Saturday, November 25, 2023

Again: Wendy's, nobody in their right mind would eat food prepared by these people!


I totally support the idea of hiring the mentally ill, but I draw the line when they feel free to start molesting customers. 

In this ad, not only does nobody on the crew have absolutely nothing to do but stare at a customer, but one of them has the effrontery to walk right up to that customer and initiate non-censual physical contact.  I smell a lawsuit.  A big one.

Maybe these weirdos should stick to coming up with "nicknames" for the Wendy's combo meals or whatever the hell they were doing in that other commercial.  At least they aren't getting all touchy-feely with the customers in that one. 

Friday, November 24, 2023

Verizon, the iPhone, and the Holidays: These aren't your parents' carols....


It's not that Nothing is Sacred, it's that what used to be sacred is So Very Yesterday, and what is now sacred is, well, Verizon and iPhones and desire for Shiny Electronic Stuff that is so strong that we get hit over the head with commercials like this.  

So a bunch of strangers show up to sing about the latest stupid toy the already over-indulged Child Living in an Adult's Body wants because it happens to be the Christmas season, as if the Season for Giving Yourself Things isn't all year round these days. 

And the people answering the door just take this in stride.  As do the people in the comment section.  That is, when they aren't asking for the lyrics to the "song" or wondering who the "actors" in this thing are.  Gross. 

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Peloton's Obvious Desperation is Obvious and Desperate.


Your company hit gold in the form of COVID.  Gyms closed down, stimulus checks were sent out, a lot of people in the upper tax brackets were stuck at home = market for fancy expensive exercise bikes with subscription workout sessions.  

Admit it- you would have been perfectly happy to see COVID last another several years.  If you were a James Bond villain, you might be trying to discover a new pandemic to unleash upon the world right now.  COVID was a bonanza for the Exercise from Home Industry.  You were only a small part of that industry, but it made your company what it was at its peak- a winner. 

These ads showing people in love with their Pelotons are almost sad, almost funny in their disconnect with reality.  In one scene, we've got a guy using his bike inside what looks to be a vast, otherwise empty warehouse.  In another, we've got the "relatable" guy munching on a bag of chips which he throws away as the workout gets started like a kid who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar (1984 much?  "Smith! 2087 Smith W!  Straighten that back! Good job, Comrade!")

And then we get the "big sale" pitch which finally brings us to the point- Peloton overextended itself, people are going back to the gym, taking spinning classes on basketball courts again, and sales are way, way down for these overpriced status symbols you can't even manage to let your coworkers know you have because you can't figure out how to casually bring it up in conversation.  

You've got a bigger problem, Peloton, and its names are Craig's List and Facebook Marketplace.  No matter how much you drop the price of your white elephants, you probably are not going to be able to match the deals you can get on those and other Please Buy My Stuff My Rent Is Due Why Did I Buy This sites.  Because the gyms are still out there, pretty much every other exercise bike that does the same thing is much cheaper, and yard sales are online 24/7.

Your "good times," which pretty much everyone else considered two years they want to forget as soon as possible, are over.*  Accept it with some dignity, please.

*it's entirely possible that you'll get a small boost right after Thanksgiving, and maybe another one after New Year's Day, but I still wouldn't buy stock in your company unless I planned to sell it to another sucker in the short term.  

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

It's Feast or Famine at American Airlines!


24 hours before the flight, 48 hours before Thanksgiving email:  "It's Time To Check In!"

8 hours before the flight, 32 hours before Thanksgiving email:  "Here's A Chance to Upgrade; Be One of the First to Board for only $49 more by moving to the Main Cabin."

4 hours before the flight, 28 hours before Thanksgiving email:  "Would You Like to Upgrade to First Class for only $99?"

2 hours before the flight, 26 hours before Thanksgiving email:  "YOUR FLIGHT IS CANCELLED.  PICK YOUR NEW FLIGHT" which, unlike my original flight, includes a 3-hour layover in Philadelphia and an arrival at my original destination only 11.5 hours after my original estimated time of arrival; in other words, 30 minutes before Thanksgiving.

Thanks, American.  Happy Holidays to you, too. 

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Taco Bell's seizure-inducing ads for heart attack-promoting non-food


All Taco Bell commercials nowadays that don't feature Pete Davidson* attack the viewer with dozens of still shots of people shoving or about to shove greasy garbage into their mouths while smiling and having fun with friends.  Of course, it's all about the timeless message that consuming this product (in this case, processed meat, oil, cheese and starch) while being with friends makes being with friends just that much more fun.  

In this particular ad, life becomes more fun if you add a Taco Bell Cravings Box- about 2000 calories of nutrient-deficient sludge- to your time with friends.  That regularly ingesting Taco Bell will also cut back on the amount of time you'll have to enjoy your friends- and your life- is left unmentioned, but I thought I'd throw that in here anyway.  

*the ads that include Pete Davidson have the interesting effect of diminishing one's appetite, which makes me wonder why Taco Bell even airs them.  Seems counter-productive, but what do I know about advertising?  I'm just a curmudgeon. 

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Audi Presents: Santa's Gift to Himself?


Ok, I can't even pretend to understand this ad.  Apparently Santa is a mega-millionaire who makes absolutely sure that his own nest is appropriately feathered (and his beard immaculately coiffed) before he has his butler (who isn't even an elf) show him his ridiculous self-driving not-sleigh which he then rides off, sans toys. 

What am I supposed to get out of this?  "Santa" checks his watch and is told "it's time."  Time for what?  Time to leave, I guess- but again, the only "toy" I see is the one Santa gave to himself; the one he's driving.  Where is he going?  I'm left to fill in the missing pieces myself, I guess.  So, here goes:

Santa leaves his very 21st-century palace in his So-21st-Century-That-It-Isn't-Available-To-Mortals-Yet Audi to head off to his workshop at the North Pole- specifically, the industrial region of the North Pole.  Just before he gets there, he changes into a fat suit, rumples his hair, and sticks a pipe into his mouth to achieve the Desired Effect.  Then he walks on to the killing floor toy sweatshop processing center where about a thousand or so Little People have been slaving away to create gifts for everyone from the Amazon packaging line's son (he's getting a paint set) to the hedge fund manager's daughter (she's getting an Audi.)  The elves?  They are getting what they get every year- a chance to worship Santa, the guy who only wants to spread joy throughout the world's children who happen to be Christian or have parents who recognize Christmas as about as religious as Superbowl Sunday.  

When his one evening per year of work is over, Santa climbs out of the fat suit, gets back into his Audi, and returns to his massive estate to check his stock portfolio.  The elves get back to work after their one day per year of vacation time spent in overpriced shacks which surround the toy factory.   Hearts are aglow, etc., etc. 

Friday, November 17, 2023

Where we supposed to do some pre-reading for this Capital One Venture X Black Gold Platinum Other Cool Buzzwords Business Card Commercial?


More to the point, did Jennifer Garner even DO that reading?  Because she doesn't seem to know what this guy's company actually provides to"public."  She says the word "resorts," but a quick google search reveals that Pinnacle Mountain Homes actually promotes itself as a provider of custom-made homes.  

Or, as their website puts it, they take pride in  "enhancing the lives of others by designing, building, furnishing and managing luxurious spaces."  Yeah, this is basically the Lexus of Home Construction.  Which is perfectly fine and all, but- what the hell does this have to do with small businesses?  

And speaking of small businesses, shouldn't Jennifer Garner be getting back to that farm she's supposed to be running?  Oh, right- that particular business doesn't pay for the lifestyle Ms. Garner is accustomed to.  And this is the best her agent can do for her.  Pardon me for not getting the warm feelies because this guy can use a credit card to buy the materials he needs to gouge scars into mountains and fill them with ostentatious second and third homes for his entitled clients.   The only silver lining here comes from reminding myself that the best thing about mountains is, sometimes people fall off them.  

Thursday, November 16, 2023

The War Crime served up at Dunkin Donuts every October


The large version of this monstrosity- the version being shown in this ad- has 1160 calories (more than half of the number an active adult should consume over the course of a day.)  But that's not even the worst part-  it also contains 185 grams of sugar.  That's 47 teaspoons.  Of SUGAR.   That's more sugar than a dozen glazed donuts.  In ONE of these things. 

Note how slim the models pretending to drink this junk are.  Yeah, if you want to stay that way, you'd better continue to pretend to drink it.  Because having one of these a day for five days will, all by itself, put an extra pound of adipose tissue on that body - and I don't even want to get into what it's doing for your blood. 

And if that's not enough to make you stay far away from this diabetes delivery system (and it certainly should be,) well, there's also the fat content:  40 grams, of which 22 are the fatal (saturated) variety. 

Oh well, it's only available for a month, right?  You'll be good after early November, right?  Well, check out the Peppermint Swirl Mocha coffee, which will be available at least through January- and maybe beyond, who knows.  Believe it or not, it's WORSE.  

This place has the best black coffee you can get from a drive-thru (no sugar, no fat, no calories, just flavor once you've waited an hour or so for it to cool down.)  But this stuff...oh my god....what we do to support the sugar industry and pharmaceutical industries....

Sunday, November 12, 2023

Watching Television reminds me of how old I am.


Hey fellow Boomers-

Remember how we used to watch tv, see a commercial for an upcoming show, and think "hey, that looks kind of cool, I might have to check that out?"  Maybe we'd take out the TV Guide and confirm the date and time and which of the three channels we got it would be on. 

Nowadays, 99 percent of the commercials for upcoming shows I see that are not Reality TV involving strangers dating while living in the same mansion or mock series involving a town's obsession with a soda turn out to be on some streaming service I do not subscribe to.  It's not "hey, that looks kind of cool, I might have to check that out."  It's "oh, that looks kind of cool- maybe I should pay a monthly fee to - um, which streaming service is offering this again I already forgot?"  Heck, half the time I see an ad for an NFL game I find out at the end that it's not available to me because I don't subscribe to the right service.  

I don't think it's just because I'm old, either.  There are over SIXTY of these services available worldwide, half of which boast more than ten million subscribers.  Clearly the Age of Free Television, which dawned in the 1950s, is passing quickly, rapidly replaced by streaming services popularized by people who, when they aren't buying iPhones or complaining about student debt,* are eagerly throwing money at this provider or that provider because everything must be available all the time.

I thought it was getting bad when MLB playoff games were moved to cable-only channels, because yes I'm SO old I can remember watching even the earliest series on free network television.  Then the NFL network, ESPN, and now Peacock have begun to swallow up professional football.  I imagine the next generation will shake its head in disbelief that there was once free content that was something other than attractive people pretending to love or hate each other when not engaged in gladiatorial contests involving rubber mallets.  

*I'm not letting this go.  Pay your damn bills, you brats. 

Saturday, November 11, 2023

More fun from Capital One!


You may remember Jennifer Garner from such films as.....well, actually, if you're under the age of forty,  you probably just know Jennifer Garner from her apparently endless willingness to shill for Capital One.  After all, she hasn't been in a big budget film in almost twenty years and she's NEVER been in a hit movie. 

Oh, but she's also a small business owner, and we all must worship at the altar of small business, so there's that.  We're also supposed to care, for the same reason we're supposed to care about all small businesses:  Because Reasons.  Know how much I actually care about Jennifer Garner's ability to float debt using her Capital One card?  About as much as I care about any small business.  Or Jennifer Garner.  

Friday, November 10, 2023

Why does Capital One do this? Of course, we know the answer....


There IS a reason for the aggressive, in-your-face affirmations that launch this ad for a credit card- and they have nothing to do with making us feel better about having to rely on self-imposed debt in order to "build a credit score" (prove worthy of that debt) and buy stuff we need to escape from the otherwise soul-crushing reality of being too poor to appear anything close to successful in modern America.  

Rather, it has everything to do with convincing us that we "deserve" nice stuff and if we can get that nice stuff through the use of a piece of plastic connected to a bank, we should do it and stop limiting ourselves to only buying things we can afford.  I mean, it's 2023.  Nobody does that anymore.  

So buy those pizzas, climb into that new car, sign a lease on that new apartment- because you've borrowed and paid back enough to be deemed Worthy of More Debt by the banking industry, and how much more affirmation do you need than that?

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Morgan, Morgan and the Art of Always Demanding More


There's a whole series of these "Miss More" ads presented by Morgan and Morgan ambulance chasers Personal Injury Attorneys at Law, and they all star the same person, which creates a very awkward situation in which it's hard to imagine anything other than the main character being a total scam artist  getting rich filing nuisance lawsuits.  I mean, come on.  This really isn't the kind of ad campaign you can pull off with one actress.  It looks sketchy as hell.

Especially since Miss More never appears to be even the slightest bit injured in any of these ads.  She does, however, look almost demented in her happiness as she files yet another personal injury lawsuit. Remind me to never ever drive in the same zip code as this woman.  I'd never knock another woman's hustle, but that doesn't mean I want to be part of it. 

Man, the messaging in these ads is weird.  I might have to do another one somewhere down the road.  As I said, there's a whole series of this garbage. 

Saturday, November 4, 2023

Hey PETA- check out this Kia Sportage Commercial!


Thankfully, the eagle that seizes this woman's reason for living smartphone flew very slowly, very low, was careful to stay near the road (not that these douchenozzles would have stayed on the highway to avoid killing wildlife if the eagle had swerved away from the pavement) and built it's nest very low to the ground so that this stunningly entitled woman could rescue her soul phone from that nest. 

And as a bonus, as near as we can tell the eagle's heart didn't explode from being chased at high speed by a huge, noisy metal behemoth chasing it through the desert.  Nor- as near as we can tell- were any of its young injured because Disgusting Horrible Woman simply had to retrieve her drug phone instead of oh, I don't know, just getting another one in a few months which is probably what she had planned anyway. 

You suck, KIA.  You suck really, really hard.  I don't care if this is a CGI eagle or, as suggested in the comments, is the pet of some trainer.  The optics are terrible.  Do better. 

Friday, November 3, 2023

Google, and Smart Phones in general, provide excellent reasons why even Millenials hate Millenials.


(Full disclosure:  I'm a Boomer.  But my point is that you don't have to be a Boomer to hate several things about these ads for ridiculously expensive toys or the people who insist on buying them.  You just need to have brain cells and a sense of shame.)

1.  When they aren't complaining about their student loans or their rent payments or the refusal of their employers to let them work from home, they are standing in line to buy the Very Latest Must Have Electronic Device because it has Titanium (because that sounds cool, not because it actually means anything) or (in the case of this ad) it has a Reality Eraser which you know people like this dumb ugly geek really, really wish they could have in Reality.

2.  They spend way, way too much time in their fleeting youth gasping for attention like a fish flopping around at the bottom of the boat.  This guy "needs" a $2000 phone because the one he bought six months ago isn't quite good enough to allow him to make a universally famous jackass of himself express himself to the world because, as I mentioned earlier, Reality keeps getting in the way.

3.  Total tools with way, way too much time on their hands pollute the comment sections of videos like this to express their admiration for the Shiny New Thing with a Camera (and maybe even Titanium!) that they really really desperately need to guy like yesterday Because Reasons, Reasons including "my life sucks because I don't have this and it will totally not suck the moment I get it."

In conclusion- every time I see one of these commercials, I feel a little less concerned for people from middle-class and upper-class suburban backgrounds struggling in dead-end jobs and burdened with student debt.  And I know that there are plenty of people out there half my age who feel the same way because seriously, you are shaming your own generation every time you buy in to this crap.  Just look at the comments posted in response to this ad.  It would be shameful if shame hadn't  died years ago.  RIP, shame.  We miss you!

Sunday, October 29, 2023

One of the most racist commercials I've ever seen. Thanks, Aetna Medical Solutions!


Oh my god just check out the elderly woman as she- um, "saunters"- into the enormous kitchen of what is clearly a very substantial house to interrupt a conversation concerning Medicare benefits.  And while you're doing that, check out her liberal use of- um, the Queen's English- as she, um, "contributes' to said conversation.

Somehow we are supposed to believe that a woman who looks like she forgot to take the shirt she's wearing off the wire hanger it was on is "just loving" her "silver boxing lesson" which her friend Edna recommended, I suppose.  Never mind- that's quickly interrupted with Edna saying something that sounded to me like "Zero dollar monkey plan premium" the first six times I listened to it, followed by "Thank You Edna" which makes zero sense unless they are both named Edna.

The second Edna gives us a long drawn-out "Uh-HUHHHHH" to let us know that she's urban and black despite living in a house that is obviously in a wealthy suburb and then reveals that even though she's  enrolled in "silver boxing" despite having arms that look like she shared a cage with John McCain back in the late-60s she needs to be constantly reminded to do things by Edna # 1.  Things like getting to dental appointments.  We know she did that because she wants to protect a "million dollar smile" that we never see and no, we aren't going to complain.  We see more than we wanted to already.

Instead, let's complain about Aetna's marketing team deciding that this was a good representation of well-off elderly black people.  As I said in my opening sentence- oh my god.  What on earth were you thinking, Obviously Entirely White Advertising Firm hired by Aetna?

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Of Marines, Navy Federal Credit Union, and Hypothetical Situations involving penguin costumes.

So I guess the answer this guy's question "what would happen to me if I didn't have a Navy Federal Credit Union Account and it's identity protection services" involves a very complicated but nothing resembling logical series of events:  Someone wearing a penguin mascot costume would steal his credit card and then wait to be noticed so that he could point out that he stole the credit card- rather than, you know, just running away.  The guy wearing the costume would then wave at the marine he stole the credit card from while holding the stolen credit card in his wing instead of concealing it.  The guy wearing the penguin costume would then carry out the next step of his ingenious plan- running away from two twenty-something marines while wearing a penguin mascot costume (the REAL genius comes in knocking over a trash can to slow down his pursuers, since obviously the marines couldn't possibly disobey the Do Not Walk on the Grass signs that I assume exist even though I don't see them because if they don't exist this makes even less sense than....well....then it already does.
I don't know.  This doesn't strike me as a particularly compelling reason to get a Navy Federal Credit Union card, but I'm not in the navy or in the market for a penguin mascot costume so what do I know.  By the way, I apologize for the weird formatting- this always happens when I have to embed an ad from for some reason.  

Friday, October 27, 2023

I don't know who Timothee Chalamet is....


...but I've never been more happy to discover that I was watching a commercial for cologne.  That's because for several seconds I was convinced that another classic song was being used to sell a car or a phone.  Since it's for a perfume, for some reason I'm ok with it; I suspect the reason is because it's not for a car or a phone.  Tomorrow I'll probably be irritated that the Moody Blues sold out, but for now, I'm just glad they didn't sell out for the standard crap companies that seem determined to gobble up the songs of my youth like Pac Man going after pixels. 

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Two for One: Taco Bell urges us to Start Our Day Very, Very Wrong, and that stupid Google Pixel Pro Ad


Is it just me, or does Pete Davidson look genuinely annoyed that millions of Americans might be waiting until lunchtime before ingesting life-shortening poison courtesy of Taco Bell?  

I don't know....I think that after I heard this woman scream like that at being offered a wedding ring, I'd opt for the wind noise instead.  It doesn't sound like an "I'm so happy" scream.  It sounds more like a "there's a dead mouse in that ring box!" scream.  Want to rethink this, buddy?  I mean, there are actual ADULTS out there who might be interested in marriage....

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Reality check for the Dos Equis "Ukulele Guy"


Poor, poor Ukulele guy.  Didn't you know that there are only a few acceptable forms of activity allowed while sitting in front of a beach or camp fire with "friends?"  Strumming a ukulele is not allowed.  Humming is not allowed.  Here are the things you ARE allowed to do:

1.  Stare at your iPhone and exclaim with delight every few seconds as your bets on FanDuel come through.  Do this as loudly and ostentatiously as possible so that everyone knows that you are winning on FanDuel.  Because being a gambling addict was something to be ashamed of a few years ago, but it's something to celebrate now.  Just ask Kevin Hart, Jamie Foxx or any number of shameless paid shills for the industry. 

2.  Just stare at your iPhone and talk about how awesome and brand new it is and how you got a great deal on it and how everyone else there ought to get one Because Reasons.

3.  Go on and on about how awesome the Beer Everyone Without Exception is Drinking tastes because that's totally something people do in the real world. 

But if you insist on playing the ukulele and humming, expect your "friends" to tell you not to.  And then you can either put away your ukulele or you can tell your "friends" that you didn't ask for permission, don't give a flying f--k if they approve, and that you didn't complain when they squealed about FanDuel or gave obnoxious commercials for their iPhones so they should shove it up the orifices they don't use for breathing.   And those people on the yacht?  Don't even get me started on those people on the yacht.

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Makes those Lexus December to Remember commercials look relatable.


I can tell you that when I take my luxury jet from an important business meeting and then climb into my $100,000 truck to drive the final miles to my $10 million dollar estate to exchange "man it's awesome to be stinking rich" shit-eating grins with my trophy wife, I feel exactly the way Derek Jeter must feel like in this ad- Life is Very, Very Good. 

Can we move on to getting luxury cars wrapped in big red bows now?

Friday, October 20, 2023

You have to feel sorry for the woman in this Progressive "instant replay" ad


I mean, she's a female actress hired to be in the newest ad of Progressive's "instant replay" series.  So not only would she be in a commercial that would be shown during sporting events and therefore seen by millions, she could be 99 percent positive that she'd emerge the hero of the 20-second story because after all, she's a woman and it's 2023.

Then she found out that her recollection of events would be challenged by....a "precocious"* child actor (is there any other kind?) and at that moment probably realized that she drew the shortest straw of the bunch.  In the land of television commercials, there's only one thing more certain than a woman winning an argument against a man, and that's a child winning an argument over an adult. 

So sorry, lady- you had to play Sucker to a little brat who decided to jump into a conversation being held by two adults because That's What Smartass Kids Do on TV.  Should have got her that iPhone like she wanted; then she would have been too busy dancing for total strangers or just watching something equally stupid and brain-cell murdering to notice that you were pointlessly lying to your fellow Suburban Princess.  Maybe next time you'll get a script that has you in an argument with a fellow adult who is also male; you'll get that mic drop moment, guaranteed.

*a Latin term meaning Obnoxious and Eminently Punchable. 

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Hey Volkswagen? This trope is really stale.


1.  We get it after two times.  We don't need to see dad pop back into the car more than that.  We aren't stupid.  We get it.

2.  Of course mom has to be the total killjoy here.  What are you worried about, TrophyMom?  Hubby's going to be late for work?  Seems to me that he's handled that well enough to buy that house and that car.  Little girl is going to be late for Preschool?  Seriously, I think that's a crisis she'll survive.  What is the matter with you?  Boyfriend already late and will be pulling into the driveway at any moment?  Oh right- hubby is having fun with Daughter.  Can't let that happen.  Hubby's job is to make the money, pay the bills, and get Daughter to preschool.  Mommy's job is to have fun with Daughter.  Stay in your lane, dad!

3.  Mom didn't deserve a sheepish "ok, ok, I'm going" from dad.  She deserved a "WTF is your issue?" from dad.  She doesn't get it because this is 2023 and women are always in the right in ads these days and- more important- dads are always in the wrong.  Even when they are trying to spend some quality time with their children.    When will you ever learn, Dads?

Saturday, October 14, 2023

There's just so much Weird and Awkward in this Otezla Commercial


Ok, so the gawky weird guy is getting out of the Uber in front of the movie theater to start a blind date with Tara, aged 33 years.  I'd assume that Tara didn't get a picture of Ned because otherwise she would have noped right out of there- I mean, come on, he's nowhere near good looking enough to be with this woman- but she recognizes him, so I guess she's all in.  Desperation is a strange thing....

Ned (of course his name is Ned.  Jeeeeeeshhh....)  is instantly concerned about his plaque psoriasis (I can't believe it only took me three tries to get the spelling right) which brings me to the question I ask every single time I see one of these ads- why do people self-conscious about red splotches on their arms and legs wear less clothing than most beach-goers?  It's like they WANT to feel uncomfortable.  Just wear a long-sleeved shirt, you dope- it's an evening date, it's taking place almost entirely in an air-conditioned theater, I mean, what the hell?

I'd love to know what's happening on the screen when Ned and Tara react so violently that popcorn flies up (but not out) from Ned's bucket and soda flies up (but not out) of Tara's cup.  I'd think it must be happening during the opening credits or even during the coming attractions because it doesn't look like they've consumed any of their snacks at all but that doesn't make any sense because we also see a guy already fast asleep.  Judging from the look on Tara's face, it's a positive moment in the film, plus we see a little kid for whom the scene has no impact at all.  Why do we see these other people anyway?  What do they add to the story?

When the film is over, Ned and Tara exit the theater and Ned gives Tara the most stilted, awkward hug I've ever seen- the five percent chance he had of ever hearing from Tara again vanished with that hug, I guarantee it.  I'm an expert on dating, you know.  

Is this a new trend in dating- you just meet someone outside of a movie theater, sit next to them during a film, and then say goodbye when the film is over and go your separate ways?   Who pays for the tickets and snacks in this arrangement?  What's in it other than avoiding the "shame" of going to the movies by yourself?  Other than running the risk of being seen sitting next to Ned- and getting that wooden hug at the end- this seems like a pretty sweet deal for Tara if Ned is my Boomer idea of a gentleman who paid for everything.  

Oh yeah, this commercial is for some drug that clears your skin, I guess.  I mean, who cares?  I want to know if Ned is Blocked before he gets home in his second Uber ride of the night, or just Ghosted.  See how I know the cool terms?  I'm hip to the current lingo, man. 

Friday, October 13, 2023

A decade of this Buffalo "Gold" coin scam. Unbelievable.


I wonder how many elderly, hard-of-hearing, or just plain not-very-smart people have fallen for this scummy bait and switch commercial in the dozen years or more it has polluted American television (literally the ONLY thing that changes is the date stamped on this "tribute" to a coin that has actual value but is not being offered for sale in this ad.)   It's kind of sad to think about how many grandparents have scooped up this worthless garbage, thinking that they are adding to their retirement security or maybe leaving something worthwhile to their beloved grandchildren.  And all because they don't catch where the narrator flips from talking about a coin that has a significant amount of gold and is ACTUALLY MONEY to discussing the COPY/TRIBUTE/MIGHT AS WELL CONTAIN CHOCOLATE piece of shiny crap.

Oh but there is some good advice at the close of the ad from 2011:  "Avoid future disappointment and regret."  Yes, indeed.  Avoid these things by never, ever responding to these ridiculous offers to sell pretty pieces of tin for actual money.  I mean, there's no way anyone regrets not buying something in 2011 that is still available in 2023 for basically the same price.  What a joke. 

EDIT:  Upon a second viewing, I see that this not-coin was being offered for $19.95 in 2011, but the 2023 version is only $9.95.  So unless there are a bunch of weirdos out there who consider the 2011 trinket "vintage" or "classic," it's not even a good investment as a collector's item.  I think I'll "avoid future disappointment and regret" and wait to buy the 2033 version, which at this rate should be available in boxes of Cracker Jack.

Sunday, October 8, 2023

FanDuel Commercials are the Definition of Garbage Time


There's something almost fascinating about watching an addiction being promoted as a glorious thing on national television.  One scene after another of zombie gamblers staring at screens with bated breath, as a very consequential moment that used to mean Victory or Defeat for one's favorite Sportsball team but now may mean Mortgage Payment or No Mortgage Payment, presented as a way of making a game more "exciting;" no, actually, as a way of making a game worth watching at all.  It's fascinating and disturbing at the same time, like a five-car pileup on the Jersey Turnpike.  Now imagine that five-car pileup on the Jersey Turnpike being presented as an example of how driving is Much More Fun. 

It's no secret that online gambling has taken over the promotion of professional sports; even credit cards, trucks, and alcohol can't compete.  Entire pregame and postgame shows are sponsored by these vultures, and the most famous faces in Hollywood have moved on from peddling crypto to hawking the joys of risking money in the stupidest way imaginable that doesn't involve the Multi-Level Marketing.  The current sports era is, in fact, Garbage Time.  Let's hope it doesn't last too long or cause TOO much damage, but right now, I'm downright nostalgic for those ads questioning my manhood if I didn't invest in Bitcoin.

Saturday, October 7, 2023

Another shot at those stupid Ethos Life Ads


Two out of the three couples featured in this ad are young, and even the third couple looks like they are fit and no more than late middle-age.  Yet they are enthusiastic about buying life insurance from a company that does not require the medical screening that could reward them for their good health.  

I'll ask again- why would ANYONE who is young and in good health WANT to be in the same pool of customers as elderly people or young people who are in BAD health?  If you're in a low-risk, high-reward category in the actuarial tables, why would you opt to ignore that and go with a quickie online service that treats you like you waited until you were in your mid-70s and had heart disease before signing up?  In other words- and yes, I've asked this before- why are you putting yourself into the same category as the old woman with tubes up her nose who called those nice people at Colonial Penn about their "$9.95 plan?"

There's a reason why you shop for life insurance when you're young- to lock in a low rate based on your low level of risk to the insurance provider premium taker.  Every time I see young people expressing happiness with Ethos Life or any other "just fill out a form online, no unnecessary medical questions*" service, it's just the ultimate in cringe for me.  Youth is wasted on the wrong people!

*what are "unnecessary medical questions?"  If you want to buy Life Insurance from a particular company, you answer the questions they ask- they are "necessary" because they are a prerequisite for buying their product.  You wouldn't tell the bank that your annual salary is an "unnecessary" piece of information when applying for a loan if they asked for it.  YOU DON'T GET TO DECIDE WHAT IS NECESSARY WHEN SEEKING OUT A SERVICE.  

Friday, October 6, 2023

Dunkin Donuts and the Limited Time Only item nobody misses when its gone


I have a theory concerning Everything Pumpkin Spice that appears between roughly September 20 and November 10 every year.  And I'm afraid that I'm using the scientific definition of "theory," which means it's absolutely the truth beyond any reasonable doubt, or as close to Truth as you can get outside of a Philosophy Class.

My theory is this:  nobody really likes any food item that carries the label "Pumpkin Spice."  Instead, we order and consume these items out of some misplaced social obligation.  It's autumn, so we are supposed to buy coffee, cakes, donuts with this weird flavoring added which reflects what the time of year is supposed to look like to people who live in about one-fifth of the country.  And we are supposed to pretend to enjoy it because, again, it's all about the season and mass hypnosis.  But nobody actually enjoys this flavor, as evidenced by the fact that nobody eats anything made out of pumpkin any other time of the year and nobody goes into mourning when Thanksgiving rolls around and no pumpkin spice anythings are to be found anywhere.

Pumpkin spice is, in other words, the Eggnog of the Autumnal Season.  

Well, I for one am not buying in.  I'll eat a slice of pumpkin pie if it's covered with whipped cream and nobody had the good sense to make a pie out of apples instead.  Just to be nice.  But I'll barely pretend to like it, and if asked I won't hesitate to wonder out loud where the apple pie is.  That being said, nobody is going to convince me to ruin my coffee by adding "pumpkin spice" (is this available on the spice rack at any store?  I've never seen it) and I don't care how chilly it gets or how many crunchy leaves are underfoot.  I'm taking my stand and I'm not bravely drinking a "spice" I don't want to drink and you can't convince me that you want to either and you can't make me so there. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Is this Ox Car Care Commercial just a bit racist?


...because Mickey Rooney's character in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" thinks that this commercial is a bit racist. 

But setting the clickbait aside for a moment- "what a RELIEF" exclaims the woman in this ad, not once but twice, upon hearing that IF (when?) the family car breaks down on the way too or from the Big Family Reunion, the repairs will be covered by Ox Car Care because of course they will.  

Who thinks like this?  "Oh honey, I was so worried about taking this long road trip to the family reunion- but now that I know you called some 'car warranty' company you heard about on the radio, I'm ready to pile into the car and head out on a long trip in a car I obviously have zero faith in..."  I mean, come on.

And of course the two of them go back and forth on how Ox Car Care will take care of things like oil changes and tire rotations, like these are issues one thinks about just before heading out on a long road trip.  I know that whenever I drive up or down the East Coast, which I do several times a year, I think "if I need my tires rotated or my oil changed during this trip, is it covered by my car warranty* or will I have to pay out of pocket?"  

And it sounds like the guy JUST called Ox Car Care, which means he thinks he's instantly covered for a trip they are taking like RIGHT NOW.  Not that car warranty contracts are worth anything anyway, but they sure as hell aren't going to be paying out the day after you sign up for them.  How stupid are these people?  Oh right, stupid enough to be "relieved" because they signed up for Ox Car Care.

*I don't have a car warranty, or any extended warranties of any kind.  Because I'm not a moron.  I'm also not racist, and maybe this commercial really isn't after all because there are other Ox Car Care Commercials featuring people who don't sound black being just as stupid about car warranties. 

Saturday, September 30, 2023

A better idea for fans of FanDuel...


Instead of thinking like a retired NBA player worth hundreds of millions of dollars who couldn't care less if he loses a few hundred dollars on "innocent" bets every weekend because after all, you've got hundreds of millions of dollars and on top of that are getting paid to pimp a betting App, instead maybe think like you're a middle-class male between the ages of 20 and 40- the principal demographic for these ads- and put those hundreds of dollars into your 401(k), a college fund for your kids, or PRETTY MUCH ANYTHING ELSE other than a stupid, addictive betting App?

And maybe don't listen to Charles Barkley, Kevin (I'll Sell Anything, Just Give Me the Money) Hart, Jamie (Yeah I've got an Oscar But Money is Money) Foxx, or any of the other multi-millionaires out there who are perfectly happy to pick up what is for them chump change to peddle an electronic drug that will cause real economic hardship for 90 percent of the people who use it (you think they are giving money away?  Where do you think the winnings come from?  THE HOUSE ALWAYS WINS.)  You think these people are funny and entertaining and this is harmless?  Then why is there a toll free number in tiny script at the bottom for people with "GAMBLING PROBLEMS?"  Why is the new angle to push gambling apps with "Responsible Betting"* settings with "Limits" and "Tips" on how to "control" your betting- you know, to "keep it fun?"  You don't see disclaimers like that when ads show people just watching games, though when you see the kind of crud we're encouraged to ingest while viewing, maybe we "eat Doritos responsibly?"**

*no such thing.

**again, no such thing.

Friday, September 29, 2023

That dumb, "We've been out of ideas forever" GEICO airport security line ad


1.  "You too" was just an impulsive response.  Stop making it a big deal, security person.  He was just being polite.

2.  While we're at it, just shut up and keep your eye on the next person coming through security.  That you hate your job isn't the traveler's problem.  He didn't talk you into being an airport security drone.  It's not his fault your life ended up like this.  Zip it, Karen.  

3.  This is nobody else's business.  I don't get why anyone else is responding.  Actually, I don't even get how anyone else even HEARD his "you too."  I've been in security lines at airports.  Everyone is just trying to keep track of their wallets, tickets, shoes, belts and bags.  Nobody is paying any attention to anyone else.  

4.  Are we supposed to believe that the pasty white fat kid is going on vacation with the black guy?  Yeah, no he isn't.  Please, ad agencies, just stop this.  I get the diversity thing and all but- Please, just stop this.  This is the dumb. 

5.  Yeah, the last guy has a point.  Wear socks when you fly.  We're trying to have a society here. 

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Ethos Life Commercials are so ridiculous.


In every one of these Ethos Life commercials, the people who are worried about purchasing life insurance look like they are young and have money.  In the radio ad, the couple sound like they are in their late-20s and have a very young child.  

I'm not saying that these aren't the people who should be in the market for life insurance.  There's nothing wrong with buying life insurance while you're young.  The problem I have is with young people who are supposed to be attracted to Ethos Life because there's "No medical exams" or "health questions" attached to the application.  These are advantages for old, sick people who know that buying life insurance at their age and in their condition is going to cost a lot of money and that's why they've put off shopping for it.  Colonial Penn really hypes up the "we'll sell to anyone" pitch.  But it makes ZERO sense for young, presumably healthy, presumably nowhere near death couples to be excited about buying life insurance that won't be giving them any credit for their health status.  It would be like a person with an 800 credit score renting furniture- from Aaron's or Rent A Center.  Or someone with an immaculate driver's record going to The General for car insurance.  Or someone with two brain cells thinking that buying an extended "warranty" from the nice guy with the Indian accent on the phone is a good plan.

In other words, for the people in these ads to be signing up for insurance from Ethos Life is like watching them just chuck money into the bonfire.  It's really dumb and it grates on me every time. 

More Jardiance Nonsense!


I can control my A1C
Check out me, a singing blueberry

Then I'll pretend to talk to friends
In real life I gasp like I got the bends

How many of these ads will they let me make
before viewers notice that my smile's fake

I'm in pain during this whole thing
Which is why they dub in the part where I sing

You can watch your diet and stop eating crap- but still
wouldn't it just be easier to take an expensive pill?

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Someone remind West Virginia that you can't go home again


...and daddy, won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County?
Down by the Green River, where Paradise lay
Well I'm sorry, my son, but you're too late in askin'
Mr. Peabody's coal train has hauled it away.*

Here are two more accurate ideas for a good West Virginia Tourism Motto:

"Give us Another Chance; This time we'll vote to join the Confederacy."  (And this time, we'll let you depart in peace.)

"West Virginia:  Where we love the Affordable Care Act, but man do we hate Obamacare!"

"West Virginia:  The Air Quality of New Jersey and the Voting patterns of Alabama in one convenient place."

*Ok, ok, I know that the song is about a county in Eastern Kentucky, but....Eastern Kentucky, West Virginia, really, what's the difference?

Friday, September 22, 2023

GEICO keeps pounding us with this stupid crap


I have a very nice apartment in a good location that doesn't have invasive weeds.  I don't care where this guy's house is- I'll trade my apartment for his ridiculous palace any day of the week and twice on Sundays.  Because I'll just dump enough chemicals to make Rachel Carson rise from the grave and chastise me instead of running around my multi-million dollar abode complaining about WEEDS.

I don't know why anyone finds the endless whining of the upper middle class interesting, let alone funny, but I guess that's just my problem.

"We love our house."  Shut up after uttering these words.  Enough already.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

If your addiction could sing to you, I guess it would sound like this?


Really, what else is there to add?  This woman has an unbreakable bond with-- her electronic devices.  She simply MUST go from screen to screen, and every moment that she isn't staring at a glowing box is a lost moment that she can't get back....or something. 

And to make it worse, the message seems to be that in the tiny fractions of her life in which she is not looking at that way-too-important human connectivity substitute, the devices are calling to her.  Well, yeah, as I understand it this is exactly how addictions DO feel.  She's not dealing with "food noise" or "alcohol noise" or "nicotine noise."  She's dealing with electronics noise- she MUST get to a place where she can get out her phone or her tablet or SOMETHING and get back to staring at something glowing and stupid before that voice in her head reminding her that she hasn't looked at an expensive box of plastic, metal and glass for several seconds drives her nuts.

Yeah, this is an advertisement, well, therapy, actually.  But if you ask the people who made it, its an ad for Galaxy or foldable phones or something.  And if you ask the people in the comments sections, it's about a remix of a great song that we must must must download right now Because Reasons.  And if you ask one particular person in the comments, its a desperate lunge for attention from total strangers in the form of a truly pathetic "please comment"  story about a dog dying.  What gets into some people?  I have no idea, and I'm not sure I even want to. 

Wow- for having nothing left to add, I sure ended up having plenty to add.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

This Capital One Card Commercial features a very Punchable Fail

I'm not at all sure why we are supposed to celebrate this pasty white guy's appropriation of Mexican cuisine for profit; is it because he seems to earnest and enthusiastic about his stupid small business which- I'm sorry, I don't care what he says- is exploiting people much, much less fortunate than himself for the sole purpose of making one more White American wealthy off the backs of poor people in another country?

And am I the only one who thinks the phrase "bringing matzah to the masses"* is equal parts cringe and condescension?  Who are the masses, Mr. Super Important Business Owner?  Am I part of those faceless "masses?"  Well, if you ever accidentally ask my opinion, I'll tell you where you can jam your credit card, your small business, AND your matzah.  And here's a spoiler alert:  It's not going to be pleasant.

*apparently I'm NOT the only one who found this line somewhat (entirely) lacking in taste; it's been purged from the latest version of the ad.  This still stinks of the ugly American, though. 

Also- am I even hearing that right?  I think he's saying "matzah" and the commenters think he's saying "matzah," but does a company that mass-produces matzah even make sense?  The masses know what matzah is and what it tastes like; I know this because we aren't buying it.  I wouldn't eat it if you gave me a plate of it for free, but this guy thinks I'd love it if I just could find a way to buy it?  What the hell?

Saturday, September 16, 2023

We Will We Will Sue You


Good luck trying to convince your insurance company that the flashy TV commercial and cool music strongly implied that it would be perfectly safe to pass that giant truck with no hands on the wheel (and, while we're at it, singing instead of paying attention to what is going on around you.)

Hopefully you won't have to try the same explanation/alibi on any grieving parents; they probably won't buy your "but the glowing screen said it was OK plus I love Queen plus its so fun to use alleged safety devices to show off" protestations as they bury their loved ones, victims of your overbearing entitlement. 

Seriously, this is a great commercial if the point is to convince people to take the freaking train and stay off the highways.  

Friday, September 15, 2023

BK's "Hunger Hack"


1.  Eating something is a "Hunger Hack?"  Wow, it must be the original hack.  And why is it called a "hack" at all?  Oh right- because the cool kids don't say "quick fix," they say "hack."  And Burger King is cool, yo.  I mean, they don't even refer to themselves as "Burger King" anymore- it's BK.   Because initials are cool, too.  

2.  Eating what "BK" laughably calls "food" isn't even a quick fix for hunger.  Anyone who eats the ultra-processed sludge being dished out by fast food places knows that the sludge stimulates hunger, it doesn't alleviate it.  But a lot of people don't know that it's designed to stimulate hunger and make you come back for more.  And more.  And more.  Nobody ever got rich making food that satisfies hunger, after all.  Plenty of people however continue to get very, very rich making food that leaves the consumer unsatisfied, and addicted.

3.  "You Rule!"  Who, me?  Why do I rule?  Because I followed an artificial "craving" to your garbage pail disguised as a restaurant and gave you my money?  Well, thanks very much, I guess.  You Suck.  You Suck really, really hard.  Royally, even. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Bet365, Lose 365


"Do you wanna bet on live sports?"  If the answer is "yes," the next line should be "why?  Can't find a hobby that WON'T put everything in your life that you value at serious risk?"

Instead, it's a tornado of gaudy imagery which makes your desire to bet on live sports look exciting and fun and (based on this guy's cadence) downright masculine.

"Join now and discover the POWER of the world's Favorite Sports Book!"  Like the power to get you hooked faster than alcohol or crack? Like the power to destroy your finances, relationships, and basically everything that currently makes your life worth living?  Well, that certainly does sound powerful.  Attractive?  Not really.  But powerful?  Absolutely.

"Build your own Bet."  That does sound better than "Dig your own Grave" or "Choose your own Poison," I'll give you that....

"You can even bet on games that are still being played."  Dramatic Pause and stare into the camera.  "Seriously."

This is new?  I've seen commercials for betting apps that allow one to bet inning by inning.  Might as well walk into an AA meeting and remind the participants that they don't have to guzzle that bottle of Scotch in two minutes; they can get drunk one shot at a time.  "Seriously."

"And if you can't watch the games live, we'll alert you of any changes."  "So you can take advantage of that gun or balcony you find yourself on when you realize that you won't be able to pay your mortgage this month.  Again."  (Naturally, the ad features a guy being delighted by the update.  Because just like in Vegas, betters never lose, right?)

"Let's end by reiterating that this is the world's favorite sports app.  And let's take a moment to thank the current generation of bored, lonely and economically unstable people who make garbage like this popular, and the incredibly lax regulations which allow us to pitch this life-destroying nonsense on network tv."

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Multiple Levels of Dumb that just keep coming in this Dodge Ram Commercial



"Thousands of truck owners are switching to Ram...which means thousands of people who grill are switching to Ram.  Thousands of people who eat grilled food are switching to Ram, and thousands of people who live next to people who grill food are switching to Ram."

"So basically, it's like we said with our first sentence:  thousands of people are switching to Ram.  Ok, now that we managed to say that in several sentences instead of One, let's continue to waste everyone's time:"

"Ram trucks can be used to move people from place to place- you know, just like cars.  They can be used to move ATVs into the desert if you happen to live near one, or surfboards to the ocean if you happen to live near one, or a lot of fishing rods to the lake if you happen to live near one.  They can bring heavy things from Point A to Point B better than cars, but if we're honest, no better than any other truck.  But if we were honest, we'd be showing people parking these stupid overpriced Overcompensation-mobiles in their suburban driveways after coming home from their desk jobs.  That kind of honesty might be admirable but it doesn't sell trucks to people who don't need trucks."

"So here's a truck you can use to do all those things you never do but you'd like people who don't know you to think you do because let's face it, you're kind of sad in your need for validation from total strangers- a need so strong, you'll pay twice as much for a utility vehicle with no actual utility for your actual life rather than just buy a car that fits your needs rather than your ego." 

"So as we become more and more urbanized in our lifestyle, more and more people are switching to Ram, a truck allegedly built for rugged rural use.  Makes sense to....well, our stockholders, and who else really matters?"

"Thousands of truck owners are switching to Ram.  And after forty years of ads convincing suburbanites that they ought to be truck owners for Status, that's a lot of people switching from one truck they barely get use out of it that they couldn't get out an SUV for another truck they barely get use out of that they couldn't get out of an SUV.  Thanks, America, for making Keeping Up With the Joneses the driving force of the suburban lifestyle!  Never change!"

Saturday, September 9, 2023

A few points concerning this stupid Dr. Pepper Fansville Commercial


(Or, to put it more simply, this Dr. Pepper Fansville Commercial.)

1.  We are actually watching two people who are breaking up because their teams are no longer rivals, and they are no longer rivals because Conference Pinball has come for their teams.  Anyone who doesn't follow college football may not know this, but there are approximately 4200 conferences which include 780,000 colleges and every year, the names of the schools are thrown into a blender and randomly poured back out into these conferences.  So if you don't just follow your college football team but instead care about what conference they are in, well, be prepared for a very unsettled and confusing life which, if you live long enough, will see your favorite team as a member of every single conference at some point.

2.  Yes, that's a can of No Sugar Dr. Pepper Really Not Cough Syrup you're holding there, which you'd know if you just looked at it instead of awkwardly holding it up so that the viewing audience can see the label.  Hey, maybe this conference-switch thing is just a lame excuse being handed to this girl by a guy who doesn't want to admit that he's not into football-obsessed weirdos who are also illiterate?

Friday, September 8, 2023

Gambling Commercial Double-Header


First Ad:

Would I take this obnoxious, ugly, unfunny "comedian" seriously if (1) he wasn't a multimillionaire acting excited at being offered $200 in "free bets" while sitting in whichever of the luxury mansions he owns that he decided to hang out in this weekend or (2) if he weren't wearing a t-shirt advertising the very gambling "service" he's whoring for blood money from the industry second only to alcohol in its ability to break up families and ruin lives?

The answer is "no." Because he'd still obnoxious, ugly, unfunny yet ubiquitous Kevin Hart, who has made it painfully clear that he'll sell himself to anyone, anywhere, at any time, for the right amount of money.  Well, when you know that its only a matter of time before the facade collapses and the money train ends, I guess this is what you do- pitch, pitch and pitch some more because some day (G-d let it be soon) the gravy train WILL come to an end. 

Second Ad:

Would I take this Oscar winner* seriously if he wasn't another multi-millionaire who has zero problem encouraging his audience- the vast majority of which really can't afford an addiction only marginally cheaper than crack (but while crack is illegal, gambling on sporting events can be advertised on network television....hmmm.....)- and was at least donating his fee to Gambler's Anonymous or some other- ANY OTHER-charity?

The answer is "no."  Because he'd still be an overrated Denzel Wannabee who has somehow hypnotized the viewing audience into believing he's talented.  Maybe he and Kevin Hart are using the League of Shadows to poison our water or something.  They certainly aren't adding anything of actual value to what we used to call a "Society."

*Ray was ridiculously overrated.  Then again, so was Ray Charles.  I mean, not Moonlight or Gandhi overrated, but still overrated.

Sunday, September 3, 2023

Giant Foods, "Convenience," and why I'm switching to Aldi...


I tried to find a more modern commercial for Giant Food Pharmacy, but it seems that the company doesn't spend a lot on electronic media advertising and hasn't since the 1990s.  So we'll have to settle for this.  Also, very little of today's snark concerns the content of this ad and is instead about the company's current self-checkout system.  Stay with me.

First, the ad itself:  "your prescriptions are filled while you shop?"  This is like that old joke about the car repair shop that features the promise "tires rotated while you wait:"  when the customer is told that it will take 24 hours to get the tires rotated and points to the sign in protest, the mechanic remarks "well, you'll be waiting, won't you?"  In my experience, the reason why you "wait for your prescription while you shop" is because the standard reply to "Is my prescription, which was called in three days ago, ready yet?" is ", give us another twenty minutes."  So yeah- your prescription is being filled "while you shop," but that's no more impressive as a mechanic telling you that your tires are being rotated "while you wait."  You're shopping because you came to pick up your Rx and it's not ready yet.  Not exactly a feather in the cap of Giant Food Pharmacy.

But now, the real reason for this rant:  Giant's "new and improved" self-checkout, which requires customers who don't have time to wait behind the family with four carts and a file cabinet full of coupons or the jackanapes who won't get off her iPhone to respond to questions about the non-EBT eligible items that make up half her cart, includes a built-in glitch that makes the whole experience a big, insulting headache.  I'm talking about the scale that all scanned items must be placed on the moment they are scanned if you don't want the screen to accuse you of being a shoplifter, which it does anyway at least once per visit.  It's bad enough that I can no longer move heavy items like cases of bottled water or family packs of chicken directly back into my cart but instead have to pick them up twice because an electronic scale must confirm that I'm being honest, but the insult is compounded when putting the items on the scale result in a loud "You Have Unscanned Items In Your Bag" announcement loud enough to let everyone within a ten-foot radius that you are being suspected of theft.  Oh, and it's not like there's an infinite amount of space to put your groceries down- if you're making a large purpose, at some point you have to stop scanning, take your groceries off the scale and put them in your cart-- and be "politely" reminded by the machine that "if you are finished scanning, please select your payment method."  Grrrr...

I'm not kidding- since they put this new system in, I have been accused of shoplifting (by a machine, not by an employee- they invariably just walk up to the system, swipe the screen with that plastic baton thing, and move back into "waiting to assist because yeah we know these machines suck" posture) every. Single. Time. I've purchased goods at Giant Food Pharmacy.  And I thought the "please confirm the number of bags you're purchasing because we aren't sure you got it right the first time" and "would you like to round up your $9.01 purchase to $10 for our charity of the moment?" messages were imposing annoyances.  

I'd go back to letting the Real Human Being who resents seeing buggy tech slowly separating her from a job, but Giant is doing a very good job making that option less attractive by the week by giving fewer shifts and leaving more and more of those assisted-checkout lines closed.   So we customers find ourselves with three options- wait forty minutes on line to let a real cashier handle our purchases, save time by going through the self-checkout but be regularly chastised and accused by electronics during the entire experience, or- finding someplace else to buy our groceries.  Aldi is right up the street, has everything Giant has, and doesn't "remind" me that I shouldn't try to steal stuff I'm not trying to steal.  So I guess it's going to be Aldi from now on, except of course when I have to pick up a prescription.  Then it's back to Giant- and probably more shopping, because it will be "almost ready" when I get there, just give them fifteen or twenty minutes.

Saturday, September 2, 2023

Where can David Ortiz possibly go from here?


2022:  David Ortiz appears in commercials for Cryptocurrency, "subtly" encouraging thousands of economically-ignorant viewers to put actual money into a mirage.  It's kind of hard to see which group of CryptoCrap "investors" are dumber- the ones who invest because they see a sports or entertainment millionaire suggest that its a good idea, or the ones who invest because they want to make a bold stand against "Fiat" currency by putting some of their own into an "Unregulated" (and therefore better, because remember how much more stable banks were before the Great Depression, when the official policy of the Federal Government was Hands Off.)  They both end up in the same place- wondering where their "worthless" paper money is and wishing they had it back.

2023:  David Ortiz appears in commercials for DraftKings, "subtly" encouraging thousands of economically-ignorant viewers that putting their money at risk every few seconds by tapping their iPhones makes the sportsball game they are watching a thousand times more fun than it was when they just viewed it with nothing but emotional stakes on the line.  99 percent of the customers for the "new" Make Your Own Poverty* app Ortiz is peddling are economically insecure (regardless of what we see on these commercials, customers of online betting- like customers of scratch-off tickets, Powerball, MegaBucks and the other 20,000 or so "games" being "offered" at the counter of your local convenience and liquor stores- are already living on the margins, which is why they are risking their money in the first place.)  And despite what we see in the ads, 99 percent of the people engaged in this destructive behavior lose money.  But it's all in fun, right?

2024- David Ortiz appears in commercials celebrating the fun of eating Tide pods?  Vaping?  Soliciting Prostitutes?  Speeding through School Zones?  It's gotta be something like one of those, if Ortiz wants to continue on his mission to destroy lives in exchange for some more of that sweet, sweet "Fiat" currency.

*Nothing new about gambling, of course, or commercials which make gambling look like more innocent fun than a day at Santa's Village with the grandchildren.  But it's never been so easy to lose money from the comfort of your own couch- I'd say "to scratch that itch," but "feed that addiction" would be more accurate.  Bottom line is- hey David Ortiz, why do you hate your fellow Americans so very, very much?

Friday, September 1, 2023

Dr. Pepper reminds us that it's that time of the year again....


Some might call it the "silly season," but that doesn't sound like anything I would say, so I'll keep in character and call it the Stupid Season.

It's the season of moronic Dr. Pepper commercials masquerading as "seasons" of a long-running comedy-drama-garbage dump-crime against our brain cells ad campaign featuring the college football-obsessed loser residents of a small town where the only thing anyone cares about is, well, college football.

It's the We Get It Already one-note, one-unfunny joke that just keep hammering us over the head for the crime of wanting to watch one or two or a dozen football games on the weekend (or, if you are like me, just want something on in the background as you take your walks or clean your house or grade your papers or prepare your lesson plans.)  It's the Get In On The Fun zaniness of an entire community of people who worship soda that tastes like cough medicine and lollipops.  And it's almost as sad as the bleating glue-sniffers who actually binge-watch the "seasons" on YouTube.  (That's a thing that happens.  Check out the comments.)

And it's another reason why the MUTE button on your remote is only slightly less important than the ON button.  Because come on, I know this is supposed to be dumb, but even intentional idiocy can be taken too far.  Especially when you realize that there are people who actually look forward to "new seasons" of this dreck.

Sunday, August 27, 2023

This stupid Dairy Queen commercial makes Negative Sense


1.  Why is a girl who looks to be at least twelve years old sitting in the back seat instead of in the front with her father?

2.  What is the big deal if the girl wants to start eating her blizzard DQ thing before they get home- that is, before it starts to melt all over the place?  Maybe hers isn't made out of whatever magic non-dairy substance her father's is and won't defy the laws of thermodynamics like his will. 

3.  Is "that's cold" supposed to be a pun?  Because if these blizzard things are cold, unless the AC is turned up to full blast (and even if it IS) they aren't going to stay cold for very long.  Is it "cold" because she gets to enjoy her blizzard while dad has to wait till he gets home?  Well, when he gets home hers will be done and his- because it won't melt, obviously- will still be there, and won't he get some level of juvenile "revenge" at that time?

4.  Seriously, what the hell is going on here?  Who buys a milk shake or an ice cream cone and says "I'm not touching this till I get home?"  That's just dumb.  Why didn't they just eat this stuff at DQ?  Why does neither one have a freaking lid on it- even if dad's is magic and doesn't melt, what is keeping it from gathering dust and dander and bugs in that car?  I mean, come on.   How many layers of stupid can one commercial have?  (And no, that is NOT a challenge.)

5.  What's with the comments?  What is "racist" about this ad featuring a black guy and a girl I assume is his daughter?  What am I missing here?  Why are people like this?

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Cherish your stupid addiction this NFL season with Fanduel.


The football season is cherish every moment in that 16 weeks by risking your paycheck and your family's financial stability as often as possible.  Because when it's over, you'll have to go back to, um, betting on the NBA, I'm sure. 

Somehow, we've got gambling on your phone being sold as something as precious as moments with a loved one.  Precious, and fleeting and to be appreciated because nothing good- be it football season or the opportunity to gamble on football- lasts forever.  Only winters in Buffalo last forever.

This is really, really sad.  Not as sad as winters in Buffalo, but still, really, really sad. 

Friday, August 25, 2023

Liberty Mutual? Here's some real "truth telling"


"It's ok that I spent all this money, because I saved money doing this other thing" is the mating call of every stupidly, intentionally poor person in the Western World.   It's the middle-class equivalent of "I can go into debt to buy this because I'll be able to pay for it as soon as I get my tax refund."  

Sorry, "honey:"  that's still a lot of shopping, and you probably still should be saving more and spending less.  And your mother forgetting to pick her husband up at the airport doesn't change that fact in the slightest.  It's just a mean piece of misdirection that isn't going to improve your credit score.  

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Some free advice for Todd in this Chewy Commercial


So you're disappointed that you inherited a train set while a cat inherited regular pet supplies "in perpetuity?"  Well, considering that the cat is apparently capable of (at least internal) speech in the way that I imagine most pet owners think that their ridiculous little hairball-producers are, and apparently capable of higher thought processes which allow them to comprehend things like wills and words like "perpetuity," I have some very simple and totally free advice for Todd:

Get on this cat's good side.  I mean, let's be honest about this situation, shall we?  I don't care how old Todd is or how old Mr. Marbles is, Todd is going to outlive Mr. Marbles and we'll be back in this lawyer's office in no time.  Sorry, Mr. Marbles, but when Todd considers what "in perpetuity" means when it comes to your Chewy shipments, he's thinking in years consisting of single digits.  If your dead owner was responsible, Mr. Marbles, you aren't producing any heirs of your own.  So you either make a will- good luck with that- or your estate is going right back to the other people in this room inside a decade.   Time is NOT on your side, Mr. Marbles. 

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Another of these Wendy's commercials. So sick of these people.


So the Brains Trust that works at this particular Wendy's decided to put together samples of the latest Meal Deal being offered by the sludge factory that signs their paychecks, lock the doors, and have a Meeting of the- um- "minds" concerning the deal while standing behind it.  Considering that the total brain wattage of the staff couldn't power a keychain light, I guess it's going to take this kind of cooperative learning activity to absorb the Very Very Complicated offer they'll be preparing for customers who are willing to consume food personally prepared by people I would not trust with a foam rubber ball or talking wall trout.  

After a few hours, even the employees not as "smart' as the guy they acknowledge as the "smart one" (the tallest dwarf in the enchanted forest, I guess) will figure out what the promotion entails and will be ready to re-open the store, fire up the - um, whatever heating element Wendy's uses- and wrap greasy warm garbage with greasy warm paper and place it in greasy warm bags to sell to to greasy warm customers.  And the Saga of the Stupid Wendy's Choads will have completed another chapter.  Whatever.  What's happening with Lily over at AT&T?  That store still using five employees to deal with a single customer, you know-  like in real life?

Friday, August 18, 2023

I guess "We have the Diabetes" didn't fly with marketing?


...because if you take advantage of this "Everyday Deal" every day, well, your days are numbered, and those numbers probably don't hit triple digits.  Unlike your A1C.  

That being said, it's a remarkable triumph of American Advertising that two of these piles of warm grease for $7 can be sold as a bargain.  I mean, that's about the same price as two gallons of gasoline for roughly the same impact on your digestive system. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

4Imprint- because it's so easy.


In all of these commercials, there's only one person in the entire office who realizes that the easiest job on the "big project" the Boss wants done is ordering a bunch of promotional giveaway crap that everybody expects and nobody wants.

So while the rest of her coworkers do actual labor on the project, she'll be going to 4imprint and spending the day "designing" t-shirts, pens, baseball caps, carafes and other junk that new clients will receive and quickly discard because seriously, who the heck needs more of this garbage lying around the house?  

As for the other coworkers- well, I have to assume that they are all over the age of sixty and don't realize that there are companies that do all the work for you when it comes to producing promotional materials.  It's not like when I ran for Congress back in 2002 and I had to make phone calls and create designs and approve templates for t-shirts, buttons and bumper stickers.  Now all that stuff is done for you online and you can pick out what you want and order it in a matter of minutes, if not seconds- leaving people like this very smart young woman to enjoy her afternoon sipping coffee at her desk and pretending to work on that Big Project while the idiots who fled from the easiest task on the list are stuck doing the actual labor for The Man and his Big Project.

Sunday, August 13, 2023

Joan Lunden's "A Place to Stick Mom" commercials


Maybe Joan Lunden loves her mother, maybe she doesn't, I don't know...but here's what I DO know:  Joan Lunden has an estimated net worth of $25 million.  If she's willing to spend money on her mother's Senior Care, that care is probably out of reach for the vast majority of her audience.  If she's providing the same care for her mother that any middle-class person can provide for THEIR mother, I said, maybe Joan Lunden loves her mother, and maybe she doesn't.

I mean, come on.  Joan Lunden can afford to buy her mother a condo and provide her with 24/7 cleaning, cooking and health care.  Why is she gushing about some bleak senior "community" people who DON'T have a net worth of $25 million put their parents into?  I suspect her mother is asking the same question, assuming she's still alive- considering that Lunden has been pushing this service for about 20 years now, and is herself 73 years old,  I'm not sure that's even a fair assumption.  

Saturday, August 12, 2023

The never-answered question I have for Colonial Penn Life Insurance


(Never answered by Colonial Penn in any of their ads, anyway....)

According to this spokeschoad, the ONLY thing anyone is ever concerned about when purchasing life insurance (or any other insurance, for that matter) is Price, Price, and Price.  As in "how much does it cost, can I afford it, will the rates ever change?"  But of course, this is NOT the only item a consumer should be concerned about when purchasing insurance.  There's another P that Colonial Penn only hints at in all of it's ads, and that word is "Payout."  As in "Payout Amount."

In every single one of these noxious, fetid commercials- and especially the ones that feature actors who would be a disgrace to any neighborhood drama club- we get nothing but hints concerning how much Colonial Penn will hand recipients of their "$9.95 plan."  We see people off-handedly comment on how the payments "can help" pay for this and "contribute" to paying for that.  Kind of like Endurance and Car Shield yakking about "Roadside Assistance" and "helping" with car rentals, which could mean anything from "I suggest you call AAA" to "I understand Budget still rents cars, google their number on your Smartphone, dummy."  

What we are NEVER given is an actual amount- as in, if grandma lets Colonial Penn charge her VISA card $9.95 a month for five years and then kicks off having paid a total of $600 in premiums, how much does her son get toward putting her body in a box and dumping it into a hole decorated by a carved piece of Vermont Granite?  

Turns out that Colonial Penn sells life insurance by the "unit," and each "unit" is $9.95 per month.  And how much coverage do you get for $9.95 per month?  For two years, none at all.  After that- about $700.

Considering that Colonial Penn itself likes to remind us that "the average funeral can cost $30,000,"  you're going to need to buy a lot more units if you want to come close to covering your fancy party followed by dirt nap.  But Colonial Penn caps the number of "units" each customer can buy at 12- which would cost you $119 per month, and pay out-- about $8600.  And remember, there's that 2-year waiting period to prevent people from spending their final seconds on Earth- maybe during a heart attack- from buying insurance with their last gasp, because you know people will do that.  People are scum.

So in fact, there's actually no way to use Colonial Penn Insurance to cover the cost of a funeral.  A cremation, sure, but that's cheap anyway- why even bother with insurance to cover the cost of cremation?  Don't send Colonial Penn any money- just set aside $10 a month in your own, interest-bearing account.  And live a few years, which Colonial Penn's own plan requires in any case.

So yeah, Colonial Penn, your price is the selling point- your ONLY selling point.  It's the "As Low As..." scam that anyone who has ever pulled up to Jiffy Lube expecting to get an oil change for $29.99 is very, very familiar with.  Of course, nobody who wants actual coverage is going to sign up for that $9.95 plan because it's basically worthless- your company plans on people hanging up the phone confused and a little distressed that they called you willing to invest ten bucks a month and ended up agreeing to eight or nine times that because the nice young man you hired to take the call took them on a polite but firm guilt trip.  I have another P for you- "Pass."