Thursday, January 28, 2016

Showtime Extreme Sports Promo Music

Anyone who is a TCM junkie like me will instantly recognize the music Showtime Extreme is using for their sports promos at the moment. It’s the same music TCM used to use for TCM Underground before they changed the intro into something way better, which it is now. (It used to be a terrible intro, but now it is terrific. Kudos to the graphics people at TCM! Now please replace that old Rube Goldberg intro I have seen a million times: it was fun the first couple of times, but now it has really worn out its welcome.) But hearing that same generic-y punk rock guitar progression again for another network was really strange. I guess it’s library music somewhere? I know it’s old, so I thought maybe Showtime would get something newer? It’s just odd to hear promo music recycled from network to network years later. I like the aggressive music feel for action sports, but surely someone else has made other aggressive music since then that might be more appropriate for the new Showtime Extreme Sports promo? (Or maybe no one has?)

Fiat 500 “Deep Red” Joke Ad

I love the fun Dario Argento movie Deep Red, and especially the silly scenes with David Hemmings and Daria Nicolodi in her old Fiat 500. We see David Hemmings try to get in on the passenger side, and Daria says she must get in that way first because her door doesn’t work on the driver’s side. Then, once he sits down on the passenger’s side seat, it collapses. Then he tries to put the sun visor up, but it keeps flopping back down. And then, finally, he locks the door, to which Daria says, after expressing shock and concern: “The lock jams and we’ve got to get a mechanic to open it.” And then, upon reaching their destination, he has to climb out of the sunroof to get out.

So I was thinking, maybe Fiat could show some of this stuff and say: “The new Fiat 500: It’s better than it used to be.”

Or maybe they wouldn’t like to do that?

(I think Dario Argento must have driven an old rust bucket Fiat 500 when he was a teenager or known someone who did. Why else would he have picked on that particular car? These scenes in Deep Red are very funny, but I’ll bet they’re not very funny to Fiat.)

Oh, and by the way, I love the new Fiat 500, and I also love the old ones. You can find a crappy version of any car if it’s old enough and not very well maintained. I have seen lots worse than the Fiat 500 in Deep Red: at least it still runs reliably! Lots of other cars cannot say that, and they know who they are. I think most of us know who they are too.

BTW: I had forgotten, but the current Buick ad campaign is exactly this concept: the new cars are way better than the old cars, despite the fact that Buick had some amazing cars in the past. Here's an example of that current Buick ad campaign if you are doubting me:

Also: After I criticized the Buick campaign, saying they should show their great old cars and say the new ones are bringing back that greatness, Dodge put out a campaign showing the Dodge brothers and a procession of their old great cars, saying their new ones are the new great ones (which I think some of them actually are). I wondered if my post had influenced that ad campaign at all, but I don't know. Either way, that Dodge ad campaign is fantastic, in my opinion. I would like to be able say I helped somehow.

Here's my previous post about the recent Buick ad campaign:

Cochon (The French Insult, Possible Etymology)

When Americans learn French in school, we’re always told of the insult word: “cochon”, meaning pig. But I think there’s another reason why that word is an insult in France. You see, the judge at the kangaroo court that burnt Joan of Arc at the stake was named: “Cauchon”. My guess is (and it’s just a guess) that this guy’s name became so hateful to the French, his name became an insult, and over time it became cochon.

I could be wrong, but I think this is like the American phrase: “Your name is mud.” That comes not from the slimy mixture of water and dirt, but rather, from a doctor named Samuel Mudd, who helped John Wilkes Booth with his broken ankle after he shot and killed President Abraham Lincoln. Some say he was part of the conspiracy, and some say he was just an innocent doctor who saw a patient. Nobody really knows for sure. But he was arrested and sent to some awful prison for four years anyway until he helped with an outbreak of yellow fever and was subsequently pardoned by President Andrew Johnson in 1869. (There is a movie about it called: The Prisoner of Shark Island, and I would absolutely recommend it.) But his name is also spelled a bit differently from the modern day colloquial expression named after him.

So is it possible, or even likely that I’m correct in this? Lots of history gets lost over the years, but I doubt the French will ever forget Cauchon and what he did. I won’t either. And so I think it’s more likely that the hatred that led to the insult cochon might be far more likely to stem from Cauchon, and not from a pig, which as we mostly all know is a nice and relatively intelligent animal that also tastes really good: what’s to hate? But a cynical judge who gets an innocent national heroine burnt at the stake through a rigged court proceeding? That’s a reason for antipathy, I’d think.

Boris Karloff, the classic horror movie actor, who was an extremely cultivated English gentleman, had a pet pig named Violet. And from what I hear, they can make nice pets.

This is Boris Karloff and his pet pig, Violet:

This is The Prisoner of Shark Island, for those who are unfamiliar with it:

And this is what happened to Joan of Arc:

BTW: I have no idea if Joan of Arc was sent by God or is she was just a schizophrenic who was so convinced in her beliefs that she would not stop until what she saw as her calling was fulfilled. I would like to think she was sent by God, but my problem with that was that I never understood why God would really care who was in charge of France, as both the French and the English could be pretty nasty when they liked back then. But then I had what felt like an epiphany: it wasn't about who was in charge of anything at all; it was to show that it does not matter who you are or where you come from: if you believe enough, and you will not ever give up, one person can change the world. If an uneducated farm girl in a man's world could commandeer an army and turn the tide for her country in a long line of national military losses, then what can someone else do with that kind of resolve? If she was sent by God, I think that is possibly why.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Organ Donor Dog Ad from Argentina

This spot actually made me cry. But even so, there are issues with it.

First off, the dog’s owner obviously has a stroke or a brain hemorrhage. Who called the ambulance? Did the dog call them? I didn’t know dogs could use phones.

Also, when the dog greets the new owner of his former owner’s organ(s), he runs up to greet her. But what happens next? Most people don’t just adopt stray dogs they meet on the street. My guess is they called animal control because she already has a couple of cats who wouldn’t like a new dog as a roommate. And we’re an extremely dog-centric culture here, so people care more about what happens to dogs than they do about what happens to people. So that question might linger in people’s minds as it did in mine.

But other than those issues, wow, what a great ad! It really hits that emotional spot. Great idea and great execution. And what a great dog they cast! I hope he/she gets lots of Scooby Snacks for his/her performance here, as he/she really deserves it.

Here’s the spectacular spot:

Saturday, January 23, 2016

LothariOs Cereal

Mmmm: It’s LothariOs breakfast cereal, the sexiest cereal in the world!

Get seduced into accepting into your body all its nutrients!

Stays cheesy, even in milk! And it turns the milk sexy!

That’s LothariOs: for the morning after your conquest!

LothariOs: They’ll have you saying: “O, O, O!”

Lead Man: The Superhero

The story of lead in the water in Flint, Michigan is horrific, but there is a possible silver lining here, because it’s toxic catastrophes like this that often form the origin stories for superheroes. And perhaps this man-made disaster could give birth to the new superhero for our time: Lead Man!

Yes, it’s Lead Man! Born out of an overexposure to lead through his city’s drinking water, but rather than poison him, the lead mutated his DNA, creating a powerful hero with a set of super powers all his own!

Lead Man can instantly give anyone lead poisoning with a touch, or shoot a ray of lead contamination straight into their bodies from a distance. Also, Lead Man has the power to immediately lower anyone’s IQ at will through his super lead poisoning powers. And because he is lead shielded, other superheroes cannot see through him with x-ray vision, nor can they pierce his physical form to use mind powers against him; in fact, those who try to use mind control immediately get lead poisoning in their own brains, diminishing their powers and mental capacity. And because he has actual lead feet, he can drive faster than anyone else on Earth!

Lead Man’s abilities are so unique and powerful, he is the only superhero able to defeat Lex Luthor, by lowering his IQ to such an extent that he is no longer a threat. Yes, Lead Man is more powerful even than Superman!

Look out, super villains: Lead Man will fill you full of lead!

Hillary Erotic Fiction

A comedian published a book of Trump erotic fiction recently, so I
decided to write one about Hillary Clinton. Here's just a sample:

She approached, whispering top secret nothings to me, and then she

(I hear that what makes erotica exciting is what you have to imagine
for yourself. If that's the case, this almost completely redacted book
will really let you imagine some juicy, exciting things: whatever you
want! What can you do? The rest of the facts are missing. So hot!)

Friday, January 22, 2016

Subway Mascot Ad

This spot for Subway contains a moment where we see a silly fast food restaurant mascot, and the announcer says that mascots don’t make the food taste any better.

Yeah, you know, I think maybe that’s true. In fact, I remember recently where one fast food restaurant chain had some creepy pasty-faced mascot who allegedly lost a bunch of weight from eating the restaurant’s calorie bomb sandwiches, and after running what has to be the worst ad campaign of all time for like 15 years, it turned out that the mascot guy was a child molester, and because the ad campaign ran for so long, it allowed this pervert to become rich and famous, which enabled him to actually commit sex crimes against minors. (Ew!)

Oh, wait, that was Subway’s mascot, Jared, wasn’t it? And this is an ad for Subway, isn’t it? And by putting in the part about mascots in this ad, they actually remind us about their old mascot Jared and his crimes, don’t they?

And yes, I believe he did leave a bad taste in everyone’s mouth, so I guess the point about mascots not making the food taste any better is true. But I would have thought they would want us to forget about their former mascot Jared. I guess not though, as that mascot reference sure reminds us of him. (Oops!)

It’s positively hilarious that this ad tries to distance Subway from mascots, as Jared was totally the Subway mascot for years and years.

Boy, that whole Jared thing must have been very humiliating for Subway. It’s kind of like if Ronald McDonald ended up getting caught with multiple bodies buried under his house like John Wayne Gacy or something. But they could have avoided it if they had ended that lame ad campaign featuring Jared after one cycle, rather than keeping it going year after year after year. And the message of that ad campaign was essentially to get us to want to be like Jared, because their sandwiches made him into the man he is today. It doesn’t seem like such a great message now.

I’m not sure this new Subway ad was supposed to make me think of all this stuff, but if it was, then a fine job indeed; otherwise, they might want to consider editing out that mascot part, as it reminds us of something perhaps they would prefer we forget. (But it’s just a suggestion…)

Here’s the mascot spot (actually called the “Founders” spot):

It’s funny, because this Subway ad has the exact same problem that the previous Toyota Tacoma ad I wrote about does: they both remind us of bad things about the company because of elements in the commercials: the mascot bit in the Subway ad reminds us of Jared, and the explosions in the desert in the Toyota ad remind us of the fact that most terrorists drive Toyota pickup trucks. I think ads really ought to avoid reminding us of these things, but maybe that’s impossible, and if so I guess they might as well own it and make fun of it.

Toyota Tacoma “Blow Off Steam” Ad

Now here’s a commercial for a Toyota pickup truck that’s definitely aimed at their most dedicated consumers: terrorists. Yes, terrorists like ISIS and Al Qaida almost exclusively drive Toyota pickup trucks, and this spot certainly reminds us of that, with all the explosions going off. You wouldn’t think Toyota would want to remind us in their advertising that they are the world’s number one purveyor of vehicles for terrorist groups, but apparently you’d be wrong in not thinking that.

So in this spot, someone (I have to assume a terrorist, seeing as how it’s a Toyota pickup truck) is driving a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck down a road in the desert (the desert being where most terrorists seem to hang out) when a couple of motorcycles pass by, presumably to perpetrate a drive-by assassination or something. But the assassination attempt goes awry, and the Toyota Tacoma driver chases after the motorcyclists, setting off a roadside bomb as the truck goes off-road. (The roadside bomb was, I guess, a backup plan just in case the drive-by motorcycle hit failed, which it did. This must be a sectarian struggle between terrorist groups we’re witnessing here.) Then a bunch of IEDs go off, or maybe a group of suicide bombers set off their bomb vests simultaneously, but still the pickup truck keeps driving. (Maybe this is why terrorists like Toyota pickup trucks so much: they can survive numerous blasts from roadside bombs and such, as we can clearly see here.) Then the Toyota pickup truck gets swarmed by a bunch of other pickup trucks and motorcycles Mad Max-style.

Man, I’ll bet the terrorists will race out in droves to buy this new Toyota truck! (Maybe this ad, with all its explosions and such, was made to lure the terrorists out of hiding for a sting operation to catch them all at a Toyota dealership. They must go to one at some point to get their trucks. Unless Toyota has a mail order service for terrorist groups?)

Here’s the explosive spot:

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Boost Bernie Sanders Ad (Joke/Proposed)

We see Bernie Sanders at the beginning of the 2016 Presidential Campaign season, and he’s way down in the polls, getting clobbered by Hillary Clinton. Then Bernie decides he needs something to give him a boost, so he drinks a bootle of Boost: it has all the nutrition older people need to feel their healthiest. Then, after drinking the Boost, Bernie gets a boost in his rankings, climbing up to where he is virtually even with Hillary Clinton. Then we see Bernie Sanders, and he says: “Wow, that sure gave me a boost! Gee, I wonder if…” Then he opens another bottle of Boost, takes a sip, and then he’s higher in the polls! (Or else he takes the sip, we fade to black, and then we see a product shot of Boost, and the announcer says: “Boost gives you the boost you need!”)

Rogaine Linus Ad (Joke/Proposed)

We all know Linus from the Peanuts gang. He has very thin hair that shows off his oddly shaped head. So I think he’d be the perfect mascot for Rogaine. Simply show Linus as a young adult with the same hair issue, have him try Rogaine, and then show him with a thick mane of head-banging hair metal hair, and then say that now that Linus has such sexy hair, he no longer needs his security blanket; but he still carries the blanket around with him for all the woman who want to sleep with him now that he has such sexy hair.

(Like the Cialis ads say: You never know when a romantic moment can strike, so you always need to bring a blanket with you to lay down on the ground for when you have to get it on in the woods, in a classroom, on the sidewalk, etc.)

Gas-X Galactus Ad (Proposed)

Galactus consumes a gas giant planet, and afterwards he has bad gas and colic, so he gest the Silver Surfer to fly to Earth and get him some Gas-X. So he takes the Gas-X, and he feels much better, with his gas problem resolved. Then he says to himself: “You know, I’m glad now I spared the Earth. If they can make great stuff like this, they deserve to survive!” Then the announcer says: “And once again, the Earth is saved, by Gas-X!”

(This is another of my Marvel Comics Gas-X ads that started with Gas-X-Men.)

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

Phillips’ Colon Health GI Joe Ad (Joke/Proposed)

In this joke/proposed ad for Phillips’ Colon Health, We see GI Joe (GastroIntestinal Joe, that is), and he’s all handsome and ripped and everything, but he says that the healthiest part of him is his gastrointestinal tract, and to stay that way, he uses Phillips’ Colon Health. The we hear that ad song from the GI Joe toy ads that usually sing: “A real American hero: GI Joe!”, but this time it sings: “A real intestinal hero, GI Joe!”

Emoji Ouija Boards for Millennials?

My sister is an artist, and she and her husband are making Ouija boards for an art show here in LA. I thought it might be fun to make a Ouija board with emoji on it instead of letters, you know, to communicate with any teenagers who have passed on, maybe from texting and driving.

I don't know if teenagers really use the standard alphabet anymore.

Voya Orange Money Ads

Voya has these ads where origami animals are made of orange money (kind of like the orange money employed by ING commercials a couple of years ago, which begs the question: did ING get caught doing something so they changed their name to Voya hoping we wouldn’t remember, but like Ditech/CashCall, they still used the same ad campaign so we’d remember anyway? I’m just curious.), and this always makes me think of the Secret Service.

Yes, when they’re not drunk driving into White House security barriers or getting caught in foreign hooker scandals, the Secret Service is actually responsible for going after counterfeiters. And apparently they are quite strict. Any time anyone makes fake money for the movies, apparently they have to clear it with the Secret Service first, or else risk a raid, no matter how fake the money looks.

So when I see these ads, I keep expecting the Secret Service to show up and arrest everyone on set, saying: “I don’t care what origami animals you folded it up into or what color it is, it’s still counterfeit money! And telling people to put their savings into counterfeit orange money is a serious crime!”

Here’s an example of the Voya Orange Money ads:

And here’s an Orange Money ad from ING:

BTW: Concept-wise, the squirrel ad with the hiding nuts away, and the orange money meaning retirement savings, are very solid, and we all get it. Good job.