Monday, August 10, 2009

Articles killed the radio star

Please tell me this is actually an official renaming, and not a painful attempt at "hip" rebranding.

First of all, way to break the bank on that ad. Second of all, no one calls you that (I guess Radio Shack doesn't have friends?). Third of all... no. Just no. There are companies that can pull this off - such as McDonald's drilling down to "Mickey D's" (although that always made me want to stab myself in the ear) - but Radio Shack? You are not one of those companies.

Now, if this is actually part of a move to completely rename the company "The Shack," because your name has gotten kind of obsolete in the modern era... well, it's still kind of stupid. But at least it's much less stupid. So I hope, for your sake, that that's the story here.

EDIT: Looks like it is. However, I refuse to withdraw my gripe entirely, seeing as how the print ad on that Gizmodo page is the worst kind of "please whore yourself out for our benefit" faux-viral nonsense that companies routinely spin these days. Anyone who actually follows those instructions deserves to be slapped in the face.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Apparently KGB wasn't getting enough business from offering to retrieve the most easily obtained information in the universe for you. How about you text them asking for a random opinion and they just pull something out of their ass?

Man 1: "Look at that joker."
Man 2: "That is so dumb."
Man 1: "Is there any mascot stupider than an aardvark?"
Man 2: "I don't know. Let's KGB it."

Okay, a few things. First of all, stop trying to make "Let's KGB it!" happen. You are not Google. Second of all, isn't KGB pitching itself as some sort of repository of knowledge? I guess "knowing a lot of mascots and picking out a relatively silly one" is knowledge of a sort, but this isn't exactly answering trivia questions, is it?

KGB Woman: "Is there any mascot more stupid than an aardvark?"
KGB Man: "Well, there's the boll weevil from the University of Arkansas at Monticello..."
KGB Woman: "Boll weevil!"

I guess that's stupid. I don't know. What about the banana slug of UC Santa Cruz, or the geoduck of Evergreen State? A much funnier Arkansas-Monticello factoid, for my money, is the fact that the men's teams are the Boll Weevils and the women's teams are the Cotton Blossoms.

Boll weevil: "I'll show you [bleep]ing stupid!" [tackles the aardvark and begins punching him in the junk]

My only guess: the person who wrote this ad went to Arkansas-Monticello.

Man, that was dumb. Is there any ad stupider than that KGB ad?

Answer: yes. This KGB ad:

Woman: "Hello!"
Guy: "How can I tell my girlfriend's bra size?"

Maybe it's me, but if you're comfortable enough to buy lingerie or undergarments for your girlfriend, shouldn't you know her bra size? And, nice gratuitous cleavage shot. Good to know that even shitty text-message informational services are not above selling their product using sex.

Woman [as if speaking her first words since emerging from a coma]: "Maybe, you should ask, someone."
Guy: "Ah! Good idea!"

You could, say, ask your girlfriend. Too obvious?

KGB Man: "I got this one. You take your hands..."
KGB Woman: "Actually, the best way is to compare them to a piece of fruit. Are they apples, oranges, or grapefruits?"

Yeah, whatever. It just needs to be close, right? Am I right, ladies? (Oh, I guess I'm not.) Granted, this guy isn't buying an actual bra, but then why go that way at all? Other than as a cheap excuse to talk about breasts, show close-ups of breasts, and generally try to make the male audience drool over an otherwise boring ad.

Guy: "They are melons."
Woman: "I have those."

Haw. Melons. Am I right, guys?

KGB Man: "How do you like them apples?"
KGB Woman: "Those are grapefruits."
KGB Man: [leers lasciviously]

"Well, whatever they are, you'll be touching them later in my head!" I'm glad KGB is such a relaxed workplace that they can keep a breast reference model around for the 0.05% of questions that involve breast size and general gawking the other 99.95% of the time. Very progressive.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Catherine, Catherine, Catherine, can't you see? Sometimes your words just hypnotize me

I guess this is one way to sell a product.

I'd like her to cover my need at the price I want! Hi-yo!

Seriously, that's actually an ad. "Here's the pitch: Catherine Zeta-Jones is going to kind of explain that T-Mobile can save you money, but mostly the commercial will be about how this nerdy kid wants to fuck her." Pure gold, I tells ya! Wait, though: it gets worse. Much worse.

"Okay, Tim, you're playing the husband. Can you play this as skeevy as possible? You can? Awesome."

CZJ: "So, let's go online and give you a mobile makeover!"
Wife: "Great."
Husband: "I like it when you say things."

First of all, do people really need Catherine Zeta-Jones to come to their house and help them use the computer? Whatever. I'm guessing it wasn't that hard to drag her back onto the set of another commercial when the premise was "Every man in the world thinks Catherine Zeta-Jones is the hottest thing ever, to the point of being horrible in front of their wives."

CZJ: "Right... so, looks like you'll get great coverage and save money with T-Mobile."

Not at all vague information about the product! Back to the creepy dude.

Husband: "And my wife'll like that."
Wife: "I'm right here."
Husband [not looking at her, still staring at CZJ]: "That's my wife Jen. We're married. Technically."

You're not going to be married much longer, pal.

You know what this kind of reminds me of? The Rachael Ray Dunkin' Donuts ad that was clearly at least as much an ad for Rachael Ray as it was Dunkin' Donuts. Here are the messages I took from these T-Mobile ads, in order of perceived importance:

1. Catherine Zeta-Jones is so, so hot.
2. Catherine Zeta-Jones' hotness turns boys into men and brings men to their knees.
3. When Catherine Zeta-Jones is in the room, your wife all but ceases to exist.
4. Catherine Zeta-Jones' breasts could bring about world peace.
5. T-Mobile can maybe save you money, somehow.