You bitch about annoying commercials in your den. I do it online. I'm lucky enough to watch TV for a living, which means I often have to watch it live. I don't get to FF over the commercials. There is snark ahead. You've been warned.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Someone Shut That Talking Baby Up-Guest Blog from George Roush

Every once in a while, I like to have guest bloggers.  This week, it's my very good buddy George Roush.  You may know him as El Guapo or follow him at @elguapo1 on Twitter.  If you don't, you're insane.  This man is funny!  He also escorts me to things as my surrogate husband.  Pity him.  

Me and George at Meltdown Comics for the League of Extraordinary Ladies Meetup.  He's an honorary lady. (Photo by Nicole Sixx)

George, you'll find, has an issue with the talking baby commercials.  I share his terror of these little creatures.  They're just...wrong.  Check out what he has to say, and visit his hysterical blog, El Guapo TV, right here on blogspot. You'll thank me.  And now, without further ado, here is George 'El Guapo' Roush's rant on the E*Trade Babies.

Know what's worse than babies? Talking babies. Know what's worse than talking babies? Talking babies in commercials. Know what's worse than talking babies in commercials? NOTHING.

For some odd reason the talking baby commercial won't die. In 2008 E*Trade ran their first talking baby commercial during the Super Bowl. The campaign seemed to work and they haven't stopped making them. The brainchild of ad agency Grey New York, a firm that should be shot into the sun, created an ad campaign that has its own YouTube channel and Twitter account. Know what it doesn't have? A giant frying pan that swings in from out of frame and smashes the baby's face in.

The talking baby commercials creep me out. I hate them. I hate them more than I hate the Geico caveman commercials or the latest community college spot that runs during Maury Povich. I hate them more than I hate real babies. And that's a lot of hate, people. Babies aren't cute. They're stinky little creatures that poop, cry and demand all of your attention. Your cat has all of the same traits and is 400X smarter. Nobody wants to look at your baby pictures. We don't actually think your baby is the cutest in the world. We don't. We're being polite. Your baby is just as dumb and ugly as we were when we were babies.

Why the need for talking babies though? Because ad agencies love “dumb” campaigns. If a baby or caveman can do it, any stupid dumbass with an IQ above 4 could probably do it. What places like E*Trade and Geico are telling you is that you, the consumer, are retarded. It's nothing new, companies have been telling their customers they're stupid for decades. But now they're actually comparing you to the intellect of a baby. A baby. Something that slaps its hands on top of the baby chair a hundred times until you shove Robocop paste in its mouth.

Let's take a look at their first commercial that ran during the 2008 Superbowl.

Know what that commercial made me buy stock in? Trojans. Honestly, who sat on their couch and screamed out, “Hey! If that talking little baby can make trades n stuff, then me and the wife can do it too! Yeehaw!” Apparently a lot of people did and I'm betting they were all New England Patriot fans.

Let's look at one of their newer ones. One where the baby has a girlfriend. Cause babies love banging each other.

Was I magically teleported to a planet that likes this shit? Did someone steal the Tardis from Doctor Who, drug me, throw me in it and drop me off on Bizarro Earth? 8 million views? What is wrong with you people? “And that milkaholic Lindsey wasn't over?” Was that actually said? And GoDaddy commercials are censored? Do couples watch these commercials and say to each other, “Let's make our own talking baby!” (Don't answer that because I'm sure there were quite a few in the Deep South that did.)

E*Trade, as long as Grey New York keeps making these dumb talking baby commercials, you're not gonna see me trading on your website. I will happily stay broke in my room and not play the stock market. I hope everyone involved in this campaign has a baby that starts to talk right from the womb. Only it doesn't say cute things like “Daddy” or “I love you.” Instead it says “I use E*Trade” until it's 4 years old. Maybe then you bastards will stop.

Now leave me alone. I'm trying to finish watching Doctor Dolittle. Hahaha! That talking dog is soooo cute!!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Guest post from my dad: Digitized Charles Schwab People Freak Me Out!

Like me, my dad watches quite a bit of television. Like me, he has a lot of complaints about stupid commercials. He also has some serious issues with clowns. Long story. Anyway, here is Dad's take on the digitized people in the Charles Schwab commercials. For the record, they freak me out too. Disclaimer: The political leanings of Super Dad are his own and not the opinions of the owner of this blog. :)

Another commercial series I don’t like are the one from Charles Schwab – the ones where digitized human characters talk about investing.

First, is there a shortage of real human beings that necessitates the use of digitized humans? If so, why was I not made aware of this shortage? Surely under Obama there must be at least a dozen federal agencies where hundreds of employees are tasked with issuing a report when a human shortage occurs. Has such a report been issued? I think not.

Another issue is why would anyone take investment advice from make-believe people? Wouldn’t you think that financial decisions would warrant input from real people? I would think that even stupid real people would be preferable to smart sounding make-believe people? I mean, I love Mickey Mouse and his Mouseketeer buddies, but I would not consider their thoughts into any of my critical decisions.

He said Mickey Mouse. There was no way I was passing up a chance to use this picture.

I’m also concerned that the increasing appearances of these make-believe people could be an indication of something even more troubling. I’m thinking of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. You may think that this was just a movie where aliens slowly replaced humans with lookalikes, but it may be more than just a movie! In fact, I think I may have seen one of these alien replacements a few days ago in the gym. This supposed women had certain body parts that seemed to defy the natural laws of movement and gravity as she ran on a treadmill. I will task myself with further observations in this area to see if I can uncover a larger conspiracy.

This is not to even mention that some of these digitized characters look like “clowns”, and you know how I feel about clowns.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Anti-aging ads..."It will make you look 30 years younger!"

Ladies (and the men who love them), this one is for you. Here it goes...if I see one more lying piece of crap commercial with fuzzy camera work I will spit nails. Oh yes. I'm talking about wrinkle creams. Oh, of course your cream is a miracle.

"It improves the appearance of wrinkles up to 40%"

Uh huh. Do you think I'm too stupid to notice the words "appearance" and "up to?" Yes. You do. And if I'm like most women, I am. Now, I don't mean to be harsh here, because I understand why. Our culture prizes youth above everything and blah, blah blah. I don't have to spell it out for you. You've heard it a zillion times. And yes, aging in a society like this does have a deep, emotional impact on our self esteem. I'm a woman. I get it. I feel it. But can we just step back for a moment here? Let's look at this a different way.

They didn't work then either.

Imagine these commercials filled with slick camera shots, fuzzy filters and tons and tons of digital retouching were aimed at men. Disclaimer: Tons of crap is marketed to men by appealing to their weak spots. (Ahem, hair regrowth.) This is not a feminist rant, though I'm happy to give you one. All I'm doing is asking you to look at it from the flip side.

So, forgive my appalling lack of daintiness, but let's say these commercials were aimed at, well, increasing a gentleman's...size. "Guys, this cream will increase the appearance of the size of your penis up to 40%." You're laughing, right? Because it's stupid. Nothing will do that and any idiot man in his right mind would know better than to believe it. I bet it would sell out in minutes, but still...

Well, that's exactly what you're doing when you buy into the wrinkle cream hype. Because ladies...

If it worked, no one would have wrinkles!

No one would get crap shot into their faces. No one would ever risk lips like Lisa Rinna. No one would look like some sort of freak show marionette because they wanted to look younger. When I was a makeup artist, I watched women spend thousands of dollars on creams and potions. I see it now every time I watch TV with friends. They say, "Do you think that really works?" I try to explain, "There is no miracle potion. Sarah Jessica Parker doesn't look like she does in the Garnier commercials. None of these women do. You're so willing to accept that people are airbrushed in magazines, but you can't wrap your head around the fact that they do this on camera too?" I see these women on the red carpet all the time, and though they're all lovely, they don't look anything like they do in those ads. Not even close.

One of my favorite covers of Makeup Artist Magazine.

Sandra Bullock won my admiration at an event I was at where she admitted to not only having her body digitally retouched in The Proposal, but actually claimed to have asked for it. Ladies, they can make giant robots fight each other and make Brad Pitt age backwards. Why do you insist on believing that they aren't retouching that pretty lady on TV? Or casting someone who is far younger than you and making her talk about her wrinkles? Hell, they tell you to buy this mascara that is so amazing while using a model with falsies on. You think they're going to tell you the truth about this because you so desperately need to hear it? You know they mean 40% over people who don't use anything, right? At best, they're mostly lovely moisturizers that smell like magic flowers and unicorns. Sure, they'll do a little, but you're not going to look like your teenaged daughter, no matter how many lotions and potions you slap on that face.

The only way you're going to look like her is...well, you're not. Neither does she.

Go ahead. Send me your pick for most outrageous skin care commercial. While you're at it, send the makeup ads you hate too. And for goodness sake, go clean out your medicine cabinet!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

My dad weighs in on toe fungus! (Guest post by John Busch)

So, you all want to know where I get my goofiness from? My dad posted this after I asked which commercials YOU didn't like. I will be doing guest posts from time to time. Here is how SD (Super Dad) feels about toe fungus commercials.

Hi Jenna,

Here is mine.I think the commercials for toenail fungus are the worst. In the interest of full disclosure, let me first say that I am not, and have never been, a “toe man”, so my opinions are completely objective.

First, I have no interest in my own toes, much less someone toes. I don’t think about toes and if my mind ever wondered to a toe related subject I would try to think about something else. Then you add fungus. Even if I didn’t know what fungus was, I wouldn’t like it. I don’t even like the way it sounds. For example, could you even imagine saying something, like “…what color tie goes with this fungus colored shirt…”, or you have a “…wonderful fungus colored glow…” or “…you could get lost in her fungus colored eyes….” I think you get the idea.

Now, put them both together – toenails and fungus and you double the disgusting-ness. It’s worse, even than ear wax, which is much less objectionable in both substance and sound. Imagine, if you will, a dinner party discussion. The conversation is flowing around such diverse subjects as peace in the middle-east, the economy and the best new movies. Suddenly the conversation turns to you for a comment. You, just as you are scooping a wad of ear wax out of your left ear with the blunt end of your dessert spoon, beguile the group with something like “…check this out, I bet if I put a wick in it, it would burn for hours…” Again, I don’t think so.

My point is this. Don’t make television advertisements out of subjects that are, objectively speaking, disgusting. And don’t think that by adding catchy music and cute little fungus cartoon characters you are making the subject less disgusting. You’re not. If you still think that you are, I have a few hemorrhoid videos to show you. Get the point?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

You can't have sex in dual bathtubs...

I'm going to have to bleach my brain because I can't unhear the joke my dad just made. We were chatting about the new blog and he asked me to tackle the dual bathtubs in the Cialis commercials. He told me he recently joked about them with his friends, saying, "I had one of those four hour...." I'm sorry, but you're going to have to finish that or I'll need therapy..."...but it took me way longer than that to get those two bathtubs out to the yard so it was a waste."

Ahem. Anyway, I'm still trying to figure those things out. No matter how hard...sorry...I try, I can't for the life of me come up with a scenario in which that would be sexy. Also, where do they get the water? Do they have to heat it up on the stove? That would be a pain. I mean, it would have to be warm water, right? Cold water would just defeat the purpose wouldn't it? I watched Seinfeld. I know all about shrinkage.

Now, I'm not a guy, but I would think these things are pretty uncomfortable to discuss with your buddies. Girls will talk about anything without squirming. But I think it's pretty unlikely that you'd hear this conversation happening very often:

Guy 1: "Dude, did you see that pass? Best game ever!"

Guy 2: "Yeah, so, I've got a floppy noodle in my pants. Trying to decide what to do."

Guy 1: "Have you considered dual bathtubs...?"

Yeah, men will talk about farting and pooping all day long, but this is one subject they rarely bond over. So why, oh why would they form a band and sing, "Viva Viagra?" My god, how could any self respecting better half ever sleep with them again after that performance? Just re-watch the video below and tell me if you're not ready to shoot yourself in the head after the first line.

My brain just cannot process this. Can't. Process. "This lonesome toad..." Look, I think it's great that guys have an option and this is out in the open, and even Bob Dole takes them and all. I don't particularly have a problem with kids seeing them because we're far too puritanical about sex as it is. (Oh, go ahead and yell at me. The closest thing I have to a kid is a dog. I can't judge.) I just think you could make a less embarrassingly obnoxious commercial. Remember good ole "Smiling Bob?" Sure, Enzyte might not be around anymore, but their ad campaign was hysterical.

I'd love to hear your opinions on the worst erectile dysfunction commercial. Post a clip if you want. And guys, at least they're not as bad as tampon commercials with the dancing chicks in white jeans.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

I do not want to eat talking food. It's just creepy.

I'm going to start by telling you that I've been a vegetarian for over 20 years. I never liked meat to begin with and when I found out the cute little chick I was petting was going to end up on someone's plate, that sealed the deal. My parents don't remember this, but they told me the chicken they made me eat as a kid died of old age or was hit by a car. Yes, they told me I was eating road kill. It's pretty damn funny if you think about it. By the way, I don't care if you eat meat or not. I don't care if you do it in front of me. I'm not judging. I just thought I'd explain where this "talking food" issue came from. (I did a veggie post a while back if you want to check it out.)

This is the ad campaign that pushed me over the edge. First of all, there is something incredibly creepy about talking food. "We'll help you stay full and focused." So, you scream when I bite you? Are you suicidal cereal? Are you sacrificing yourself for the higher cause of making sure I don't fall asleep during a staff meeting? You have little frosted children for fuck's sake! Do you not care about them? Oh no, that's right. I watched you instruct your kid in what to do in the afterlife/my stomach. And what happens after I digest you? I'm sure your weird self-sacrificing cereal cult didn't tell you about that part.

Alright, I admit that reading into this is a failing on my part. But those stupid Frosted Mini Wheats commercials are to blame. At least the M&M's spots address how weird the whole thing is. (Though the pretzel getting upset about being forced inside the orange M&M is a whole new level of weird.)

Is anyone else freaked out by this? I mean, this is weird, right? I can't be the only one who bitches every time I see the hot tub commercial. Seriously, the talking cereal pieces (one of whom has a Brooklyn accent) is sitting around a hot bowl of milk, talking to the kid who is about to eat them and discussing the safety of the tub temperature. They wrap towels around themselves and let each other know if their "eight layers" are sticking out. How embarrassing! I would want someone to tell me if my eight layers were showing. Wait...

Do you see where I'm going with this? It's not just a one time thing. We are now following these little frosted fiber bits. We've seen them in school. We've been embarrassed for the strawberry-flavored one when he gets mistaken for a girl because of his pink frosting. We've been inside their homes and learned that they have a little frosted doggie and slippers and a couch. I don't want to eat you, Frosted Mini Wheats family! I want to adopt you! Save the cereal!

Ahem. Go ahead and post your picks for creepiest talking food commercials in the comments. I need to know I'm not the only crazy person out there.

Friday, February 25, 2011

I'm never buying jeans from Old Navy again!

I've just realized how many times I've bitched about commercials on Facebook and Twitter. It's hardly surprising that they get the most responses. I did a blog post on Girl Meets Lightsaber a while back about how mascara commercials lie. I just don't understand how women can go out and buy tube after tube and still don't get that they use false lashes. Sure, they call them "lash inserts" but it's the same damn thing. That got posted all over the place.

There is something about commercials that sets people off. Sure, they can win over a crowd with humor or celebs doing crazy things. Even people like me who hate football will watch the Superbowl for the commercials. But when they go wrong, they go really, really wrong.

Take the latest ad campaign for Old Navy. A Kim Kardashian look-a-like singing a song about how cute she looks in jeans, even while getting a root canal and a traffic ticket. Then I see one with a song about ankles. Ankles? This is the next step after talking British mannequins? There is even an ankle dance. Look, I'm willing to cuff my jeans if that's what's in, but the stupid song has convinced me to stop shopping at Old Navy.

Oh yes. If your commercial irritates the fuck out of me, I'm not shopping there anymore. I don't care how clean your toilet paper makes my ass, I'm not buying anything sold by a family of bears. Especially bears that inspect the butts of their children for lint.

I'll be taking on everything from cell phone noises and alarm clocks in commercials to the blatant way T Mobile ripped off the Justin Long Mac vs. PC ads. I'll even post a few classics here and there. Many of you have seen this one before, but it's my very favorite. It's singing muppet pills that warn you they're not candy:

I'd love to hear what you think. Suggest commercials for me to go off on. Post videos. Tell me which ones you love...unless, of course, it's about talking food. Cereal should NOT hang out in hot tubs and comment on what is sticking out of their towels. Anyway, welcome to the blog.