Sunday, August 28, 2022

This Universally Hated Verizon Commercial....

Maybe it's because this commercial is running during EVERY ad break EVERY weekend during EVERY sporting event, but it sure is getting a lot of negative feedback.  Personally, I'd hate it even if I only saw it once, because of a single line uttered by the girl in this ad:  "I just told everyone."

First, what does that even mean?  You just told everyone on your contact list?  If so, may I ask why?  I can imagine my response if I got a text message from a friend which read "I just switched to Verizon."  It would be something like "why are you bothering me" or "why do I give a damn?"  And if that contact went on to praise the price, I'd assume that she gets a bonus for every person she refers or that she works for Verizon. 

Seriously, "I just switched to Verizon its OMG Amazing!" sounds like an MLM pitch to me.

Second, "letting everyone know" about Verizon is like "letting everyone know" about the availability of hamburgers at McDonald's at this point.  Like, no duh.  Verizon offers cell phone coverage.  Guess what, genius?  We have televisions and watch sporting events, too.  We see the same damn commercials you do.  Just because we aren't actually in them doesn't mean we don't see them.  I'm deleting you from my contact list.  

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Picking on Dominos some more: the ultimate in First World Struggles


Imagine living in a country where food insecurity isn't a thing that exists in remote pockets but is simply a way of life for the great majority of inhabitants and being subjected to obnoxious garbage of this magnitude:  A guy picks up enough pizza for two dozen people for next to no money, but has to "struggle" to get it to his car which is parked twenty feet away from the building (I'm not using the term "restaurant") before he can drive to his suburban palace (complete with automatic sprinklers) in a pristine neighborhood surrounded by other suburban palaces and people who own their own automobiles.

And because it's such a "hassle" to pick up pre-made "food" (it has calories, so I guess I'd better concede the point here) and- let's be real- it's cheaper than hiring more delivery people- the guy we're watching gets a three-dollar "tip" for going through Said Hassle.  Because he deserves it.  Because he actually rolled his Personal Transportation Device to the Warm Carb Dispenser and picked up his own cardboard boxes of Sugar and Chemicals.  And we've already seen what a hassle that is.  Just a tip?  Not a medal?

The privilege.  It burns. 

Friday, August 26, 2022

A little friendly advice to Stacy- and Dominos


Stacy:  Maybe stop envisioning Dominos pizza as a viable food choice for a while.  Maybe get more fruits, veggies and protein and less starch, sugar, and such-wise empty carbs.  Because, I'm sorry, but in your own language, Stacy girl you ain't lookin' too good.  That pizza you had last night is not your friend.  That pizza you are heating up to eat today is not your friend.  Preparing healthy food and cooking for yourself is hard.  Diabetes is also hard.  Choose your Hard.

Dominos:  Could you stop being Stacy's drug dealer, please?  I know the delivery guy is not a therapist- heck, he's probably not even a Life Coach although I can't be certain because there are approximately as many Life Coaches out there as there are Amazon delivery drivers and I'd go to the latter for advice before the former.  But he's got to see that he's delivering disease and death to this woman every time he rings the bell.  Maybe stop trying to find ways to make it easier for Stacy to access your piles of cheap, warm junk for a while?  Maybe stop being part of a big problem for Stacy and approximately half of the population of the United States for just a LITTLE WHILE?

Sunday, August 21, 2022

FanDuel is a part, and a product, of the times


Yes, every free-throw, extra point try and even COIN TOSS has a new element of excitement (and danger) to it when you've got money on the outcome.  And if you get caught up in the "adventure" of obsessively betting on every possible aspect of the game (like FanDuel is selling here as something that will make the experience of watching the game more "fun") I imagine it makes the hours spent watching whatever sporting event that's on the tube more impactful on your heart rate, blood pressure and economic situation.*

I thought watching sports was supposed to be a fun distraction from our usual routine of juggling challenges and time.  Does any of this make watching sports more "fun?"  I don't even notice the coin toss, and usually miss it because I haven't seated myself yet (actually, I listen to most sporting events while doing something else- like walking- so I can't even remember the last time I saw a coin toss.)  Is that a bad thing, and should I take advantage of an "opportunity" to be on the edge of my seat as a ref throws a coin into the air?  I half-watch games when I am not half-listening.  Would it be more "fun" if I were constantly glued to the screen with my fingers crossed or hands clasped in prayer every few seconds because I bet on the combined score at the end of the first quarter or the number of dropped passes inside of a random ten minutes of the game because the outcome would be the difference between having extra money to go to the movies on or making a minimum payment on my credit card?

Nowadays when the game is over, I turn off the TV or radio and go do something else (usually sleep.)  Would it be more fun if I was celebrating the effects of several hours of tenseness by counting up my winnings or cursing my mistakes in tallying up my losses?  Does drinking whiskey during a game make the game more fun?  I think the answer is the same. 

We are in an economically stressful time in this country.  We are seeing more and more ads for apps which encourage people to take out quick mortgages, make snap decisions to lease or buy new cars, get their paychecks a few days early, live off "cheap" fast food, invest in imaginary currency backed up by Nothing, and now risk their financial security (or HIT THE JACKPOT AND MAKE THE GAME MORE FUN!) by betting on sports.  All are signs of the times.  I don't like these times.  Nobody should like these times.  

*Just look at the scruffy idiot in this ad.  Don't try to convince me he's enjoying the sports-consuming experience.  I bet he used to, but he doesn't anymore.  Not since this addiction got hold of him.  Probably everyone at work knows exactly how he did by the look on his face every Monday morning. 

Friday, August 19, 2022

Smirnoff's "give the people what they want" commercial


Vodka was invented by horrifically-poor Russian peasants who needed a cheap way to get drunk quickly.  It doesn't taste like anything, which is why nobody drinks it straight (except poor people of any ethnicity who need a cheap way to get drunk quickly.)  It has to be doctored with pretty much any other liquid to get down.  And if it's what you drink at a party, you'll need a designated driver after a minimal number of consumed ounces and you'll probably end up saying and doing something really stupid if you have that designated driver and just let yourself go.

Surrounded by superior options (and that's pretty much everything except whiskey, which is just vodka for another culture using the waste of a different vegetable,) I will never understand why anyone would choose vodka.  Unless you're poor and you want to get drunk quickly.  Which isn't particularly glamorous, regardless of what we are being shown in this commercial (notice how vodka drinkers are always depicted by pretty white actors?  90 percent of the actors in whiskey ads are also young, attractive, upwardly-mobile types.  Why is that?)  But it is effective, and if you're one of the growing number of People who find that their liquor dollar doesn't go as far as it used to (Thanks Obama!) maybe this ad is comforting to you?

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Herb quit smoking with Chantix. And that was the beginning of all his problems.


I really can't believe that this commercial isn't SNL snark- it starts with literally fifteen seconds of Herb and his decision to quit smoking using Chantix, and then proceeds to go on for a full minute listing all of the dangerous side effects- including suicidal thoughts, depression, insomnia- that "may" be connected with the taking of Chantix, only to conclude by coming back to Herb telling us that "Chantix really helped with my cravings."

But this isn't snark.  It's a real commercial.  A real commercial which might as well add that Herb later used an nuclear bomb to take out a wasp's nest and now suffers from radiation poisoning but at least is no longer concerned about being stung by wasps.  Sure, he could have used other methods to take out that nest, but we can't dispute the fact that a nuclear bomb will do the job now, can we?

Maybe Herb could have used the Support he's encouraged to get ALONG with Chantix plus some other much less invasive means of quitting smoking- maybe nicotine patches and gum- but that would be like using a putty knife, a burn barrel, and protective clothing to get rid of a wasp's nest.  Yes, those methods might work, but so would a nuclear bomb, and the bomb is covered by your medical insurance, so.....

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Kelly Clarkson, Wayfair, and only one nasty thought for today


I have no problem believing that Kelly Clarkson is willing to take money from Wayfair to do commercials for them, or even that she's willing to have the ads filmed in her own modest home suburban mansion.  Just don't try to tell me that she actually shops using Wayfair, she does not.  That Kelly Clarkson purchases her home decor from Wayfair is about as believable as Shaq purchasing his auto insurance from The General or Montel Williams using payday lenders.  In other words, not in the slightest.

I guess Kelly is supposed to be "relatable" in this ad because she's spending all of her time roaming around the house (sitting or laying around I guess is more accurate) staring at her phone and buying,  buying, buying Because She Can.  Buying stuff off the phone is Easy and Fun mainly because it's Easy.  No thought required- which again, is why it's so darned relatable.  Don't think about that purchase, just push the button and be done with it, it will show up at your door in a few days in a brown box and you'll spend several seconds trying to remember what it is as you open it because you make so many of these impulse buys.

I could spend a lot of time knocking down Ms Clarkson's acting in this ad, as she gives me plenty of ammo, but I'll just point out two things:  First, when she congratulates herself for choosing the stain-repellent fabric for her couch, she's mouthing a line that was dubbed in and which replaced another one which scolded an unseen child for not putting the cap back on the marker.  I guess the scriptwriter realized that an opportunity for actually selling the couch had been wasted with the first version.  Second, "I'm no chef but I do love my kitchen" - yeah, I am not even going to go there.  We can see you like your kitchen, Ms Clarkson.  Too bad Wayfair doesn't sell exercise bikes?  Maybe spend a little less time on that fancy "businesswoman's chair" or lounging around on that bed and get a little more movement (and a little less kitchen time) in your life?  Just a thought. 

Friday, August 12, 2022

Coventry Direct: Just don't let the kids know

So the old couple in this ad is addressing us from a freaking palace of a house, trying to sell us on the idea that they "thought" they had planned carefully for their retirement but then "quickly realized" that they needed to supplement their income.  I wonder why this commercial doesn't feature people who live in an apartment or need to look into retirement communities instead of a couple who are clearly very well off and what they "quickly realized" was six cruises a year were going to add up even for them. 

The guy in this ad found out about selling his life insurance policy, but his (wife?) was skeptical....yeah, no big surprise there.  Women tend to outlive their husbands.  If I were her, I'd be a little skeptical about getting rid of a policy I was likely to benefit from too.  But then she saw what the cash settlement would be and decided a bird in the hand, and all that, huh?

So they sold their life insurance policies and now they can enjoy time with their grandchildren, as long as they don't let the parents of the grandchildren know about the whole Selling the Policy thing.  I suspect those parents are a lot more attentive to grandpa and grandma if they think there's still a life insurance policy out there to be read to them by a lawyer when these old people finally bump off.  Sure that's cynical, but I live here in the real world.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

The Monsters COVID created.


Let's arrange to get the people from together in a locked room with the people from to settle the whole matter of Capitalism for us, shall we?  The people can declare the Era of Desperate Huddled Masses begging to be "given" jobs over, and the people can whine to their hearts content about ungrateful employees leaving for better pay because they lack Loyalty to the Company and to the Horatio Alger dreams of their employers.  If the Indeed people begin to feel overmatched, maybe we'll let them bring in a few spokechoads from Bambi to buttress their argument that "minimum wage laws" and "wrongful termination suits" are destroying Free Enterprise, which is to say Destroying America. 

I'm actually kind of enjoying all this, probably because I don't listen to right wing radio or peruse Reader's Digest OR spend any time over at DailyKos being told what the "correct" view is.  I'm a pro-Union Establishment Democrat who has no patience for exploitive bosses OR whiny lazy jagoffs who think that government benefits should be Eternal.  We all need to go to work, and we all need to get paid.  That's all. 

Monday, August 8, 2022

Becca Balint for Congress, for the weirdest reason imaginable.


I don't vote in Vermont anymore (I actually haven't voted in Vermont since 1988) but if I did, I think I'd vote for Becca Balint in the Democratic Primary tomorrow.  Not because I prefer her stand on the issues over that of her main opponent, Molly Gray- I would actually prefer a home-grown Vermonter to represent my state, seeing as we've had a bit of a tradition lately of electing people from New York City to represent us.  But I'd vote for Becca because I can't resist supporting someone whose yard signs look like they are selling some old-timey pre-Great Depression root beer. 

I mean, come on.  That's just awesome.  

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Shopify's ads continue to break my brain and bleed my ears


Sure, we might not make cars or electronics or much of anything else of value anymore, but gosh-darn it, America will ALWAYS be Number One when it comes to Multi-Level Marketing and people selling coffee and t-shirts with pictures of dogs on them out of their garage and Keto Shakes out of their kitchens.  Because there's nothing more American than the idea of selling nonsense garbage to stupid people with not enough money to pay the bills but more than enough money to throw away on Said Garbage.  Is getting an actual job in which actual services are performed which add actual value to society just not a thing anymore?  I mean, seriously.  This is getting depressing.   But hey, Number One is Number One.

U-S-A!  U-S-A!