Tuesday, July 29, 2008

So stupid people may think BK thinks you're stupid

Is there any point in going after Burger King commercials any more? It's pretty clear that the 2% of the television audience BK is speaking to seems to like what they do.  On the other hand, it's really painful for the rest of us to have to sit through it all. So in the spirit of attacking things that aren't targeted towards me, why don't we check out one more Burger King ad:

Guy #1: The Steakhouse from Burger King? What'd you do to deserve a burger this special?

Why does anyone need to do something to eat a BK burger, aside from, I suppose, pay for it? Isn't this kind of an absurd concept for a company with the slogan "Have It Your Way"? Isn't the whole BK spirit "We'll get you whatever you want"? I fail to see how "you need to be awesome to eat our burgers" fits in with the brand.

Scientist #1 (dramatically smug): I just discovered a moon orbiting Regulus 279 in the Crab Nebula. It may support life.

So you need to discover a moon to earn that burger. Got it.

Also, don't think for a second that the copywriters at Crispin Porter + Bogusky did even an iota of research before writing this ad. They have no fucking clue what they're talking about when it comes to astronomy (btw, that site's super nerdy, but I think one of the issues is that a moon wouldn't be ordering a star like Regulus, or it'd be called a planet. Also, I'm not so sure Regulus 279 even exists.)

Guy #1: And you? 

Scientist #2: I helped.

If such a "moon" could ever be found, I think it would be a big enough deal that the #2 guy finding it would be deserving of a fast food burger as well.

Guy #1: You helped. You either discover a star or you don't. You arrogant punk.

Were you even listening to the commercial you're filming, Guy #1? He said it was a fucking moon, not a star, you ass-tard. I mean, this commercial is just so pock-marked with stupidity, you have to wonder how something like this even sees the air? Can't you just see some asshole copywriter jotting the dialogue down on the margin of a crossword puzzle and then handing it over like "There you go! There's your new commercial!" And then when somebody dares to suggest a slight rewrite to, you know, make the spot make sense, the copywriter would get all pissy and refuse to alter a single word.

Announcer: The new Steakhouse.... so special, people may think you think you're special.

I've written before about how simplicity is paramount when you're trying to convey a message in under 30 seconds to a ADD audience watching loud, colorful TV shows, so I won't bother to repeat myself. Suffice it to say, when you have to decode a slogan to this degree, I think it may be time to consider an alternate option. I had a couple ideas:

"The new Steakhouse: So special people may not care how bad your commercials are."

"The new Steakhouse: So special you might get some really special heart disease from eating it."

"The new Steakhouse: Do you get the sense we're using 'special' as a euphemism for 'retarded'?"

"The new Steakhouse: Oh my God that looks disgusting... and what the hell are those, like little French fries you're putting on top? Wow that's nasty."

Monday, July 28, 2008

Dare to be stupid

I sure hope Raisin Bran Crunch is seeing its sales shoot through the roof, because I can't think of a single other legitimate reason why you'd want to bring back these characters for yet another go-round.

Giving your product "superfans" does not strike me as a terribly effective marketing gimmick. First of all, no one thinks these guys are real; we know you made them up. Second of all, superfans are not indicative of quality - look at the cult that exists around something like Spam, for fuck's sake. And third of all... why would you consciously make an ad campaign in which the only people who go ga-ga over your product are total fucking retards?

Dim Bulb 1: "So, if you work here, do you get free Raisin Bran Crunch?"

I believe this is a follow-up to another ad we didn't bother to take on, in which our motley crew of imbeciles tours the Raisin Bran Crunch plant. I'm a little surprised they were even let in the door. And I assume this guy's acting notes were, "Use your hands as much as possible?"

Dim Bulb 2: "Hey guys! I got the marketing director on the phone!"

I don't work in advertising, as I think I make clear often enough, but I'm pretty sure this isn't how it works.

Raisin Bran Crunch Marketing Director: Yes, Betty, who is it?
Betty: Sir, I have three members of the general public on the line.
RBCMD: I see...
Betty: I believe they want to pitch some taglines for the cereal.
RBCMD: Betty, you realize that we have an entire staff of people dedicated to thinking up taglines for Raisin Bran Crunch.
Betty: I'll just put them through, sir...
Dim Bulb Gang: Hello?
RBCMD: Note to self: fire Betty.

Dim Bulb 2: "It's time to pitch the taglines."
Dim Bulb 3: "The crunch is so great, it makes me salivate."
DB2: "Raisin Bran Crunch? More like Amazin' Bran Crunch."
DB3: "You'll really enjoy this cereal." [goofy, self-satisfied look]
DB1: "Raisin Bran Crunch - buy me some, Mom!"
[DB2 and DB3 stare at DB1]

This is basically exactly the same punchline as the first ad from this series that we talked about, wherein Dim Bulb 1 - referred to in that post as "Tool #3" - ends up the commercial by saying something so dumb/crazy/pathetic that his friends, who I think we can say are established as being pretty dumb/crazy/pathetic themselves, end up staring at him with these "I can't believe you just said that" looks.

But these are your characters. It's one thing in an initial ad where maybe this is just some goofy joke one-off. But we're now at the point where these guys are the Raisin Bran Crunch spokespeople. And maybe, just maybe, you don't want your spokespeople to be three guys who were deemed too embarrassing even to play the "Sales Guys" in an Alltel ad. I mean, here's Raisin Bran Crunch even resorting to the hoary old "mother's basement" cliché - while depicting a guy who loves Raisin Bran Crunch! Are they insulting the people who buy their cereal? Are they just idiots looking for a cheap laugh? Hey, why can't it be both?

Come to think of it, if this is really the best the ad wizards at Raisin Bran Crunch can come up with, maybe they should be taking unsolicited suggestions from slightly deranged members of the general public. I assume we'll be seeing the marketing director's phone number at the bottom of the next ad.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Gray's anathema

Move over, SalesGenie "Puppies" ad. I think we may have a new winner for "Most Revoltingly Manipulative Ad Involving Children."

It's a slight departure from Just for Men's usual pitch, which tends to be much more blatantly "Get rid of that gray hair if you want to get laid, Grandpa." But I'm not sure it's a good departure.

Older Daughter [shoving the younger daughter forward]: "Let's go."

Man, take some responsibility. You know she's pushing the younger kid forward just in case Dad hates what they're about to say. "Dad, you need to dye your hair." "WHAT???" "It was Kaitlyn's idea! And she says you should punish her by giving me her allowance!"

Older Daughter: "Dad?"
Dad: "Hm?"
Older Daughter: "It's time."

So far this could be about anything. Old Yeller needs to be put down?

Younger Daughter [with the most nauseatingly cute line reading in history]: "You'd be a really nice catch for somebody!"

"Anybody. Seriously. We don't care who, as long as they can cook. I've eaten Hot Pockets every night for the last two years and it's gotta stop."

I love the shocked/horrified look the dad gives as he lowers the paper. It's like he thinks they're here to drag him off to Carousel or something. Which, in a way, they sort of are.

Daughters [producing a package of Just for Men]: "Pleeeeease?"

God, the music in this ad. Is this a Just for Men commercial or an episode of The Waltons?

Announcer: "Just for Men takes five easy minutes, targets only the gray hair, and can start... something great."

Just for the record, I don't think I believe that it "targets only the gray hair." How the hell would it know? Just for Men doesn't contain tiny gnomes with paint brushes... or does it? (No.)

Dad [taking picture of himself with woman]: "For my girls."

"Hey, uh, no pressure, lady, but they're expecting a new mommy. Be prepared for a full and intense scrutiny of your looks, demeanor, and overall parenting skills until they leave for college."

Daughters [upon seeing photo]: "Yes!!" [high five]

Um, did he leave those kids home alone? The older one can't be older than, what, 10 or 11? Was she really left in charge? No wonder this guy needs a woman so badly; he clearly has the worst parental decision-making skills in history. "Okay, girls, while I'm off on my date you be good. Lindsey, there's some chicken in the fridge; I wrote down how to operate the fryer. Remember, if a grease fire starts, you can't pour water on it, okay? Love you!"

Older Daughter: "I'm glad we did it!"

The "Yes!" and high-five weren't enough of a tip-off, apparently. Is this commercial even aimed at men, or is it aimed at nosy little girls looking for hair dye products for Dad? "I'm glad we did it - and you could be glad too, other nine-year-olds! If your dad's getting laid, he'll probably buy you more toys! I mean, I'm a little girl and apparently I have a cell phone!"

Announcer: "Just for Men." [tagline: "Stay in the game."]

For the record, the guy they used in this ad didn't exactly seem to have the grayest hair in the world. But either way, I've always hated the way the Just for Men ads imply that gray hair is somehow appalling and repulsive. There's another one of these ads out now where a guy is forced to dye his hair to get a better job so he can spend more time with his kid - also incredibly manipulative - and most of them focus on how women are going to reject any guy with gray hair. Which is why it kills me that they're now advertising "Just for Men Touch of Gray," the ad for which shows guys with gray hair doing all the things that every other Just for Men ad would tell you can't be done by guys with gray hair. Make up your fucking mind, Just for Men. Is gray hair so pathetic and embarrassing that your daughters have to shame you into getting rid of it so you can get a date, or is it cool and hip and watch me on this surfboard? Say... you wouldn't be crassly pandering to both sides of the issue, would you?

I do have one good thing to say about these new Just for Men ads, though: at least Keith Hernandez and Walt "Clyde" Frazier are nowhere near them.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Winner, winner, burger dinner

So, McDonald's. You know you're not some kind of expensive restaurant, right? That's kind of your thing, isn't it?

Come on. Really? I mean, those green-shirted kids seem like a bunch of dicks, and I'd love to see them get it shoved in their face. But Happy Meals? Why, where could those kids ever get a Happy Meal of their own? Maybe at one of 31,000 McDonald's locations worldwide? I mean, are you kidding me? McDonald's are fucking everywhere. That's like what they're known for. Unless these kids somehow bought the last eleven of them, I think there's going to be plenty down the street to go around.

Come to think of it, this might make a better commercial for, I don't know, NetJets or something. "Hey, you won that stupid trophy? Guess what? We're all flying off to Zurich in 40 minutes, motherfuckers!"

No, he was just looking for a DVD "ROAR"corder!

Apparently Circuit City doesn't train their employees like Lowe's does, at least for the inevitable situation when a bear waltzes into your store:

Link to CNN.com video.

"I ran around the store to make sure there was nobody in there."

No! That's not what you do! You greet the bear with, "Hello, welcome to Circuit City." Then you show him where the grills are. Or, computers, in your case. Or circuits. Or whatever.

"My first thing was just 'Freak out.'"

Man, is this the very first bear you've ever sold a piece of electronics to? Sheesh! Everyone knows you remain calm, give him a shopping cart, and attempt to up-sell him on some name-brand merchandise using a lot of stupid bear-related puns.

Then you can freak out. Freak out because you've just dreamed up a totally radical concept for a commercial!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Guess who's back?

More Naomi Campbell and CGIed lizards? I mean, was it that successful and/or thrillicious? We have the same bad actress that nobody likes (by the way, if you're a celebrity and E! doesn't approve of you, you have a problem), the same stupid lizards (but this time they've got costumes on!) and the same general sense of pointless overproduction.

What's Naomi Campbell's motivation for joyfully carousing with a lounge of lizards? Some weird lizard fetish? Is the lizard kiss supposed to be funny, or sexy, or... I just don't understand how I'm supposed to react to it. It's unsettling to say the least. The tropical beach background, the lilting sounds of Santana, the self-serious expression on Campbell's face when she kisses the lizard -- it all points to a very genuine portrayal of supermodel-lizard sexual attraction.

New delicious flavors for summer -- Life Water. Thrillicious

Since this ad doesn't use "Thriller," why are we going back to Thrillicious? Why not "BlackMagicWoman-icious"? "Carlos Santanicious"? Also, this doesn't even tell you what the flavors are. Or anything about the product. They rely a little too heavily on hoping Naomi Campbell+animated lizards will resonate with people, and not just remind them of Geico. I wonder how much car insurance sales have gone up since this campaign started.

I had hoped, desperately, that we'd seen the last of dancing lizards commercials. But I think now we're in for a long ride. Somebody over at SoBe must just be over the moon with this whole concept. Next up: "Life Water After Dark" -- new flavors to put you in the mood, with an ad featuring our favorite, laugh-a-minute lizards fertilizing freshly laid eggs by Naomi Campbell. If you can't move product by showing in vitro human-lizard hybrids, then you don't deserve to be in the ad business.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Let's play "Guess the Advertiser"

Watch this commercial and pause it at 21 seconds. See if you can figure out what kind of company/organization this might be for...

Did you guess right? No? Dianetics didn't jump immediately to mind as a way to "conquer your own self-doubt?"

For those fortunate enough not to have heard of the subject, Dianetics is a laughably bullshit practice of Scientology. You can get "audited" by Scientology kooks with an "e-meter" to see how much stress you have in your life, and then they'll ask you to pay a ton of money for more tests, lessons, and creepily-written books by pseudo-religious crazy-man L. Ron Hubbard. Then there's stuff about thetans, and being "clear" and 95,000,000-year old galactic alien warlords named Xenu -- lots and lots of scary brainwashing. All part and parcel with Dianetics.

We've conquered the sea

Okay, I guess.

We've conquered the skies.

I suppose planes are pretty well-traveled nowadays, I'm still with you.

We've conquered the heavens.

Whaaaaa?? By "the heavens" do you mean the boundless stretch of the cosmos -- galaxy upon galaxy -- in the entire universe? We've orbited our own planet and put a man on our nearest celestial satellite. I wouldn't say we've quite "conquered the heavens." This isn't Star Trek.

But how can we conquer our own self-doubts?
Find out. Dianetics.org

Mm... right.

The best part about this ad is where and when I saw it -- on Comedy Central, in primetime, during an episode of South Park. The show whose creators lampooned the very religion responsible for Dianetics, and in doing so pissed off one of their vocal actors (a Scientologist himself) enough that he quit. What about that backstory made the Church of Scientology think buying time during South Park would be smart? Are they thinking they're going to get a lot of inquiries from the South Park viewership? How does this make any sense?

And, by the way, does anyone who follows a religion that worships an ancient galactic alien overlord really not have any "self-doubt"? Not even a little bit?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Chutes and Ladders

When Quivering posted about NetJets the other day, I was reminded of another ad I'd seen - mostly during golf, tennis, and other theoretically "classy" events that might draw a lot of high-end viewership. Oddly, this ad also has a tennis theme:

Have you ever, in your life, seen anything this snooty? This is NOKD advertising to the max. Make more than 100 grand? Great, come on in. Make less than 100 grand? You can fuck right off. TheLadders' site even says as much. Currently making under $75K? Maybe HotJobs is a better idea for you, plebeian. (In 2006, less than 20% of households had combined income of more than $100,000, and that's total household income. I doubt TheLadders accepts dual applications.)

It's not even the idea so much as how TheLadders chooses to display it in this commercial. So you've got the blue-chipper at center court in his immaculate white tennis outfit. Then you have the crowd run onto the court. TheLadders thinks that people who make less than $75,000 a year are comparable to:

* Squat, bespectacled individuals who can barely swing a racket
* Long-haired slacker teens hitting tennis balls with skateboards
* Blonde bimbos applying lipstick in a compact mirror while they should be playing tennis
* Shirtless old guys with unkempt white hair
* Nerdy fat dudes swinging their briefcases wildly
* Dumpy dudes getting hit with tennis balls and collapsing to the clay

I guess if I worked in the HR department at, I don't know, Merrill Lynch or something, I would be annoyed if I were constantly sifting through the resumes of 65-year-old homeless men and 17-year-old kids whose only previous job experience was working second shift at Cold Stone Creamery. But is this really happening?

Voiceover: "If you think about it, this is the trouble with most job search sites."

No screening process to keep mentally ill homeless men from firing off resumes left and right?

Voiceover: "When you let everyone play, nobody wins."

Are the HR departments at high-rolling companies really having this problem? I've gotta think that most people who aren't qualified for six-figure jobs probably aren't wasting their own time trying to apply for them. And how long does it take to decide a resume doesn't have what you're looking for if it's way off the mark? Ten seconds?

Voiceover: "Join TheLadders - the premium job site for only 100K+ jobs, and only 100K+ people."

Only 100,000 people, give or take a few, can use it? Is this site run by Jehovah's Witnesses?

Okay, so maybe the point of the ad isn't to push companies away from all the losers on regular job sites (although I think that's a secondary point). Maybe it's to push people looking for high-rollin' jobs away from the regular job sites, where there's too much noise in the form of sketchy companies clogging up the results screen. In my (limited) experience with those sites, that's true to a degree... but it's true for everyone, and I'm sure it's much more true if you're not looking for a job that pays six figures. In other words, TheLadders is targeted at people who already have all the advantages and aiming to give them even more of an advantage, by streamlining their job search and minimizing the indignity of having to troll through postings like a common street rat. ("One site above all the riff raff / One search to cut through the throng / If you make five figures then you don't belong... / One place that's only for big shots / Not kids of level 'Entry' / Next life, you won't major in historyyyyyy...")

Of course, TheLadders probably doesn't care how snooty this ad comes off. What are they going to do - lose the business of the people they're insulting? They didn't want it to begin with! Talk about a win-win situation. (How many of the people appearing in that ad would be qualified to use TheLadders, by the way? I'm thinking zero.)

I don't know, is it ironic that the site is called TheLadders, when you already have to be most of the way up the ladder to use it? If you aren't qualified for a $100K job, it's onto the chute and back to start for you. Let's bust out a game more your speed - say Candy Land? I hear Lord Licorice is looking for temps to work up on Gum Drop Mountain.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Private Jets Not Just for the Jet Set! (okay, actually they are)

I was watching some of the incredible Federer-Nadal Wimbledon final today on NBC, and I saw this commercial for a product called NetJets come on:

Okay, I know it's fancy-schmancy Wimbledon at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, but is this seriously a commercial for private jets in the middle of a national television broadcast? Hmm, yeah. Seems like it! All right, then, let's check it out....

Tennis is getting more and more that players have to peak for the big occasions.

The footage here is of a Roger Federer-Pete Sampras exhibition match in New York. That is the opposite of a "big occasion." Roger Federer could have beaten 86-year old Pete Sampras if he'd flown coach to JFK from Zurich on an Aer Lingus prop jet in a seat that didn't recline next to a screaming baby with SARS. Maybe if he were swooping in to play the US Open final, then he'd require a nice rest on a private plane.

Flying is tough. From checking in to losing luggage -- you need all your stuff to compete.

When do you suppose the last time is that Roger Federer had to wait in a line to check in at an airport? Or the last time he lost his luggage? I'm quite certain Roger Federer could fly Swiss Air first class, or whatever major airline, and not have any trouble dealing with lines or luggage or any of that other common airport pitfalls. He doesn't need his own jet for this.

You can make a phone call, and you can get to the next place as quick as possible.

Another way to get to the next place as quickly as possible? Book a ticket on a commercial airline. Hell, fly first class if you want to. If you fly Singapore, the only dilemma you'll face is whether you want a flute of Krug or Dom before you take off.

It's the best thing I've ever done, owning a jet.

Doesn't it sound like they spliced these last two bits together from a longer statement? Like maybe Federer actually said, "Winning five straight Wimbledon titles is the best thing I've ever done, and it sure as hell beats owning a jet, especially one with a goofy name like NetJets."

So the ad itself is a little goofy and a little too Roger Federer-worshipping. But it's nothing compared to the sheer absurdity of making a commercial for private jets in the first place (much less airing it on national TV on a Sunday afternoon!) Does Rolls-Royce advertise during American Idol? Do you see Harry Winston buying time during the NCAA tournament? The answer is "no," because fewer than 1% of Americans can afford those types of luxuries. There's something to be said for keeping up the brand image, but go place an ad in Cigar Aficionado or somewhere -- ol' Johnny Lunchbox truly doesn't need to know the names of private jet providers.

Just how unaffordable is NetJets? Well, you get the privilege of owning a part of a plane, kind of like a flying timeshare, and it's.... well, it's a lot of money:

NetJets fractional interests start at $416,625 (price based on 2008 deliveries and subject to change) for a 1/16 interest (the equivalent of 50 hours of annual flying time) in a Hawker 400XP. Prices vary depending on the aircraft type you choose. Finance, lease and pre-owned alternatives are also available.

That's half a million dollars, folks. And that's before you add the one-time acquisition cost, monthly management fee, occupied hourly fee and potential fuel surcharges. All that for 50 hours of annual flying time. And you don't even own your own jet! All that money would probably buy you a couple hundred first class tickets, on nice airlines, too. But then again, you'd have to suffer the indignity of sitting in the general vicinity of another person.

Anyway, I'm glad R-Fed likes his private jet. I'm guessing he owns his own outright, since he has $41 million in prize money alone. How many qualified consumers or small businesses, in the middle of a recession, saw these commercials and thought, "Yeah, I do want a private jet. I'm sick of losing my luggage and all of that other crap. I need all my stuff to compete!" Who is this aimed at? Any of, like, a couple hundred people in the entire country? It's a pretty niche message, and one that I'm guessing we won't see again on TV anytime soon.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Ass-bear-ger's Syndrome

Is Charmin going to make more bad commercials? Does a bear shit in the woods?

Please, Charmin. I'm begging you to stop doing this.

Bear: "Down... set... YIKES!"

First of all, I wish they would decide whether or not the bears' mouths move when they speak. Second of all... the thing that the bear is worried about here is not something that would ever happen to a human. Because we wear pants. And underwear. If I were bending over in front of you to snap a football and you could see pieces of toilet paper sticking to my ass, there would be a much bigger problem going on than that.

Voiceover: "No one likes a bath tissue that leaves little white pieces behind!"

I mean, I guess. It's not really that big of a deal, is it? Oh, apparently it is. So much so that we needed to devote an entire product to the idea.

Voiceover: "Fortunately, there's Charmin Extra Strong!"

That just sounds... problematic. But give that bear a pom-pom! This is very exciting!

Voiceover: "Only Charmin Extra Strong has FlexWeave, uniquely woven fibers with extra strength!"

Wow, Extra Strong Charmin has extra strength? I'm glad you were willing to clear that up. Seriously, buy a fucking thesaurus.

Voiceover: "Extra strength, so when compared to the ultra rippled brand, it holds up better!"

Hey, say "extra strength" again. I'm not able to parse "extra strong" from adjective form into noun form all by myself. Also, I suppose I get the point of this demonstration, but somehow showing a three-pound weight dragging a piece of wet toilet paper across a table doesn't totally sell me on the paper's real use.

Voiceover: "Fewer pieces left behind, plus all the softness you expect from Charmin!"

Is it? Is it really? Or is it like wiping your ass with a paper towel? Because I actually looked at this stuff at the store recently and it looks exactly like a paper towel. And "extra strong" just sounds kind of unpleasant, really.

Voiceover: "Charmin Extra Strong. Look for it in the red package."

This explains a lot. The reason this ad makes a big deal about something that bears should be most concerned about is that this ad is actually aimed at bears. Why else would they assume that the viewer can't read and would need to remember the color of the package? (And yes, bears can see color.) Maybe Lowe's and Charmin could do some kind of cross-promotion. "How do you like your ass, Bill? 'Rawr?' Rubbed raw by extra strong Charmin? Check."

Seriously, how gross are these commercials? I know that it's hard to advertise a product like this, but couldn't they go the Metamucil route and dance around it? Sure, that sucks, but it sucks less than cartoon pieces of cartoon toilet paper on cartoon bears' asses. I think we can all be thankful that, unlike our animal friends, we don't live in a world where the issues revolving around other people's toilet paper problems are on constant public display.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Admiration of a black hat

I've noticed some grumbling that this ad is kind of racist. Can you see why?

Okay, we all know that, for starters, this should not be a minute long. But fine, they shoot ads long at first so they can be chopped into various 30-second installments later; whatever. The meat of the problem, of course, is the cavalcade of Japanese stereotypes, from the horde of cameras to the big yellow font on the TV screen to the slightly fractured English over the New Era logo at the end, which doesn't seem to have been terribly necessary.

Here's what seems to be even more of the problem, to me - does this show how authentic the hat is? The extreme difference of the Japanese culture makes it seem more like they're easily confused; that may not have been the point, but wouldn't it have been a lot more effective to set the ad in Boston and have a group of Red Sox fans in a bar getting confused? It conveys the message a lot better, I think, and has the added advantage of not looking like it's making fun of the Japanese. "Look how stupid the Japanese are - they will mistake literally anyone in a Red Sox cap for David Ortiz! Those silly Asians and their judgment of people based on hats!"

Or here's another way this ad could have been funnier - have David Ortiz and a random guy in a Red Sox hat walking through an airport, and the guy in the hat gets mobbed while Ortiz passes through unnoticed. (You could even potentially repeat the hat-getting-knocked-off gag, with the crowd perhaps having its spell broken and realizing who the real Ortiz is, followed by Ortiz dashing in the other direction to escape the horde.) And then everyone in the crowd could pull out their cameras, take a turn at Dance Dance Revolution, eat some sushi, and finally commit seppuku. Japan! It's so wacky!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Put Dearborn, Michigan on your Bucket List right now!

Yesterday I posted about an email ad, so today I'm taking on a small insert in a direct mail package. Basically, I'm leaving all the meaty stuff for Windier (I know he's looking forward to seeing his favorite all-time company, Burger King, introduce their "Little King" kids mascot.) I'm happy just making fun of cheap, small-time advertising. Anyway, check out this herculean bit of salesmanship by the Detroit-area museum attraction, The Henry Ford:

The one place you must visit in your lifetime.

Funny, because before I got this in the mail yesterday, I'd never heard of The Henry Ford. There are a lot of places I feel like I must visit in my lifetime. Washington DC, the Grand Canyon, Manhattan, Paris, The Great Barrier Reef, etc. etc. I'm a fan of museums, too, and there are a many that you need to check out while you're on Earth, like the Smithsonian, the Louvre, MoMA, the Prado, many, many others. The Henry Ford doesn't even make that list. I guess maybe if we were talking about must-see museums outside Detroit, then I'd put The Henry Ford on there.

"The one* place** you must visit in your lifetime***"

*Of many
**Museum/Outdoor attraction
***If spent entirely in Michigan

Here you will walk where legends have walked and come face to face with America's most treasured artifacts.

Ahh, Dearborn, Michigan. Site of Edison's laboratory. The place that Lincoln was shot in. Where Rosa Parks took a stand against Jim Crow laws in the South. . . Wait, you mean all those treasured artifacts were transported to Michigan?

It's more like "walk where legendary tourists have walked." Also, "America's most treasured artifacts?" Look, Rosa Parks' bus is an important artifact. So is George Washington's camp bed. But, "most treasured"? It's not like they have the Constitution and Betsy Ross' American flag hanging above Henry Ford's old mantle here

This is The Henry Ford. America's Greatest History Attraction.

Yeah, except... the Smithsonian? The American Museum of Natural History? The Capital building? Like, any one of hundreds of other history attractions that are more notable than The Henry Ford? Are we pretending those don't exist?

Might be telling that for just 89 smackeroos, you can get "admission for two at two attractions plus overnight accommodations." I mean, are you sleeping in Rosa Parks' bus for that price? What kind of accommodations are these?

"This is The Henry Ford. America's Most Affordable Transplanted History Attraction."