Posts Tagged ‘Commercials’


January 4, 2010

The advertising world is full of annoying ads, jingles, characters, and so forth. It’s kind of their stock in trade. Look at Billy Mays. Look at him, directly, square in the eyes. It’s difficult to do so, especially now, but you’ll see where his power came from: he annoyed you until you finally relented and agreed that his stupid products (Orange Glo, Oxy Clean, that muffin pan that made sliders, etc.) would actually be a good buy. He was the Jack Bauer of infomercials. He’d lock you in a room and violate your constitutional rights until you bought Mighty Putty.

And so it is with this commercial for Education Connection. It would probably fall by the Wayside of Abandoned Websites if it weren’t for this earworm of a jingle. According to the YouTube profile, it was written by one Anthony Falcone (of Gotham City’s favorite crime family, I would imagine), and one Rusty J. Rusty J WHAT, I don’t know. This commercial is a perfect example of getting beaten into submission by a catchy tune.

Let me be clear: this isn’t a good song. It’s a low-rent Waitresses ripoff which, given the costume of the singer (lip-syncher?), may be intentional. However, it passes the Ubiquitous Annoyance test:

  1. Is it annoying? YES
  2. Is it identifiable? YES
  3. Do you find that you are humming it to yourself? YES
  4. Did you seek it out on YouTube? YES
  5. Did you investigate who the girl was? YES, ANDREANNA VEITH

Eventually you find yourself at that “breaking point” and start to concede the validity of the ad to some extent. “I’m unemployed,” you say, “maybe I do need my online AA.” Just as you conceded that you needed the slider pan. Just as you conceded that you needed a Juice Tiger. Just as I conceded, almost 20 years ago, that I needed a pocket sandwich press. (It was a dark time in my life, and that is all that will be said on the matter.)

Then the final question comes: “Will you buy/use the product/service?” My answer: still NO. Anything with a “success kit” seems shady. What the hell is a “success kit,” anyway? Read these pamphlets, and you’ll succeed? Sounds like every real estate system infomercial ever.

But, I’ll hand it to you, EdConn, Aflac, and Rusty-Jizzle: you drilled that song into my brain. Your final reward awaits you in Hell.



December 10, 2009

So, here we are, another holiday season, another round of commercials dedicated to hammering into our head that our own families are woefully dysfunctional, and could easily be repaired by buying the crap they’re selling.

Christmas brings the family together (Christmas because it’s usually a white, nondescript family), to gather around a warm bowl of something, or using some service. Thanks for warming our hearts, Ragu!

However, Folgers’ latest offering, far from warming my heart, has instead chilled my bones. Just watch the commercial, and I’ll give you a moment to let it wash over you.

I’ll break the ice and say, yes, I also believe the sister wishes to “bone” (as kids in 1978 would call it) her brother.

Now, I’m sure that on paper, the commercial seemed innocent enough. Brother comes home after a while, sister is happy to see him, warm fuzzies. Fine. But there are some fatal flaws in the execution that take us from Mayberry to Chinatown, after the jump:



December 3, 2009

This promo for the final season of Lost is getting pretty much universal love from the show’s hardcore fanbase, and with good reason. In America we’ve been subjected to garbage like this:

[Ed. Note: Radiohead > The Fray]

The Spanish promo addresses what the show is really about and what has garnered it so much positive popular and critical attention over the years–how mysterious and complicated and intelligent it is. Lost‘s is a grand artistic vision in which ordinary people carry on the eternal human struggle to make their own destiny even as they get caught up in power plays by clandestine, sinister, and (literally) earth-moving forces beyond their comprehension.

Yet Lost‘s ambition is tempered and balanced by its adherence to well-worn tropes of television drama. There’s love, lies, laughs, loss, other words that start with L, and healthy doses of science fiction, mystery, and suspense. It even has a time travel love triangle. (Time Travel Love Triangle is the name of my new band, by the way)

So far, ABC’s promos have addressed the show’s soapier aspects almost exclusively. And one must ask, why? Smart people with good taste undoubtedly make up a substantial number of the show’s viewers, and a vast majority of the superfans. They love Lost because it’s so different from the rest of television. ABC has been marketing to the wrong target audiences.

Let’s hope the network follows Channel 4’s lead and starts to advertise its programs more intelligently.

(via The Daily What)