Monday, May 2, 2011

Every kiss begins with cats

I don't know what kind of TV loyal reader Tyler watches, but he sure finds some weird stuff to recommend to us. Case in point:

What the fucking shit is that?

There must be a trimmed-down version for actual broadcast, because at a minute long this is a waste of my fucking time. The first 25 seconds tells us nothing except that these two are dating and that she likes her family's cat. Yawn. Then there's the creepiness/utter insanity of the rest of it.

No one's house needs a goddamn cat room. Okay? It just doesn't. Especially if the cat is the size of a gerbil. (I know, I know, it's going to get larger. Still doesn't need its own room.) But that's nothing next to the idea of using a kitten to propose, creepy on a number of levels. First of all, he apparently thinks that just because she loves her family's cat, she'll love any cat. It's not clear to me this follows. Second, he's basically using cuteness to guilt her into this engagement. "Well, if you won't marry me, will you at least marry Mr. Snuggles and me?" Third, that poor kitten looks terrified while she's holding it. And fourth, the ad ends with what looks like "Our Wedding Album, Brought to You by Fancy Feast."

And Fancy Feast has FUCK ALL to do with any of this. What's even the pitch here? Feed your cat Fancy Feast or you don't love it? Feed your cat Fancy Feast or you don't love each other? Only Fancy Feast is good enough for your cat when the cat is the fulcrum on which your relationship balances? And, fuck, are there really people who feed their cats from fancy glass dishes? God, I hope not. Really, the idea of pretending that canned cat food is fancy when it looks like shit and smells like a wet pile of rotting fish just annoys me. But when you go out there and try to sell cat food with a treacly human story... that's just retarded.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Domu ads. Stupid. Annoying. Chicago.

This probably falls into the category of "stuff only I care about," since unless you take public transportation in Chicago you're never going to see these things. But they've just been blanketing the El and buses lately, which means I'm stuck learning two unlikely things about some total stranger I couldn't care less about.

Because there's no way I'm going to get a picture of these things from a moving train, I'm stuck with the ones inside cars or at stops I actually use. So trust me when I say there are way worse ones than the ones below. For instance, every male appearing in these ads seems to have come right out of "Look at This Fucking Hipster" right down to the clearly ironic ridiculous facial hair.

I mean, look at these fucking things. So, okay. Presumably the idea is that you're trying to sell the viewer on the product by showing a wide range of people who use the service (right down to the varying of the neighborhoods, which is probably the most important part anyway). But how does it help to go with weird, ridiculous, unrealistic and/or esoteric professions and interests? Take this one. Slam poets and urologists? Both of them? Did they meet at a urology convention and realize they both loved slam poetry, or did they meet at a slam poetry session and discover they both happened to be urologists? I mean, come on. It would be hacky enough to make some ad be all "Hey, wouldn't it be super funny if this person was a slam poet and a urologist?" But pretending that this describes two people living together makes me absolutely incapable of taking this bullshit seriously. Is this supposed to be lighthearted and I'm thinking too hard about it? Probably. I don't care. It's stupid and I have to see shit like this eight times every day. If they weren't so ubiquitous I'd have snorted and moved on.

"Muse?" Guess what - go fuck yourself. Is there a single noun you could use to describe a person that would make them sound more insufferable other than obvious pejoratives? I say no. And while this might be stereotyping, is there a universe in which this woman looks like, of all things, an air traffic controller? She looks more like a waitress at a vegan restaurant who goes to art school during the day.

Thanks (I guess) to what appears to be the website of the woman who took the photos, I was also able to get a hold of this one. Holy shit, LOOK AT THIS FUCKING HIPSTER. Worse yet, this appears to be part of maybe the most bizarre viral marketing attempt of all time - that Twitter account has been posting for several months, mostly about podiatry, but if you read the thing it's pretty clear (I think) that it's being ginned up by someone who isn't a real doctor, it links only to and gives no actual links to or contact info for the supposed business, and Google doesn't give any indication that anyone named Sven O. Svenson is actually a podiatrist in the area. Also, if I walked into a doctor's office and they looked like this motherfucker, I'd be out of there faster than you can say "This is the weirdest fake shit I have ever seen in my life."

According to Liska + Associates, the agency responsible for this nonsense, "For the next evolution of marketing, Liska worked with Domu on a series of ads that feature the human side of Domu—the cool, interesting Chicagoans who use the site." Here's the problem: it's hard to feature the human side of something when you use humans who are so obviously fake, and when half of them have goofy, esoteric jobs or interests that virtually no one can relate to, and every picture is the most hipster-looking douchebag available. I can't recall seeing a single one that's just a normal looking dude in a business suit. They all have to have weirdly teased-up hair, or stupid ironic beards, or be dressed like they're on their way to a poetry reading in 1997. None of these people look "cool" or "interesting" unless you're already that kind of a schmuck, which means I'm forced to assume that Domu decided that their only real audience, I guess the only people currently renting apartments in Chicago, was hipsters. In which case, I guess, mission accomplished?

Dear advertisers: making the people in your ads into ridiculous extremes of human behavior does not make them seem more real (because how could I possibly come up with a person who was a slam poet and a urologist???). It makes them seem fake as shit. Even if these were all real people and were accurate recountings of their jobs and passions, I would have come up with some other people whose descriptions were closer to the peak of the bell curve, not several standard deviations toward the far end. Because these ads are stupid unbelievable bullshit and don't sell me on a fucking thing.