Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I dunno, my BFF Kmart?

If there's one thing we love here at The Ad Wizards, it's when commercials attempt to make up new words that they hope will turn into the argot of the 21st century. Like when Comcast tried to push shit like "phoruption" on us. Or Wendy's and "meatatarian." Did I say love? Sorry, I meant "hate with the fire of a thousand suns." Fortunately, Kmart would never stoop to that level.

Alternately, they would make one of the most painful ads in history, using this mediocre gimmick. Hey, Kmart - you know you're Kmart, right? Do you really think you're going to convince us that you're the cool place where all the hip kids shop?

Teacher: "Your word is 'rockstare.'"

First of all, what is the context here? "Your word is" implies some sort of spelling bee, but we're in a normal classroom, and I'm pretty sure in a spelling bee the other contestants aren't allowed to shout definitions. Also this is retarded.

Boy: "Definition, please?"
Girl 1: "It's that look you get when you dress like a rock star!"

Notice how the bass-heavy music starts playing at this point. Young people, am I right?

Girl 2: "These jeans? Were made for rockstaring."

Stop. We all know this is not a thing. Stop trying to make it happen. Second of all, what are these kids, 12 years old? Do you think there's a chance we could not go to the "showing-off-my-ass" shot? Also, I know we're in an economic downturn and what have you, but $12 jeans are not considered cool by anyone except your mom.

Girl 3: "You put the rock in rockstare." [pops sweatshirt embarrassingly]

And this commercial puts the fake in "That is some seriously fake shit that would never happen anywhere, ever."

Announcer: "Don't just shop back to school, rock back to school, at Kmart!"

And another 12-year-old ass shot, just for good measure. I guess it's hard to display jeans without showing someone's bottom half, but when you move on to this:

Girl 4: "I could rockstare at those jeans all day!"

That's just going nowhere good.

[Girl 4 looks over at a boy in a hoodie.]
Boy 2: "Are you rockstaring at me?"
[Class laughs good-naturedly]

Oh, the world of commercials. Here's how that plays out in real life:

[Girl looks over at boy.]
Boy: Are you rockstaring at me?
Girl: [disgusted] What?
Boy: You know, um, rockstaring? Like, staring at someone because they look like a rock star...
Other Boy: What, did you just make that up?
Boy: No, it's... it was in a commercial...
Girl: You mean that Kmart commercial?
[Entire class laughs derisively; boy bursts into tears]
Girl: Anyway, I was just wondering how long it had been since you took a shower.

Blue Light Bulb: "There's smart... and there's Kmart smart."

"There's annoying... and there's stab myself in the face with a rusty ice pick annoying."

It would be one thing if I thought this ad had any basis in reality, but you know it was just dreamed up by some 35-year-old creative writer who fell asleep with "High School Musical" on the night before.

Of course, this wouldn't be advertising if they only used a horrible idea once.

Teacher: "Your word is 'blingitude.'"
Presumably a Boy: "Definition, please?"

Nice hair, jackass.

Girl 1: "Blingitude is a girl's BFF, AEAE."

Maybe I'm getting old, but I actually had to Google this because I had no idea what the fuck "AEAE" was supposed to be. Apparently it's short for "and ever and ever," which is so utterly useless an addition that it just makes me angry. I wouldn't even mention it except that I found the answer at Yahoo! Answers, and check out the question being asked. Brand recognition FTW!

Girl 2: "My jeans practically invented blingitude."

Has "bling" really already morphed into just meaning "thing that is kind of good"? This is nonsensical.

Girl 3: "When it comes to blingitude, sometimes less is... way more!"

"See, kids, it's totally cool if your outfit only cost ten bucks!" This ad paid for by Moms Incorporated.

Girl 4: "And sometimes, more is more!"

Peace sign with wings: super cool. Super blingy. I remember that episode of MTV's Cribs when they went over to Jay-Z's mansion and he came out wearing a t-shirt with a winged peace sign and was all, "Check this bling out, holla!" (Note: May not have happened.)

More gratuitous middle school ass (this ad now paid for by People Who Have Appeared on To Catch a Predator Incorporated) leads us into the final "joke":

Nerd-Type: "Do I have blingitude?"
[Long pause]
All [in that "We're only saying this to be nice" way]: "...Yeah!"
[Nerd-type seems relieved]

Good thing Kmart is around to break down the social barriers of grade school! By making sure that everyone understands that fat kid + glasses = total dork, whereas the rest of the students, with their trendy bargain outfits and 80-pound, model-thin frames, are the arbiters of cool. Seek that approval, nerds! It's as easy as shopping at Kmart. I suggest bragging constantly that that's where you got your back-to-school outfit; you're sure to be a hit!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Go home, Klondike, you're embarrassing yourself.

Remember Klondike's iconic jingle? "What would you doooo for a Klondike bar?"

The commercials were silly, but I get the message: Klondike bars are delicious. There's no need to sell this product any harder- chocolate and vanilla ice cream? That's a combination that never fails, unlike the combination of Klondike Bars and desperation. This includes a round-the-clock broadcast of Michael Ian Black harassing potential Klondike Bar customers who are walking, talking examples of "don't be this guy."

Do you want this guy to be your "bro"?

Klondike's grand plan to rebrand itself also includes a repulsive old-school type video game entitled "The Adventures of Khaki Pants Pete" on their "ironic" website. Jezebel rescues you from having to play the actual game by showing you screencaps here. As the embodiment of a Klondike Bar aficionado, Pete avoids his wife, shirks childcare responsibilities, hits on the babysitter, heads to a porn shop, dreams of his glory days as the frattiest gadabout in town, and then hits a bachelor party that involves interactive pudding wrestling. Oh, I'm sorry, "pudding freakin' wrestling."

Klondike, you are not beer. You're not an extreme sports drink. You're not hot wings. You're not beef jerky, jello shooters, corn chips, or Axe Body Spray. What you are is a nostalgic, cold, delicious treat for all kinds of people- men and women, children and grandparents. Why in the hell are you trying so hard to cut yourself off from a universal demographic?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I'm not a chicken, you're a turkey

Hey, dummy. Are you too stupid to understand the concept of a computer virus? Well, what if Norton did a dopey, drawn-out commercial that used a nonsensical analogy? Would that help?

Yeah, I didn't think so.

Announcer: "Imagine this chicken is your hard drive, and the 80s metal band Dokken is a computer virus."

Was this commercial written by the same manatees who produce the jokes for Family Guy? Dokken? Has anyone even thought about them in the last 20 years? Let's just say I'm not surprised they were available.

Announcer: "Dokken does not like chicken, and wants to destroy it. The chicken, not knowing Dokken's intentions, doesn't really have any feelings either way."

I love that the analogy already runs off the rails here, since computer viruses are ultimately just bits of executable code, and are not capable of liking or disliking things. Also, I would suggest that the worst computer viruses are the ones that look to mine your hard drive for personal data, rather than ones that simply seek to maliciously destroy your data for sport. But whatever makes the most sense. Oh, right - nothing in this ad makes sense.

Announcer: "Now you have a choice. Would you like to allow Dokken to have its way with your chicken, unleashing a wrath the likes of which the chicken has never seen? Or would you like to deny it?"

Uh, Norton doesn't actually have a "Nah, let that virus run rampant" option in its software, right?

[The chicken pulls a knife on Dokken.]
Don Dokken: "Whoa. Take it easy, bro!"

A perfect allegory for the workings of antivirus software. Well, if they'd used Glass Tiger instead it would have been perfect. But this is pretty close.

Don Dokken: "This ain't over."
Announcer: "Protect your chicken from Dokken."

Alternate slogans for this ad campaign:

"Protect your inner tube from Welshmen"

"Protect your self-esteem from pandas"

"Protect your wet-dry vacuum from Annette Funicello"

"Protect your sourdough roll from Halley's Comet"

"Protect your gravy boat from ? and the Mysterians"

"Protect your mason jar from the Caspian Sea"

Sadly, all of these were deemed far too comprehensible to work.