30 (blogs) for (turning) 30: Day 14: Commercialization

Posted: April 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

I think that the advertising world is trying to get me to stop watching television. The number of obnoxious/creepy/odd/inaccurate television commercials out there on TV right now is astounding. I’m not even sure I could list all of the ones that are throwing me off, but since this is a nice little forum to talk about such odd things, I will start with a few of the latest commercial ideas that should have been scrapped before they ever saw the light of day.

“Two Guys,” Sonic Drive-In

I have no idea if that’s what those two guys who always go to Sonic are called, but I’m sure by saying this, you know exactly which guys I’m talking about. Seriously, Sonic has been running essentially the same add for years now (a quick Google search indicates their first commercial aired in 2004, although they did go away for a while…allegedly), and I don’t even recall ever thinking any of them are funny. The one in the passenger seat is a buffoon to such levels that I don’t understand how he gets around from day-to-day or has a job to pay for his clear Sonic addiction. The guy in the driver’s seat…well…let’s just say that if I had a friend like the Passenger, I’d have stopped hanging out with him a while ago. Please, Sonic…stop.

“The Framily,” Sprint

The first set of “Framily” ads for Sprint weren’t too bad. Just people standing in front of a curtain naming other folks they’d include in their framily. Harmless, really. Got the idea across. Well done, Sprint. Then they introduced this cast of characters that includes, for some terrible reason, Judy Greer, a little French girl and a hamster for the father, as if to remind us that no matter how odd your family is, it doesn’t matter, they can still be a part of your Framily. I believe these commercials are meant to be quirky and off-beat, but I find them terribly creepy to a level that I’m not even sure existed before Sprint launched this ad campaign! Bonus negative points because one of the commercials includes Kevin Durant, who I like tremendously as a basketball player and absolutely hatehatehate seeing him in these things. Again, Sprint, please…stop.

“Man a man out of my son,” Old Spice

Old Spice had such a good run for a while. Then they got rid of that muscle-bound guy who talked fast and started moving into stranger and stranger territory over the last few years. This campaign featuring mothers lamenting (through song, no less) about how Old Spice’s fragrances and shampoos and deodorants and whatever else have turned their sons into objects of desire for all the young woman around them. First of all, I’m slightly bitter because I use Old Spice deodorant and I have not found this commercial to be true, so I feel like I should be able to sue Old Spice for false advertising. Secondly, these ads are just plain creepy. The mothers are eavesdropping on their sons, but not in traditional ways. The one has the son and his lady at the bowling alley, so naturally, the mother comes scooting up the ball return, singing and crying her heart out. Another features a gaggle of mothers in a tree, bawling to unnatural levels and singing that same song. The original ad, as I recall, featured a longer version of this song and even more mothers who were sad and upset about their sons dating conquests. I can handle quirky, I really can, but Old Spice, you’ve wandered into dangerous territory here. This is not quirky; it’s creepy. So please, Old Spice…stop.

“Hump Day,” Geico

I don’t have an issue with most of those “how happy are customers that switched to Geico” commercials…but I pretty much loathe the phrase “hump day” to describe Wednesday, so this one goes on the list on that alone. The fact that other companies (M&M’s, Regal Cinemas, I’m looking at you) have taken Mike the Camel and are helping to make him a thing? So much worse. So yeah, please, Geico, just this one…stop.

 

Okay, so that wasn’t the most constructive use of the blog for the day, but I have to go back to work tomorrow, so I thought I’d close things out with a little fun. Feel free to add to the list or try to talk me out of my picks. I doubt you will.

God bless,

Robert

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