I’m not a huge football fan. Not because I’m against competition fueled by excessive testosterone, but because I just don’t have the time to keep up with it. Honestly, my butt goes numb after about an hour and a half of any type of television viewing and I’d rather do a thousand other things with my weekends. That said, I do set aside time each year to enjoy the Super Bowl. I go all out – nachos, pizza, beer – and I’m usually by myself, because I watch it for the commercials.
Anyone that read my rant on ridiculous television commercials knows that I am not amused with the nosedive that advertising creativity has taken recently. I still had hope last Sunday but was terribly disappointed. Let’s go to the play-by-play, shall we?
I have to admit that I didn’t have high hopes for Taco Bell, anyway. This ad met my expectations. I don’t think I have ever chanted “make it stop” at my TV within the first third of a commercial. And by the way, did I miss the ballooning of Charles Barkley? I have distinct memories of him being a basketball player. Now he just looks like the ball.
I totally forgot that Bud Light provided ads this year, which is exactly the reaction they shouldn’t want. If anyone should be trying hard to win over consumers during the sporting even of the year, it’s the beer industry. Everyone knows that the Seven-Elevens are packed at halftime, and Bud Light should be encouraging sales via funny bone. This made me thirsty for sobriety.
This has to be the worst effort from an advertiser in recent history. That’s really awesome that they spent their millions targeting viewers that wouldn’t be caught dead in those shoes, but could they at least get a headshot of Joe Montana for this? I’m seriously about to write a letter to Skechers, asking for my 15 seconds back.
This had to be the highlight of the evening. Unfortunately, Betty White had to get laid out for me to get a laugh. I hope that this valiant attempt at humor didn’t result in a hip replacement.
In summation, I was very disappointed in the advertising presented this year. Apparently, the reason for this maelstrom of mediocrity is because advertisers have lost touch with their disenchanted and recession-scarred consumers. Personally, I think that’s been the problem a lot longer than the economy has; a lot longer than they would like to admit.
My wife needs the television on in order to get to sleep. Not sure why, but I’ve just gotten used to it. On occasion, my sleep is interrupted in the middle of the night by the sweaty underarm of the advertising world, better known as the infomercial. Now, I understand the selling power of a 30-minute onslaught of unbelievable claims, bad acting, terrible graphics and louder-than-necessary voiceovers, but three particular peddlers fascinate me with their ability to get anyone to give anything to them.
Just to be clear, I have always known that I was full of it. But did I need snake-oil salesman (and John Waters look-alike) Klee Irwin to illustrate just what “it” is? Staged in what looks like a corny talk show, Klee and his sidekick Dr. James Chappell share their gospel about how impacted fecal matter, parasites in the colon, and “unusual, foul-smelling bowel movements” can be flushed away by his latest and greatest concoction: Dual Action Cleanse 2. For our viewing pleasure, he leverages the mighty power of television to show us what comes out of our ”old house” after using his product. Needless to say, I skipped breakfast the next morning. Thanks for that, Klee.
Next, are you too uncoordinated to wash your own bottom? Do you like to watch large men flop around like trapped manatees in the shower? Then you can’t miss the Body Snake! I know that there are people out there with serious needs that would benefit greatly from this product. If this mutant pipe cleaner was marketed directly to them, this infomercial would be perfectly acceptable. However, they seem to be targeting large, clumsy men. And that makes it funny.
I was going to post a video of Girls Gone Wild, but on second thought, we’ve all seen enough of them. Also, I didn’t want this to be the place that someone sees their daughter in a compromising position. Nothing says “I hate you, Dad” quite like the flashing of oh-no’s for the world to see. Instead, I remembered something that makes me laugh everytime I see it and has almost earned my money…
It seems that the hardest part about starting an exercise regimen is just getting off your butt. No worries now, thanks to the Hawaii Chair! Take it from Brad, the ambassador of all things Hawaiian with the complexion of a zombie: these should be a staple in every office environment. I’m sure it would make your office tasks as easy as starting an on-the-job romance. Seriously, our friend Erin in the pink sweater looks like she’s holding on for dear life.
I could go on forever with this, but we all have lives or jobs that we should get back to.
First of all, I thought we were friends. I thought that if we treated each other with the same level of respect, then I wouldn’t see some of the mind-numbing poop that keeps my hand firmly wrapped around the remote. We had a good run with non sequitur (such as this), and I was fine with ads that were less captivating than watching grass grow (such as this). However, you have let me down to a new low.
Let’s start with that Dannon ad, the one with “the Activia lady”. I understand Jamie Lee Curtis needs the work, but isn’t there a better environment for this veteran actress – this icon of American cinema – than as a sampler in a grocery store? For Christ’s sake, she was in “Trading Places”! Would you cast Eddie Murphy as a Wal-Mart greeter?
Moving on, Jamie Lee getting sassy and making an announcement over the PA system was enough to make me gouge my eyes out with a shrimp fork. The content is too flimsy, and the context is too grim, leaving me with one burning image in my mind: Jamie Lee Curtis dropping a deuce. I am now in no mood to even consider eating yogurt.
Another ad that just shouldn’t be is the latest Speed Stick commercial. It starts with an immediately off-putting question: “What’s your pit type?”.
Now I must preface this by saying that there are certain health conditions that should not be approached via TV commercial. I would rather be pleasantly surprised with certain strides in hygiene technology. Is the middle of an episode of “Heroes” a good time to inform me of my choices for handling vaginal burning and odor? Exactly. Now back to the Speed Stick commercial.
Once asked about my “pit type”, I’m braced for what uncomfortable subject matter ensues.
“Sweaty? Hairy? Sensitive?”
What? Did you really just ask me that? I don’t think I ever cared what differentiates the needs of a sweaty armpit versus a hairy one. That commercial didn’t spark an interest either. I felt like my television presented me with a subject I wasn’t prepared to tackle at the moment, kind of like when your six year-old asks you what a douche is for.
Of course this wouldn’t be complete with what is, by far, one of the worst advertising campaigns ever: the Geico cavemen. This campaign should’ve ended about 30 seconds before it started, and the creative geniuses that sparked it should’ve had their right to use English revoked. But no, I should be led to believe that cavemen walk among us, and pity that their intellect is insulted by cheap advertising. I never felt sorry for them, probably because I’m too preoccupied with having my intellect insulted by cheap advertising.
In conclusion, if nothing can be taken from this post, please consider this: we thirst for wit; we are starved of clever humor. Take note of the catchy quips of the not-so-legendary Vince Offer (“stop having a boring tuna, stop having a boring life”). Do you part to boost the economy (and your profession), and make me want to buy something!
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Founded in 2004 with $14 and a dream, Imagine is an integrated marketing, branding and design firm that combines Northern Virginia’s flair for innovation with Chicago’s warm personality and West Coast creativity. We’re an industry-leading group of problem solvers that believe that marketing can’t truly be effective unless it’s integrated, and handled by dedicated experts in each field.