Saturday, September 8, 2012

Mensa membership guaranteed!

I really wish I could find the longer version of this commercial, which is AGGRESSIVELY TERRIBLE while this one is merely stupid and annoying.  But you work with what you have.

So.  The reason I would rather have shown you the longer version is that in that one, I think it's pretty clear that both of these people are insufferable, rather than basically just the dude.

[Guy is sitting looking at a statue]
Woman: "Are you a fan of DeMoissier?"
Guy's Internal Monologue: "DeMoissi-who?  Okay, you know you're smart.  You just ordered a premium roast coffee and a savory Sausage McMuffin for only a dollar each off McDonald's Dollar Menu at breakfast, so..."

Please note: if it takes you this many seconds to come up with what is at best a halfway coherent response, everyone will know you're full of shit.  Look at the woman - she's already gotten bored of waiting for an answer and is writing something down in her planner, presumably "Do not ever, ever fuck this guy."

Guy: "He has a certain... je ne sais quoi."

Fuck you.  Since when does "being smart" have to equate to "having heard of, and formed an opinion on, every modern sculpture artist in existence?"  This is the kind of shit someone who thinks they are extremely smart came up with.  Ooh, and French!  The language of smart people, right?  That's what I heard.

In the extended version of this commercial, the woman replies, "Oh, tu parles français!"  Let's be clear here: "Je ne sais quoi" is a well-enough-known phrase in English that I don't believe for a second that someone who actually spoke French as a second language would hear it and assume that the person they were talking to was bilingual.  Also, as someone who actually does parle un peu de français, it's pretty shitty for that woman to immediately use the singular tu form of the second-person rather than the plural vous form, which is more typically used in formal address, like, you know, when you're speaking to some stranger in the park.  Perhaps she's just being patronizing because she recognizes he's full of shit, but I don't think that's the intent.  Although if you type "Oh, you speak French" into Google Translate, it (properly) gives you the more formal "vous parlez français" form.  I guess this ad was written by someone who took French, but just not since sophomore year of high school.

Oh, the guy's response to that, by the way, is "Oh yeah, all the time," which is just a continued stream of bullshit.  McDonald's: it won't make you smarter, but it'll sure make you feel like you have to pretend to be a genius everywhere you go!  But this really is a commercial all about behaving weirdly in front of strangers.  The guy feels intimidated by the woman's seeming intellect and has to try and impress her even though she's a total stranger because, I don't know, smart woman in business suits are inherently emasculating, right, fellas?  But meanwhile, the woman is sort of a bitch here, between assuming the guy just chilling on a park bench must be a fan of modern art, assuming he speaks French for no good reason (forcing him to keep bullshitting), and using tu like she's talking to a five-year-old.  Other than that, though, a couple of winning characters here, McDonald's.  Maybe we could have a whole series of ads where the guy has to keep feigning expertise to avoid looking like a schmuck, while internally feeling confident in his own intelligence because hey, he didn't buy a seven-dollar Sausage McMuffin at the artisanal breakfast co-op like some sucker.

Most delightful aspect of this ad: the supremely awkward way the guy is required to hold the cup of coffee just so the "McCafe" logo is not obscured by his hand.  In case you're deaf and wanted to know what this was an ad for, I guess.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Tomato sauce for the soul

I hate to be sort of on the same side of an issue as that awful "One Million Moms" group, which apparently wants this commercial to be banned, but this shit is just dumb.

Look, I'm all for people dumping on One Million Moms for attacking this commercial, but a quick Google search includes comments like "one of the funniest, most endearing ads I've seen in a long time."  Whoa.  Back the fucking train up here.  Yeah, the ad isn't offensive like the dopes at One Million Moms seem to think it is.  But I do think it is (a) weird and (b) bizarrely inappropriate for the product being marketed.

Like, the ad seems a little tongue-in-cheek, but not really enough to completely get away with it.  It seems fairly serious in its suggestion that Ragu is some sort of magic elixir - serve your kids pasta with this sauce poured all over it, and they'll totally forget about their hard day!  Which included, apparently, seeing you having sex like, minutes earlier.

Doesn't the timeline in this ad not really work?  And just generally not make sense?  I mean, when are these people eating dinner that the parents were off fucking at 8 pm, pre-dinner?  I know it doesn't take a long time to cook pasta but still.  I guess we're supposed to assume that the kid is getting home from a friend's house (a friend who also eats dinner super late, apparently?), and the parents thought they could squeeze in some evening action before he arrived only to be proven WRONG.  I don't have any kids, so I guess I'm not familiar with that whole aspect of one's marital sex life.  It does seem weird though.  Also, how about locking your fucking door, people?  Why are we blaming the kid for this one?

Also, I'm sure that kid loves eating pasta, but he seems REMARKABLY unfazed by sitting at the same table as his parents given that he looked horrified to have seen them fucking like, what, 15 minutes earlier?  He's really over it already?  Either it wasn't that hard a day of childhood or Ragu is actually some sort of mind-erasing product.  "Are your kids upset with something you did?  Feed them Ragu!  RAGU TO FORGET."

One Million Moms are awful, and I think it's a bit much to attack this ad since it's frankly far less explicit in its suggestion of sex than plenty else that's on the air, to say nothing of even most family sitcoms.  At the same time, I do find it an odd way to sell pasta sauce, and just kind of creepy.  By comparison, here's another ad in the series:

See, that's actually kind of cute.  I know that "the replaced pet" and "walking in on the parents having sex" are both pretty stereotypical "bad childhood experiences," but I think one is a lot less weird to have on primetime television.  No, sex isn't weird or gross or inappropriate to even allude to on television.  But it still seems like a strange way to sell pasta sauce.