Monday, October 13, 2008

It's all about the no

Remember One of like five companies that survived the dot-com bust of the early 2000s? Sells surplus stuff? Well, if you haven't heard of them recently, surely this commercial starring two people you've never heard of will jog your memory.

On-Screen Title: "A Love Story"


Rory: "Hey Joey, I wrote a song about you!"

Actually what he says is "I wrote a song aboutcha," but I'll be damned if I'm going to type all the dialogue that way.

Rory: [unfortunately, singing] "Her hair is yellow like a bale of hay, blue eyes like a sky on a summer day..."
Joey: "Yellow hair? Blue eyes? Sounds just like me." [hangs up phone, returns to surfing]

"Let's see here... books... ah, here we go: Chicken Soup for the Soul's Divorce and Recovery. Ooh, and it's in paperback!"

What she actually does is buy him a guitar. Because the problem with the song was the music and not the lyrics. (Okay, it was also the music, but I don't think the guitar is going to help matters.)

Rory: [singing again, sadly] "Her eyes are brown... her legs are long..."


Joey: [cutting him off] "His hair is red, and his love is strong."

So strong that he didn't know what color your hair was until you bought him something? What is the point of this ad?

On-Screen Title: "In Hardison Mill, Tennessee, it's Joey and Rory"

Who else is there? Who else? I demand to know their dog's name!

"and Rufus"


"At home with the 'O'"

What the fuck? No, seriously, what the fuck? Is Overstock taking credit for saving their marriage by magically allowing Rory to figure out what color Joey's hair is through the power of instrumental music? (Fuck that a cappella shit.)

If you haven't heard of Joey and Rory, you're not alone. Apparently they're some sort of country duo who placed third (all of third!) on Country Music Television's show Can You Duet?, which I'm forced to assume is some sort of half-assed American Idol substitute. I hope didn't break their advertising budget signing up these two when any two people who were capable of carrying a tune would have worked exactly as well. (Of course, when you hire Joey and Rory, Rufus will actually waive his usual appearance fee, and I mean, if you can get Rufus in your commercial, you might as well start printing money.)

" Touchingly low prices."

Apparently this ad was supposed to be touching. And I'm guessing they don't mean index finger touching uvula.

Rory: "My hair's not red!"

Oh, shit, y'all! Better buy Joey her own guitar, dude. Because Overstock guitars will give you the power of color vision, or so I've been led to believe.

So, the only real explanation I can come up with is that Rory is supposed to be a songwriting incompetent - to the extent that he has no idea what his own wife looks like - until he receives a magical Overstock guitar? Or, I guess, the guitar proves that she loves him, which thus enables him to realize what she looks like, having forgotten during the like two hours he didn't see her after she left the house that morning. (Absence makes the heart grow dumber.) Or this is a really stupid commercial.

You know what doesn't make for a good commercial? One that has nothing to do with the product it's advertising. I don't care that she's shown ordering a guitar from Overstock, this ad says basically nothing about that a five-second title card reading " We sell everything" couldn't. Other ways this ad could have gone:

* Show Rufus chewing on a dog treat; Milk-Bone graphic

* Show Joey and Rory sitting outside in bathtubs; Cialis logo (on a related note, those two are married? Really? Either Rory's hung like a stallion or Joey is so crazy no other man would go near her)

* Show Joey slapping Rory when she gets home; title card for Hardison + Mill, divorce specialists

* Just have the Kool-Aid Man jump into frame at the end; it makes as much sense as anything else


c12h22o11 said...

His hair *is* red. And this commercial is so pointless.

Quivering P. Landmass said...

Whew, BORING. Two thoughts:

- "At home with the O" is one of the more annoying taglines I've seen. It makes me think of Oprah's magazine, not

- If I were a serious musician, I'd be offended by the fact that Rory is so over the moon with a guitar his wife ordered on a discount site online. Musicians are very particular about their instruments -- usually they're not impressed by cheap crap online.

Anonymous said...

I completely disagree.

The man started off with a hey, wrote a song about you, with a joking lyrics just to say to his wife in a cute way he was thinking about her. She decides to buy him a guitar because she knows he'll like it. He's obviously surprised and touched when he pulls it out of the box. They sit and sing a song together about what they love about each other. He's serious this time, but she decides to throw in a little payback with a line about his hair color that's wrong.

The use of 'At Home with the O' is a vast change from their previous campaigns of 'It's All About the O,' which was about sex appeal and jewelry. They're going for a more everyday person, two people in love looking for gifts for each other. The guitar shows they sell more than just discounted necklaces.

And for the record, from a musical standpoint, she didn't "cut him off." They were singing together. Not only does that play on that fact that they're from a television show about country singers who perform Duets, but it shows they're in time with one another.

Overall it was well made and told a romantic story about an item bought at an affordable price for a couple farmers bringing them together for a moment of love in marriage.

Tyler said...

I vote for Kool Aid Man. Oh yeah!

Halinjax said...

I don't really care what the ad is about.....that woman is HOT!!!!

Anonymous said...

Well, talk about killing the party! Dude, chill!

Doug said...

I thought this was a very well done commercial. A woman buys her husband a gift. they sing a silly little song together and they both have great voices. Not sure what all the venom was about.

Kelly said...

I effing HATE this commercial. Your assessment was exactly what I would have written, had I taken the time. Is it just me or do people singing on-screen make everyone else cringe, too? Duets and musicals have always freaked me out. Always. And this commercial is a must-mute.

There. I have achieved catharsis. I've been holding in my hate for this commercial for the whole week I've been subjected to it.

MI gun shooter said...

Well... After seeing this commercial a few times, I completely agreed with the writer, until it was explained by Christin. The commercial is still shit since Christin has to explain it to most everyone.

Anonymous said...

Your assessment is pretty pathetic. Don't nix what you don't understand. This is what a real love between two real people is.

Megan said...

I don't know where you all are from, but down here this commercial is about the more important things in life. God, true love, your dog, the front porch and playin on a guitar in your downtime. It's simple. That's what happiness is, and apparently y'all don't have it since you have to rant on and on about what you think is wrong with some sweet little commercial. At least a blog is one corner of the world where you can share all your pent up hostility about life, and your obvious anger for people that are completely happy doing the simplest little things. I wish for you that at some point you could realize how unfulfilled your life must truly be, and start taking steps to change that. I'm from Tennessee, and I think it was a small glimpse at the kind of life I'd wish for other people. The sort that we've got around here.

Quivering P. Landmass said...

Hey Megan. To answer your question, we come from the godless heathen-land of Chicago. You know, it's that place where that terrorist Barack Obama is from, and all the America-hating voters like us who put him into office 4 years ago. Up here, Megan, we absolutely hate God. And dogs, too. We usually kick them when we see them walking around. Front porches? Only good for having atheist rallies and reading The Nation with our friend Bill Ayers. As for "playin on a guitar"? Don't get me started! The last person we saw playin on a guitar, we just performed abortions on them until they hightailed it back down South.

Anyway, enough sarcasm. The point of this is that the commercial as a commercial sucked. The commercial as a folksy vignette is serviceable, it just doesn't sell an online retailer particularly well.

Windier E. Megatons said...

That was awfully catty for someone supposedly so full of kindness. Seriously though, I want you to think about this for me - assuming we take everything in that ad at total face value, isn't it kind of calculating and shameless for to exploit such a meaningful, personal vignette just to boost sales? Especially since Overstock is woven into that tapestry so awkwardly and the ad could easily have been for anything else that appeared onscreen in it at any point?

Windier E. Megatons said...

Oh, and please point me to the mention of God in the ad. Or is He just everywhere? Look, there he is in the trailer for "Zack and Miri Make a Porno," too!

Svin said...

the ad is absurd and you're right, clearly doesn't sell the website. furthermore, how does he not already own a guitar??? does that make any sense?

txeggplant said...

Here is some info about them ... apparently they have been on a CMT show.

Anonymous said...

I think your a fucking douche. I was looking for some Joey and Rory lyrics and I came across this site.
Do you really have such a bad personal life that you have to sit on your ass and criticize commercials? Of all fucking things in the world to criticize you have to pick commercials? Why dont you do something useful like write a book.
I'm just gonna go out on a limb here and guess that your one of those people that no one liked in high school, and there's a possibility that you still live with your mom.

My message to everyone of these sites, is get a life. Try making some real friends, like mom wanted you to do in the first grade.

Quivering P. Landmass said...

Comments like Anonymous's are pretty hilarious. So I'm a huge nerd who lives with his mom and spends all day criticizing ads -- but you're some extremely cool person who's searching for Joey & Rory lyrics online and taking the time to write comments on a blog? Oh my God you are so much cooler than we are!!

Anyway, this kind of idiocy isn't worth responding to except this bit: "Of all fucking things in the world to criticize you have to pick commercials?" I'm sorry, what? What could possibly be better to criticize? Commercials fucking SUCK, dude. They are by and large huge pieces of shit, as we have explained at length on this site. They are 30 second turds crapped out by multi-billion dollar companies who could be spending their ad dollars far, far better. When you rip on somebody's novel, you're tearing a particular author apart. When you rip on a commercial? There's a faceless corporation behind it -- no one should be offended about this! Commercials are fair game. Case closed.

Anonymous said...

Seriously people? This commercial is awesome, I love joey and rory. They both have beautiful voices so shutttt up with your negative comments.

Anonymous said...

Wow, seems that all of you missed the point. To the dude that wrote this blog, think before you type. I'm from NY. I hate country music. Still, reading your asinine blog is painfully stupid. Hating the commercial is one thing, but hating it because you don't understand it is retarded. You my friend are a moron. Guess your from the shallow end of the gene pool.

Anonymous said...

Of all the commercials I have seen recently, this is the one that caught my attention. I was in the process of looking up who the folks were when I came across this blog are whatever it is. I had heard they were singers.
It may have some flaws, but it is definitely drawing attention and isn't that what a commercial is supposed to do. I enjoy the sweetness of it, and I think many people "secretly" long for that.

Anonymous said...

FACE IT PEOPLE....This commercial SUCKS a COCK like the game of BASEBALL and the Yankees who love to watch it. The only cool thing that I can come up with for the Ad is the fact that I would bang the hellout of that chic. Heres my own personal lyrics for this Ad."Hey Bitch I wrote a song for you. I'm surfing pooooorn and im horny as fuuuuuuuK! Your hair is Brown and your tits are soft. Your puss is red and my dick is looooong......mmmmmmhhhmmmmmm."

Anonymous said...

I found this blog by google'ing something along the lines of "wtf is that commercial about." And basically from all the websites i've seen on the subject it cleared up who the people were and what it is about or how it relates to selling a product remains a mystery.

I find it interesting how so many people were offended by someone saying THIS COMMERCIAL MAKES NO SENSE (which it doesn't) AND IT IS DUMB BECAUSE OF THAT. To me it is the equivalent of taking a video clip from "The Notebook" and slapping a car logo at the end of it. There is nothing wrong with the little love story if you are into country music stars and enjoy finding god and peaceful country life in your tv commercials (sarcasm) but as far as advertising a website/business it is irrelevant and confusing.

This is about as bad as the KGB commercials to me. (no one i know even knows what the service is)

**and on a side note as to why anyone would care about's the same reason there are critics for anything else. When i see tv commercials its the same as looking at a billboard or a magazine ad. It's commercial ART, which always has room for criticism.

Anonymous said...

I just looked up this post so I could vent my annoyance at that commercial. Comedy Central at 10 PM. Wrong crowd for the show. But it's not just the sappiness, it's the baffling writing and direction of the commercial. Exactly what you point out. Thanks for taking the time to put together a scathing analysis.

Anonymous said...

You idiots that write 5000 word essays about how wonderful this commercial is are worthless. It's a dumb commercial with two dumb redneck tards singing about nothing. And that website blows anyways.

Anonymous said...

To the original poster (and even that douche-face who explained WTF this ad is actually supposed to be about)--

THANK YOU for this post. I have NOT understood this ad at all for the past couple months-- I'm glad that there are tons of other people out there who don't understand it either and who think it's totally stupid.

And on the topic of all the dumb people saying, "Why do you care to criticize ads?" Well... if you don't take a critical stance toward advertisements and just consume them, believe them, and go along with whatever they're telling you without questioning them-- then you're going to be the biggest, most clueless consumer whore at the ball... but I guess you won't care amidst all your SHAM-WOWS, snuggies, juicers, choppers, slappers, prescription drugs for frequent urination, and pamphlets on how to make millions in just minutes a day...

That'll show all us stupid people who analyze things without just accepting and praising them for their banal, incomprehensible, and exceptionally low face values.

Anonymous said...

So, I found this site on accident, looking for the name of this song, and I love everything everyone had to say! It was so entertaining...and, it did help a little to understand the commercial. As for the commercial itself, whether I understood it or not, I love listening to it just cause of the song...

Anonymous said...

that girl is so smokin hot

RockTheTeaParty said...

It's really just entertaining to watch teenage kids who get home from school log on to adwizards and freak the fuck out. They've obviously read 1 to 2 posts that've been made, and using their genius skills and insight in the ad industry debunk windier and quivering's rants, with stories of their summers home in georgia on the porch or whatever the fuck these inbreds are talking about.

Sappy commercials like these are just going for the "awwwww" effect, while force-feeding in product placement, as this ad is clearly guilty of. If you'd prefer to vomit sunshine and jack off to rory and joey songs thats fine, but be big enough not to bitch about it on blogs you're not capable of understanding.