Sunday, January 28, 2024

Progressive's "Don't Become Your Parents" commercials are ageist trash


Notice that none of these commercials make fun of actual Senior Citizens,  I suspect because that would not sit well with the audience.  Fortunately for Progressive, making fun of middle-aged people- especially middle-aged white men- is perfectly fine because I guess it's seen as a form of punching up.  And the viewer is just supposed to ignore the fact that values usually associated with The Greatest Generation are constantly being assigned to Boomers.  

For example, we see several of these ads featuring Funny Stupid Fifty-somethings incapable of using a Smart Phone properly- never mind that middle class fifty-somethings have owned Smart Phones since they were in their thirties.  Were they clueless about the tech then?  Is there some reason why they were unable to adapt to updated tech along with their younger fellow Smart Phone owners?  Give me a break. 

We also see a lot of other behavior typical of people who grew up in small towns in the 1930s and 40s being attributed to people born in the 1960s and 1970s- introducing yourself to the waiter, or saving butter containers for leftovers, etc. etc. etc.  I'm sixty years old- I don't save plastic containers for leftovers and I've never introduced myself to my waiter.  Then again, I know how to take a selfie, so I guess I'm an outlier....?

And here's another thing- all those clueless middle aged people Progressive is talking about seem to have nice homes, obtained through decades of hard work and savings- but instead of being admired for their hard work, diligence and frugality, they are being subjected to what looks for all the world like Re-Education Processing because they "don't understand" how the world of their grandchildren - who, again, are using the same tech they have been using since they were in their thirties- are using.  

In short, Progressive, maybe you could stop pretending that people around my age are stumbling around a world they don't understand clinging to silly values that have no relevance in today's Superior Younger Culture and just admit that you want to make fun of people who have been on Social Security for at least a decade.  Consumer Cellular does it all the time; I don't know why you are being so reticent.  

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Dr. Pepper's "Fansville" campaign has run out of ideas. So it will hang around for a few more years, of course.


Some jokes get stale and are thrown away.  Some are beaten to death.  Some are beaten to death, cremated, and then rise like a pigeon from the ashes (see the Geico Caveman.)

And then there are jokes like Dr. Pepper's "Fansville" ad campaign, which is entering it's sixth "season" (I believe the current title of the campaign is Ruining Your Football Viewing Experience Since 2018.)  The series that redefines the term "played" and necessitates me writing GO AWAY NOW in all-caps (the Mensa Squad from the Wendy's commercial will arrive at this level of played in 2024.)

Please, Dr.  Pepper.  ENOUGH ALREADY.  Yes, there will always be YouTube commentators who are willing to post how Hi-LARIOUS they find all this, but come on- those people like everything except finding things to do that don't involve watching tv or being online.  They should not count.  ENOUGH ALREADY.

Friday, January 26, 2024

The return of the Geico Caveman is so disjointed and confusing, I hardly know where to start...


Twenty-five years ago, we were treated to/tortured by a series of inane commercials about a caveman- and then a group of cavemen, because no stupid idea goes unbeaten into the ground in TV Ad Land- who got upset because they felt that Geico was being, um, racist or something in suggesting that cavemen can only do very easy things.  I guess that because it's now 2024, this current caveman- who I must say looks pretty good for a guy whose species only had a life expectancy of about 40 years- should not be referred to as "upset," but rather "triggered" or "traumatized" by a reminder that a quarter of a freaking century ago people who shared his, um, ethnicity(?) were treated like they were blacks in 1920s ad campaigns or women in 1950s ad campaigns.

But the "caveman" in this ad really shows his modern sensibilities by demonstrating that he is determined to take offense at Geico no matter what the insurance company does with his, um, heritage.  This guy didn't want to be associated with an ad campaign back during the Clinton Administration, but now he's peeved that a lizard is "getting credit" for being more "iconic" than he is?  So Geico is damned if they do, damned if they don't?  Someone at Geico's ad agency has been watching Tiktok and has a very strong and very accurate handle on current social media.  

I'll play along and ask what this woman sees in her caveman husband/boyfriend; he's a senior citizen for his species but he's still acting like a butthurt snowflake who is angry when he gets attention and angry when he doesn't.  And when I say "I'm asking," I'm speaking rhetorically; no, I don't really want to know, I don't want a series of commercials fleshing this out (I'm going to get them anyway, because the world hates me) and I'm pretty sure nobody wants a caveman tv show any more than we wanted one in the late-90s.  Remember that ill-conceived steaming pile of dung?  Geico hopes you don't, but just enjoy having your 1990s nostalgia bone tickled by the return of of something nobody missed. 

Monday, January 22, 2024

Applebee's Shows Zero R-E-S-P-E-C-T


Never a fan of Ms. Franklin or this song, but I know she has millions of fans who must be suffering terminal cringe a commercial using her signature piece to sell cheap, fatty fried garbage drizzled with sugar from the restaurant you bring grandma to because it's a small step up from Golden Corral, which is itself a small step up from Burger King.   Playing during every freaking commercial break of every NFL playoff game this weekend. 

Nobody cares if a pharmaceutical company wants to use Pilot's Magic song, because nobody remembers that song, and nobody liked it when it was on the radio fifty years ago.  This is a bit different, don't you think?

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Dairy Queen asks too much of my ability to suspend disbelief


I don't know about you, but I'M not buying the concept of fried potatoes AND fried onions AND fried chicken paste on one plate.  Maybe such a thing exists in heaven, or Shangri-La, or some other imaginary place, but not on Earth and certainly not in America.  

Call me an empiricist, but I'll believe in a thing when I see it.  I know that anything can be created with CGI these days.  Nice try, Dairy Queen, but I don't believe you or anyone else is serving up such a unique combination until I can find a Dairy Queen myself- and it's not going to be good enough to see it on the menu.  I want to see it on a plate or in a basket, or I'm not buying it (I'm not buying it anyway, since I'd like to live to a ripe old age, but you know what I mean.)

Saturday, January 20, 2024

National Debt Relief. Yes, here comes another Boomer Rant...


"Being debt is such a struggle..." Actually, being in debt is very, very easy- so easy, in fact, that most Americans have found themselves in exactly that situation with little or no effort at all.  It just requires spending more than what you have.  It can be made more fun by complaining about it and pretending that its someone else's fault ("Society" and "The Economy" are the main go-to's in this regard, just a free tip there) but that's not necessary unless you want to be one of the whiny* entitled idiots featured in a Debt Relief Commercial.

Here's what's hard- living within your means.  Unless you've got family to sponge off of, or know how to fill out all those forms to let the government take care of you, or you are one of these people and are just going to keep widening that gap between what you earn and what you spend, you are going to have to Do Without until you can increase the money coming in until it exceeds the money going out.  Amazingly, there is no end to the number of people perfectly willing to be sponges.  What they lack in initiative and energy they make up with an overabundance of entitlement and finger-pointing.  

Know who pays for debt relief?  People who don't use it.  We get higher interest rates because the credit card companies that cut deals with scofflaws aren't going to swallow the loss all by themselves.  And know what lesson is learned through debt relief?  That debt is no big deal and Someone Else will take care of it when it seems out of control- which only happens when Big Mean Banks stop offering credit.  What a great lesson for today.

*Actually, I'd appreciate it if these guys were a little more whiny and less chirpy and happy about getting some company to negotiate a write-off of thousands of dollars of debt that they never suggest is anything but 100 percent legitimate.  Even the smallest acknowledgement that the problem was self-inflicted and something to avoid, instead of the "I got divorced, I'm a single mom, I got sick, Things HappenTM" drivel, would make me a LITTLE sympathetic.  Instead, you get the sense that these people haven't learned a damn thing and will be back calling for "Debt Relief" inside of two years.  And absolutely positive that they "deserve it." 

Friday, January 19, 2024

Oh Oh Oh Ozempic is the gift that just keeps giving


"Ozempic can be used to prevent high blood sugar, which can result in serious heart ailments.  It also can help some patients lose weight."

Prospective patient:  "How much weight?"

"Um...patients on Ozempic have reported losing ten percent or more of their body weight. It also helps prevent Type 2 Diabetes, which has been connected to an increased risk of strokes and heart attacks..."

PP:  "What if I take a double dose every week?  Can I lose more weight?"

"OD'ing on Ozempic is not recommended.  Did I mention that taking Ozempic can lower the damage caused by hormonally active adipose tissue, which decreases mobility and may lead to serious issues like hardened arteries?"

PP:  "So how do I get a prescription for Ozempic?"

"Ask your doctor if Ozempic is right for you."

PP:  "It's right for me.  I am fat.  So I just tell my doctor to prescribe Ozempic and if he refuses- or even hesitates- do a little doctor-shopping until I find one more enlightened to the benefits of Ozempic, right?"

"Um...yeah, I guess.  It's a great drug for treating Type 2 Diabetes..."

PP:  "I don't know that that diababies thing is, but I want to look cut this summer.  I'm getting Ozempic."

"Yeah, I hear that a lot.  Not really sure why our commercials even mention the other stuff.  After all, if Americans were concerned about strokes and diabetes, we wouldn't be on"e of the fattest nations on the planet in the first place...."

PP:  "Hey, that's mean.  It's mostly genetic!"

"Are you actually eating Taco Bell right now?"

PP:   I have to nourish my body!!  Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to tell my doctor to put me on Ozempic- I mean, I'm off to ask my doctor about Ozempic." 

Thursday, January 18, 2024

The US Postal Service goes Everywhere...well, Eventually...


Maybe, sort of?

Three items I ordered last month to be delivered to Vermont have been "out for delivery" every day for the past week- always expected by 9 PM until 9 PM comes and goes, and then listed as "delayed" due to a "weather emergency."  Amazon is Truly Very Sorry for the delay, and the items are Now Expected to arrive Tomorrow.  Until tomorrow, that is.

Meanwhile, items being shipped through UPS and FedEx - ordered AFTER the items being shipped by the good old US Postal "Service"- have arrived in Vermont despite the "weather emergency" which consisted of a few inches of snow which were quickly removed by plows.  The address has received mail three of the past ten days, none of it in the form of packages.  Apparently the "weather emergency" was bad enough to prevent Postal "Service" trucks from reaching my mother's house in a rural part of the state- but not bad enough for the UPS and FedEx trucks.  Which company claims to go anywhere and used to use that "through rain or snow or sleet" mantra again?

The items in the "care" of the United States Postal "Service" have been sitting in the local Post Office for more than a week now, waiting for the "weather emergency" that is not preventing anyone else from traveling anywhere to subside, I guess. If I head back South before they show up, I guess I can wave to the building they are being held in as I pass.  

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Some friendly advice to "ensure a fit life" that doesn't involve usury....

Yes, I will be playing the role of Boomer Scold here....

On the Physical Fitness Side:  Maybe spend less time sitting in one place pretending to be Getting in Touch with Yourself/Embracing your Inner Calmness/ Insert Even More Twee BS Here and more time doing cardio and lifting weights?  I mean, being calm is a good thing, but all that sitting isn't doing a damn thing to strengthen your heart and lungs, and it's actually encouraging the development of hormonally active excess adipose tissue which will, if allowed to grow, will wreck havoc on that Mood you are trying to improve.  As the young people say, get off your butt, go outside, and touch some grass.

On the Financial Fitness Side:  Maybe stop spending money recklessly, pay all your bills on-time, use credit only in emergencies and live within your means instead of relying on high-interest unsecured loans just because they are only a tap on your overpriced phone (which is part of the reason you have money problems, you moron.)  It's amazing how easy it is to get a low-cost loan when you have a good credit score.  It's amazing how easy it is to keep a good credit score when you break your addiction to spending and stop looking for a way to get Peter to pay Paul.  

In both cases, the first step is to stand up, get off your phone, and get to work.  Start by Adulting.  

Ok, Boomer Scolding over.  For now. 

Monday, January 15, 2024

What the actual hell is happening in this stupid Clorox Commercial?


I mean, other than this little girl behaving as if she is absolutely determined to make everyone who lives with her as sick as she is by sneezing into that fan/humidifier/whatever, while her mother- who of course must be only a yard or so away, rolls her eyes as if there's nothing out of the ordinary with daughter's douchenozzelry and just goes on with her use of the 12th carton of Clorox bleach wipes she's used since Idiot Spawn got the sniffles?

By the way, this is a pretty new commercial, so we can't argue that it "aged badly."  This ad was created AFTER two years of a highly contagious pandemic which killed more than a million Americans and left millions more with more-or-less permanent debilitating symptoms.  Yet it still features a bemused, unmasked mommy shrugging at the idea of germs being needlessly scattered all over the house.  If dipshit daughter isn't thoughtful enough to wear a damn mask (hell, her goal seems to be the OPPOSITE of protecting her family- more like Misery Loves Company) at least Mommy could.   You know, instead of just applying yet another coat of toxic chemicals to every surface she can find.  

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Remember when Aaron Rodgers was in State Farm Commercials?


You know, before China, Hillary, AOC, the Tripartite Commission and the ghost of Osama Bin Laden inflicted a virus on the world with the goal of destroying Capitalism, God and whatever "Traditional Marriage" is?

(Sorry, I was just channeling everyone's favorite overrated quarterback/conspiracy theorist/ranking member in the Cult of Trump for a minute there.)

Chances are that after this lunatic's latest juvenile paranoid tirade concerning stuff nobody his age should be bitching about- getting "cancelled" by the "woke" crowd, etc. (seriously, Aaron, you've got enough money to buy your own planet if this one doesn't suit you.  Don't let the stratosphere hit you on the way out,) we've seen the last of his commercial appearances that don't involve a chain of Wisconsin pawn shops or a certain Mussolini wannabee who wants to move back into the White House.  I can't see a whole lot of companies that aren't peddling tin medallions (or fake insurance*) to gullible seniors offering to make this guy the face of their product, can you?

*I can see Rodgers pitching "Medicare plus" cards though.  They'll hire ANYBODY.

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Did you catch the glaring error in this GoodRx Commercial?


I did, on the very first watch.  And it's not just this GoodRx Commercial- it's an error that shows up in every single commercial featuring a pharmacy.  And it takes me out of the ad every single time because I feel like I've been projected into an alternate reality where nothing at all makes sense. 

Here's the mistake:  Never in the history of the universe has anyone simply walked up to a pharmacy to find someone at the counter waiting to fill their prescription.  Yet in all these ads, not only is there never a line but there's someone in a white coat making eye contact while the customer is still ten feet away, as if the pharmacist is just standing there waiting to be Activated by a customer.   We who live here in Reality know full well that pharmacists are NEVER at that front counter when we finally get there- if we're lucky, they are visible in the back looking at screens or putting stuff into bags.  If we're really lucky, they are using one of those cool pill sorting machines that news channels feel the need to show us whenever mentioning anything to do with prescription drugs.

If we're not really lucky- and it's a typical day and not a reality-bending dreamscape like we see in these GoodRx ads- what we see instead is at least three people in front of us on line, no clerk in sight, and eventually a promise to have that prescription that we were told by an automated voice message was ready two days ago ready in another fifteen minutes to two hours Would We Like To Shop For Awhile And Come Back ThenTM?

A pharmacist just waiting for a customer to casually approach the counter?  Yeah, right.  

Friday, January 12, 2024

What money can buy, brought to you (this time) by Verizon...


I mean, come on.  This weird, ugly creep is concerned about the phone bill being too high?  Checking out the trophy wife, who dutifully gave this guy two trophy kids, and that house, I don't believe it for a minute.

Don't tell me that there isn't a Lexus or two in the driveway of this suburban mansion.  And don't EVEN try to tell me that this woman saw something in this guy approximately twenty years ago (when she was in her early-20s and he was in his mid-30s) that didn't involve a LOT of money.  Good-looking women marry good-looking guys...or they marry guys who look like this who also have great jobs and big fat wallets.  

I'm not being cynical.  I'm being Real.   Unlike this stupid ad.  

Sunday, January 7, 2024

This SoFi commercial with Justin Herbert certainly deserves to be red-flagged...


...I mean...if you believe that Shaq buys car insurance from The General and Joe Namath is excited about BS "insurance" to add to his Medicare, maybe this ad works for you, but seriously....

Justin Herbert signed a four-year, $27 million dollar rookie contract with the San Diego Chargers in 2020.  In 2023 he signed a five-year extension for just over $260 million- about $52 million per year. $200 million of that is guaranteed.   In 2025 his salary will be one hundred million dollars.  His estimated net worth is currently $25 million.  But in one version of this ad, he holds up his phone to reveal that he has a whopping $37,000 in his SoFi account.  I know he was complaining about high fees, but come on!

But again...if you think that Patrick Mahomes is concerned about his insurance rates, or Samuel L. Jackson is super-interested in getting the very most out of his credit card rewards points, you are probably exactly the kind of consumer who buys into someone like Justin Herbert being "frustrated" with bank fees.  So go for it, I guess.  Being a Boomer, I like brick-and-mortar banks myself.  And maybe I'm smarter with my money than this guy- I'm no multimillionaire quarterback, but I've got more than $37,000 in MY bank account. 

Saturday, January 6, 2024

TurboTax's "Free" version- because it's that time of year again.


If you 

1.  don't care that Turbotax will not keep any of your records on file, 
2.  need absolutely no help at all- not even any clarification on terms, 
3.  are willing to print up your returns when completed and mail them yourself,
4.  own absolutely nothing but are just filling out a 1040EZ form for your taxes, well, then...

the Turbotax "free" version may be for you.  If you are the kind of person who "gets excited to read a disclaimer" and also must read things out loud for them to appear real to you, well, again- the Turbotax "free" version may be for you.

I've been using Turbotax online for almost twenty years.  Personally, I'd rather pay about a hundred bucks to have someone online to clarify something, e-file and set up direct deposit payment of my refund than take the "free" version and be completely on my own, but I'm kind of weird that way- I don't even get excited by disclaimers, and I can read without moving my lips.  

Friday, January 5, 2024

Oh Oh Oh stop whining about Ozempic already!


(I agree with one contributor to the comment section:  these people are having an awful lot of very old-fashioned cellphone-free fun in this ad.  Although the kid with glasses looks like he's more of a kidnap victim than an actual member of this family.  I wonder which employee of the ad agency he's related to.)

There are a lot of "the problems with Ozempic" videos out there on YouTube and Tiktok, and they all make the same really stupid argument:  that the drug was not made to help people lose weight, but to control blood sugar and manage diabetes symptoms.  As if "losing weight" and "managing diabetes" are somehow mutually exclusive.  But here's what really gets me about this idiocy:  Diabetes is just ONE of the more than ONE HUNDRED potentially fatal diseases powerfully associated with obesity.  If Ozempic can help people lose weight- and therefore decrease the likelihood of developing any one of those MORE THAN ONE HUNDRED POTENTIALLY FATAL DISEASES - then what exactly is the problem again?  

Meanwhile, I'd really like to visit that retro arcade.  That looks really cool.  I hope it becomes a franchise and they open one near me.  

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Taco Bell, and a simple but vital New Year's Resolution for 2024


We don't say that people "crave" cigarettes anymore; we've universally agreed that cigarettes are addictive.

We don't say that people "crave" alcohol anymore; we've come to understand that alcohol is addictive.

Let's do something for ourselves in 2024:  Let's stop using the word "crave" when describing the desire of millions of Americans to consume ultra-processed fat, carb and grease-infused life-shortening junk on a regular basis.  Let's start being more honest- and accurate- and call a spade a spade.  Americans pump 700 billion dollars a year into the Fast "Food" industry not because of low prices (the prices aren't low) and not because of quality food (the only quality here is Low.)  It's not because of convenience ("we work so hard, who has time to cook?") and it's not because of ignorance (if you don't know what this sludge does to your arteries, you've gone out of your way to avoid the science.)  

No, it's because the industry has invested billions in experimentation to turn the population of the world's richest nation into the fattest and unhealthiest people on the planet by getting us hooked on dopamine-releasing poison wrapped in packages which are attractive, easy to hold, quickly digestible and properly devoid of actual nutrition, assuring that we'll be back for more before we know it.  

It's not "craving."  What you hear isn't "food noise."  It isn't "hey, this is your body- we need to eat before our next scheduled meal."  It's ADDICTION.  "Intuitive Eating" is a nice, quaint idea that was possible when our diets consisted of food with few ingredients, all of them natural.  It doesn't work when most of what we eat are chemicals designed to force us back for another Hit again and again and again until we are cruising around on mobility scooters, with plastic oxygen tubes jammed up our noses, wondering if our shoes are untied (or if we are even wearing them.)

It's bad enough that Taco Bell keeps hitting us with these seizure-inducing ads showing young people having the grandest of times shoving Diabetes Helper into their stupid faces- yeah, it's amazing what young people can get away with eating- for the time being.  It's even worse that they are constantly peddling these "cravings boxes" like the sleazy guy on the corner offering a deep discount on his heroin, knowing that a steady customer is worth the bargain and at any rate you've got to soak him for everything he's got while he's still young- because he ain't getting old.  Not on the stuff you are pushing to satisfy those "cravings."  But then, you aren't concerned with your customers getting old- as long as they live long enough to pass their HABIT on to the next generation.  And judging from what I see in the world outside my house, you are accomplishing this goal only too well.  

Monday, January 1, 2024

I just needed a 15th Anniversary Commercial, and this one has a song, so....


'twas fifteen years ago
I started on my quest
to watch a lot of tv ads
I gave myself no rest
I had to find out for myself
if anyone shared my thought
that 99 percent of all the spots
were giving us all brain rot
I figured in a while
I'd run out of spots to mock
of commercials that just made me ill
and suffer from writer's block
but slowly it started to dawn on me
that no matter how long I waited
the ads, they just got worse and worse
the pain, it never abated
in fact, as hard as it was to believe
the stench it only got stronger
as the decade closed my sanity took its leave
or surely would not last much longer

Well, today it's been fifteen years 
and now I've accepted my fate
with burning eyes and bleeding ears
I know its now too late
to start a blog starring the cats 
(which in fact I don't live with me)
or recipes for food I don't cook
or political commentary
So here's to another fifteen years
with Fansville, Lilly and Flo
with Peyton and Pat Mahomes
raking in the dough
with Jamie Foxx and Kevin Hart
selling you a dream
they make gambling look so much fun
it makes me want to scream
and Auld Lang Syne to FTX
and scams that came before
they've been replaced but not forgot
by the newly christened poor
there won't be another fifteen years
(It isn't me who'll go)
as commercial tv joins the heap
with print news and radio. 

All this being said- today really is the 15th Anniversary of this blog.  Thanks for reading, please subscribe if you really enjoy it!