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, 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.