Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Summer of Condiments

Oh dear.

[Twentysomethings hang out at a party while the announcer talks. Edgy, animated text matches his words on the screen.]
Announcer: "Don't go unnoticed. Don't blend in. Don't be ordinary, boring or bland. In other words..."

Now, if I just showed you the first nineteen seconds of that ad, what would you think it was for? Some sort of hip clothing company? The latest premium malt beverage? Granted, it's kind of a lame ad regardless, but it's when we get to the product that things go completely to hell.

Announcer: "...don't be so mayo."

Honestly, the first time I saw this ad I still didn't figure it out, even after this line. Mostly because I never expected to see an ad for a condiment that looked like an ad for Smirnoff Ice.

Announcer: "We are our own unique one of a kind flavor. We are Miracle Whip, and we will not tone it down."

That's the entire ad. You will not "tone it down"? Someone wanted Miracle Whip to "tone it down"? If the tone on Miracle Whip were any lower it would be sub-zero. I understand the pitch - "Miracle Whip! We're not mayonnaise! We taste different, you guys!" - but this was the best angle they had? The official mediocre condiment of rebellious youth?

You know what this ad is like? Imagine you're a teenager and your dad shows up at a party of yours, dressed in contemporary clothes he can't possibly pull off, and saying things like "I was hoping I could chill with you dawgs for a while," putting all the emphasis on the "cool" words that clearly even he knows he really shouldn't be saying. Now, if that happened, you'd be embarrassed both by and for him, right? Well, that's how I feel after seeing this ad.

You're not cool, Miracle Whip. You're not cool and you never will be. You just make me sad.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Could I be any worse of an ad?

I'll take "attacking things your competitors don't do" for $200, Alex.

Wife: "Hey, did you ever find tickets to Hawaii?"
Husband: "Hawaii Five-O! Book 'em, Dano! Aloha! Mele Kalikimaka! Surf lingo! Brah, I was stoked when I caught that tasty barrel!"

I mean, fine, I guess this is supposed to be hyperbole. But it's hyperbole so extreme that it just means nothing. Go to Google and type in "tickets to Hawaii," not that anyone would ever type in so vague a term when they specifically were looking for airline tickets. The first two results are Cheap Tickets and Orbitz, both of which will sell you plane tickets to Hawaii. In case you meant something else, you're also presented on the first page with other links where they sell tickets for University of Hawaii sporting events. Type in "plane tickets to Hawaii" and you get a bunch of sites that sell you plane tickets to Hawaii. I don't know how far you'd have to go in the results for "tickets to Hawaii" to find "Book 'em, Dano," but I'm guessing it's pretty far. Even if you're the kind of idiot who just types in "Hawaii," three of the first four results are tourism-related.

Wife: "Seriously, did you price out tickets?"
Husband: "How to beat a traffic ticket! Ten proven methods traffic courts don't want you to know!"
Wife: "What are you talking about?"
Husband: "Talk turkey!"
Wife: "What?"
Husband: "Talk live with hot singles in your area! They're waiting."
Wife: "Who's waiting?"
Slogan on screen: "What has search overload done to us?"

Uh... nothing? Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with this commercial? Just for the hell of it, I also typed "tickets to Hawaii" into Yahoo and and got similar results to Google - Yahoo even had all of their top results relating to flights. Then I typed it into's engine, and got basically the same results (although fewer of theirs seemed to deal with flights, which is vaguely hilarious).

I realize that not everyone in the world is an internet expert; I'm old enough to remember a time without the internet, but young enough that it's been a major part of most of my life (and certainly my entire adult life). But COME ON. If you know enough to access the internet, I fail to see what is doing for you that every other search engine can't. It's like they're trying to trick old people into thinking that this is how Google works. "Hey, boomers! Use! Did you know that Google will vomit a stream of tangentially related non-sequiturs like a mental patient if you search using it? It's true! Uh, don't bother trying to verify that, it's just going to lull you into a false sense of security with a successful initial search..." Their use of the term "decision engine" only plays this up all the more. "Are you too old and computer illiterate to browse through a page of search results? We'll decide for you!" Never mind that I've used Bing a couple times now and fail to see where it's "deciding" any more than Google when it gives you... a page of search results. At least Google has the "I'm feeling lucky" button.

This ad is the rough equivalent of Burger King making an ad in which they claim that if you go into a McDonald's and order a hamburger, you'll get a bag of diseased muskrats. (Not that I'd put that past Crispin Porter + Bogusky.) It's also exactly as effective. Anyone who knows anything about the internet knows you're full of shit, Microsoft, and this commercial is enough to send me lunging for the remote every time.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

You call it: Toyota Prius "Harmony" commercial.

I totally get what Toyota is trying to do with this commercial, and as far as getting the content, imagery and music to be in sync with their product image and philosophy, they knocked it out of the park. Given that my beef is frequently with one or more of these things not hanging together, what could there be to complain about?

Well, that I find this commercial inexplicably creepy. All the undulating and people popping out of nowhere and the idea of the sun being a big ball of folks tied together at the ankle for all eternity... for me, it's just unsettling. There is a second commercial, involving people climbing upwards to create trees, that doesn't bother me as much (potentially because they're clearly people and not unexplained Soylent Scenery™). It doesn't appear to bother either Windier or Quivering anywhere near as much. So let's hear from the readers. What do you say for this one- yea or nay?