Thursday, October 31, 2013

Diet Plan "Pit and the Pendulum" (Joke) Ad

The movie Pit and the Pendulum is on this evening, and since I'm always thinking of how to make silly ads out of everything, it made me think of an ad for a diet plan that uses the film's climactic scene of the pit and the pendulum in action: A man is strapped down to the pendulum table, but he's not worried, because he's just lost a lot of weight on some diet system, and as we see, the pendulum doesn't lower down far enough to harm him since he's so slender now (and we see the frustrated torturer looking on in bewilderment that the blade can't be lowered down enough to cut his victim in half). Oh, but that's not how it used to be, for we see in a flashback what he used to look like, with a big beer gut, and as he lies on the table talking about his big stomach, the blade of the pendulum swings down and slices it wide open as he screams in horror.  And so then we cut back to the present, and the guy says how grateful he is now that he's lost all that weight, as the torturer guy takes him off the pendulum table and throws him into an iron maiden, laughing maniacally. Oh, but he's so slim now, the spikes in the iron maiden can't reach him to impale him either, and so he says that anyone in his position would really appreciate the great health benefits of weight loss using the (whatever) diet plan. (Oh, but then the torturer takes him out of the iron maiden and puts him on the rack, which works as a torture device regardless of the degree of corpulence the victim possesses. But ever the optimist, our heroic dieting torture victim says to the camera: "I hope this thing works; I've always wanted to be a little bit taller.")

The Origin of Halloween

There are many different tales of the beginnings of Hallowe'en. Some claim it's descended from Samhain, and others think it's associated with celebrating and honoring dearly departed ancestral spirits, but those were just made up to cover up the truth: Halloween was a failed attempt at social engineering. Yes, you see, children are getting fatter and fatter, and candy is to blame! And so, in order to try to make kids eat less candy, the government came up with a potentially brilliant solution: create a holiday where kids learn to associate candy with horrifying and terrifying monsters, ghouls, ghosts, flesh hungry zombies, witches hungry for plump children, vicious aliens, etc. And with everyone dressed-up as disturbing nightmare creatures, they hoped children would always think of this disturbing stuff whenever they wanted candy, and they'd be too traumatized to eat any. Oh, but they forgot one thing: kids love monsters! And so not only did the plan not work, it backfired, making kids want to eat even more candy than ever before. And that's why we have an obesity epidemic today: it's another well-intentioned but unintended-consequence-filled government program, accomplishing the opposite of what it was supposed to. But like with every other failed program, like the War on Drugs, they'll never admit their mistake, and they'll just keep doubling down again and again, swearing that it just needs a little more time and a lot more resources to finally work, and claiming it's "too big to fail", essentially making it another jobs program, like many military contracts for things we'll never use.

Binge Size Candy Bars

Yes, it's Halloween, which means lots of "fun size" candy bars. But is this such a good idea, conditioning our children to associate eating candy with fun? Surely this is how the obesity epidemic got started! So I think we need more government regulations to be sure to warn everyone of the obesity risk of eating candy, and to make sure kids never associate food with enjoyment, especially candy.

So what I propose is to ban the term: "fun size", and replace it with the term: "binge size". That way everyone will immediately think of eating disorders whenever they see a candy wrapper.

Oh, but that's not all, for we also must mandate the same type of disgustingly graphic warnings the government tried to put on cigarette packaging, but on candy packaging, and using images related to obesity: pictures of morbidly obese people's corpses, graphic depictions of liposuction and big containers of gooey human fat, etc. That way kids will never eat candy again and they'll always be healthy, eating only salads and such! (Oh, but kids love gross stuff, don't they? Oops, maybe this wouldn't work after all. But let's do it anyway, just to spoil everyone's fun, okay?)

Or are the "binge size" candy bars the really big ones? I can never keep that stuff straight.

Dermarest "The Eczema Exorcist" Ad (Joke/Proposed)

Well, it's Halloween again, which means it's a great time to use silly horror movie-themed scenarios to sell products! Like for example, how about an eczema medication using The Exorcist as its model? The possessed girl gets some type of dermatitis that makes her skin look awful in that movie, so it could easily be used for such a purpose.

So in this ad, we'd see a frantic mother ask a doctor to check out her daughter, and she looks awful and is acting all nasty, and so the mother asks what's wrong, and the doctor says her daughter has eczema, an itchy and unsightly skin condition, and so it's no wonder she's acting so disagreeable. But the mother doesn't think it's so simple, so she calls a priest, who confirms the doctor's diagnosis, saying: "Yes, as it turns out, 90% of suspected spiritual possessions are actually eczema-related conditions or digestive tract trouble." And that's why he carries Dermarest with him (!) wherever he goes. And so he applies some Dermarest to the girl's skin, and she's instantly cured, calling out for her mommy and asking what happened to her. And then the announcer says: "Are you or someone you love possessed of eczema? Then use the eczema exorcist: Dermarest! Exorcise eczema and exercise your right to clear, healthy skin!"

"No Service": The Horror Movie (And "No Bars": The Verizon Horror Movie-Style Ad)

These days, with cell phones and wide coverage areas available to everybody, horror movies set in contemporary times generally must set up a scenario where there is no cell service available in order to make their movie plot work, since otherwise anyone could just call for help and get rescued. But you know, people are so addicted to using their smartphones, when service is out, people can experience withdrawal symptoms and go a bit crazy, which is why I don't think horror movies that shut off cellular service really even need a monster or a slasher killer anymore. All they'd have to do is have cell service cut off, and have all the teens go insane and turn on one another due to cell phone withdrawal psychosis. And that horror movie would be called No Service. Or even Low Battery or No Bars would work for the movie title too.

In fact, No Bars would make a great joke horror movie-style ad for a cell phone company, like Verizon: young people would go hiking or camping, and they'd get freaked out by some abandoned cabin and noises in the woods, so they'd try to call for help, but they'd have no bars, and with no cell phone service, they'd all go crazy with fear, striking out at anything that moved, turning into a Lord of the Flies-type scenario; but just then, someone with Verizon would run across them in the forest and see their irrational, panicked behavior and know what was wrong: no cell phone service with their crappy carrier plan. So the person would approach them holding out their cell phone, and they'd all snap out of it and follow a Google map out of the woods. And then they'd all rush out to get Verizon. And the slogan could be: "No bars can trap you just like a cage. Break free of the 'no bars prison' with Verizon!"

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Kaopectate "Diarrhea of a Madman" Ad (Joke/Proposed)

My friends watched the old Vincent Price movie Diary of a Madman recently, and in the introduction to the movie, Ben Mankiewicz said the name of the film in such a way that it sounded rather like Diarrhea of a Madman, rather than Diary of a Madman. And so I thought that might make a fun Halloween-themed ad for Kaopectate. (They never have Halloween ads! I would think a Halloween ad would be pretty fun and memorable for most products.)

So here's how this (joke/proposed) ad would work: Someone would go on vacation somewhere to go relax and get away from the stress of work, etc., but upon arriving there, they'd get diarrhea (like Montezuma's Revenge or something), and they'd be stuck, wasting away in their room while the other people they traveled with are out enjoying themselves. Well, this causes them to go insane, and they begin writing a diary of how cooped-up and stir-crazy they are becoming, and how it's shattering their psyche, etc. But just as they begin writing of a complete mental breakdown, including a psychotic break with hallucinations, they write that they think someone is knocking at their door. Is it a monster, a ghost, or a phantom from the dark recesses of their imagination? Nope, it's just Phyllis, who brought him a bottle of Kaopectate, and after taking some, our madman is now completely cured of his diarrhea and now totally sane again, and he goes out to have a great time, seeing the sites and socializing with his friends and lots of friendly locals. (But then we see another tourist come down with the illness and begin his own "Diary of a Madman"...!)

BTW: The visual look of this ad would be dark, super slick, fast cutting, with wonky effects and double exposures and dream/nightmare imagery indicating the deteriorating mental state of the diary author; and we'd see the pages written in this spooky calligraphy superimposed over the video of the guy in the hotel room having these hellish hallucinatory experiences, etc., with intestinal gurgling, and the toilet in the bathroom becoming dark and scary and really, really tall, towering over the guy, beckoning and laughing at him, with large, sharp shark/monster-style teeth growing between the toilet seat and the toilet rim, etc. And at one point, we see the guy actually chained down to the toilet seat and struggling to escape from it, and arms coming around from the toilet tank to try to hold the guy onto the toilet, etc. So it would look like a dark, crazy hallucination inside a hotel room and its bathroom, and the contents of the diary being written and read aloud as we see each nightmare scenario play out. And when the knock comes at the door, it's like in The Haunting, with it sounding like a cannonball or a bowling ball being smashed against the door, and then with the door stretching out into the room like it's being pushed by a demon; but once he opens the door, it's just a normal woman offering him some Kaopectate, and as he takes it, all the crazy hallucinations cease, and the evil, menacing toilet just becomes a normal toilet again, and sealed closed with one of those "Sanitized for your protection" labels that wraps around it.

Bar Bar the Elephant

When I was a little kid, I thought Babar (the cartoon elephant king character of numerous children's books) was called Bar Bar, and when I got older, I remembered it as Bar Bar too. And a number of friends of mine, who read the children's books as preschoolers, also thought his name was Bar Bar. (We were very young when we read those books.)

Well, Babar was a lovable benevolent king character, so I thought it might be fun to create a new elephant king character named Bar Bar. But whereas Babar was noble and kind, Bar Bar would be a ruthless dictator of a king, who ruled over an African country with an iron fist, sort of like an elephant version of Idi Amin. And he'd torture and kill anyone who opposed him, and he'd force all the animals throughout his kingdom to labor for him mining gold and blood diamonds, and to exploit all the land's natural resources through hellish strip-mining, so he could buy all the weapons he could to arm loathsome death squad militias to enforce his brutal regime's hold on power, so he'd rule well into his 80s, like Robert Mugabe. And he would be absolutely barbaric in his treatment of his subjects and his enemies alike. And in fact, the book would claim that the word "barbarism" was named after Bar Bar, and referred to his absolute brutality. And books like this might give kids a more realistic view of the world around them, especially with the rise of terrorism and natural resource exploitation in the region, so they won't become disillusioned as they grow up and see what the world is really like (but rather, become disillusioned and cynical at an extremely young age).

And remember: if you ever betray Bar Bar, he'll always get you no matter how long it takes, because an elephant never forgets!

Actually, this idea would make quite a fun/absurdist Robot Chicken sketch, I think.

This is Babar, for those who are unfamiliar with him:

Slashimi: Sushi Chef Slasher Horror Movies

Yes, you know it had to happen sooner or later: a slasher horror movie about a crazy sushi chef going on a blood-soaked killing spree. Pottery Barn had to pull their sushi chef Halloween costume due to it being offensive to someone or something, but if there were a sushi chef slasher movie killer, then the sushi chef costume would be perfectly appropriate for Halloween. And that's what I think Pottery Barn should have done (and would have done if they had some quick-thinking advertising department people) to save the sushi chef costume: just grab a camcorder and a few catalog models and make a quickie slasher film to release direct to streaming where the killer is a sushi chef who gets nagged and hassled by drunk college students until he snaps and kills them all. And the killer could wear the sushi chef's costume right off the rack from Pottery Barn: that way, they could claim their sushi chef costume is a perfect replica of the one from the movie. And then nobody could claim it's inappropriate or anything as a Halloween costume, since it's a movie killer costume then, and not just a sushi chef costume.

And so, naturally, the sushi chef slasher movie would be called: Slashimi. And so these drunk, obnoxious, spoiled, bigoted college students would always go to the same sushi joint to eat dinner after a night of partying, and they'd be so hammered that they'd act all offensive all the time, making a stereotype Japanese voice to order their food with, insulting the chef again and again, referencing Godzilla constantly, calling each other "round-eye", and doing every annoying, asinine, racist, etc., thing imaginable to the chef again and again, night after night, until finally he snaps and goes on a well-deserved rampage against these jerks. (Slasher movies are always the best when the victims are all completely insufferable jerks so we can root for the killer.) And so he'd stalk and kill them all one-by-one, and cut them up and prepare them like giant ngirizushi and temaki, wrapping them in nori, rolling them in sesame seeds, smearing them with wasabi, mixing a sauce of blood and ponzu, etc. And of course, they'd all be there, prepared as giant dishes, at the restaurant the following evening and enjoyed by all, who have no idea what they are, but everyone just assumes they're some new sort of style containing the much sought-after toro (fatty tuna).

And if this movie's a hit, then it will be time for the sequel, with the further adventures of the Sushi Slasher: Slashimi 2: A La Carte, and: Slashimi 3: All U Can Eat.

And if anyone complained of these movies being in bad taste, the filmmakers can simply claim that these movies are trying to scare people away from sushi due to the unsustainable overfishing of the oceans to meet the demand for sushi, and as such these are environmentalist/conservationist message movies aimed at waking people up to serious issues of the day, wrapped in a popular movie genre that shocks viewers into awareness, and hopefully horrifies and traumatizes them away from wanting to eat sushi anymore. And, honestly, this would fit right in with the shock strategy used by extant anti-meat groups like PeTA, who rely on shock value for maximum resonance in order to communicate their message within a low budget.* (And if people don't respond to the didactic intent of the films, a new sushi slasher movie series could have a plot whereby ocean conservationists feel the world is so threatened by the overfishing of the oceans due to sushi consumption that they dress as sushi chefs and become slasher killer avengers intent on both scaring people away from eating sushi and also punishing habitual sushi eaters and aficionados.)

* BTW: When you think about it, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre movies, and the entire inbred backwoods cannibal genre (like Wrong Turn, etc.), are exactly the kind of shock horror message movie that would work so well for anti-meat groups, because when you think about what these movies are doing, it becomes clear that the plot mechanism not only produces terror and horror, but it also puts human characters in the same position animals slaughtered for food are in on a daily basis, and it would only take a knowing line of dialog to make sure the viewers make that connection, and then perhaps think of that and feel sorry for the animals the next time they think of having meat to eat.

Pottery Barn Pulls Sushi Chef Halloween Costume

Reportedly Pottery Barn is canceling the sale of their planned sushi chef Halloween costume. Apparently it's insensitive or demeaning or something; but I would hasten to point out that this is a Halloween costume, and a sushi chef is about the scariest thing in the world if you're a fish. I mean, to fish, a sushi chef is like Leatherface from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is to humans. So from that perspective, it's a very appropriate Halloween costume. And really, in order for it to be just as appropriately horrifying for humans, all we need is a slasher horror movie where the killer is a sushi chef. (But it's already a completely horrifying costume for vegans, I'll bet.)

Here's the story:

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Book Thief Promotion

There’s a new movie coming out called The Book Thief, and with a title like that, I think I have just the concept for a promotion that will really make everyone aware of the movie. What they should do is this: sponsor a contest to see who in each city and town across America can steal the most books from libraries and bookstores without getting caught, and whoever can successfully steal the most gets free movie tickets! And anyone who can steal very valuable rare books from colleges, historical societies and private collections gets a cameo role in the upcoming sequel: The Book Thief 2: Readin’ & Stealin’.

I love this idea of combining reading with crime: seeing as how our young people are attracted to naughtiness, if they can begin to associate reading with delinquency, perhaps reading will get some street cred, and then all the cool kids will want to start doing it. Just tell a teenager something is forbidden, and they’ll just have to do it!

And hopefully there will be many sequels yet to come in this series, like:

The Book Thief 3: Pilfered Prose
The Book Thief 4: Liberated Literature
The Book Thief 5: Stolen Stories
The Book Thief 6: Purloined Paperbacks
The Book Thief 7: The Treatise Thieves
The Book Thief 8: Library Larceny
The Book Thief 9: Bookstore Bandits
The Book Thief 10: The Great Book Case

And if these movies are popular, perhaps the producers can combine stealing books with other types of risky behavior, like drag racing, and call the new series: Speed Readers.

Monday, October 28, 2013

President Obama Admits Healthcare Law Was Only a Practical Joke Played on Republicans

“Republicans were such absolute jerks to me from the beginning, so I had to figure some way to get them back. So I thought this healthcare bill up, knowing they would hate it, especially a new entitlement when we already have a national debt crisis. I figured they would act like such assholes, everyone would hate them. And it worked!” said the President Monday. “I tried to keep it going for as long as I could, but I can’t believe how long they fell for it! I mean, especially this new bit where we hired a foreign company during an American jobs crisis, and paid them over $300 Million to build a website that doesn’t even work? And I said it would lower costs, but it’s more than doubling most people’s health insurance premiums? Who would do something like that? It’s so obviously a joke, I can’t believe they fell for it! And for so long, too! Ha ha ha! I can’t believe it…” he added, choking back tears as he guffawed his way onto the floor of the presidential podium. Republican spokesmen were scrambling late Monday to claim they knew it all along, and that the government shutdown was their return practical joke to get the president back, but nobody was buying it. Yes, they fell for it, all right. And what a joke it is. But I’m sure we’re all laughing with them.

BMW Close Call Ad

Here we have a BMW spot that demonstrates the utility of a spoken email system. Yes, as this guy drives into his driveway, his wife’s email is read aloud by a Siri-like voice that tells him his mother in law is visiting, so he backs out of his driveway, to the annoyance of his wife, who sends another email we hear where she says: “Where the (Honk!) are you going?” 

Well, this is fun, so how about making a whole campaign of it? The next ad could show how the wife has divorced her husband, the guy from this first ad, for mistreating her mother, and she gets the house and his car in the settlement. And so we see her driving in the driveway, just like in the first ad, and an email from him is read aloud where he claims he was only kidding, and he apologizes. Then he says he doesn’t mind her getting the house, but can’t he at least have the BMW? And so then we hear her reply: “(Honk!) you. The car’s mine.”

Here’s the spat-spurring spot:

Rid Evan Lysacek (Joke) Ad

Any time a celebrity’s name sounds like something related to any product, I’m always reminded of the very silly ad campaign from when I was a little kid, where Olympic skier Suzy Chaffee became “Suzy Chapstick”. And so now that the Winter Olympics are coming up again this February, and skating is back on TV, I couldn’t help but think “Evan Lice Check” when I heard the name Evan Lysacek, which reminded me of all the travel and hotel stays competitive athletes have to endure, and the fact that bedbugs and such are making a comeback, which in turn made me think of Rid: the product that kills lice. And so, as a joke ad, I thought Evan Lysacek could become “Evan Lice Check” for Olympic tie-in ads for Rid, where he tells us that traveling all around the world and staying in countless different hotels and motels all over the globe puts an athlete at an increased risk of getting lice, not to mention close encounters with (occasionally skanky) fans. And that’s why this Winter Olympics, he’s becoming “Evan Lice Check”, to remind everyone to check to be sure they don’t catch lice while on the road; and if they do somehow get maneuvered into joining the “Lice Capades”, they should be sure to get Rid: the easy-to-use solution to get rid of lice quick! Yes, when the Lice Capades pick you as their next skating rink, freeze them out of your life with Rid, and skate away clean!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Old Battle Axe (The Superhero)

The Stalwart Sexagenarian Superheroine!

Yes, it’s The Old Battle Axe: Righter of wrongs and punisher of criminals and mistreaters of women throughout the city! Her secret origin is that she accidentally overheard her husband and a friend refer to her as “the old battle axe”, and it upset her greatly and enraged her, building up a bit more than a modicum of explosive animosity; but since she loves her husband and has a large, wonderful family with him, to get out her aggressions, she makes a homemade suit of armor, appropriates the pejorative expression as her own nom de guerre, and she goes out at night, fighting crime and righting wrongs, as the superhero The Old Battle Axe, wielding an authentic, antique battle axe she bought at auction from Christie’s. And thus armed, she fights for justice, especially fighting those who exploit, harm or mistreat women. And so, obtaining her own bedroom by claiming her husbands snoring bothers her (actually, it does, but she has other reasons…), she pretends to go to bed, only to get up and go out as the superhero The Old Battle Axe! So look out you ungentlemanly villains out there, there’s a new force for good in this town, and if you think you’re a big tough man for mistreating women, the Old Battle Axe will cut you down to size!

Vermicious Knishes?

Remember the Vermicious Knids, from Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator? Well, every time I hear the name of the yummy knish I invariably think of calling them “Vermicious Knishes” as a joke. Oh, but the word ‘Vermicious’ is more apt than one might think, as it can be construed as a sort of compound word which entails the following: “Very ‘Mmm’ Delicious”. And as such, Vermicious would make a fun brand name for foodstuffs that worked with the name, like Vermicious Knishes, Vermicious Vermicelli, Vermicious Victuals, Vermicious Veggie Dishes, etc. And the slogan could be either: “Vermicious Means Delicious”, or the aforementioned: “Vermicious: Very ‘Mmm’ Delicious”.

France & Germany Mad over U.S. Spying

It was reported this week that both France and Germany have their panties in a bunch about the NSA spying scandal extending into the phone calls and online communications of their government leaders. Well, apparently they’re going to the U.N. to try to get it stopped. Which shows they’re really not serious about anything other than making a few news headlines. Because really, apart from shutting down investigations into their own corruption and malfeasance, when was the last time U.N. was able to get anything accomplished?

But France and Germany really ought not to be upset over this stuff. I mean, at least we find them interesting, right? In fact, I think they’re just jealous. But Germany should be glad we’re spying on them. After all, we’ve all seen They Saved Hitler’s Brain and The Boys from Brazil, and we already know what they make it look like Germany’s up to, so shouldn’t they want us to spy on them, so we can see they’re not secretly doing such things? And France is just mad that they’re not competent enough to do any effective spying: Every time the French try to spy on anyone’s communications, they can’t resist the urge to interrupt their targets to correct their grammar, ridicule their pronunciation, and/or critique the content of the conversation and laugh contemptuously at their lack of culture and sophistication.

So come on France & Germany: Get over it! We know all about your private stuff, and we’re still willing to be friends with you. That’s more than you’d do for us if you knew us better: that’s why you’re lucky you can’t spy as well as us! (Seriously, count your blessings! You don’t want to know any more about our government officials; and neither do we, even.)