Saturday, November 30, 2013

Nike Iron Bowl "It's Got to Be the Shoes" (Joke) Ad

In the 1980s, Nike had these fun ads with Spike Lee and Michael Jordan, where Spike Lee is asking why Michael Jordan is so great, and how he can do the things he does, and he concludes that it has to be the shoes. Well, after tonight's Iron Bowl game, where #1 Alabama lost to #4 Auburn in a SEC and BCS Title-losing game due to a bunch of missed field goals by a usually rock solid field goal kicker, I thought it might make for a fun joke ad to have the scenario of the game and all the missed field goals raised by some football analysts, and have someone (in the place of Spike Lee's character, or Spike Lee himself if he wants to) ask how this possibly could have happened. And after looking at the scenario and the kicker's record for the rest of the season and kick accuracy in previous Iron Bowls and everything else, they all come to the conclusion that it's got to be the shoes (that are responsible for all the missed field goals and the loss of the game, that is). And then, as the tag, we see a parade at Auburn University, where they are marching in honor of the shoes that missed all of Alabama's field goals in the 2013 Iron Bowl, and the shoes are being thrown up and caught repeatedly in celebration, etc.

By the way, I have no idea what brand of shoes were worn in the Iron Bowl by the Alabama kickers who missed all the field goals, but a competing company could make an ad like this claiming that their brand of shoe would never betray a player like these pairs of shoes did, and when you're playing in the game of your life, you need shoes you can depend on, and not shoes that "make you miss and get your ass kicked", etc.

(P.S.: I'm just making fun of the situation as it relates to advertising stuff because I can't help but think of it, but I really feel bad for the Alabama field goal kickers who missed the field goals today. It must have totally sucked, and I'm not trying to abuse them. I'm sure if I had been playing for Alabama I would have missed them all too. But you must admit that this type of scenario does not happen quite like this very often, and and it deserves a laugh for its absurdity. I hope they can see the humor in it someday. But probably not today.)

Here's an example of those fun 1980s Nike "It's got to be the shoes" ads:

(Hmm, the Alabama uniforms are Nike, so maybe their shoes are also Nike? Oh, the irony?)

Auburn's Secret Weapon To Become Sacred Relic?

Surprisingly, Alabama's field goal kickers were Auburn's secret weapon in their historic Iron Bowl defeat of #1 Alabama Saturday. In what surely must be the absolute worst performance of field goal kicking in college football history (in a game of this magnitude), Alabama's kickers missed four field goals, one of which was caught and run back 109 yards for a game-winning touchdown during the very last play of the game, which, ironically, Alabama had fought for with a review of the clock. And knowing the kicker had already missed three field goals (more if you count attempts which were waved off due to penalties or timeouts), Alabama coach Saban made the obvious decision to end in disaster: he called a freshman kicker to kick a long-distance field goal, which obviously missed and got returned for the game-winning touchdown as time expired.

Hilarious! After watching Auburn win against Georgia in their previous game before this one, I just knew there would be some wild finish, but even I couldn't have imagined in my wildest dream's joke prediction that it would end like this. Wow, what a game! But with all the wild goings on, there was only one; one deciding factor in this game: Alabama's field goal kicking. Had Saban not made the decision he had, the game would have gone to overtime, and Alabama may have ground out a win (but probably not: they played well short of their abilities for most of the game).

Well, we all know what's going to happen now, right? Obviously Auburn will attempt to buy the Alabama kickers' kicking shoes so they can proudly display them in the Auburn football hall of fame museum. No price will be deemed too high for obtaining this piece of Auburn football history!

Oh, and another thing: There will be some painting of the missed field goal immortalized by some Auburn football fan painter which will then be sold as prints from the Auburn football store, and Auburn fans will buy it, frame it, and display it with pride where all their Alabama fan friends will see it. There's a well-known painting of the goal line stand Alabama made against Penn State at the 1979 Sugar Bowl, and many Alabama fans have this displayed with pride on their walls in Alabama. But this new one will not only be a source of pride for Auburn fans, but also a dig at Alabama fans which will cut deep anytime an Alabama fan sees it from this day forward, for all eternity. (They're pretty serious about their rivalry down there. I like both teams, but then again, I'm allowed to: I'm not from Alabama.)

Here's that Alabama Goal Line Stand painting:

(BTW: My apologies to die-hard Alabama fans. I am a big Alabama football fan too, but when crazy stuff like this happens, you've just got to appreciate the craziness and laugh along with everybody else. This is one for all time, how insane the game ended, and everyone will likely always remember this one: surely that last play is one for the highlight reel for all times in college football, or just in sports generally. What a wild game! But in a game where one missed field goal can cost a game, four can cost a season; and boy did these four ever cost them the season. And for those of you who missed the game, any one of the four missed field goals would have won the game for Alabama, and only by missing them all and having the last one returned for a touchdown as time expired could Alabama have lost the game during regulation time. That must be some kind of record in itself.)

ObesiTees: The Official T-Shirt of Obesity

Well, we're getting fatter and fatter here in America, and so the obvious future trend for haberdashery success will be marketing clothes for overweight people, seeing as how there will be so many more of them than thin people in need of clothes pretty soon (as well as the likelihood that they will continue to grow in size and regularly require future purchases of larger and larger sizes to keep up with their bodies). And that's why the most successful t-shirt company of the future will be one that specializes in extra large sizes. And to be sure everyone knows where to shop for their plus-sized t-shirt needs, the company will need an appropriate name, like for instance: "ObesiTees".

Yes, it's ObesiTees, for your obese t-shirt needs! Obesity's no problem with ObesiTees: the plus-sized t-shirt! Order yours today! Order in bulk for big savings!

That's ObesiTees: Obesity's Favorite T-Shirt! (It's the official t-shirt of obesity!)

(And of course, the logo for ObesiTees would be the capital letter 'O' as a torso with a head and arms attached to it, and the outline of a t-shirt shape around it, so it looks like a stick figure drawing of an obese person wearing a t-shirt.)

Arby's Eat More Beef (Joke) Ads

In this joke on the Chick-fil-A "Eat Mor Chikin" ads, chickens make a presentation to people entering a chicken restaurant showing how cow flatulence is causing climate change due to the release of large quantities of methane. Then in the next scene we see global warming activists chasing down a herd of cattle, and after a cut, we see them all barbecuing steaks and ribs on the cattle ranch, to the surprise of the ranch hands. Then the announcer says: "Actually it's cows that are causing more environmental damage than chickens, so eat more beef, at the place for beef: Arby's!"

Then, in the next ad, we see a bunch of vegans being indoctrinated by climate activist chickens, and so enlightened as to who is really responsible for more impact on the climate, all the vegans decide to make an exception to their diet to eat beef to punish cows for global warming. And then we're told where to go to help fight climate change: Arby's, the environmental fast food restaurant chain for beef eaters!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Lyft Brand Identity: The Mustache Ride

Lyft is a carpool-style cab system where people can get rides from people in their own cars, and the cost is a donation, rather than a set fee, making it less expensive than taxis. And you can always tell a Lyft car because it has a big furry pink mustache attached to the car's front grille. But the thing the mustache always makes me think of is the term: "mustache ride". And seeing as how a mustache ride is something else entirely, and the term itself has a definite creep-factor these days, I wonder if the mustache is the best idea.

On the other hand, if everyone else thinks about mustache rides when they see the big pink mustaches on the cars, perhaps the little giggle will make everyone remember Lyft that much more. But then again, it might creep them out instead.

But hey, maybe Lyft also offers mustache rides, and that was the original idea for the business, but they couldn't officially tell us this, so they came up with the mustache grille as a sly way of getting the message out?

In any case, Mustache Rides is a lot easier to remember than Lyft, so despite the creepy connotation, maybe they ought to change their name to Mustache Rides. With the mustaches on the cars, everyone would instantly recognize them and remember the name of the company, which most people I know struggle to remember when asked about it nowadays as it is.

This is what the Lyft pink car mustache looks like (I think it's made out of fuzzy bathroom carpet material):

AIG "Thank You America" Ad

An ad from AIG I saw today thanks America for helping them out, and now they're healthy again, and helping disaster victims. But what about the devastation to the economy caused by the credit default swaps, and all the lost jobs that have never come back thanks to the crash? They're healthy again, though, and that's all that counts, I guess. But just to feel more honest, maybe they should have said: "We're back, America: back from the financial crash we caused, thanks to the bailout we got from your money. Oh, you're not back yet? Sucks to be you!"

Here's the smarmy spot:

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Turnkey Turkey Thanksgiving Dinner

We see lots of deals for complete Thanksgiving dinners these days, which is nice for those who don't have the ability to cook large meals at home. But I haven't seen any advertised with the title of: "Turnkey Turkey Thanksgiving Dinners". It would be memorable enough. Or a store could offer complete dinners and say they're "Your Turn-Key Turkey Source!"

Black Friday Game Show?

We all know how desperate people are for deals these days, and we’ve all seen the chaos and pandemonium that results when deal-desperate shoppers battle it out for the super savings on Black Friday. In fact, we can’t even avoid seeing it on the news it’s so popular. So why not make a reality-style game show about this? You know people would love it!

Yes, rather than camping out for days to join the crush of other shoppers locked in a death struggle over hot deals throughout a crowded store, leading to unseen injuries and mayhem, contestants could instead camp out for days to join a combat-style competition for the items they want two shoppers at a time! They’ll wait in a long line for days, with many different lines, one line for each specific item people want to most, and when they get to the head of the line, contestants are let in two at a time, and dressed in American Gladiators protective gear and using padded weapons, they battle it out for who wins the item, like, say, an X-Box or a 60-inch HDTV. Just think of the win-at-any-cost mentality meeting the bloodlust of crass covetous consumerism: what a spectacle we’d see! And with the winner getting the item at an even deeper discount that the regular Black Friday, and with the loser getting free medical treatment and a special prize afterwards, just imagine what we’ll get to see!

No more missed mayhem and mutilations due to the overwhelming crush of savings-obsessed shoppers blocking the view of cell phone cameras: with the game show set laid out like a real big-box retail store, and with cameras placed at every possible location, angle, etc., you won’t miss any of the bone-crunching, greed-grasping, injury-intending action! Plus, with all the coverage, you can slow down each confrontation to see the venal violence up-close and personal, and in slow motion! Never before has coveting been so confrontational! Plus, as an added incentive, if the losing contestant fights viciously enough, they can even win the item in question themselves as well, so everybody wins!

You know you want to watch it! See all the beneath-the-scrum action you’ve been missing on the news coverage of Black Friday riots! It’s the Black Friday game show: Black and Blue Friday: Greedy Gift Grab! It could prove so popular, it might lead to its own 24-hour cable channel of live, real-time materialist combat. Call your cable company today and demand it!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

McDonald’s Stud McMuffin

Remember back when McDonald’s used to have those advertising characters, like Mayor McCheese, the Hamburglar, etc? Well, when I was a young man, young women used to refer to attractive (or arrogant) guys as “stud muffins”. And since the term ‘stud muffin’ always seemed to suggest being in fine physical shape, and seeing as how McDonald’s food, and fast food in general, are usually considered unhealthy, I thought maybe McDonald’s could try to counter that view by creating a new advertising character to represent their Egg McMuffin breakfast sandwich named: “Stud McMuffin”. And Mr. McMuffin could be a studly in-shape kind of fit young man who is cool, active and attractive, etc, and they could claim that eating a diet solely consisting of Egg McMuffins is what made Stud so very studly. And then maybe all the young men will start whoofing down Egg McMuffins to become studly like Stud McMuffin. And then they could even make an ad showing the Wendy mascot from the Wendy’s commercials becoming infatuated with Stud McMuffin, and Jack from Jack in the Box and the Burger King coveting Stud’s stud factor. (Do you think it might work? Maybe he could even get old Grimace in shape and help make fast food seem healthy for a change.)

Carl’s Jr. “Eat Like You Mean It” Tagline

Carl’s Jr., the enormous dripping burger fast food chain, has been using the advertising tagline: “Eat like you mean it” recently. Does that mean they’re trying to rid the land of the scourge of bulimia? Because it may not be intentional that people are throwing up after eating their food: you never know. Maybe it’s just too enormous of a portion, and they can’t fit it inside themselves for long. Or perhaps they didn’t intend to make themselves throw up, but all the grease in the food, or the icky dripping burgers in the ads, make it so they can’t help themselves. Or another possibility I suppose is that people are going to Carl’s Jr. in large numbers to use the bathroom, but they accidentally end up eating some of the food from there, regret it, and throw up. And I suppose it’s possible that the sexy models in the ads are making themselves throw up after eating the burgers so they won’t gain weight or get acne, and when the company men see this happening, they assume everyone is engaging in the same behavior after eating their burgers.

I’m not entirely sure which of these explanations is correct, or if it’s a combination of all of the above, but it must be this sort of thing they’re trying to combat with that tagline, don’t you think? Because why else would they worry about our intentions, so long as we buy the food? And in any case, what business is it of theirs what our intentions are with regard to their food anyway? And using the imperative like they appear to be doing here might begin to sound a bit bossy to some people, so why not instead simply say: “Please try not to throw up after eating the food we went to the trouble of making for you.”

Of course, they could just try to make better food their customers could keep down more easily, but then I suppose it would be a different restaurant, wouldn’t it?

(Oh, and you know, I don’t remember the burgers from Carl’s looking quite as good as the burgers in these ads. And it’s a bit harder to eat like you mean it when the food looks so different from what you were expecting based upon the advertising images you’ve seen.)

Here are some ads with the “Eat like you mean it” tagline:

USAA Auto Insurance (Joke) Ad

The USAA auto insurance ads always show some kids saying how they got to inherit their parents’ USAA insurance, saying stuff like they got it orbiting the moon, or fighting in Korea, etc. But I wonder why the kids don’t reference slightly less heroic-sounding ways for them to have gotten it? After all, not all armed service is as distinguished as what these ads generally list. Looking at this scenario from a war protester’s point of view might come across a little bit differently. So in the interest of absurdity, here’s what it might sound like had the ad creatives been anti-military-types:

One kid could say: “I got mine pouring thousands of gallons of cancer-causing Agent Orange on Vietnam in 1968.” Then another would say: “I got mine abusing and sexually humiliating detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, 2004.” And another kid could say: “I got mine blasting tropical paradises off the map and irradiating the ocean in a series of H-Bomb tests in the 1950s. When I was younger, I could swear it looked like Granddaddy was glowing sometimes.” And yet another could say: “I got mine illegally smuggling weapons to Nicaraguan Contra death squads in 1984. Daddy’s been wrestling with his conscience over it for years, but at least I got this great car insurance!”

But for all my smartassity above (Those things all really happened, though: I’m not making any of that up. But it’s the policy that was the problem, and not the fault of those following orders in good faith believing they’re honorably serving our nation in a time of crisis.), I very much appreciate the service of our brave military men & women, and there are even more heroic things the ads could use, like a kid saying: “I got mine hunting down and eliminating terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, 2011.” And another kid could say: “I got mine ending the genocide in Bosnia, 1994.” And yet another kid could say: “I got mine liberating a Nazi concentration camp in Germany, 1945.” But despite how heroic the service, they probably still get their cars spit on by hippie anti-war activists who yell: “Baby killer!” at them as they drive by.

Here’s an example of the kind of USAA commercial I’m referring to here (And despite my cynical jokes, these are extremely cute & sweet ads):

Obamacare Family Ad Push

A new advertising push for Obamacare hopes to inject partisan politicking into even our most private family gatherings, advising as it does for people to nag each other about signing up for Obamacare over Thanksgiving. Wow, what a great idea! There’s nothing like government intrusion into private family moments to really bring people closer together.

But it seems to me these ads aren’t making enough of a hard sell, because Obamacare is a pretty hastily-crafted and overly complicated law with many unintended consequences and a very hefty price tag, run on a not very secure problematic website, not to mention that it’s being run by some of the, shall we say, dullest knives in the drawer, apparently, so they might have to use a heavier hand to actually make people want to sign up. But never fear: I’m here to help with the pushy pushy hard sell tactics.

So here’s an idea for a hard sell that still keeps the family idea (sort of): Use the mafia! So the ads could have some mob guys say: “The family would like you to sign up for Obamacare, or else we’ll break your legs! And you won’t have healthcare to cover it if you don’t sign up, so you’ll be doubly screwed! But if you sign up, then you’ll be covered for when we break your legs for some other reason later, or if we forget and break your legs over this after you’ve signed up.”

That ought to get the idea across and threaten everyone into getting covered through Obamacare, don’t you think? Of course, with so many people losing their insurance thanks to Obamacare, it’s only a matter of time before everyone is forced onto the rolls anyway; if they can afford the much higher rates, that is.

Of course, I still think the way to sell Obamacare to young people is to show stunts from the Jackass movies and then show YouTube videos of dumbasses trying to replicate the stunts and getting hurt, with their friends laughing at them. Then the announcer could say: “You’ll look a lot less stupid when you hurt yourself after you sign up for healthcare coverage through Obamacare. You can’t be turned down for any reason, so you can always get treatment no matter how you hurt yourself, or how stupid you were being.”

This approach may earn tirades of disapproval from Republicans claiming the ads are encouraging irresponsible behavior and such, but I think this would work a lot better to attract young people to Obamacare than the push to have family nag each other over Thanksgiving dinner. Because after all, aren’t political discussions with family strained enough already without pressuring people into buying poorly planned, exorbitantly priced insurance coverage they can’t even afford due to the depressed economy, inflation, higher taxes, artificially inflated energy prices, stagnant wages, etc.?

(Of course, most young people who would be doing this stuff are already on their parents’ insurance until they’re 26 as part of Obamacare, so I don’t see how they can expect anyone under 26 to sign up; but apparently they’re counting on them signing up in large numbers, or else premiums will skyrocket even further than they already have. It’s hard to imagine premiums skyrocketing much further than they already have, but apparently we have that to look forward to as well: Oh, joy!)

Here are a couple of stories about the Obamacare advertising push into your Thanksgiving:

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tamiflu Mascot: Nurse Tammy Flu?

I took a Tamiflu ad to task recently for being a bit off the mark in its messaging, showing as it did an enormous man who was made into a giant by the flu, which might encourage wimpy kids to get the flu on purpose so they can become giants and beat up all the bullies at school (which would only backfire when the bullies got the flu and got huge too and still beat them up as usual). So how about this instead: a Tamiflu mascot called (Nurse) Tammy Flu? She could run around taking care of sick people in some nurse outfit, and once she arrives to nurse flu sufferers back to health, they’re back on their feet in no time flat! And wouldn’t that really send the appropriate message that Tamiflu would like to send: if you get the flu, get Tamiflu, and you’ll get well fast, because Tamiflu is like a nurse who takes care of you and helps you to get better. Isn’t that more like it? (Or does Tamiflu only work to treat the strain of the flu that makes people into giants? That’s a possibility I hadn’t thought of. Maybe it’s in the fine print on the informational insert that comes with the prescription?)

Maybe if they showed Nurse Tammy Flu in a series of ads caring for people, she could come to be associated with Tamiflu like Speedy is associated with Alka Seltzer.

Citi Preferred Card Donut Friday Ad

In this commercial for the Citi Preferred Card, some underling at a company has the job of getting his coworkers donuts each Friday, and he brags about all the rewards points he’s racking up by using his own credit card to pay for them. Um, this looks like it might be a good strategy, but I have known people who have been fired for using this strategy, even when it wasn’t intentional.

Yes, it turns out that if the company reimburses you for the expenses, and you get a financial windfall from it, they consider it should be theirs, not yours, since they are ultimately paying the charges. So if you’re getting these rewards, be aware that your company might consider this a scam, which could get you into trouble (and out of a job). And whatever you do, don’t star in a TV commercial bragging about all the extra cash you’re making on the side from company money on company time, because it might just cost you more than it rewards you.

Seriously, if you try the scenario in this ad, and it doesn’t work out so well for you, don’t say I didn’t try to warn you.

Here’s the rewarding spot:

My Thanksgiving in Hollywood with Jason’s Mom (From “Friday the 13th”)

Well, Thanksgiving is fast approaching again, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to relate one of my first Thanksgivings in Hollywood. My sister’s mother-in-law was a famous TV actress, and before she died, she either had lots of former TV stars over to her home for Thanksgiving dinner, or else we’d all go to one of her friends’ places. Well, on this occasion, we went to an apartment on Wilshire (I think) belonging to another TV star from the 1970s and ‘80s, and there at the party was someone I recognized: Betsy Palmer.

Well, I immediately recognized Betsy Palmer, but I couldn’t quite remember why I knew her face so well. And when I met her, I said I knew her from something, but I couldn’t quite place it. So she said: “I’m Jason’s Mom from Friday the 13th.” And so I said: “Oh, wow, you are!” And then I said: “Oh, please say it…” So she made that face from near the end of the movie, and she said: “Kill her, Mommy, kill her!” And we both laughed. And later, at the table, someone else said not to let her have the carving knife, and I thought: “Wow, she probably gets this sort of treatment everywhere she goes for doing Friday the 13th.” And she did say that of all the movies and TV shows she made (and she made a bunch), everyone always remembers her from Friday the 13th.