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.