Friday, May 31, 2013

Cruise Ship Ads

After all the disasters aboard cruise ships lately, every time I see a TV commercial for a cruise ship company, all I can think about is the bad stuff. I don't mean to do it, and it's not really my fault, either. I'd be willing to bet everyone thinks about the same stuff too unless they're completely unfamiliar with these occurrences and their related bad publicity. So when I think about what the ads ought to be, I'm thinking that maybe they ought to say things like: "You probably won't have to sleep in your own feces for a week! And we've got lots of fire extinguishers now! Hey, bad experiences always pull people together! Maybe you'll even get a concert to raise funds for you afterwards!" Or is that actually reminding everyone of the problems too specifically? Okay, then how about a really long disclaimer warning of all these possible disastrous scenarios read in super-fast voiceovers by someone like the Micro Machines ad guy? That might be fun, even if it takes up two-thirds of the ad time.

The IKEA Monkey

Hey, remember the IKEA Monkey? It was found wandering around an IKEA parking lot wearing a fleece jacket. Well, apparently the monkey was confiscated by animal control, and the owner is fighting to try to get the illegal pet monkey back. Oh, but authorities claim the monkey is happy in a primate shelter, and it's even making friends with a big ape in the shelter.

Hey, wait a minute... I've seen this movie before! It's Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and this monkey will lead all the shelter apes into a revolt what will conquer mankind! Oh, the humanity! We're finished! Help, help! It's a big monkey mania and ape attack! Aaaaa!

Well, you know where this is leading: to Charlton Heston getting pushed around by apes in a madhouse. (Hey, maybe gun control activists are behind this? That will punish him in the future for his gun stuff. Which actually makes sense with the movie series, when you think about it.)

Here's the monkey business story:

Tea Kettles That Look Like Hitler Website?

Hey, there's a website devoted to cats that look like Hitler. So how about one that's devoted to tea kettles that look like Hitler, called something like: Is that website taken yet? Their ad slogan could say that finally Hitler has conquered England (because they like tea so much).

Here's the related story:

JC Penney to Release Pol Pot Pots & Pans, and Other Dictator-Inspired Kitchen Appliances

The popularity of the recent JC Penney Hitler tea kettle has prompted the troubled company to design more kitchen appliances based upon 20th-Century mass-murdering dictators. The first will be the soon-to-be-unveiled set of Pol Pot Pots & Pans, to be followed by the Stalin Stove, the Mussolini Microwave, and the Tojo Toaster. JC Penney hopes sales of these upcoming kitchen appliances celebrating 20th-Century dictators will be a smash hit as well!

And yes, all appliances are designed as caricatures of the dictators they're named after!

(Just kidding! I'm sure JC Penney would never intentionally market something to sell well. I mean, they would never intentionally market anything that's offensive.)

Backtalk (Device)

Are you a successful businessperson who has no time for your adolescent children? Are you always away on a business trip so you can't interact with your kids? Then the Backtalk is for you! Simply get a sample of their voices before you leave, and whenever you're missing your children, you can press "play" on the Backtalk device and get instant rebellious quotes from your children, like: "You can't tell me what to do!", "Oh yeah, well Allison's parents let her do it!", "You're not the boss of me!", "I'll listen to it as loud as I want!", etc. Yes, think of the hours of enjoyment you can get listening to your kids challenge your authority, but knowing you're not really talking to them, so you can't actually bite their heads off and get in trouble. Ah, think of the practice you can get learning not to yell back at your kids! Think of the cathartic release you can get by yelling back at their rebellion without actually abusing your children! It's also especially good for preparing parents with really sweet, dependent elementary school-age children for the day when they defy you. That's the Backtalk: ask for it by name wherever electronic gadgets for childcare are sold!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Michele, Ma Belle…

Oh, say it ain’t so, yo! Michele Bachmann is not running for re-election? No way! News people are celebrating today, but they will soon change their tune, once they realize they won’t have Michele Bachmann to kick around anymore. (That’s what she should have said, like Richard Nixon famously said. But he was lying then too, because he came back and became the president later. Hey, wait: could it be that…?)

Oh, the ranting and raving I have heard this evening from Democratic pundits, complaining about Michele Bachmann’s factual inaccuracies. Oh, but her inaccuracies were really funny! It was totally entertaining to hear her do that stuff! And once Democratic pundits realize that there’s just going to be some boring nobody replacing her, and there’s nobody else like her to demonize Republicans with*, surely they will crawl back to her on their hands and knees begging her to come back to Congress, promising to pay for her whole campaign! (They’d be fools not to do it, when you think about it.)

Now, I am on record here as claiming she should be appreciated as performance art, and once she’s gone, I promise her haters that they will miss her dearly. We all will: you’ll see. Yeah, every once in a while you can nail another Tea Party Republican with some laugh-riot quote, but it will only be in dribs and drabs from now on. Without Michele, it will never be the same again. And we will be far less entertained as a result. (Jon Stewart’s & Stephen Colbert’s jobs just got a lot harder!)

Here’s the sad, sad story that will leave us in boredom forever after:

* In retrospect (as of October 2013), I may have wrong about this point, as there seem to be plenty other dolts attempting to fill her shoes.

McDonald’s “Lord of the Fries” (Joke) Ad

In this (joke) ad, which is a twist on the classic novel/movie Lord of the Flies (the 1963 movie is the classic, by the way), a group of adolescent boys gets shipwrecked on a desert island, and once there, they find one large order of McDonald’s French fries. Well, this being an ad for McDonald’s, they’ve got to make it look desirable to be obese, so the overweight kid defeats all the other boys, after which he gets the fries all for himself. And for this valor in the face of danger and overwhelming odds, he is rescued by Ronald McDonald’s Playland Yacht, where he gets all he can eat McDonald’s food: Yea! (And the other kids get left on the island to eat each other. {So, does fast food seem healthier to everyone now?})

Real Mousewives of Disney World

Has Disney done any reality TV shows yet? They really ought to trashy-up their animated characters to fit the current cultural zeitgeist. And their first show could be Real Mousewives of Disney World, showing Minnie Mouse throwing drinks in other Disney animal characters’ faces and stuff, leading to brawls galore and stuff. We’re all tired of their family values stuff anyway, right? Kids need to learn that to get ahead these days, they need a sex tape, a public brawl, and stuff like that. It seems our schools are failing to teach them this, which is clearly why student debt is so high. So come on, Disney: show ‘em how it’s done with a Real Housewives-style show of your own, and help create the next generation of ruined child stars, since the Mickey Mouse Club is no longer around.

(This is just a joke, I hope you all realize!)

Who Sent Mayor Bloomberg’s Poison Pen Letter?

Yes, apparently New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg got a letter poisoned with ricin. And CNN reports that this was over his tough stance on guns. Apparently the letter mentioned his gun control stuff. But really, can you necessarily believe the letter written by someone who is trying to poison someone else with ricin? Wouldn’t they try to put the finger on some other group just so the sender could get away clean?

No, this is obviously the soda industry! They know Bloomberg is trying to destroy them, and they’re trying to destroy him first! And surely they’d try to blame a gun nut, right? Because when you think about it, wouldn’t a gun rights guy say it was a soda enthusiast, just to keep people from knowing who did it? Yeah, if a gun guy did it, they’d send a note that says: “Coke adds death, Coca-Cola adds… death. Signed: Dr. Pepper.” Right?

Oh, but Piers Morgan is selling this not necessarily true fact of a gun nut conspiracy on CNN tonight. (Remember the last ricin letter? That was a frame job, so why not this one too?) But doesn’t that prove that Piers Morgan himself sent the poisoned letter? He hates guns, and he also hates gun rights people with a childish fury generally reserved for elementary school bullies. (His position on guns is fine with me, even if I don’t agree with him fully, but his name calling stuff and hissy fits are completely unwelcome in an adult conversation on an important issue, and tend to discredit his stance.) And so wouldn’t he try to smear gun rights people by trying to make everyone think they’re poisoned letter authors? And since he has a whole news channel to spin facts to fit his agenda, he could totally get away with it, too. It’s just that I’m not so sure he knows how to make poisons.

And that’s another thing: How come everyone and his brother seems to know how to make poisons and stuff these days? Is it that evil internet? Because I heard it’s only supposed to be for pornography. (Avenue Q told me.) Oh, and criminals bragging about their crimes on Facebook so the police can catch them easily. (Hey, maybe someone will brag about the Bloomberg ricin letter on Facebook, leading to their arrest? We can only hope...)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Longest Word in English: Antiestablishmentarianism?

Piers Morgan claimed tonight that the longest word in the English language is: Antiestablishmentarianism. But it’s clearly not the longest word, which is, obviously: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. And he ought to know that word, being a Brit. (Wasn’t Mary Poppins his nanny?)

(By the way, I know I’m right, because Microsoft Word says supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is spelled right, but it does not recognize antiestablishmentarianism, which according to Microsoft, is clearly a made-up word. {Maybe they didn’t want anyone to know about that word, so nobody would become antiestablishmentarianistic [which is, by the way, itself longer than antiestablishmentarianism, by two letters], and Microsoft could conquer the world? And hey, come to think of it, Mary Poppins must be aiding and abetting them in this cause, because she obviously tried to distract from the word antiestablishmentarianism, the longest word in the English language, by creating an even longer word! [A-ha! I knew it!]})

Oopsie Daisy!

Hey, how come daisies always get the blame for every screw-up? What did daisies ever do to anyone? This must be a smear campaign orchestrated against daisies by some other flower who’s mad because they give people allergies or something. I’m on to this floral hatchet job, man! You jealous flowers can’t fool me!

eBates eBates Motel (Joke) Ad

I have previously suggested eBates sponsor the TV show Bates Motel to promote their brand, making ads with “Norman eBates” at the “eBates Motel”. But here’s an idea for an (joke) ad using this idea:

The announcer says: “When you stay in the eBates Motel, Norman eBates literally assaults you with unexpected savings: saving so extreme, it’s shocking! (We see Norman eBates attacking a female guest in the shower, pulling the shower curtain back and throwing rebate coupons at her.) And when the people at eBates slash prices, they really slash prices!” (Then we see Norman eBates walking through a store with a butcher knife literally slash a series of price tags.)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Other Superman-Style Superheroes

Once Superman hit the scene, other superhero wannabes started showing up with the “Super” prefix in their names. Here’s a partial list of these super interlopers:

Superbman: He does everything really well, but he doesn’t really have super powers.

Superlativeman: He’s the best at what he does, but still doesn’t have actual super powers.

Superciliousman: He thinks he has super powers, but he really doesn’t (except maybe super arrogance).

Superfluousman: He always shows up after Superman has the situation well in hand.

Jurassic Park Product Placement

Jurassic Park has some pretty noticeable products appearing at key points in the movie, none of which make the product look particularly good. But maybe that’s by design? Here’s what the marketing people might have been thinking:

Barbasol: Whether you want a close shave or to steal sensitive materials that could endanger millions of lives, Barbasol is your shaving cream!

Ford Explorer: For a car that will die when you’re in danger and actually even try to crush you to death when you’re at your most vulnerable, it’s got to be a Ford Explorer!

Apple Computers: When you need a computer that will really fail at the wrong moment and put everyone’s lives in jeopardy, you need an Apple computer, named after the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, it’ll destroy mankind every time!

Men Are Pigs

I keep hearing the declaration that men are pigs. Well, if that’s the case, then Soylent Green is going to be delicious! And Soylent Bacon and Soylent Barbecue, too!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Infiniti Threads Ad

Hey, look: Infiniti has designed their cars specifically to secretly disrobe everyone on the street by grasping onto the threads in our clothing and unspooling them (!). And it's so sneaky, in this test footage, nobody even notices that they're slowly becoming nude right out there in public (!!). So, is this a way for them to punish everyone who has not bought a car from Infiniti: make them all live out the nightmare scenario of being naked in public? Or maybe they're just perverts who are using technology to see everyone naked? Whatever the reason, it sure is sneaky and naughty of them! Plus, it could be dangerous in cold climates, giving everyone pneumonia who does not buy an Infiniti automobile. (Surely there needs to be new legislation to protect consumers from such dastardly car company plots as this!)

They claim they're 'liberating us from winter', but that's obviously just some lame excuse! I know what they're up to, those naughty peepers! They're 'liberating us' from our clothing!

Here, look at the proof (See? I told you! A-ha: we're on to you pervs at Infiniti, trying to see everyone naked on the street, you 'auto-erotic' peeping toms!):

Asus Transformer Pad

There's a tablet computer called the Asus Transformer Pad. Doesn't that sound like a Depend Guards for Men style penie pad for Transformers? I guess maybe they could leak hydraulic fluid in embarrassing areas and not want anyone to be able to tell. And the infused traces of Allspark that soak into the pads make them into tablet computers. (It's diluted, so they don't become active, sentient robots.)

Friday, May 24, 2013


There's a new product for hemorrhoids called RectiCare, and their ads are the usual boring and nondescript thing. But with a name like RectiCare, shouldn't they play around with it a bit? I mean, they could say: "Have you wrecked your rectum? Then try RectiCare! It's the RectiCure for your wrecked rectum!" Or perhaps: "Are you a rectum wrecker? Then RectiCare is your RectiCure!" Or maybe they could have a doctor tell a patient: "I reckon you've wrecked your rectum: try RectiCare, it's your RectiCure."

Hey, maybe it's in bad taste, but I'll bet nobody would be likely to forget about the product if they ended up needing help in that area.

Here's the website for RectiCare:


There's a product of mints in a can (similar to Altoids) called "VerMints". And that made me think that perhaps they could make one called "VarMints": they could be shaped like rats and mice and bats and other varmints that cause trouble for people. They'd be especially popular with varmint hunters. Hey, and maybe they could be specially formulated to taste like a mint-flavored version of the varmint animal they're shaped like. That way dogs and cats would like them too, and it might help give pets with halitosis fresh(er/ish) breath!

Weinergate Wieners?

Last night for dinner, my friend made some sausages by an organic sausage company called Applegate. And seeing as how this company seems to have its headquarters in New Jersey, they should be quite familiar to New Yorkers. And since Anthony Weiner is running for Mayor of New York City, it might be a fun attack ad to make a fake sausage brand called "Weinergate", and to have it look like it's sausages packaged in gray boxer briefs or something. (After all, "Weinergate" is what some people called Anthony Weiner's Twitter sexting scandal, so it would be extra appropriate {or perhaps extra inappropriate?})

Oh, and of course the slogan for this political attack ad mock brand of "Weinergate Wieners" would be: "You really don't want to see how the sausage is made!"

Safe Step Tub

The Safe Step Tub is a walk-in tub with a big door that opens so that an older person can walk into it and not risk slipping while stepping into the bathtub. But with a door that opens in the side of the bathtub, that means the bather would have to step in and then sit there the whole time while the bathtub filled up with water, and then sit there the whole time while the water drained out before they could get out of the tub. And with the door there like that, how many times have people forgotten about this issue and opened the door with a tub full of water, spilling it out into a torrent of rushing bath water, flooding the bathroom and more?

I’m sorry to have to say this, but the Safe Step Tub doesn’t seem like such a good idea to me. But this issue of an older person getting into a tub really isn’t all that hard to solve without such an elaborate scheme. All you’d really need to solve this problem would be to have a little stool on a swivel at one end of the bathtub. (I’d suggest the end away from the faucet, just in case someone slips anyway, which could still happen in the walk-in tub.) So the person would simply run their bath, then get undressed, sit down on the stool, swivel around 180 degrees, put their feet into the water, and then lower themselves into the bath from there. They could install hand grips on the wall to help them sit down and stand up, and grips inside the bathtub stall to help them sit down and raise themselves out of the bathwater. And all they’d have to do is design a swiveling stool that could be inserted into the top of the side of the bathtub. The swivel could have a stopper that only allowed it to swivel around exactly 180 degrees so that the person couldn’t slip and spin off onto the floor easily, and it could even have a lock switch on the stool to keep it from swiveling at all until they’re ready to turn around, so the stool doesn’t slip or spin while they’re sitting down or getting up off of it. And it would probably be easy to just drill a hole in the top of the bathtub and fit one in, for any handyman. But if you’d really rather have to sit in the bathtub while the water runs and drains out, or else forget and open the door and spill a whole bathtub’s worth of water in your house or apartment, please don’t let me stop you.

Abercrombie & Bitch

Oh, those guys at Abercrombie & Fitch. They don't want any overweight people wearing their clothes, according to their CEO. But you know, they could have accomplished this without offending everyone with such discriminatory comments simply by designing the doors in their stores to be shaped like in-shape people. Then overweight people wouldn't be able to fit into the stores, and they'd get what they want without even having to say it.

Oh, but to help them get over this little PR issue, why don't they create a special brand for overweight people? Then their CEO could say he doesn't want people who are in shape to wear this brand, because it's not meant for them. And perhaps they could license the name from me, for I have come up with a name for such a clothing brand specifically for couch potatoes: Potato Skins! (Get your potato on!)

Here's my previous post about Potato Skins:

And here's a news story about the recent Abercrombie & Fitch controversy:

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Protective Life Logo

Has anyone else noticed that the blue arch over the Protective Life Insurance company logo looks a lot like a nipple ring? (Or at least part of one.) Well, it does.

Here’s the Protective Life website (The logo is at the top left corner.):

The Opposite of Viagra?

We all know about what Viagra is and what it’s for. But what about something to help with the opposite problem: embarrassing random erections for adolescent boys? I remember being 13 and being terrified of getting a boner in shorts at some co-ed camp or sports activity, causing disgust from girls and endless teasing from fellow boys. When will this horrifying issue be resolved for the boys of this country? Is it because they don’t have their own money that nobody is developing this badly needed product? Well, that’s no excuse to leave these boys at the mercy of their hormones! Surely they must make it. And when they do develop it, maybe it could be called: “Flaccidol”.

Also, this stuff would work perfectly on those erections that last over four hours without having to go to the hospital!

Lear Capital Hungry Cheetah Ad

In this ad for Lear Capital, the usual guy is trying to convince us to invest in gold because gold has outperformed the Dow by 270% since 1970. Oh, and over the past 10 years, supposedly gold has beaten the Dow by over 300%. Are you surprised by this revelation? Well, you shouldn’t be, because this is an ad for Lear Capital, and they really, really want you to buy gold from them, or at least to give them your money. Oh, and apparently you also shouldn’t be surprised, because like the guy in this ad says: “…when government prints money faster than a hungry cheetah, your dollars and paper investments can get eaten alive.”

But wow, I didn’t know the government printed money faster than a hungry cheetah. And I also didn’t know hungry cheetahs printed money. Maybe that’s why the value of the dollar is going down: because hungry cheetahs are all printing money too? And if cheetahs are printing money, all the other wild animals must be doing it too! So it’s no wonder our money is losing its value, with all these animals printing it up like crazy! And you know the government protects these animals, so we’re not even allowed to stop them from printing up so much money. Boy, more government regulations that make no sense! Animals are allowed to print all the dollars they want, but people aren’t even allowed to do it when we get hungry! That’s the real scandal here: the government is allowing animals to destroy the value of our currency!

Oh, but perhaps the real scandal here is that the government models its money printing operation on hungry cheetahs. Because didn’t that guy say the government is printing money faster than a hungry cheetah? So then our whole treasury system is all designed around trying to race cheetahs to see who can print money faster? Man, that’s ridiculous! I told you we couldn’t trust the government! So quick: buy all the gold you can eat, before the cheetahs eat it all! (I didn’t know cheetahs ate money before I saw this ad; but when you think about it, I guess it’s obvious, isn’t it?)

Here’s the hungry cheetah spot:

To my surprise, I got an angry, ranting email complaint about this post, believe it or not. Of all the silly, twisted, potentially objectionable material I have composed on this blog, this is the one that gets me the hate mail? I guess you can't please all of the people all of the time, huh? (I think the poison pen email author considered this post a liberal attack upon the conservative strategy of investing in precious metals, which I didn't anticipate as a likely interpretation by readers. I have written other posts about other ads of this type which can be {and likely are} read that way, but which were intended as entertainment, and not as political. But the written word and the spoken word can be interpreted so differently, and perhaps I don't possess the requisite authorial finesse to elucidate the subtleties I endeavor to communicate in my writing {which is generally dashed off with what little time I have to do so}. So apologies for this deficiency of mine; I am working on improving it. Oh, and I think the poison pen email author works for Lear Capital too, because how else can anyone get so mad about a silly scribble such as this post?)

Charles Ramsey, Cleveland Hero, To Get Free Burgers for Life

Charles Ramsey, the man who put down his McDonald’s hamburger to help free women held prisoner in a Cleveland home for years, has been offered free burgers for life from a number of Cleveland restaurants. That’s wonderful, and it’s nice to see him actually honored with a practical reward from his community. Because the man purportedly loves burgers. And I think heroism like that displayed by Mr. Ramsey ought to be rewarded, and encouraged in others with such rewards, because we can be so detached nowadays, and we need great examples of caring people helping those in need as embodied by Charles Ramsey commemorated and celebrated.

But apparently McDonald’s in not among the companies offering Mr. Ramsey free burgers. And I guess it’s easy to see why when you think about it. After all, he put down a McDonald’s burger to go help someone in need, and that tends to make McDonald’s hamburgers appear less than irresistible. Yes, had he ignored pleas for help because he couldn’t bear to put down his delicious McDonald’s hamburger, then that would be a really powerful statement about the deliciosity (yes, I know it’s “not a word”; at least not until you bite into a McDonald’s hamburger and experience it for yourself! Yes, you have to create new words to describe the overwhelming joy!) and addictiveness of a McDonald’s hamburger. And apparently, that’s what McDonald’s would prefer, because you could make catchy ads around that scenario. (But if they gave our hero free burgers for life, it would be rewarding him for making their burgers appear put-down-able. And apparently they can’t countenance such an insult to their fine eatery!)

Yes, picture this as a McDonald’s ad: A man is on his porch eating a delicious McDonald’s hamburger when someone defenseless is running down the sidewalk begging for help, chased by a mad killer. Well, that burger is so delicious, the man eating the burger is so enraptured by the sensory overload that he doesn’t even notice, and so the mad killer kills his victim, and all because of how unbelievably tasty McDonald’s burgers are. And then a police chase ends in front of his house, leading to a deadly shootout, but he doesn’t notice, because of his yummy burger. People are lying dead all around him, but he doesn’t notice or care, thanks to McDonald’s. And then his house catches on fire, and he catches on fire, but he still doesn’t notice because of how scrumptious that hamburger is. Which is actually a tragedy, because now McDonald’s won’t make as much money, which is really all that matters, right?

Then we could have McDonald’s ads with policemen ignoring crimes happening all around them, distress calls on their police radios, an armed robbery inside the McDonald’s, a vicious chain saw massacre, a hostage situation, etc., and all because those McDonald’s burgers are so all-consumingly delicious. And the slogan could be: “McDonald’s hamburgers: so delicious, when you consume one, it consumes you, too.”

But on second thought, this does rather make McDonald’s look a bit callous, now doesn’t it? Wow, I guess they really ought to give Charles Ramsey free burgers for life. And free fries, drinks, and whatever else he wants. Because besides being a hero, he also gave McDonald’s a lot of free advertising with his news interviews; so much so, that everyone knows he was eating a McDonald’s Big Mac, and everyone is reminded of McDonald’s whenever his name comes up. I’d say that’s an awful lot of positive brand recognition. That sort of thing is generally paid for. And it ought to be rewarded, along with the heroism. But it’s nice to see other burger joints stepping up where McDonald’s has not. And who knows: maybe McDonald’s doesn’t feel like they need the good publicity they’d get for doing the right thing and helping Mr. Ramsey after he helped saved lives and after he gave McDonald’s an awful lot of free advertising: the kind you can’t buy.

Here’s the delicious story:

(Actually, as it turns out, Mr. Ramsey doesn't want anything to do with these offers, as they're seen as promotional gimmicks for the restaurants. Hmm, I didn't see it that way, but then again, I'm not in his shoes. But he did give a lot of advertising to McDonald's, so I kind of feel like they owe him here. But maybe that's why McDonald's didn't initially offer him free burgers: because it would seem crassly exploitative?)

Coors Light Justice Department “Chilling Effect” on Journalism (Joke) Ad

All week, I have heard every news station and every commentator say that the Justice Department investigations into news agencies are having “a chilling effect” on confidential sources and journalists alike, threatening our free press. Well, many people claim this is unconstitutional, being a direct violation of the First Amendment. But surely there’s a way for the Justice Department to have a chilling effect upon journalism without violating the Constitution, like maybe by serving journalists some cold drinks. Which gives me an idea for a joke ad for Coors Light!

So here’s how this (joke) Coors Light commercial might work:

The Justice Department calls reporters in for a press conference, and the Attorney General tells them that he’s alarmed by the overzealous prosecution of these investigations, and he’s sorry if there has been a sense of there being a culture of intimidation. So to make it up to them, the Justice Department serves the reporters Coors Light, and that CGI frozen “Silver Bullet” train comes racing into the station at the Justice Dept., making it snow and making everyone start dancing and grab frosty cans of Coors Light. And as the reporters are all happily drinking their Coors Light beer, the Attorney General says: “Here’s a chilling effect on journalism I’m sure you won’t mind!” And then the announcer says that when you want to cause a chilling effect on journalism, you should hit them with the Silver Bullet: Coors Light!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

John Boehner Sues Cartoon Network Over TV Show “The Annoying Orange”

Speaker of the House John Boehner has sued Cartoon Network, claiming they stole his persona for the cartoon show The Annoying Orange. What? It’s actually an advertising agency that’s suing Cartoon Network over that show? Oh, sorry… Well you can understand how I could get that confused, right?

But hey, if an ad agency is suing over this character, then why not say that the Annoying Orange is annoying because it doesn’t have any vitamin C, and that if the advertising campaign orange character also doesn’t have any vitamin C, then they admit they have infringed upon it; but otherwise…

Here’s the annoying story:

3-D Printing Food

Yes, we could end world hunger with the 3-D printer, so long as people change their perception of what qualifies as food. (Or that’s what a news report I saw yesterday claims.) 
I mean, we already know that 3-D printers are being used to create human parts like ears and such by using human cellular material. And if we just make that into a steak shape, then we could eat it! Of course, we’d technically be cannibals, but so what? We wouldn’t hurt or kill anyone (unless we really developed a taste for it and couldn’t wait for the next printout!), and it would be a way to make Soylent Green without making it out of dead people. But it would still be people, technically, in theory, right? And so Charlton Heston could still rant and rave about it being people, and nobody would care! I’m getting hungry even now just thinking about it. And for gun control activists who hate Charlton Heston, we could use his genetic material to make a “cold, dead hand”, and they could eat that out of hostility over his NRA stuff. Think of how cathartic, and delicious, it would be for them!

Here’s the mouth-watering, printed story:

Miracle-Gro Lois Lerner Press Conference Plant Question (Joke) Ad

Initial news of the current I.R.S. scandal came from an attempt to “get in front of the scandal” by Lois Lerner, who intended to soften the blow of the upcoming I.G. report of the unfair targeting of Tea Party groups by the I.R.S. tax-exempt status division by planting a question in some press conference and bringing the issue to light on a Friday afternoon, a common tactic used by the Washington establishment to lessen the impact of unfavorable news revelations (because it’s the beginning of the weekend, and maybe people will get distracted and forget, or some other news story may come along and overshadow the unfavorable news). But rather than help deflate the scandal, this has caused it to grow wildly into a big story. And that gave me an idea for an (joke) ad for the plant food Miracle-Gro.

So Lois Lerner is worried about the politicization of the I.R.S. being exposed by the upcoming I.G. report, so she decides to try to defuse the bad news by having a plant ask a question about it at a Friday afternoon press conference. And to make sure the plant is effective, she plants it with Miracle-Gro plant food. And so when the plant asks her about the targeting of conservative groups (The plant is a talking plant like a small version of the man-eating plant from Little Shop of Horrors.), everyone is really shocked that a talking plant is actually there asking questions, and as a result, they all pay close attention to the question and the answer, and the scandal breaks big-time. Which just goes to show you, if you want your plants or scandals to grow at a truly amazing rate, then you need to use Miracle-Gro: the miracle plant food!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Brad Slam His Marriage to Jennifer Aniston

Yes, a muck-rakey scandal rag-style gossip piece in Yahoo! Shine today says: “Brad Pitt Slams His Marriage to Jennifer Aniston.” Oh, yeah? Well, I slam my not being married to Jennifer Aniston! So there!

Yes, apparently Brad Pitt whines about how unhappy he was being married to Jennifer Aniston. But does he give even one thought to how unhappy I, and so many other American men, have been not being married to her? No! And really, wouldn’t that make a more interesting story: Brad Pitt telling some gossipy scandal rag about how Jennifer Aniston really should have married me instead of him? Because now it could be me bitching about how unhappy I was with her, and gaining all that, um, what’s the opposite of sympathy? Whatever that is: I could have it, since apparently he doesn’t want it. (Or, hey: you don’t suppose this was all a ruse to get his name in the papers se we’ll all go see World War Z, now do you? Nah, that couldn’t be it.)

(Confidentially, I think it’s quite likely that Brad has to do this periodically to keep Angelina appeased. Because every so often {almost every day it seems}, there’s a news story online raving about how hot and sexy Jennifer Aniston is, with lots of steamy pictures showing how great she still looks, etc.; and whenever Angelina sees one of these, she probably gets mad at Brad for having been married to Jennifer before. And so then he has to convince Angelina to her satisfaction that he was completely miserable with Jennifer, and that he never thought she was hot, etc., or else.)

Here’s the article, labeled under “Fashion”, of all things (Maybe that’s why he didn’t enjoy the marriage: it wasn’t fashionable enough? Well, you know what’s really in fashionDivorce! It’s all the rage! And at least he’ll always have that.):

President Obama and Twisters

I read today that Fox News reported that there have been more tornadoes under President Obama than under President Bush. I didn’t see that report, but if they really reported that, well, I guess that’s one way to produce levity under the circumstances. Because that’s pretty unintentionally funny, trying to accuse the president of being responsible for tornadoes. Maybe it’s all the left-wing media spin? Is that their reasoning? (I don’t much care for spin in either direction, but I’m pretty sure it’s not affecting the weather.)

But you know, as upset as I’ve been with some of these government scandals lately, and the excuse that nobody in positions of responsibility ever seem to know what’s going on in their own departments, when a natural disaster strikes, I’m really glad that President Obama is the president. Because one of the things he does best is make heartfelt speeches that reassure everyone that we’re all in this together. In the partisan bickering and one-upmanship that is Washington politics, it may not always feel like that, but nevertheless, President Obama never feels forced or fake when he makes a speech about our unity in the wake of the devastation of a community through a natural disaster.

Oh, but speeches are one thing, and actions are another. And in this area President Obama really talks the talk and walks the walk. He makes the time to fly to these communities, not for a photo op (although there are always plenty of those anyway), but to be there for the people. And even when it’s a community of far-right Republicans, just like with any other, the president shows up, he lets them know the government is there for them, he commiserates with them, he promises support, he talks to everyone he encounters, etc. (And the far right Republicans really appreciate it: you can see it in their faces.) And when he gets back to Washington, he makes it a priority to make the disaster relief available. That’s why Chris Christie was making nice with him after Hurricane Sandy. Some cried politics, and that Christie had to kiss his ass to get aid, and it was all about the election, but that’s just not so. President Obama may be a hardball politician, and I can get turned off by that, but he really cares about people in need. And he shines when stuff like these natural disasters occur. Because people need someone to care, and they need to feel like there’s a support network for them, and he makes them feel it, and he makes sure it’s there.

I may not always agree with President Obama on everything (How can anyone agree with a public figure on everything anyway?), and I may be pretty cynical about politics and politicians in general (and with good reason…), but I can’t fault him here. When disaster strikes, and people lose everything, he just has a way of knowing when to show up, what to say, and how to get the ball rolling to provide disaster relief. He’s aces when the chips are down. And he raises everyone’s spirits in such situations. And that’s a very important role for government to play. So while the Washington scandals may be a case for smaller government, since nobody seems to know what’s going on in such a big government, there’s at least a few areas where I think we can all agree we need a healthy government to help the people. (But I could use less of the oppressive stuff like the IRS partisanship scandal and the news spying and whistleblower prosecutions I’ve been reading about lately…)

Purell Pope’s Ring Ad?

Watching the Showtime series The Borgias has given me lots of exposure to much kissing of the Pope’s ring. It’s a veritable make-out session for the ring! And how promiscuous it is! It most certainly gets around, letting any number of people kiss it, one right after the other. Wow, and back then when there were so many germs, and not so much hygiene.

Well, with this in mind, it seems to me that a cute ad for Purell could be people lining up to kiss the Pope’s ring in modern day, and with a special Papal assistant using Purell to disinfect and sterilize the ring for each and every new kisser that approaches the ring for their own public display of affection for His Holiness and Mother Church. And some people could have a cough, or a stuffy nose, or someone might sneeze, or something like that, which would cause everyone to feel a bit uneasy, until they see the assistant wiping off the ring after each and every kiss with a bit of Purell.

And the slogan could be something like: “Cleansing the spirit is the Church’s business, cleansing the rest is ours: Purell.”

Hershey’s Mr. Goodbar “Looking for Mr. Goodbar” Ad (Joke/Proposed)

Diane Keaton walks into a dark, classic-looking (with lots of dark wood and a built-in hand-carved antique wooden bar with attractive architectural details) bar in New York City. She sits at the bar, and the bartender says: “What’ll it be?” So she says: “I’m looking for a Mr. Goodbar”, whereupon attractive young men on both sides of her at the bar turn around to each offer her a regular-sized Mr. Goodbar chocolate bar, with some of them leaning over each other to extend their outstretched arms to hold out a Mr. Goodbar to her. (And perhaps one of the Mr. Goodbars is also the small, “Fun Size”, and one of them is that huge family-sized thick bar.) She looks at all of the Mr. Goodbars, trying to decide which one to accept, and as she considers the options, another man approaches her with a candy bar, saying: “I don’t have a Mr. Goodbar, but I’ve got a Nestlé Crunch.”, after which everyone starts laughing at him contemptuously, and he slinks away, embarrassed and disheartened. So Ms. Keaton takes one of the Mr. Goodbars, says: “Thank you” to everyone, and starts to open her candy bar, at which point the bartender says to her: “Would you like a drink to go with that?” And she says: “No thanks, I was really just looking for Mr. Goodbar.”

This is way out-of-date and everything, and I’m not so sure adults buy a lot of Mr. Goodbars, but this is always what I have thought of throughout my whole life as an ad for Mr. Goodbar chocolate bars, because of the movie called Looking for Mr. Goodbar (although I have never seen the movie; but this is what I always imagine the movie to be about). But it would certainly be an advertising strategy for Hershey’s Mr. Goodbar aimed at adults, and I thought that might be fun for a change.

Nestlé Logo

The Nestlé logo, as far as I can tell, is a little drawn graphic image of a mother bird standing on the edge of a bird’s nest and I think they are suggesting that the mother bird is there to feed her two baby birds that are inside the nest. And the nest is built upon a tree branch that has apparently been sawed off of a tree while they weren’t paying attention. (That’s what it looks like, anyway.) But if this is supposed to be what’s going on here, is this really such a good idea? You see, Nestlé sells food products and baby formula and baby food and candy and so forth, and seeing as how that’s the case, do they really want to associate their company with birds? I mean, birds are all pretty and everything, but it’s just that birds feed their chicks by catching worms, eating them, and then regurgitating them back up into their children’s mouths. Yum, yummy! So while, as I said before, birds are all pretty and all, their feeding habits are a bit unpalatable to humans. But maybe the marketing people at Nestlé are counting on their customers being ignorant of bird behavior? Because if their customers know about how birds feed their chicks, they might start to think there’s some predigested wormy vomit in the ingredients somewhere, or else visualize that image when they see the company logo. (Naturally, I am only joking here.)

(Sorry, my college courses in animal behavior are showing, aren’t they? And I guess maybe I never got over that film I saw at Andover Summer Session about how Nestlé was marketing their baby formula to third-world countries where the mothers would mix it with unsanitary water to feed their babies because they were led to believe it was healthier than breast-feeding their children.* Eek. Although it is possible that the marketing people working for Nestlé had no idea that anyone would actually take the advertising claims seriously, since hardly anyone in America or Europe ever does.)

Here’s the Wikipedia page for Nestlé, with the logo at the right hand side of the page:

* And here’s a Wikipedia page about the Nestlé baby formula controversy:

Oh, and here’s a news story that popped up the very day I posted this which is somewhat related:

Meat Industry Anti-Vegetarian Attack Ad?

Vegetarians and Vegans attack and smear meat-eaters and meat producers all the time, covering themselves with blood and so forth, trying to guilt trip people who raise animals for food and attacking people who eat meat with guilt-by-association tactics. So when will meat producers take a page from this same playbook and attack back by fighting fire with fire in a guilt-by-association ad campaign of their own? So here’s an example of how this might be accomplished:

The commercial starts with the headline: “Hitler Was a Vegetarian.” Then we see old historical footage of Hitler making hateful rant-filled speeches and giving the Nazi salute, and then Nazi storm troopers marching and goose-stepping about, some of the horrors of war like bombed-out cities, etc. Then the slogan appears on the screen: “Don’t Be Like Hitler: Eat Meat!”

(Now, this is just a joke, of course! I like to think of ridiculously inappropriate ideas for ads. But it would be similar in tone to some of the attack ads made against the meat industry.)

Eating Meat Is God’s Gift?

60 Minutes had a story this week about a man who escaped from North Korea’s Prison Camp 14, and while being interviewed by Anderson Cooper, the escapee said that he dreamed of eating chicken and pork in captivity, and when Anderson Cooper remarked that he’d never heard of freedom being defined as being able to eat chicken and pork, the man said that being able to eat what you like is “God’s gift”, and in his case, it’s roast chicken and roast pork. And I couldn’t help but think of what an ad this would make for the meat industry, where vegan groups are currently running ads making them look like sadistic monsters for raising animals for food. And what a counter to that argument this guy would be! Oh, but then I guess PeTA could say that the animals are being held in a prison camp too, and shame on this guy for subjecting animals to what he went through. But then I suppose he could claim that being slaughtered is a welcome release from such an experience for the animals, and think of all the pleasure it gives people to eat them, and what a waste it would be not to eat them. And then I suppose he could say that not letting people eat meat is like condemning everyone to an experience like living in a prison camp, at least as far as the food is concerned. And like they say, you are what you eat, and if you eat like a prisoner, then you are a prisoner. Or something like that, I guess, depending on how you want to spin it. But it might make an effective advertising strategy for the meat industry to make it into a matter of freedom and human rights and stuff to be able to eat meat, and therefore act as though they are the liberators of the human spirit, providing for everyone “God’s gift” of delicious meat to eat.

GOP Plan to Keep IRS Out of Healthcare

Due to the IRS scandal, Republicans have taken the opportunity to push for universal “single payer” healthcare, with Senator Mitch McConnel saying Friday: “We always wanted single payer universal healthcare; we just didn’t want President Obama to get credit for it. Now we have an opportunity, with this IRS scandal, to push for full government healthcare like we’ve always wanted, but without Democrats getting all the credit. Or any of the credit.”

Just kidding! Hee hee. They don’t really want universal healthcare.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Depend Guards for Men Tony Siragusa Ad

Here we have tough guy football analyst Tony Siragusa saying he’s been around tough guys for years, and now he’s going to shift his focus to hanging around with men whose bladders are too strong for them to control. And you know what that means: it’s the new ad campaign for the Depend for Men Guards that let men pee their pants in public in security! Because letting only women get away with doing it is sexist!

And it looks as if Tony Siragusa has built a miniaturized man cave in this guy’s bathroom, I guess for his “manhood” to enjoy? (I always thought manhood had more to do with character, courage, maturity and responsibility, but I guess you could just equate it to one’s penis too if one doesn’t have any of those qualities.)

Oh, but Depend is not really the company that invented this product, now are they? No, others maybe have invented this idea before privately, but the first time anyone ever saw it advertised on television was on Saturday Night Live. Yes, in the early 1980s, SNL created this product and made a (joke) ad for it. The product was called Penie Pads, and the slogan was: “Good for the last drop!” (I think someone is owed some royalties here… And you know, Saturday Night Live really ought to make and sell the products the make joke ads for as novelty gifts. And then, when the rest of the world has caught up to their creativity and seen the need for such a product, they can license it and make a killing! Hey, I’d buy Macho Wipe Toilet Paper as a joke gift, and so would everyone else I know!)

Yes, the joke ads on Saturday Night Live were always my favorite sketches, and that’s why I write this blog making fun of ads, writing joke ads, and writing proposed ads that I think are either good or fun enough to really make. I’m just a frustrated guy who would really like to be writing joke ads for fake products for SNL at heart. It’s all their fault!

Here’s the purloined peenie pad piece:

By the way, for those of you who don’t know or don’t remember, Macho Wipe Toilet Paper was another joke ad on SNL years ago, with Lauren Hutton in a sexy nightgown or some such thing saying: “I’m Lauren Hutton. I want my man to work hard and play hard, and when he goes to the bathroom, I want him to wipe hard!” Then Joe Piscopo said: “This is your average soft toilet paper: the kind wimps use!” (And then he contemptuously throws the roll of toilet paper over his shoulder.)

Here’s the Penie Pads joke ad, from 1981:

Guns & Rosens

It came to light over the weekend that the FBI has been investigating Fox News reporter James Rosen for his investigative journalism with regard to North Korea and Fast & Furious. Yes, especially with something like Fast & Furious, where the government does something ridiculously irresponsible, fouls it up, gets people killed, obstructs the investigation, and tries to cover it up, reporters should definitely get in trouble for informing the public. Because you know, the news people are there to help the government keep the public ignorant and propagandize for the party in power, right? No? (Well, that’s mostly what they’re doing nowadays, so I thought that was their job. And apparently this is what the government would like them to be doing, or else!)

ING Orange Money Ad

I wonder if the Secret Service know about this? Yes, you see, the Secret Service investigates counterfeiting, and as I have worked in the TV/movie industry in the Art Department, I have heard stories about the Secret Service showing up at movie productions and getting upset with production companies for printing up fictitious money, like for some science fiction movie featuring JFK $1 Million bills and such. In fact, supposedly they get very upset whenever anyone tries to make any kind of phony money whatsoever, and seeing as how the ING orange money looks like real dollars only on orange paper, they might be interested in this. Because, you know, maybe someone with color blindness might think it’s real money or something. Or, hey, maybe ING is trying to make everyone think this orange money is really real money for retirement, and that retired people are allowed to spend it. (I knew they were up to something fishy! ING must be shorthand for counterfeitING! {I knew it! I’m tellin’!})

Or, hey, maybe ING is trying to trick old people into thinking they should go trade in their real money for the fake orange dollars. You don’t suppose they’re trying to target helpless retirees with this scheme, and then turn them over to the Secret Service as counterfeiters before they try to spend the money and find out it’s fake. Then it would look like there’s a conspiracy of retired persons to print up their own money, and ING is the heroic company breaking up this racket (which they’re secretly behind all along!). But you know, if that’s what they’re up to, they really shouldn’t make an ad like this, because then the Secret Service will see it and know what they’re up to from the beginning! (Plus, all the retirees will be onto them too.)

Here’s the ad that proves ING is counterfeiting orange money and tricking people into thinking it’s worth something (Those fiends!):

(Hey, how about an ING retirement ad with The Annoying Orange Money {Based on the kids’ show The Annoying Orange}, where when you try to spend it, the money yells at you and tells you it’s only for retirement, etc. I heard there’s nothing adults nearing retirement age love better than The Annoying Orange, and so this would be perfect! {Okay, maybe not. But you know, kids will be old and retire someday too, so maybe ING could get their business early by using this idea of The Annoying Orange Money in ads aimed at kids. After all, I thought the thinking was that if you get people while they’re young with advertising aimed at them, companies could earn loyalty for life. And that’s why they don’t generally aim many ads at the people who actually have a lot of money to spend: ages 40 and up. Which I think is a mistake. But it is probably more fun to make silly ads for young people, and that’s why I think they push this idea of targeting the coveted 18-34 age demographic. But older people are just grown-up younger people, so why not give them silly ads too?})

Along Party Lines

Am I alone in visualizing, whenever someone in the news talks about so-on-and-so-forth happening along party lines in Washington, a Conga line of dancers, or some line dancing scene at a party somewhere? And I think that if politicians are going to vote along party lines, they really ought to have to do so while dancing in some silly party line dance, like to “Achy Breaky Heart” or some such silly song, for all the cameras, so everyone in the country can see them and how silly they look voting along party lines. And maybe if we could embarrass them like this for such reprehensible groupthinky behavior as always toeing the party line, rather than exercising their own conscience, representing their constituency, or doing what they know to be best for the country, maybe we could get them to wake up and do the right thing for a change. Because after all, isn’t everything about how it looks for them to be seen doing things, and if they get shown up individually for the silly boneheads that they so often are with their political games of one-upmanship by party, wouldn’t they have political analysts in the news say, of their party line only behavior: “The optics are bad”? And if the optics are bad, you know it doesn’t look good. (Or so I’ve heard…)

Subjunctive Outrage

The recent IRS scandal had an interesting little tidbit of terminology emerge last week when Charles Krauthammer (otherwise known by his rap character: Chuckie Kraut, or as his pro wrestling moniker: The Kraut Hammer) mentioned how President Obama and White House Press Foiler in Chief Jay Carney both said: “If it has been found that this happened…” after the IRS had already admitted that it had happened and had already apologized for it, and then he called it: “subjunctive outrage”. And then I thought: Hey, “Subjunctive Outrage”: what a great name that would be for a punk rock band made up of high school English teachers! They could sing all about grammatical rules with big colorful Mohawk haircuts and tattoos of grammar terms all over their arms. And their first album could be called: “Grammatical Imperative”. And their greatest hits album would be called: “Superlative”.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Norfolk Southern Rail Kid’s Bedroom Ad

In this cute commercial for Norfolk Southern Rail Lines called “City of Possibilities”, some kid with a simple little toy train on a simple little ovular circuit of track on his floor is put to bed by his father, and while he’s asleep, his whole bedroom comes to life, with the Norfolk Southern train tracks expanding all over the room, and all of the kid’s stuffed animals, action figures, etc., setting up businesses and corporate headquarters all over the room growing up around these new rail lines. And then the announcer says: “Wherever our trains go, the economy comes to life!” And then it makes sense why the economy has been so stagnant for so long: Norfolk Southern is building all of its railroad lines in little kids’ bedrooms and only providing jobs for stuffed animals and dolls! Don’t they care about people? Because apart from denying human beings jobs, this kid is going to wake up the next day and get a big spanking from his parents when his mother slips on one of these trains and breaks her hip! And boy, when his folks demand that he clean up his room, Norfolk Southern has left him a monumental task that will take him all day, as well as destroy the economy for all the soon-to-be-unemployed stuffed animals and dolls!

Plus, won’t his parents wonder where all these toys came from? Will he be accused of stealing some of these toys when they come from other kids’ houses for the new job opportunities with the railroad? This sure is going to be a heap of trouble for this kid! And what if he wants to play with his Hot Wheels cars and track set? Won’t he tear apart a thriving metropolis for his own purposes? Wow, he’ll be detested by all of his own toys from then on, and they’ll plot to kill him in his sleep! Oh, the humanity!

Oh, and Norfolk Southern seems to attract lots of monsters to the city too, like a King Kong-esque gorilla on an Empire State Building-style skyscraper (aided by a disembodied hand, like Mr. Hands from the old Mr. Bill Show on SNL, to cause callous destruction everywhere!), a brontosaurus in the city like in The Lost World, machines operating all by themselves like in Maximum Overdrive, a giant octopus threatening everyone like in It Came from Beneath the Sea, a lion as a mayor who might just attack and eat everyone in sight, etc. How long will it be before all these monsters attack and take over the kid’s room, and the lion eats him while he’s sleeping? And Norfolk Southern is a co-conspirator in all of these monstrous goings on! That’s got to be at least reckless endangerment and depraved indifference right there, risking an innocent child’s life for their own purposes! Oh, my God! Those fiends!

Now, naturally, I am only joking here, because this is one truly inspired TV commercial that’s wonderfully realized to boot! They don’t come along looking this great and with such a terrific concept so well communicated in an entertaining and heartwarming manner all that often. Great job on this one, guys! Wow.

This is surely one for the demo reel for 2010s American ads, don’t you think? It feels like a compressed animated children’s movie, and entertaining as all get-out, with tons of teensy little details in the goings-on that you could keep finding new things in every scene each and every time you see it for its entire run. I always find new things to smile at each time I see it, and I never get tired of this spot. And you can’t say that about many TV commercials, now can you?

Here’s the terrific toy train commerce television commercial:

60 Minutes Overtime: Michael Jackson

Lara Logan did a very interesting and well put-together segment on Michael Jackson’s legacy and estate tonight on 60 Minutes, and after it was over, the show suggested interested viewers might want to check out “one of Michael Jackson’s most personal items: his handwritten manifesto” on 60 Minutes Overtime. And this 60 Minutes Overtime spot, they told us, was being sponsored by Pfizer. Yes, that Pfizer: the drug company.

Wow, a Michael Jackson news curio piece being sponsored by a drug company? Michael Jackson died from pharmaceuticals, so I’m not so sure that a drug company sponsoring a piece on Michael Jackson’s legacy is such a good idea. Um, you know, because it reminds me how dangerous pharmaceuticals can be, and it makes me think that Pfizer is being especially cynical and insensitive to his memory, and also not very perceptive with regard to their own public relations when they do such an inappropriate advertising sponsorship. I have made plenty of inappropriate advertising sponsorships and tie-ins for products and movie combinations as a joke on this blog, and I must say, this one really takes the cake for this type of absurdity! Only, I’m not so sure his fans will appreciate the irony.

So I think the lesson here is this: If you are sponsoring a news segment, a movie, a TV show, etc., try to make sure that the thing you are sponsoring and attaching your name to doesn’t make people think bad things about your company or product, whether by accident because the story makes your product look deadly, or by seeming callous or cynical with the association you’re creating between your product or company and the subject matter you’re sponsoring. You know, like a Slasher horror movie being sponsored by a carving knife company, or The Texas Chain Saw Massacre being sponsored by a chain saw company. Or a news segment on the environmental impact of the Gulf oil spill being sponsored by an oil company or lobbying group. Or a piece on a dead pop star who died from pharmaceutical drugs being sponsored by a pharmaceutical company. You know, something like that.

You get the idea, right? Because I think you might just find that if you sponsor the wrong thing that makes people think badly of your company, you might just be paying to sponsor your own PR disaster. But don’t let that stop you if you’re determined to make your advertising opportunities work against your company.

BTW: Here’s a previous post of mine on silly movie advertising tie-ins and product placement if you’d like to see some more (fictional) examples of inadvisable advertising sponsorship opportunities:

Responsibility-B-Gone Brand Hand Soap

Moyers & Company had a show on this evening about toxic chemicals and such and how they’re bad just because they poison people and stuff. And then the experts on the show said that companies that market toxic stuff like lead paint “simply wash their hands of responsibility.” And I thought, hey, they probably formulated this responsibility-washing soap from toxic chemicals, and that’s what they use all that stuff for. They’re not trying to poison people so much as they just want to be able to wash their hands clean of responsibility! Because there’s so much more for companies to want to wash their hands clean of than just responsibility for dangerous chemicals and lead poisoning and so forth.

So maybe the corporate world thinks it’s worth it to accidentally poison people from the dangerous chemical residue from their Responsibility-B-Gone Soap-making process, because then it will allow them to wash their hands clean of responsibility for every imaginable form of malfeasance! Now what, if you’re a company guilty of malfeasance, wouldn’t it be worth it to you to be able to make a product that washes your hands clean of responsibility for all of your malfeasance? And when you think about it, from their point of view, it really wouldn’t matter what kinds of ill effects such a soap’s production might have on everyone else, because after all, once they have the soap, they can wash their hands of responsibility for that too, so what’s the difference?

But it’s silly, when you think about it, that they’d even go to the trouble of making such a thing as responsibility-washing hand soap, because after all, all they really have to do to get away with any kind of malfeasance imaginable is to be too big to fail. What else do you need if you’re a greedy, irresponsible, corrupt company that harms people on a massive scale than the massive scale upon which to harm people? I mean, that’s just common sense, isn’t it? But I guess it’s no skin off their nose if they harm even more people in developing and manufacturing a toxic product like responsibility-cleaning hand soap for washing their hands of responsibility, because after all, they’re too big to fail, so they’ll get away with it anyway, and think of all the money they can make by selling it to companies guilty of malfeasance that aren’t too big to fail (yet)! So not only will they get away with it, but so will everyone else, and they’ll all get massively rich in the process; and then pretty soon they’ll all be too big to fail, and they can do and get away with anything no matter what it is! And think of how much money they’ll make from that!

Pepto Bismol And Drunk Tank Pink

A segment on today’s CBS Sunday Morning discussed the psychology of colors in interior spaces, among them the color called: “Drunk Tank Pink”. Apparently psychological studies found that even the most hostile prison inmates became calm and subdued in rooms painted this bright but chalky pink color. And this color of pink is roughly the same color as the upset stomach remedy Pepto Bismol. So that led me to wonder if Pepto Bismol was made this color in the hopes of calming people’s stomachs down. Maybe they were hoping that someone who needed a stomach remedy would see this color and feel calm, or that failing this, at least they could paint their stomach this color, and subdue its aggression, like with prison inmates. And seeing as how many people presumably use Pepto Bismol due to stomach upset from overindulgence, especially from alcohol, it’s especially appropriate to have it be Drunk Tank Pink.

Cubicles and Offices

CBS Sunday Morning, one of the best shows on TV for grown-ups (Just don’t make your elementary school-aged kids watch it!), had an interior design show this morning, and in one segment, they covered the design of the office cubicle. The host referred to office cubicles as: “…squared-off, soul-killing, monuments to monotony.” (Whoever writes this show really can be quite brilliant at times.) But they really went out of their way to get us in the right frame of mind to be horrified, because they started the segment on this wonderful furniture company (Herman Miller), they showed us some of their more beautiful designs, spoke lovingly of them, and then said that it might surprise us that they also make the modern torture chamber, where creativity goes to die: the office cubicle.

Well, this bit on the office cubicle reminded me of a work experience I had with regard to office cubicles. Yes, I used to work at an advertising agency in New York City whose building seemed to have been built with the office cubicle in mind. Yes, each story of this building was a huge room filled with a labyrinth of drab squared-off office cubicles, and along the outer wall of the building, there was something to motivate us all to achieve a promotion: a line of actual offices with large windows. The only problem was, these offices were about the same size as the office cubicles, with just enough room for the door to swing open into the room and also fit a small desk and chair and another chair for a visitor. The walls were all the same size, and the space was roughly the same size as your average apartment bathroom, but there was that window… Yes, the window was literally floor-to ceiling, and I’m sure the building designers thought this was surely an amenity everyone in the whole building would covet. And it might have been too, if not for the view. For you see, these windows looked out upon a dirty alleyway behind the building, and rather than looking across to see another building’s office windows, we saw a depressing loading dock area with a big dirty cinder block wall with soot covering it, and as we were on the second floor, with the floor-to-ceiling windows, the office’s occupant couldn’t help but see a daily parade of belligerent and passed-out drunks, junkies shooting up, assorted other sketchy types and misanthropes, etc. There was this great cartoon poster of all the wacky stuff that goes on in New York City from the 1980s called: “And I Love New York”, and it looked like something you might have expected to see in that poster if it had covered the alleys behind the buildings. I guess they could have wall-papered the bottom half of their windows, but wow, what a pain that would have been; and with the rest of the view, they might as well have wall papered the whole thing and just gotten a cubicle like the rest of us with a door. And I’m not sure that this design really made people yearn for the upward mobility they were supposed to be seeking; at least, not at that company.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Lever, The Lever! (From “Bride of Frankenstein”)

(Pronounced: “The Leever, The Leever!!!!!”)

Yes, remember not to pull that le(e)ver, or you’ll blow us all to atoms (!).

(For those who don’t know, at the climax of the movie Bride of Frankenstein {Warning: Spoiler Alert!}, the monster is rejected by his potential mate {women, especially ones freshly made from corpses, are so fickle…}, he gets mad and starts rampaging around, and he happens to back into some really big lever, about the size of a baseball bat, that’s sticking out from the wall next to some electrical equipment. Well, the mad doctors warn him not to pull that lever lest they all get blown “to atoms”. {Hmm, they invented the telephone for this movie, and now I guess they invented the atomic bomb as well?} And so being a natural contrarian {No wonder nobody likes him! Yes, they say whenever you can’t find the reason nobody likes you, it’s probably time to look in the mirror…}, the monster pulls the lever anyway, and blows everyone to atoms {except Henry and Mrs. Frankenstein: they’re needed for the sequels, I guess; although they never ended up showing up in them.}. And that’s why they call him a “monster”. Blowing up that fine piece of real estate with all that cutting edge scientific equipment: what a waste!)

Some people wonder why anyone would take the trouble to put a lever in a laboratory that would blow you all to atoms. And you know, some people have pointed out how silly this whole idea is. Oh, but it wasn’t their idea to put the “blow us all to atoms lever” (that’s what it’s called, by the way) in their lab! No, it’s a government regulation that every science lab must by law have a “blow us all to atoms lever” installed right about where a rampaging monster (or lab assistant) might back into it and accidentally/on purpose pull it and blow everyone to atoms.

Some people might claim this is a silly and perhaps even irresponsible regulation for the government to require of scientific laboratories, but that is simply not so. For, as this movie, Bride of Frankenstein, indicates, if you’re working on dangerous things like monsters made from freshly r-r-r-r-rifled gr-r-r-r-raves (Sorry, that’s how Lor-r-r-rd Byr-r-r-ron says it in the introduction part of the movie, which they should have called: “Rolling Thunder and Rollings Rs”), or weaponized viruses, or zombie serum that has to be blown up by an atomic bomb so that it can permeate the clouds and rain on a cemetery, creating armies of brain-hungry zombies à la Return of the Living Dead, you might have to blow everything up quickly to avoid and/or create a horrifying nightmare scenario. And that’s why the government really knows what it’s doing when it comes to creating strictures with regard to “blow us all to atoms levers” in research laboratories.

Flomax Advertising Mascot?

Flomax is a pharmaceutical which helps men with prostate issues have an easier time going to the bathroom. Well, how about a mascot character for this brand that helps to suggest to the viewer about how this medicine works? He could be some cool free spirit guy who likes his life to go with the flow and who works odd jobs as a plumber to pay for his spontaneous, rambling lifestyle, named: “Max Flow”, and he could wear a black leather jacket and ride around on some great looking motorcycle, seeing the sights and experiencing life on the go, and helping people’s plumbing flow correctly and efficiently whenever he needs a job.

So someone would have a clogged drain and Max Flow would fix it, someone else would have a shower that had no water pressure and he’d make it have a powerful spray, and he’d even help a volunteer fire department with middle-aged firemen get their clogged up fire hose spraying at maximum volume, etc. That way they could get the idea across of what it does and try to make it look like cool guys would use it too, and all without having to explain too much specifically to embarrass potential users. (Oh, and the new Flomax slogan could be spoken by our hero/their mascot Max Flow: “Go with the Flo!”, where “Go” of course means go to the bathroom, and “with the Flo” means with the help of Flomax!)

L.A. Mayoral Race Advertising Smear-O-Rama

If you live in Los Angeles, you already know about the mayoral race advertising blitz. Oh, but if you’re not from L.A., you’re totally missing out! It’s a negative ad accusation free-for-all, with smears aplenty of both candidates coming from all directions! But do these smears really go far enough? I think these ads can go further, and here’s what I mean:

Ad #1: We see a scene from a Slasher movie where the killer is murdering everyone with a big kitchen knife, and then he takes off his mask and it’s Eric Garcetti (!). Then the announcer says this is what he’ll do to the Los Angeles if he’s elected mayor: he’ll kill the city!

Ad #2: We see the scene from Psycho near the end where Norman Bates wears the wig and comes to attack Vera Miles, but in this case, Wendy Greuel’s face in superimposed over Anthony Perkins’s, and the announcer says Wendy Greuel is a psycho who will knife-murder the city if we elect her as mayor.

Ad #3: Godzilla is rampaging through Los Angeles (well, Tokyo, really, but the ad people can comp in some L.A. landmark buildings, can’t they?), breathing atomic breath on the city and melting and burning everything in sight. Then we see a close-up of Godzilla, and it’s really Eric Garcetti (!!). And then the announcer says that this is the kind of destruction Eric Garcetti’s heinous lies will wreak on the city if we elect him as the mayor.

Ad #4: We see a scene from the movie Misery, and Kathy Bates is breaking James Caan’s ankles with the sledgehammer, only Wendy Greuel’s head is Photoshopped onto her body for this sequence. And then the announcer says that this is what Wendy Greuel will do to the government of Los Angeles if we elect her as the mayor.

They really might as well make silly ads like this to smear each other. After all, they’re not that much more over-the-top than what they’re doing already. Only if they made these, it might be more entertaining for the rest of us.