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!