Saturday, June 23, 2007

Berries 'n' crap

And the award for "Most Obnoxious Screeching in an Ad" (previously held by Jon Lovitz in that Subway Dinner Theatre one) goes to...

...that douche.

Here is a rule that ought to be in place for all commercials: if you are having someone say or do something stupid, you are not allowed to have the other people in your commercial react as though it is strange or unfunny, as though this were someone who wandered onto the set. You made them do that. It does not count as a funny joke to have someone tell an unfunny joke and have everyone else go, "Oh, that's not funny!" And it does not count as entertaining to have someone do something incredibly tiresome and have everyone else just stare at them. This is not how the world works.

Guy #1: "You tried these new Berries and Cream Starbursts?"
Freak: "Pardon me. What kind of Starburst did you just say?"

What the fuck is going on here anyway? Some English dandy from, like, the 1600s, but he knows what Starbursts are? No. I refuse to allow this.

Guy #1: "Berries-"
Freak: "Berries? Berries and what else?"

I get it, Starburst. You want to get your product name out there. This is the best way you could come up with to do it? I'd like to see other companies take the "annoying guy interrupts you to repeat what you said three times" tactic; I see it paying off big-time.

Guy #1: "And cream."
Freak: [some sort of odd crying/excitement fit]

No. This is not okay. This is horrendous.

Freak: "Berries and cream, berries and cream, I'm a little lad who loves berries and cream!"

I don't know if this is some real song or not, not that it matters. (I would have Googled it but I was too afraid of finding 5,000 websites all quoting this commercial because they thought it was so hilarious. This is the kind of idiocy we're intent on stamping out here at The Ad Wizards.)

Freak: [exact same line, but way screechier]

I mean, I don't even understand why you would do this. What person in their right mind would want to align themselves with this insane, anachronistic spaz? There is nothing appealing about this commercial at all. I guess the idea is that people will laugh at how fucking insane it is. But is that really a good premise to build a commercial on? What about something that actually delivers a real product message (besides manic drilling of the name wrapped in insanity, which I've already established in previous posts as being completely stupid)? Maybe? I don't know, would that take too much time to come up with? As opposed to this, which was clearly devised in about nine seconds by a deranged orangutan.

The problem is that people tend to vindicate this laziness. Why else would shit like this exist:

I dare anyone who likes this ad to explain why there is anything even remotely funny about it (much less the above "how-to" video). It is lazy and annoying. When the guy starts screeching, it feels like needles are being stuck directly into my eardrums. It doesn't even have a claim about the product! We couldn't have worked in a line where Freak asks if they're good, so that Guy #1 has an excuse to say, "Yeah," or something? Really? I guess too much money had been spent inventing a horrible, shitty character to worry much about the people he was interacting with (hell, Guy #2 doesn't even speak - he's only there so that Guy #1 has a reason to say his line out loud!). So the commercial just breaks down, in its simplest form, like this:

Guy: Hey, there's a new Starburst.
Freak: Did you say there was a new Starburst?
Guy: Yeah.
Freak: [obnoxious screaming]

I mean, good work letting us know there's a new Starburst. Better work telling us nothing about it besides the name and instantly pissing us off. Incidentally, if you really liked berries and cream enough to fucking dance for it, would Starburst really satisfy that craving? I mean, it's synthesized flavor in a tiny square chew. Not really worth losing your shit over, I don't think.

1 comment:

Quivering P. Landmass said...

Far more chilling than the how-to video are the YouTube imitations of it by teens (seen on the bottom list after the video is over.) Unlike similar "fan" rip-offs for Hillshire Farm commercials, the Starburst ones are actually created by people in Starburst's target audience. So, maybe we just don't understand children/tween/teen advertising. But more likely, I think, is that brands like Starburst don't understand their consumers WELL ENOUGH.