Tag Archives: commercials

You’ll Never Learn

A while back I called out Mazda for showing a complete lack of perspective in one of their commercials.

They did it again, and this time the offense was even more egregious than calling a professional daredevil a “courageous thinker.”

They compared themselves to Bruce Lee, Frank Lloyd Wright…and Jackie Robinson.  Jack Roosevelt Robinson.

I wish I were kidding.

I went to the movies last night for the first time in a while to see Anchorman 2.  I don’t think I’ll write about it because…well, I mean, it is what it is.  But this, I can’t let go.

Mazda fancies itself as an innovative company.  Okay.  That’s fine.  But you have to know what you’re innovating here, and that’s cars.  Yes, they are important in today’s society, but literally every single car company in the world is also doing research and innovating new technologies.  It’s the only way for them to stay relevant.

To put together a longer-than-average commercial that takes itself super seriously with the intent of airing it before freaking Anchorman 2 is preposterous in and of itself, but to put yourself up there with those people?  Come on.  Is there anyone at this company who sees these things before they air?  Or at the ad agency?  Anyone?  Anywhere?

Mazda will never have the cultural significance of Bruce Lee.  They will never change the auto industry the way Frank Lloyd Wright changed architecture.  And they will never come close to even being in the same solar system of the significance and importance of Jackie Robinson.

On a positive note, even a ridiculous ad like this will make people talk about your company, and there is the old adage that any publicity is good publicity.  At the same time, if there is anyone out there that thinks this is a good ad – hey, I’ll even take anyone who doesn’t think it’s a ridiculously preposterous ad – please, stand up and be counted.

And then cash your check from Mazda, because clearly you must work for them.

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Prove to Me

I generally don’t pay attention to commercials, but at the same time, when I see a good one, I can admire its effectiveness and enjoy its humor.  But when a commercial flops?  Oh man.

The most annoying commercial being run right now, at least to me, anyway, is for d-CON rat and mouse traps.  There is a man in a rat suit – and it’s very clearly a man in a suit; like, you can see his face – and he’s eating something.  Cheese, I assume.  There is a woman doing the dishes and she looks at him and says, “you disgust me.”  His answer?  “Prove it.”

What?

Like, she has to prove that rats are disgusting by buying d-CON?  I think a good advertisement makes you laugh, maybe makes you think, and either way makes the product look good/useful/vital.  What is this commercial even doing?  Oh, this is a man-sized rat, isn’t that gross?  Hey, d-CON kills rats, go get some!  Except I’m not in any way disgusted by this guy because IT’S CLEARLY A GUY, NOT AN ACTUAL RAT.  The ads that use animated cartoon rats skeeve me out more than that guy does.

Maybe I just don’t get it.  I’m a smart guy, but it’s possible that the humor and effectiveness go over my head.  I doubt it, though.

Then again, I’m talking about their product, so maybe it served its purpose after all.  Whatever.  This commercial makes me want to turn off the television, and talking about it makes me want to end this post a little earl

You Can Hear the Music on the AM Radio

I don’t listen to the radio all that often anymore.  That’s not a commentary on the quality of music these days; I just have an iPod full of music, and I like podcasts, so I spend most of my car time listening to those.

Most of my radio exposure is while riding or driving to lunch.  Those trips can last anywhere from five to 20 minutes, depending on traffic, which isn’t a lot of time.  Commercials can really sap all the music time, too, because when radio stations go to commercial…well, okay, that was my entire point.  Two things:

1) Radio commercials are so…so…so long.

2) Every station seems to air commercials at the exact same time.

I think the latter begets the former.  If all your competitors were airing ads, there would be no reason why you couldn’t run six minutes of ads yourself, you know?  There’s nowhere for anyone to go.

Yesterday I made a quick jaunt out for a sandwich for lunch.  Hop in the car, go into the store, leave, bring it back to the office.  All told, it was about 25 minutes.

I heard two songs.

I’m sure it’s not accidental; I’m sure there’s a tacit agreement that at eight and 38 minutes past the hour or whatever, everyone will run commercials for cars, concerts, restaurants, and that MONSTER TRUCK SHOW THIS SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY!!!  Maybe it’s not even a tacit agreement; maybe there are rules and actual written guidelines and everything.

I don’t know.  What I do know is that almost every day I spend a large portion of my lunch commute pushing buttons, searching futilely for something other than commercials, and I don’t like it.  Get off my lawn, advertisers.

So Fresh and So Clean

I just saw a commercial for “Mr. Clean” that shows Mr. Clean at various points throughout his life.  You can click here to watch it.

I have some thoughts, because of course I do.

First of all, call me old-fashioned, or crazy, or both, but seeing animated characters mixed in with real live people still weirds me out a little bit.  Just a little, but enough that after a few minutes I’m like, “okay, can we…not?”

(“But Roger Rabbit!” you say.  I guess.  But that’s clearly a cartoon.  I’m talking these really lifelike, “hey wait a minute, is that dude real?  Yeah, that’s definitely a real – oh wait, what?!?”-type animated characters.)

Second of all, Mr. Clean clearly has a medical condition; he hasn’t had a single hair on his head for his entire life, and the eyebrows he does have have always been white.  So we’ve turned a guy who is both an albino and has alopecia into a symbol for cleanliness.  Did he have a choice in this?  Look at that little boy cleaning his window; did he pick that up because he loved the view, or because all the other kids made fun of him so he spent a lot of time in his room?

Seeing that commercial, I feel bad for Mr. Clean.  Not bad enough to buy his products, but still.  Poor guy.

(Look, it’s late.  These are the things that come to mind and then don’t leave for a really long time.)

Tell Me What the Name of This Is

I’ll admit I don’t watch a ton of commercials; usually I ignore them, because they just get in the way.  The networks have to pay the bills, blah blah blah, yeah I get it.  Whatever, not my problem.

Of the commercials I do see, however, my absolute least favorite are the ones for various different medications.  They’re always the same: show people being happy and healthy and having fun, then tell the viewer to ask their doctor about ________.  NOWHERE IN YOUR COMMERCIAL DID YOU TELL ME WHAT YOUR DRUG IS FOR.  If I was making a car commercial, and turned in a spot that didn’t show the car, I would be fired.  Yet somehow, all you get is a name – Celebrex, Claritin, Bleepblopmorphin, and you’re supposed to just bug your doctor.

So stupid.