  Trash your credit score.  Get a letter from a divorce attorney explaining why you haven't seen your wife or kids for the past few days.  

I'm sure Affleck and O'Neal and will be there to help you pick up the pieces of your shattered life; they're your "team," after all.  If not, Fear Not- there's Caesar's Sportsbook ready to take your money when you're ready to start digging yourself out of that hole.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

What planet does Rocket Mortgage operate out of?


I mean, can we get real for a second?  Unless this place is oddly located in downtown Detroit, surrounded by burned-out, condemned buildings currently occupied by a diverse mix of rats and meth labs, $275,000 is going to be about as helpful in buying it as a chip of ice is for someone lost in Death Valley.  

Come on, Rocket Mortgage.  Assuming that Americans are your target audience, could you at least try to make a commercial that suggests that it's taking place within the borders of the United States?  Nobody is pricing gigantic condominiums with 12-foot ceilings and ridiculously generous square footage- let alone houses- for $275,000 anywhere that also includes Jobs and a reasonable opportunity to walk to the mailbox without being mugged or shot on a daily basis.  Here in the real world, this couple shows the realtor that they have been approved for $275,000 and are told "great, just come up with a little more, and you'll have a decent down payment!"  That is, if they aren't just laughed out of there altogether. 

And no, I'm not even going to take on the "mascots" angle.  Because that's the most reality-based part of the whole damn ad.  I'd bet on suddenly being entertained by a group of idiots in mascot costumes over being able to buy this place for $275,000 every day of the week and twice on Sundays. 

Saturday, December 11, 2021

That TD Ameritrade Airport Commercial


I'm so glad that these two disgusting, money-obsessed creeps will be able to spend how many hours they'll be in Business Class (with access to 120 channels of music and movies right in front of them on a screen that I suspect will be set on CNBC even though they plan to have their eyes glued to their stupid phones the entire trip) locked like zombies into their TDAmeritrade Apps now that their personal TD guy accompanied them to the airport (and sat with them in the Executive Suite Waiting Area) to show them how to download it.  Now all we need is a well-placed mountain parked in front of their plane, and everyone gets to enjoy a happy ending. 

Friday, December 10, 2021

Indeed I Don't


I'm guessing that the shipping manager isn't leaving to "find herself"- that's just a stupid-snarky, clueless take from a boss's perspective:  She was a good sales manager, but flaky as hell so one day she decided to just go quit on me and my Very Important Business Because She's Flaky As Hell along with being Disloyal to My Vision.  I'm guessing instead that the shipping manager is off to make more money doing something else, and her leaving could have been avoided if the owner of this Very Important Business was willing to part with a little more of her Very Important (and Hard-Earned) Money. 

Instead, the owner "needs Indeed."  As the commercials insist on bleating, Indeed She Does.  But why does she need Indeed NOW, and not, say, two weeks ago when she found out that her shipping manager was quitting to "find herself?"  If that shipping manager didn't give any notice, well, sorry, but I'm 99 percent sure that's the Owner's fault- it sure doesn't suggest a strong employer-employee relationship.  And if she DID give plenty of notice- again, why hasn't the Owner signed up with Indeed to find a replacement worker drone before the shipping manager was walking off with a cliche'd box of Whatever She Had On Her Desk?  You're a terrible businesswoman, Very Important Business Owner.

All of these Indeed commercials are obnoxious, including the ones on the radio (which are 99 percent of the ones I actually hear.)  They all involve Full-of-themselves business owners who are overwhelmed with demand who sound frustrated that they can't get their limited staff to do more work so that the owners can keep more money.  They all involve these business owners promising more than they can deliver and then worrying about how they are going to fulfill eagerly-accepted contracts after the fact.  In other words, they all involve grasping, greedy business people who are humble-bragging about being so successful that they need to make their businesses bigger with more employees.  I don't care about any of them and I want them to stop with their faux whining already. 

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Verizon, Kate McKinnon, and that existential question: WHY?


I don't believe for one minute that anyone would actually dump Verizon because of these horrible, obnoxious commercials featuring a ridiculously aggressive (oh, excuse me, "Quirky") Kate McKinnon dashing about pointing at people and their stupid phones when not jamming her face into the camera.  Nor do I believe for one minute that anyone would SWITCH to Verizon based on these stupid ads.  So I have to assume that someone at Verizon just decided that it would be fun to hand a woman who doesn't need the financial assistance a big pile of money to do a series of ads that basically result in a wash for the company's bottom line.  The only logical result of any of this is that Verizon's customers are irritated, Verizon's non-customers are irritated, and Kate McKinnon's bank account is even happier. 

As a Verizon customer who is not going to go through the bother of changing carriers, I'd like Verizon to at least know that I am going to continue to send them money only for that reason.  It's not an endorsement of this noxious stupidity.  I'd start writing that on every check from now on except I doubt anyone over there cares, and I pay my bill electronically anyway.  So I guess I'm just going to keep on being a voice in the wilderness here. 

This 7-11 Commercial is celebrating low expectations, I guess


What planet is this 7-11 on?  Every one I have ever been to features coffee in giant urns which may or may not have been cleaned since the Obama Administration (it's hard to tell from the taste) and which may or may not dispense actual HOT coffee which may or may not be actual coffee and not just coffee-flavored water.  Every one I have ever been to features "soda fountains" which dispense a little soda and a lot of water.  Every one has as it's only real selling point Relatively Cheap and Reasonably Fast.  Notice that you did not read the word "Quality" anywhere in that selling point.

Nothing about a visit to 7-11 has ever made me want to dance.  This would make slightly more sense if one of these kids was seen purchasing a scratch-off ticket (I forgot; this is another selling point of 7-11s: an almost infinite variety of perforated cardboard with pretty pictures on it you can purchase for anywhere from $4 to $20 each) and actually winning more money than the ticket cost.  But there's no hint of this anywhere.  They are just dancing around a 7-11 parking lot* because they bought lukewarm, watered-down coffee and watery soda?  Seriously?  

*which is devoid of cars.  In the middle of the day.  Another thing I don't associate with visiting any 7-11 I've ever seen. 

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Checkers is out to punish Erin.


This monstrosity weighs in at more than 1400 calories, more than one-third of which come from FAT.   So if Erin "earned" this, she must have done something terribly, terribly wrong offscreen.

We know enough about the psychological and physical impact of fat-laden foods to realize that Erin is very likely to feel bloated and exhausted- if not downright depressed- after consuming this greasy pile of junk from Checker's.  So what "Mother Crunching" thing did you do to deserve this, Erin?  

Friday, December 3, 2021

That Capital One Commercial featuring the Levys


Eugene Levy is playing a Boomer here and he is, in fact, a Boomer, born at the very end of 1946.  

And that's where the Realism of this ad ends.

Eugene Levy is worth $20 million.  I really don't see him being all that concerned with the price of automobiles and, at 75, he's probably about as familiar with all the options that come with today's cars as a turtle is about 5G.  It would make about as much sense for his daughter to seek advice from that turtle about how to go about picking out a new car than it does about her asking a guy who was born during the Truman Administration.

Speaking of that daughter- that's a pretty substantial house she seems to be living in.  There's pretty solid evidence here that she kind of knows what she's doing.  She's thirty-five years old and she's living on her own.  She can probably manage to buy a freaking car.  Especially since she's Sarah Levy, a successful actor in her own right.  So really- this is kind of dumb.  Which, considering how I usually view commercials, is actually pretty high praise. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

And I honestly don't even know what Serena Williams is being used to sell here.


You'd think that maybe the second or third time this jackass treated his female friend like she's a mentally ill child who can't quite grasp the concept of being able to change channels using a remote that woman would simply get up and walk out, or at least tell him to Shut The F--k Up because this ability has existed since the 1980s at least.  Instead, she sits there with her mouth slightly open as if that's the orifice she takes in entertainment with, so maybe he just knows her well enough to realize that this really is the proper way to explain the concept to her.

So we get Serena Williams in a Wonder Woman outfit hitting tennis balls, because this is amusing to the YouTube mouth-breathers who may or may not be related to the woman in this ad.  She finds this astonishing, which, again...yeah, I take back my criticism of the way this guy talked to his female friend.  Tomorrow he'll be explaining to her how toast works.