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As Seen on TV: flat stomachs and awful nerds

John Reidy | September 17, 2014

“Admitting this will not suddenly make me jump up and buy it. Stop admitting it. I liked Domino’s better when they just lied to my face. Lie to use Dominos. Lie to us like the consumer zombies you think we are.”

Another week and another steaming load of commercials piped into our brains before we take our eyes off of the TV for ten seconds to check twitter and wipe hot wing sauce off of our faces. This week there are some familiar favorites and some new ads designed to sell you a bunch of crap you never thought you needed.

By now you’ve either heard about the U2 album covertly beamed to your Iphone or woke up one day and realized it was on there like finding a wart on your shaft. No longer singing about the spirit of MLK or the troubles in Ireland, U2 is now a musical reminder that a corporation can do whatever it wants while you suckle at its hoary, ample teats. Drink up.

You’ve probably seen the State Farm, Hanz and Franz commercials with Aaron Rodgers. If you were born after 1985, you will have no idea who these guys are, but your dad is busting a gut over it and guffawing like Larry the Cable Guy just farted “Dixie.” At one point, Hanz and Franz was the most anticipated part of a Saturday night. Now it’s a cheap gag to sell insurance to 52 year olds while Rodgers thought they were a German pop duo and tried to get them to play “Kevin’s” birthday party. They did it anyway because they needed the money.

Saw an ad for a movie called “The Judge.” I guess “The Lawyer” and “Courtroom Drama” were taken. Take it easy Hollywood, I don’t think people are dumb enough for this yet.

DirecTV has the super fan ads where some jerk in a Giants jersey (ok Broncos too) smashes up some stuff in his neighborhood while everyone flies to their doom in slow motion. NFL fans will not be denied and if dozens of people have to die in order for them to watch the Eagles in Tulsa, so be it. What DirecTV doesn’t realize is that it has offered up a proper allegory for American excess in every ad: I’m going to get mine and I don’t care who gets hurt or what gets destroyed during the ensuing chaos. Great work everybody.

Speaking of Americans getting what they want, Michelob Ultra wants you. But only if you’re very skinny and mostly white. The ads for what I think is beer, show nothing but flat stomachs, white skin (with an occasional black guy, who’s probably the trainer) and plenty of exercising. Look, if you’re working out that much, you can eat and drink what you want. Don’t waste your time with this half water, beer flavored beverage. Michelob is appealing to people whose best attribute is not just a flat stomach but the ability to suck all of the joy out of life with their horrible, banal existence. But hey, they look good doing it.

The dude Bud Lite picked to hawk its “Whatever USA” thing looks like they grabbed a homeless guy, put him in a suit, gave him a rubber band for his hair and called it good. Take a shower guy.

Why does Domino’s Pizza keep admitting that it sucks? “Our cheese comes in a bag!” Yeah, no shit. We all know your pizza is pre-packaged crap and no amount of nerds in white coats fawning over it will change that fact. It’s still sprayed with chemicals and shoved into said bag, then shipped for days before being layered onto an equally processed crust before some crack head sneezes on it. Admitting this will not suddenly make me jump up and buy it. Stop admitting it. I liked Domino’s better when they just lied to my face. Lie to use Dominos. Lie to us like the consumer zombies you think we are.

Audi’s “break from the script” ad is decent and reflects how I feel about most of society. But I’m not who Audi is trying to get to buy their cars. It’s the people who actually are mindless drones that they’re trying to get to go off script and buy their product. Again, it’s truth in advertising that if you think about it, isn’t very flattering: Hey, you’re a bunch of mindless morons, but you won’t be if you buy our car. And hey dummy, while we’re being honest, buy this pizza that’s awful too. Sorry.

Nerd revenge fantasies are all the rage these days and a great example of this can be seen in the newest Samsung Note commercials. The Note ad takes up so much time pointing out that the phone was made fun of for having a big screen, it barely gets to the point that they think their phone is better. It uses all of its time talking about the new bigger Iphone screen which if you think about it, is pretty cool for Apple. But Samsung’s horrible supporters are demanding to be taken seriously after the slightest insinuation that their tech isn’t cool. This you know: Samsung had to start with a big screen because those phones are trash and it was the only thing it could do to get people to buy it. Samsung waited patiently, selling their phones to morons who would watch the Voice on it, biding their time, waiting for revenge when they could have been making a product that could compete with the Iphone. YOUR TIME IS NOW YOU AWFUL NERDS.

And finally the GE “Ideas” commercial gets a nod from me for being one of the only decent things I saw last Sunday. It was weird, sad and hopeful all at once and was a breath of fresh air from the usual ‘on the nose’ crap they trot out for half interested, half drunk football watchers to ignore every week. I think GE makes weapons of mass destruction too which is totally appropriate for NFL games, but this evens things out. Great work warmongers.

Written by John Reidy


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