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Ad nauseum — Pathetic efforts from Madison Avenue

By Gloria Diaz

Check out Gloria's Blog — Edge of Gloria!

Fort Wayne Reader

2004-04-05


After viewing some awful commercials recently, I’m convinced I could make it in advertising. I honestly think I couldn’t do any worse than these recent 30-second disasters I’ve seen:

The Quizno’s ad with the singing, guitar-playing rodents is awful. What are they? Hamsters? Gerbils? Whatever these poorly animated animals are supposed to be, they can’t sing worth a crap and whoever wrote that song has no sense of rhyme or rhythm at all. Perhaps Ben Whatshisname, former spokesman/stoner for Dell Computers came up with these after a bong load. It would explain everything that is wrong with this commercial.

Then there’s the wood floor commercial where a generic American family is eating dinner. Their eating utensils are chained to the table. A weight-loss advertisement? No. New flooring has been installed, and mom doesn’t want a fork to mar the surface. As anal-retentive as she is about the floor, you’d think it was made out of balsa wood. And if forks dropping on the floor is all you have to worry about in this lousy-economy, no health-insurance, jobs-being-shipped-off-to-India world of ours, you suck.

Comcast has a series of commercials featuring ordinary folks, from the Eldridges of New Jersey, who are huge Soprano fans, to the couple with five boys, worrying about their lack of television, due to a faulty satellite dish. The hapless father says, “we didn’t want to be stuck in a house with five kids and no TV.” To which I say, “cowards!” There’s a reason why they call it the electronic babysitter, you lazy sod. How ‘bout some quality time, like a game of cards, a Monopoly game, a family hike or some good old-fashioned conversation? I know, I know, too much work. Opening up a board game is strenuous enough, but conversation? Who has the stamina, or the brains for that these days?

And that Viagra commercial with men leaping about to Queen’s “We Are The Champions” is unintentionally hilarious, not because men wanting permanent hard-ons is funny (it is) but that a song made famous by a group fronted by a gay man is being used to push a boner-boosting medication. It would have been even funnier if you had the Quizno’s rodents singing the song. Well, funnier for those of us in the know.

There are some good commercials out there; I particularly enjoy the Geico insurance series. At least they understand having to buy insurance is a necessary evil, so if you have to peddle something people don’t really enjoy buying, you might as well make it funny and avoid the poignant, “we really care about you” crap that most insurance outfits seem to ooze. The only thing those bloodsucking fear hucksters care about is getting the insurance premiums on time, and they know it. I’d feel much better if they were honest about their motives. I can see it now: We here at Pathetic Life Auto and Health know the score. It’s about the money, not about you. So keep those premiums coming, sucker. Or, at Golden Rule Insurance, we believe in one thing: He who has the gold, makes the rules.

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