We are coming to the end of the year. It is a time when many folks look back over the previous year and at the behaviors they exhibited during the year and resolve to “do better” next year. Notice I said “many folks” and not “everyone” because it is pretty clear to me that the folks who create and produce advertisements that show up on your TV screen never seem to “do better”. Therefore, I doubt they even try…
That is why I keep a list here in Curmudgeon Central of the ads that I find particularly annoying/stupid during the year. I list them here in the hope that by doing so I can make them go away; it never works. Remember Albert Einstein’s famous observation:
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.
One of these days, the little men with a canvass sports coat – - one that buckles in the back – - will surely come here and take me away…
But until they arrive, let me go through my extant list and remind you of particularly annoying ads in the hope that you might find a way to exact some retribution on the folks who inflicted them upon you.
I will begin by saying that I was already tired of and annoyed by “The Most Interesting Man In The World” last year but the guy just will not go away. So, I now refer to him as “The Most Persistent Man In The World” – - when I am not calling him something else that rhymes with “glass bowl”.
Remember the ads where the people broke out of their calling cell with Sprint phones and phone service? One of those jamokes was “on a mission to call every mobile phone in the country” with his new service and aims to finish that task when he is 93; how stupid is that? When he gets around to calling my cell phone – - yes, I have one – - I am going to try to keep him on the line for a while just to make his task less achievable. Maybe he will die in the interim…
Miller Lite has been touting its vortex bottle this year. Pouring your beer from that bottle supposedly “releases all that great Pilsner taste”. Here is the problem; Miller Lite tastes like beer that has already been consumed once. The vortex bottle is not going to cure that…
[Aside: Maybe Miller Lite should make an ad aimed at the folks dedicated to recycling as a way to save the planet. Drink Miller Lite and you will taste what it is like to drink recycled beer… Then again, maybe not.]
Miller Lite is a serial offender this year. How about the series of ads where egregiously clueless guys go up to a bar – - with a hot female bartender of course – - to order a lite beer. She asks, “Do you care how it tastes?” or “More taste or less taste?” or something to that effect. The dumbass guy then replies, “Uh, not really,” or “Doesn’t matter.” How stupid is that? Faced with the choice of “more taste” or “less taste” regarding anything you would consider eating or drinking, you would have to have the IQ of a slide trombone to have no opinion.
Lest anyone think I am picking on Miller Lite here, the folks who market Coors Light need to think about one of their campaigns. Coors Light has a label on the bottle that has a temperature sensitive strip in it so that the outline of the Rocky Mountains turn blue when the beer is cold. How nice.
Memo to Coors Light Mavens: Figuring out when beer is cold enough to drink is not one of the great challenges in my life. Thanks for solving a non-problem for me.
Along the same lines as the Coors Light ads that solve a non-problem for me, consider the animated ads for Charmin “Bathroom Tissue” where Mama Bear teaches Baby Bear how to use toilet paper. Thanks a heap, Charmin; I have not had a problem with that for more than 6 decades now. Adults who do have a problem with that functionality of life probably cannot afford to but toilet paper.
The ads for Extenze – - snickeringly called a male-enhancement supplement – - featuring Jimmy Johnson make me feel embarrassed for Jimmy Johnson instead of making me feel that the product might be worthwhile. The double entendres in the ad are not very good either. Jimmy Johnson is the spokesperson and at the end, he throws a football while telling the viewers to go long. I just want the ad to go away!
Of course, there is the ad for McDonald’s coffee featuring the anti-social misfit who refuses to talk to anyone until he has had his coffee.
Memo to Anti-social A$$hole: Just brew a pot. It ain’t hard!
The anti-social misfit mentioned above gets his coffee at one fast-food emporium and its competitor in that market niche also deserves a mention here. The entire genre of Burger King Breakfast ads with the manic flute player in them is very disturbing. I would avoid Burger King breakfasts just because there might be a chance that lunatic would be there as I drove up.
Speaking of lunatics I would want to avoid, how about the guy at Staples who keeps shouting, “WOW! That’s a low price!” every time he glances at an item. Tell me you wouldn’t immediately head for the exit if that guy came up next to you in the store.
Here is one more lunatic I would never want to meet on the streets or on a subway platform. I’m talking about the shirtless Black guy who flexes his pecs while shouting at the top of his lungs that some brand of deodorant stops B.O. for 16 hours.
How would you like to be in the midst of shaving – - obviously in an advanced state of undress – - only to have some nut-job with a TV crew interrupt you to talk to you about shaving and to convince you to shave with a different kind of razor? Of course, you would just stop what you were doing and have a conversation with that interloper, right? Me, I’m dialing 911…
The myriad auto ads in December such as the ones that show a car in the driveway with a big red bow on the roof are annoying. But the really stupid ones are the ones – - like the ones for GMC Trucks – - that tell me the lowest prices of the year are associated with their sale and the offers end on 3 January. Thanks for telling me to ignore any and all of your ads for the rest of the New Year where you tout the price and the great value of your trucks.
One ad campaign is built upon asking a dumb question, “What does 2:30 feel like?” Well, if I managed to get to bed before 3:00 AM the night before and/or if my blood alcohol level was below 0.25 when I did get to bed, then 2:30 PM feels like the middle of the workday to me. I don’t need coffee – - although I might have some because I like coffee; I don’t need a sugar fix; and I certainly do not need “5-hour energy” concocted from stuff found in avocadoes, bananas and broccoli.
[Aside: Avocadoes, bananas and broccoli… Is that the main course casserole for vegan Thanksgiving? Just asking…]
There is a Chunky Soup ad that is self-evidently stupid. It tries to convince you that Chunky Soup contains lean meat and veggies which are good for you. It begins by telling you that if you just finished a greasy meal, it was probably full of fat – - and therefore makes you sleepy. I am not sure about the linkage between eating fatty foods and drowsiness, but here is something that is a certainty:
Greasy foods are not probably full of fat; they are absolutely full of fat. With regard to food, grease, fat and oil are the same thing.
Another self-evidently stupid ad is the one where some goof considers the application of Toyota’s technology for its Prius cars where the act of putting on the brakes creates the electrical charge to replenish the battery in the hybrid car. The goof in the ad wonders if you could apply that to a roller coaster to make a “self-sustaining amusement park”. Allow me to answer that for the goof in the ad:
No, you cannot.
If you tried to do that you would have to violate the First Law of Thermodynamics, the Second Law of Thermodynamics and it would require that you eliminate all friction in every moving part of the roller coaster.
Even then, all you could do would be to make the roller coaster self-sustaining – - not the amusement park.
You may return to Earth now and stop living in your delusion.
Near the pinnacle of stupid advertisements is one I will remind you of by simply repeating four words:
“I … Wear … No … Pants…”
Recall the ad where astronauts are on the moon prancing around collecting samples and frolicking on the lunar surface – - only to return to the lunar rover and find it up on rocks with its tires stolen. Someone actually thinks that message will convince me to select Bridgestone tires the next time I need new ones. Here is what that message says to me:
“Bridgestone Tires Leave You High And Dry”
Finally, the ad that I find so mind-numbingly stupid that it actually makes me laugh when I think that it is intended to get me to buy its specific product is the Fathead ad featuring Cleveland Browns WR/kick returner, Josh Cribbs. After mangling the English language in a couple of audio inserts in the ad, Cribbs closes the ad – - nominally bringing my desire to buy a Fathead and attach it to the wall here in Curmudgeon Central to a fever pitch – - with this statement:
“You ain’t know? I’m a Fathead.”
Yes, Mr. Cribbs, you do indeed appear to be a Fathead – - in all senses of the word. I am certain that my 12th grade English teacher whose degree was from Mount Holyoke and who reveled in the works of the Bronte sisters, Charles Dickens and Jonathon Swift is gyrating in her grave.
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports…