Monday, September 27, 2010

I'll just stand, thanks

The three and a half years of this blog have seen more than a couple entrants into the field of "most disgusting fast food sandwich," from the BK Stacker to the Baconator to the Bacon Double Homestyle Melt. This one, though, has been notorious ever since it was first announced. KFC, to their credit (maybe?), seems to have embraced the notoriety. But that doesn't really improve things.

Construction Worker: "Today is the day."
Skateboarder: "The day I ignore the voice of reason."

Seriously, that's the pitch? "You know that little voice in the back of your mind telling you that this food item is disgusting and awful? Just block that shit out." I could use the same logic to justify eating a package of Mallomars and washing it down with turkey gravy. You know, in theory.

Office Type: "The day I talk to the girl from accounting."

Not much of a comparable. Unless - is she riddled with STDs? Okay, you win, KFC. This is exactly like working up the nerve to eat your horrible sandwich.

Dude with classic car, for some reason: "The day I ditch the bun."

Okay, not bad - the Atkins diet isn't for everyone, but leaving off a fast food bun, which is a lot of refined white flour, will save you a fair number of calories...

Douchebag on couch: "And demand two meaty fillets!"

Uh oh.

Random guy on street: "Two slices of cheese!"
Guy walking indoors: "And two pieces of bacon."

"And two more notches on your belt." I love how they act like there was actually "demand" for this, like they didn't want to make the Double Down but Joe Back-Fat forced their hand. Does anyone really believe there was some focus group where KFC was testing out a new sandwich, and they kept getting the response "Would be better with entire second chicken fillet and without bun?"

Office Type: "Yeah. I said bacon."

Oh, bacon? Never heard of it. I assume this is some rare ingredient that no one would ever think to put on a fast food sandwich, and thus your extreme emphasis and pride here is not at all mispla- no, no, I'm being told that in fact bacon is quite popular and probably appears on more fast food sandwiches these days than does ketchup.

Construction Worker: "Today's the day... I double down."

And tomorrow is the day you get a stent put in. No, make that two stents! See what I did there?

Voiceover: "The KFC Double Down! Double meat, double cheese, double bacon, double awesome."

Bacon is meat. And this thing really just looks gross. Oh, but it's also in grilled! Sweet, I was worried that two chicken breast fillets plus bacon and cheese might be a smidge too many calories. You do save all of 60 calories (still 480), although astonishingly the grilled version has significantly more cholesterol than the original recipe.

Voiceover: "Get yours today."


Douchebag on couch: "So good."

I really don't like this guy. Why is he trying to eye-fuck the camera and only speaking out of one side of his mouth? Fuck him. I have no interest in anything he likes. Anyway, in case you missed him saying "So good," here comes a really obnoxious jingle to spell it out for you. No, seriously:

Jingle: "So S-O, G-Double-O-D Good!"

What the fuck is that stupid bullshit? First of all, "so good" itself is barely an acceptable slogan. Second of all, that is the best you could do for a song? "Hey, let's say the exact same thing twice, except in between the two words we'll spell the whole thing!" Who had to bill KFC for the thirty seconds it took them to write and compose that piece of shit?

This really is the evolution of fatness in America, isn't it? Sure, compared to some other products, the Double Down really isn't that bad - 540 calories and 32 grams of fat in 241 grams, which is absolutely dwarfed by that BK Homestyle Melt (810, 58, 221). But we've gone from "This sandwich needs more meat! Get rid of these vegetables!" to "This sandwich needs more meat! Get rid of this worthless bun!", which is just kind of ridiculous. Can you really even still call it a sandwich if it lacks a bun? And what's next? A chicken fillet with bacon and cheese jammed between two hamburger patties? A whole pork belly between two pieces of chicken? A turducken wrapped in bacon? A chicken fillet in between two entire roast pigs? Don't forget the melted butter for dipping!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Here we blow

I wanted to write these ads up months ago, but initially had a hard time finding them on YouTube. Fortunately, it's never too late to deal with something this shitty.

We all know beer ads - especially light beer ads - are typically awful. That's what happens. But I've found this ad particularly inexplicable from the beginning. Why?

So the plot of the ad is, this guy is going to his softball game and thinks his girlfriend's book club is lame and boring. Then he realizes they have Bud Light and decides he'd rather just hang out there, drink beer, hit on his girlfriend's friends, and invite over all his buddies to party as well.

As far as I can see, there are two options. Either Bud Light condones this asshole's behavior:

"It's a party whenever Bud Light's around! Drop what you were doing, ignore all rules of social interaction, act like a complete creep! All to get that sweet, sweet nectar into your body!"

Or they don't:

"Bud Light: preferred beer of total douchebags!"

It's hard to imagine they're going for the latter, so: yeah! Bud Light, everyone! I know you and your girlfriend had separate plans for the day, but forget that shit! Barge into her book club! Disrupt that fucker! Get all the women drunk and try for an orgy! Invite your equally lame (and apparently subliterate) friends over and turn it into some sort of entirely undeserved mixer! Oh, and because the women are women, they will know their place and acquiesce quietly to your boorish behavior in spite of their reservations! Here we go!

Back when I made this post, I mentioned a second ad besides the Dodge ad in question that involved the Founding Fathers in a questionable way. Here it is:

Ben Franklin was a noted lover of beer. Without knowing anything about his preferences, though, I feel like he would not have been a Bud Light drinker.

Washington: "Where the blazes is Jefferson?"
Founding Father 2: "T.J.? He's probably still writing that 'declaration.'"

I'm not sure who the second guy is supposed to be. Alexander Hamilton? John Adams? James Madison? He sort of looks like Ben Franklin to me, but that other guy is supposed to be Franklin. The hat and coat are reminiscent of Paul Revere, but calling Paul Revere a "founding father" is a real stretch.

[Jefferson rides in and holds up two six-packs of Bud Light]
Jefferson: "Gentlemen!"
FF2: "Here we go!"

It's about time someone invented shitty beer!

[James Brown's "Living in America" plays]
Washington [dancing with a woman]: "Would you like to be the second lady?"

No, you guys, Jefferson was the philanderer. It's like you don't care about American history!


Washington: "We should do this every Fourth of July!"

The Fourth of July: celebration of American independence, or excuse to break out some terrible light beer and hit on every woman in sight? You be the judge.

This ad doesn't really offend me, but as with the Dodge ad, I find the use of figures from American history as pitchmen to be weird and off-putting. Here at least it's clearly intended to be funny; surely no one would take away from this that Washington and Jefferson would have necessarily endorsed Bud Light. Either way, it seems just a bit strange and/or inappropriate to have an ad where one of the Founding Fathers outright shits on the Declaration of Independence, regardless of why.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

And the award for least comprehensible plot in an ad this year goes to

I guess the footage in this ad was just so golden that they had to keep it, even when they decided to change the entire plot.

Kid: "Hey Parker, wanna race home? Bet I can beat you there."

Unless you are blind, it is staggeringly obvious from the visual cues - the way the kid gestures with his hand, the way Parker takes off running, Parker's hiding behind a tree (clearly an advantage in a footrace), etc. - that this commercial has nothing to do with "racing home." Parker is going to get the shit kicked out of him if he doesn't make it to his house ahead of these kids. I'm guessing that focus groups did not like the plot of this ad, and thus it was changed, but the random kid playing Parker had already been paid ten million dollars and so Chrysler felt like they had to overdub it rather than simply spend six hours shooting a new version of the ad in which the kids were actually racing. Or maybe they just figured it wouldn't make sense regardless and opted to cut their losses.

Voiceover: "With its 43 safety features, like the Parkview rear back-up camera..."
Mother: "Hi, sweetie! There you are!"

What? So... she was looking for him, because they needed to drive somewhere I guess, but he only just arrived home from school and jumped into the open trunk of the car, and meanwhile she was in the front seat with her seat belt already on. Could the plot of this ad possibly be any more incomprehensible?

Voiceover: "Electronic vehicle information center, and rear cross path detection system, now available in the Safety Tech package, the Chrysler Town and Country is a safe bet to make."

Meanwhile, the bullies sit on the lawn... of Parker's house. Are they just going to wait for him to come back and kick his ass then? And really, what did the car have to do with any of this? "Oh man, if the Chrysler Town and Country didn't have an electronic vehicle information center, Parker's ass would be grass right about now!"

Honestly, is it that hard to tell a coherent (or in any way relevant) story in 30 seconds? It's 30 seconds! How can it be that difficult to hold your plot together? I mean, let's face it - even if the commercial had never been changed and was always about bullying, it still makes no sense after about the ten-second mark, because why is the mom already in the car and where are they going? Why wouldn't she just pick him up from school, rather than him having to run a significant distance home only to get immediately into the car and drive away? Is that even his house? If it's not, how did he know she would be there? What the fuck does any of this have to do with safety features, other than that an announcer is listing a few as we watch this nonsense unfold?

The one piece of evidence that the ad actually involves a "race" is Parker sticking out his tongue and then grinning at the bullies as his mom drives away. I can see doing that if you just won a good-natured race. I can't really see doing that knowing that you have to go back to school the next day, with the exact same bullies, and eventually you probably won't be able to outrun them given your enormous backpack and their lack of same. But hey, none of the rest of the ad's plot makes sense. Why should I expect it to start doing so in the last ten seconds?

Friday, September 24, 2010

You gotta have balls

Balls, everyone. BALLS! Hey, is this the funniest post you've ever read yet? It's not? BALLS. I don't think you understand. Balls.

Voiceover: "Mankind has asked many questions, but few as profound as this."

Why do bad things happen to good people? If God is righteous and all-powerful, why is there evil in the world? How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Which is cheaper, using Axe products every day or just getting a tattoo of the word "douchebag" on your forehead once?

Woman: "How can guys clean their balls so that they're more enjoyable to play with?"

Ha-HA! Balls! It means one thing but also another!

Jaime Pressly: "Well, there's finally a tool that can really get the job done: the Axe Detailer."

Or, like, a washcloth? I cannot say I've ever had an experience with ball-grime (sorry) that was so caked on (sorry again) that I would have needed some sort of ball-safe Brillo pad while showering. Also, if I had to guess, most women probably aren't that excited to play with a guy's balls no matter how sparkling clean they are.

Pressly: "This can make any ball sparkly and new."

The fine print here says "Take care when using on sensitive areas." So, it might be a little rough for sensitive areas? Well, it's a good thing you designed it exclusively to be used on the single most sensitive area of the male anatomy.

Pressly: "Go ahead and play with those clean balls, Denese."

Balls balls balls balls balls balls balls.

Woman: "Magical."
Voiceover: "Abracadabra."

This is retarded.

In the online version - which is 2:45 long - Denese juggles the golf balls in her hand for, I shit you not, fifteen straight seconds. Unsurprisingly, there are also oodles more predictable and unfunny ball-themed jokes, some of which were presumably deemed a little "too hot for TV."

I don't know. I mean, is this really a problem? Is this a complaint that a lot of guys have, that it's difficult to clean one's scrotum? Because I can't say I've found it to be an issue - and as such I just look at an ad like this as a bunch of cheap jokes to make teenagers snicker, kind of like the Bud Light ad that they weren't allowed to run during the 2008 Super Bowl because it liked its fart jokes just a little too much. Surely even Axe is not required to play to the absolute lowest common denominator. I'd take the sheer inanity of "Double Pits to Chesty" any day over this mess.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Zoosk alors

Sure, there are like 500 dating websites out there. Some of them will tell you about their marriage success stories, or how they'll pair you with someone compatible... whatever. How many can guarantee they'll match you up with the stupidest people on the planet?

Friend 1: "This guy's into camping."
Woman: "Eh."
Friend 2: "What about that guy?"
Woman: "Oh, yeah! I could definitely go for some 'serious romance.'"

Then, for reasons known only to the writers of this commercial, she envisions a situation in which she and the guy keep bumping heads, running into things, and getting generally physically injured while attempting to have sex. This would never happen. Also, I might have missed a memo, but no matter how you feel about it, I don't think "fucking on the first date" can really be construed as "serious romance."

Woman: "Maybe just a movie date, would be nice."
Friends: "Yeah."

That was actually her imagination! What is wrong with this woman? "Hmm, I could go for some wild first-date sex... no, that would end with comical injury, as they do. We'll just go to a movie!" In what universe does this commercial make sense? For that matter, how does it sell a dating site?

Voiceover: "Zoosk: the online dating site that lets you date your way."

As opposed to Joosk, the online dating site where your nagging mother pressures you into dating that nice boy from down the street - he's a doctor, you know. And would it kill you to have a couple grandchildren for me before I die? I don't ask for much.

Voiceover: "Whether you want to browse, flirt or find your soulmate."

I guess that's a fair point - pretty sure eHarmony, for one, isn't really big on "flirting." But even with that in mind, I feel like this niche was probably already filled by one of the 8500 dating sites out there.

But if you think that Zoosk commercial was dumb and made no sense...


Woman: "I should probably ask him out, right?"
Friends: "Yeah!"
Friend 1: "Oh, speaking of dating, how was the blind date your mom set you up on?"

And then we see that in the ten seconds the woman was finishing getting ready, the guy had a severe allergic reaction to her dog, cat, and some sort of shellfish hors d'oeuvre that was sitting on the table.

Woman: "I think I'll stick to Zoosk for all my dating."
Friend 1: "Good idea!"

Good idea? Fuck, great idea! After all, I'm sure Zoosk requires you to submit a full allergy profile when you register, to weed out the guys who might swell up hideously before you even have a chance to decide if you want to bump heads and throw your back out with them later in the evening. What's that? Even without looking you're pretty sure they don't do that? Well, their loss. I'll just stick to for all my dating needs.

I mean, honestly. I can think of seven thousand things that could go wrong on a blind date, and I can also think of at least two or three that are maybe something you could imagine being able to weed out based on an online dating profile (people never lie in those things!). But shellfish allergies? Not one of those!

I can see where the extreme seriousness and maritally-inclined tone of the ads for eHarmony, and even to a lesser extent, would turn off people who are just looking online for casual dates. But is this kind of goofy, unrealistic asshattery really appealing to anyone? For that matter, have we learned anything about the Zoosk site itself, other than that its ad agency has the imagination of a sea urchin?

Rethink extremely unlikely

Tying in with yesterday's State Farm post, I wanted to write up this ridiculous Honda Civic ad in which they outright claim that it will get you hired for a job you might not be qualified for. (Do you also need to have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night?) I couldn't find it, because for some reason people aren't lining up to upload boring, shitty car ads to YouTube. So instead we'll just talk about this AT&T ad, because it's just about as stupid.

Sure, okay, it can take some lucky breaks to get ahead in life. The ridiculous degree to which that idea is blown out in this commercial just makes my head spin, however. Questions I have:

* What was she even doing? So, she walks to the bottom of her steps, checks on a finishing download, and then immediately puts her phone back away? Why did she even need to get the phone out in the first place? Oh, because if she doesn't drop her shoes while putting the phone back away, the people would walk right past her. One second of contrived bullshit can make all the difference!

* These apparently quite influential ballet people will just invite any old person with ballet shoes in for an audition? "Oh, you do ballet? Well, even though if you were good enough to dance the lead in a show you probably wouldn't be dancing alone in some dark studio in your early 20s, why don't you come down for a tryout?"

* How many possible times in life can there be when doing something now versus three seconds from now actually matters and yet you also have time and/or a legitimate reason to download something on your smartphone?

[The Old West, 1887.]
Outlaw Cactus Joe:
Well, it's just you and me, Sheriff. A duel to the death! As soon as the bell in the old clock tower chimes, we draw!
Sheriff Bill: Your reign of terror is almost over, Joe. Hmm, maybe I should download Kool and the Gang's "Celebration" for afterwards... [pulls out smartphone]
Daisy Mae: Sheriff, for God's sake! Now's not the time for downloads!
Sheriff Bill: Don't you worry, Daisy Mae. I'll have this song downloaded in plenty of time... say, this wireless network is just crawling right now.
Daisy Mae: [sobbing] Oh, Sheriff! You can't download that quickly with Verizon! It's only AT&T that has the nation's fastest download speeds!
Sheriff Bill: [nervous] Never you mind, Daisy. We're getting there. I think it's halfway done...
Outlaw Cactus Joe: Clock's almost to noon, Sheriff. And I ain't waiting for you to finish your download! When that bell chimes, I draw!
Sheriff Bill: Look, it's just... it's almost done, okay? Just give me two more seconds here...
[clock chimes, Cactus Joe draws and fires]
Daisy Mae: Sheriff! No!!!
Sheriff Bill: Hear me, good townsfolk! You must all switch to AT&T at once! I curse Verizon with my last breath! [dies]
Outlaw Cactus Joe: Well, time to rob the bank and sleep with some whores. And then I'll upload some pictures of that to Facebook with my iPhone! Mwa ha ha ha!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Like a good genie, State Farm is there

Hey, I just had a crazy idea. What if we decided to sell products based not on things they actually do, but on things they don't do nor possibly could? It's just retarded enough to work!

I'm guessing that people under the age of 35 were not buying enough insurance.

Friend 1: "Snatching stuff takes-" [rock smashes through window] "Oh! What is going on in here?"
Friend 2: "Uh oh."
Dude With Insurance: "It's okay, relax. Watch this." [singing poorly] "Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there!"
[State Farm Agent appears from nowhere]
Agent: "Hey Dave."

I'm guessing mid to late 20s for these guys. Do they really all remember this jingle? When was the last time State Farm used it before this series of ads? Whatever.

Friend 2: "Wow."
Friend 1: "Is that your agent?"
Dude: "It's the jingle."

Ugh. Talk about an annoying meta-concept. "Off-key renditions of our famous jingle are like the Bat Signal for our insurance agents!" How postmodern of you.

Dude: "Try it!"
Friend 1: "Uh, no."

You had the right idea.

Friend 2: [singing extremely poorly] "Like a good neighbor-"
Dude: "Just say it."
Friend 2: "State Farm is- is there."
Friend 1: "With a sandwich."
[A sandwich appears on the table]

What? Why? This has something to do with insurance? "Be insured against hunger, with State Farm."

Friend 2: "Ohhh yeah."
Dude: "And the girl from 4E?"
[Girl appears]

"Be insured against blue balls, with State Farm."

Friend 2: [inexplicably delivering his line like a Southern Baptist minister] "And can I get a hot tub?!"
[Hot tub appears in the middle of the room]
Agent: "Nice."

"Be insured against not looking like the kind of douchebag who has a hot tub in the center of his apartment, with State Farm."

Voiceover: "Find out what else State Farm agents can do for you at"

I think you mean "Find out what State Farm agents can do for you," since this commercial did not show me anything that a State Farm agent can actually do. They're not going to bring me a sandwich or make a hot tub appear in my apartment, and they're definitely not going to get me laid. For that matter, wasn't that agent here because of a broken window? What happened to that?

Selling products without referencing anything they do is one thing; that's old hat at this point, and frankly it's an odd commercial these days that focuses too heavily on its product's strengths. But selling a product based only on things it doesn't do, can't do, and will never, ever do no matter how much you use it? It's like a Coke ad that says it helps build strong bones or some shit. I would have just written this off as obviously intended to be silly humor if not for the fact that they explicitly use the word "else." What else can State Farm agents do for you? No. They cannot do anything shown, at any point. Here's what a State Farm agent can probably do for you: survey the damage, help you to file a claim, and then never be involved with you again until the next time something breaks in your house. Granted, that doesn't play as well on television.