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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Brisbee: The worst commercials of the postseason

You’re risking an advertiser’s life!

Of course you hate the commercials playing during the playoffs this year. You hate them every year. A decade later, there’s still a subset of baseball fans who twitch and mumble “zzznnzzxx her father is the district attorney zznnnxxx” in their sleep.

So when your friends, roommates, family members or significant others complain that you watch too much baseball, let them know that you have suffered for your hobby. Lo, how you have suffered. The worst commercials of the postseason, ranked in increasing order of awfulness.

Brian White Posted: October 17, 2012 at 07:03 PM | 183 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: tv

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   1. Gonfalon B. Posted: October 18, 2012 at 12:24 AM (#4275008)
He omitted the ad for boner pills featuring four aging men (in order) carrying a big long surfboard, adjusting a big long mast on his boat, jogging past some big long thick trees, and leaning back in the driver's seat so that the front chassis of his car extends outwards from his crotch. I wonder what it all means.
   2. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: October 18, 2012 at 12:25 AM (#4275009)
But the biggest problem I have with the ad is the little girl. The music drops a bit for her car-seat solo, and she nails it as much as a three-year-old can nail it, which is to say, it's delightfully perfect in its imperfections.


Yes, yes, yes. I feel vindicated that this was the main talking point of this item. I hate a lot of the commercials we're subjected to, if for no other reason than the repetition, but this one, this one I cannot physically stand to keep the sound on during specifically because of this little girl. Every time I hear it, I picture her parents probably thinking she's the most talented kid to appear in a commercial since Mikey.
   3. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: October 18, 2012 at 12:26 AM (#4275011)
He omitted the ad for boner pills featuring four aging men (in order) carrying a big long surfboard, adjusting a big long mast on his boat, jogging past some big long thick trees, and leaning back in the driver's seat so that the front chassis of his car extends outwards from his crotch. I wonder what it all means.


I watched a game last week with my mom, who isn't much of a fan, but will occasionally watch a game. It's not until you're watching a game with your mom that you realize how many times they air these Viagra commercials during one game.
   4. tshipman Posted: October 18, 2012 at 12:43 AM (#4275018)
Is Springsteen singing "The Traaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnn" in those ads? I thought it was "strain." Admittedly, I am really bad at determining song lyrics.

I hate the T-Mobile 1-2 Kalamazoo ad, too.
   5. Howie Menckel Posted: October 18, 2012 at 12:49 AM (#4275020)
"This train"

although "the strain" would work well for enhancement as well as bowel movement products.

I know someone who had the ideal TV ad off "Land of Hope and Dreams" lyrics, with qucik-panning of different spots for each:

Well, this train carries saints (Jeter) and sinners (Rose)
This train carries losers (A-Rod, Rose) and winners (Jeter, Rose)
This train carries whores (Jeter, A-Rod, Rose) and gamblers (Rose)
This train carries lost souls (A-Rod, Rose)

they each get multiple appearances

but please post your own cast for these...

   6. Chris Fluit Posted: October 18, 2012 at 12:56 AM (#4275023)
It's not the train. It's this train. I can see how you'd shift the s to the second word.
   7. Chris Fluit Posted: October 18, 2012 at 12:57 AM (#4275024)
Oops. Howie beat me to it.
   8. MM1f Posted: October 18, 2012 at 01:12 AM (#4275028)
I love post #5.

As for "This Train," the problem is (besides being massively overplayed) Bruce's recent studio cut of "Land of Hope and Dreams" is polished to within an inch of its life, it lacks soul. The original, live version from Live in New York City is pretty great, one of my favorite latter-day Bruce tracks. The instrumentation and backup chorus in the live version is rawer and Bruce's vocals in the live version have a rough desperation that is completely missing in the studio version. The studio version is just a bland vaguely inspirational tune, like an upgraded Fray or Train song. The studio version is sung by a hopeful man, the live version is sung by a hopeless man.
[/end Bruce nerd crap]

I hate the T-Mobile 1-2 Kalamazoo ad, too.


I would love to work in the creative side of advertising for, like, a week to see how ads like this are actually conceived.
"Ok, so we have nationwide 3G. Why don't we show this off by having a real life version of the Esurance girl drive around on a space motorcycle while mentioning different cities? That'll be effective!"

I'm sorta being serious here, if any Primates have ad experience I'd love to know how odd, pointless ads like this come to be.
   9. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: October 18, 2012 at 01:13 AM (#4275029)
Cougar Town is actually a pretty good show. I was as surprised as you are.
   10. Textbook Editor Posted: October 18, 2012 at 01:23 AM (#4275034)
I watched a game last week with my mom, who isn't much of a fan, but will occasionally watch a game. It's not until you're watching a game with your mom that you realize how many times they air these Viagra commercials during one game.


It's not until you watch playoff games with your 7-year-old son that you realize how little you feel like explaining what "illness" the Viagra is "treating." TE, Jr. basically knows that Viagra is for older men who are "sick" and that the medicine has lots of side effects...

   11. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: October 18, 2012 at 01:31 AM (#4275037)
Don't forget the ####### avocados. Apparently you can't watch a baseball game without a jumbo-size cooler full of avocados.
   12. Dr. Vaux Posted: October 18, 2012 at 01:36 AM (#4275039)
At least someone gets to.
   13. base ball chick Posted: October 18, 2012 at 01:37 AM (#4275040)
there are absolutely tons of ads for boner pills - including the stuff that smiling bob peddles

i wonder how many men actually HAVE problems or just think they should have their 16 year old youknowwhat back even though they are 45 - which looks like about how old the guys in the ad are
   14. The Ghost fouled out, but stays in the game Posted: October 18, 2012 at 01:40 AM (#4275042)
Concept: Taco Bell is going to give you gourmet diarrhea now, which is like regular diarrhea, but with crème fraîche drizzled on top in a haphazardly elegant pattern

I may never eat Mexican food again.
   15. Baldrick Posted: October 18, 2012 at 02:53 AM (#4275052)
As for "This Train," the problem is (besides being massively overplayed) Bruce's recent studio cut of "Land of Hope and Dreams" is polished to within an inch of its life, it lacks soul. The original, live version from Live in New York City is pretty great, one of my favorite latter-day Bruce tracks. The instrumentation and backup chorus in the live version is rawer and Bruce's vocals in the live version have a rough desperation that is completely missing in the studio version. The studio version is just a bland vaguely inspirational tune, like an upgraded Fray or Train song. The studio version is sung by a hopeful man, the live version is sung by a hopeless man.

I agree with your assessment of the difference; I just disagree that it reflects so badly on the new version. They're very different songs and I'm sometimes in the mood for the old one. But the Wrecking Ball version has really grown on me. Just like the title song (which initially felt like a pale imitation of its live performances) feels more and more right each time I hear it. They're still not 'polished,' but I like to hear some hopefulness in Bruce.

The Wrecking Ball version of "American Land," however, is a travesty compared to the version from Dublin a few years back. He sounds drunk (and not in a good way) on this one.
   16. Jim Wisinski Posted: October 18, 2012 at 03:59 AM (#4275058)

I'm sorta being serious here, if any Primates have ad experience I'd love to know how odd, pointless ads like this come to be.


I'm equally as curious about how the decision was made that "BJ Upton diving back into first base against the Twins" was the most appropriate picture to use at the top of the article.
   17. Flynn Posted: October 18, 2012 at 04:47 AM (#4275062)
I'm sorta being serious here, if any Primates have ad experience I'd love to know how odd, pointless ads like this come to be.


Basically there's somebody at T-Mobile in a position of power who is a total idiot. Possibly an egomaniac as well, since many times with a bad campaign it's an agency trying to delve inside the head of the idiot who commissioned it yet shoots down a load of better ideas.
   18. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: October 18, 2012 at 08:09 AM (#4275092)
Frank TV.
That is all.
   19. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: October 18, 2012 at 08:23 AM (#4275100)
DEJA DEJA DEJA DEJA DEJA DEJA VU
   20. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: October 18, 2012 at 08:30 AM (#4275104)
there are absolutely tons of ads for boner pills - including the stuff that smiling bob peddles


During the last NCAA tournament, I tracked and classified every TV ad that I saw for the whole month. I thought for sure that trucks or beer would be #1, but the runaway winner with something like 25% of ads were for car insurance.
   21. just plain joe Posted: October 18, 2012 at 08:31 AM (#4275105)
I may never eat Mexican food again.


That's your problem, Taco Bell is not Mexican food, I'm not sure that it is food of any variety.

This may have been mentioned before but if I never have to see another promo for "Cougar Town" or Conan O'Brien, it will be fine with me.
   22. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 18, 2012 at 08:37 AM (#4275108)
He omitted the ad for boner pills featuring four aging men (in order) carrying a big long surfboard, adjusting a big long mast on his boat, jogging past some big long thick trees, and leaning back in the driver's seat so that the front chassis of his car extends outwards from his crotch. I wonder what it all means.


Common daily tasks involving travel are much easier when you can deploy your massive, chemically-engorged penis as a supplementary limb.

Even running, which seems counterintuitive.
   23. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 18, 2012 at 08:41 AM (#4275110)
Basically there's somebody at T-Mobile in a position of power who is a total idiot. Possibly an egomaniac as well, since many times with a bad campaign it's an agency trying to delve inside the head of the idiot who commissioned it yet shoots down a load of better ideas.


Yeah, pretty much.
   24. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 18, 2012 at 08:43 AM (#4275113)
including the stuff that smiling bob peddles


I thought they had to take those off the market because they provided no demonstrable benefit. You're still seeing ads for them?
   25. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 18, 2012 at 08:46 AM (#4275117)
Cougarton is a surprisingly good show - the lowest stakes comedy you can write, but charming and fun and silly. Recommended if you want to watch something funny and fluffy and not feel stupider afterward.

I'm glad to see the horrid DirectTV ad at #1. It's like the Neil LaBute version of a couples-squabbling ad, but without the strand of hope that the director means for you to hate his characters. It's incredible the way a 30-second spot can manage to convey the years of emotional abuse the poor woman has suffered. Every time he looks at the camera and brushes his teeth, I feel like I need to take a shower.
   26. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 18, 2012 at 08:49 AM (#4275118)
They're totally wrong about "This Train" though. I still enjoy that song, even after the hundredth clip of the chorus. I have proposed, and continue to propose, that MLB just makes "Land of Hope and Dreams" their official playoff music.
   27. Gazizza, my Dilznoofuses! Posted: October 18, 2012 at 08:59 AM (#4275122)
DEJA DEJA DEJA DEJA DEJA DEJA VU


This. First ad I thought of when I saw the headline. The rest of the ad isn't that bad but that line's worse than nails on a chalkboard.
   28. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: October 18, 2012 at 09:00 AM (#4275123)
They're totally wrong about "This Train" though. I still enjoy that song, even after the hundredth clip of the chorus.

The problem is that for those of us who aren't already familiar with the song, it manifests as a few seconds of indecipherable sound behind other stuff, ending with "thiiiiiiiis train". It doesn't seem like a song at all. Just two words that MLB got Bruce Springsteen to sing for some reason. Why not get him to sing "baaaaaaaase ball" instead?

I'm glad to see the horrid DirectTV ad at #1. It's like the Neil LaBute version of a couples-squabbling ad, but without the strand of hope that the director means for you to hate his characters. It's incredible the way a 30-second spot can manage to convey the years of emotional abuse the poor woman has suffered. Every time he looks at the camera and brushes his teeth, I feel like I need to take a shower.

This ad is men's revenge for last year's AT+T greenhouse commercial.
   29. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: October 18, 2012 at 09:09 AM (#4275128)
including the stuff that smiling bob peddles


I thought they had to take those off the market because they provided no demonstrable benefit. You're still seeing ads for them?


I haven't seen Smiling' Bob in an awfully long time. It's too bad, I loved that guy, his boundless optimism was inspiring.
   30. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 18, 2012 at 09:11 AM (#4275129)
I'm glad to see the horrid DirectTV ad at #1. It's like the Neil LaBute version of a couples-squabbling ad, but without the strand of hope that the director means for you to hate his characters. It's incredible the way a 30-second spot can manage to convey the years of emotional abuse the poor woman has suffered. Every time he looks at the camera and brushes his teeth, I feel like I need to take a shower.


I don't understand what that ad is even trying to convey. If your TV notifies you that it's unable to record two shows at once, that's like having a huge screen in your bathroom that broadcasts your nudity to the world? It doesn't even make sense.

I have to say, though, it's not quite as gross as the cell-phone ad where a dad compares his amount of body hair to that of his two teenage children.
   31. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: October 18, 2012 at 09:15 AM (#4275131)
This. First ad I thought of when I saw the headline. The rest of the ad isn't that bad but that line's worse than nails on a chalkboard.


Yeah, the rest of the ad is pretty good, especially the guy getting his mind blown by the headphone jack being on the bottom.
   32. JJ1986 Posted: October 18, 2012 at 09:18 AM (#4275133)
I don't understand what that ad is even trying to convey.


My guess is that the point is that being unable to record more than two shows at once is such a horrible inconvenience that it affects all aspects of your life.
   33. OsunaSakata Posted: October 18, 2012 at 09:52 AM (#4275159)
I liked the earlier versions of the T-Mobile commercial. Now the lips of the woman, may not be the voice of the woman and there may not even be a woman riding the motorcycle. Then in another version, the model is walking in slow-motion to the right of the camera and she looks very anorexic and I stopped liking the commercial.

With respect to live and studio versions of "Land of Hope and Dreams," I've seen local bands do their songs with a lot of energy live. But they get in the studio and all the life gets sucked of the performance when I hear the CD or MP3. I don't know if it's all the gadgetry that they feel they have to use or studio professionals who want a very technically clean product.
   34. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: October 18, 2012 at 10:14 AM (#4275170)
My favorite strategy for dealing with postseason commercials is to pop in a DVD and set a timer for 2 minutes and about 35 or 40 seconds. With at least 17 innings breaks and the usual number of pitching changes and arguments about disputed calls, I can just about watch an entire pre-code classic film and not be bothered by any of that shit that they're trying to peddle. It does wonders for one's long term sanity.
   35. just plain joe Posted: October 18, 2012 at 10:40 AM (#4275185)
Cougarton is a surprisingly good show - the lowest stakes comedy you can write, but charming and fun and silly. Recommended if you want to watch something funny and fluffy and not feel stupider afterward.


I've never seen the actual show so I can't comment on that. My point was that the promos that TBS has been showing multiple times per game do not make me want to tune in.
   36. tshipman Posted: October 18, 2012 at 10:51 AM (#4275188)
My point was that the promos that TBS has been showing multiple times per game do not make me want to tune in.


Yes. I mean, why slag the title? I don't think it's the best title in the world, but it's hardly the worst. It makes me think less of TBS that they transparently slag something someone else developed.

Also, the main premise of the commercials is that Courtney Cox likes to drink wine.

I'm glad to see the horrid DirectTV ad at #1. It's like the Neil LaBute version of a couples-squabbling ad, but without the strand of hope that the director means for you to hate his characters. It's incredible the way a 30-second spot can manage to convey the years of emotional abuse the poor woman has suffered. Every time he looks at the camera and brushes his teeth, I feel like I need to take a shower.


Yeah, this ad actually makes me uncomfortable. Plus, the hostility comes out of nowhere. He's not dismissive or rude before, it's just out of the blue.
   37. The Good Face Posted: October 18, 2012 at 10:59 AM (#4275194)
That's your problem, Taco Bell is not Mexican food, I'm not sure that it is food of any variety.


Yep. How can otherwise intelligent people not figure out that a 3 pound "steak" burrito selling for $.69 (or whatever) is pretty much by definition not filled with anything sane people consider "food"?
   38. JJ1986 Posted: October 18, 2012 at 11:07 AM (#4275202)
I've seen 10 episodes of Cougar Town and while the supporting cast is good, almost every episode had Courtney Cox freaking out about and overreacting to some tiny relationship problem.
   39. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: October 18, 2012 at 11:07 AM (#4275203)
My TV broke down a couple of months ago, and I haven't gotten around to getting a new one. I've mostly been listening to the games on XM. This thread makes me think that, by not seeing the commercials, I'm missing out on a lot of pop culture that will come back to haunt me.

Has it really been a decade since her father was the district attorney?
   40. phredbird Posted: October 18, 2012 at 11:18 AM (#4275212)
i find that geico does a good job of keeping it fresh. they keep recycling their old memes in different ways, which keeps people interested, and then they do new angles. the new thing that i like that they are doing is those two guys picking and grinning about how people like geico. the two guys themselves aren't that interesting, but the one with the witch in the broom factory is hilarious. the look she has when she lands and gestures for the factory guy to give her a new broom is priceless.

all that said, i still have no desire to buy geico insurance. i really wonder about the overall effectiveness of the hip, smart campaigns.
   41. Nasty Nate Posted: October 18, 2012 at 11:18 AM (#4275214)
Remember in the early 90's all the advertising for collect call numbers? Whoever spent all that money on those ads might as well have just dumped the cash into a landfill.
   42. phredbird Posted: October 18, 2012 at 11:18 AM (#4275215)
i also like the one with the guy made out of money. its funny in a silly kind of way.
   43. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: October 18, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4275217)
I hate those Samsung ads, especially the one with the kid saving a spot in line for his parents.

Also, mocking many of the people you're hoping to buy your product seems like a really bad idea.
   44. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 18, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4275218)
Yes. I mean, why slag the title? I don't think it's the best title in the world, but it's hardly the worst. It makes me think less of TBS that they transparently slag something someone else developed.
I doubt the name-slagging comes from TBS. Bill Lawrence, the show-runner, has been very clear that he hates the name and wants it changed. The stuff about how bad the name is probably comes from the show's writers and producers, not from TBS.

I heard Lawrence tell the story of the genesis of the show on WTF. He was wasting time in the writers room on Scrubs talking about possible next shows, and he made a joke that if he told ABC that he had a show called "Cougar Town" with Courtney Cox starring as a newly-single middle-aged woman, they would pick it up off that one-sentence pitch. The writers loved it, starting ####### around creating a joke show, until Lawrence thought that there was actually something there. He pitched it to Cox, she was in, then he pitched it to ABC, and he had a show.

The problem was, it was still a really stupid premise for a show. The "cougar" thing was first, stupid, and second, terrible for a comedy because it required major guest stars every week as her conquests. So there was no time to actually build an ensemble and the chemistry a comedy needs. So they ditched the "cougar" aspect of the show after two months and turned the show into a low-key ensemble sitcom about the small problems of early-middle-aged folks in a Florida suburb. The name "Cougar Town" continued to promise dumb, sexy antics, the show itself wasn't dumb, only occasionally attained to sexy, and contained basically no antics. Lawrence thinks the name really hurt the show, but who knows for sure. I think creating a dumb show in the first place was more likely the problem. It's pretty good now.
   45. phredbird Posted: October 18, 2012 at 11:21 AM (#4275219)
by not seeing the commercials, I'm missing out on a lot of pop culture that will come back to haunt me.


dude, you're not missing anything. i mean, just read my last two posts ...
   46. ASmitty Posted: October 18, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4275222)
Also, mocking many of the people you're hoping to buy your product seems like a really bad idea.


Samsung and Apple are not exactly on the best of terms right now.

I too find those commercials annoying, but I don't think they're necessarily a bad idea. They're like political attack ads. The people they will offend weren't going to buy what you were selling anyways. They're mobilizing the base and hoping to pick off some undecideds.
   47. The Ghost fouled out, but stays in the game Posted: October 18, 2012 at 11:27 AM (#4275224)
Taco Bell is not Mexican food, I'm not sure that it is food of any variety.

Totally agree, but I figured my one-liner sounded better with a broader scope.

The ad agencies should collect feedback on these ads mid-playoffs. They might decide to deep-six some of them before they totally destroy their product. But maybe it hits home with some segment of the population, like Nigerian email scams - it doesn't matter how much you annoy non-customers, as long as you land some new ones. EDIT: like ASmitty said in #46.

When the NLCS was in rain delay, Fox got some first-time viewers for shows like "How I Met Your Mother" that they ran. I was one, or at least I half-watched it, waiting for updates on the game restart. The network probably garnered a few new viewers for future episodes this way.
   48. JJ1986 Posted: October 18, 2012 at 11:27 AM (#4275225)
Fox got some first-time viewers for shows like "How I Met Your Mother" that they ran. I was one, or at least I half-watched it, waiting for updates on the game restart. The network probably garnered a few new viewers for future episodes this way.


Unfortunately for Fox, those new viewers will watch the show on CBS.
   49. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: October 18, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4275227)
The best part of the boner pills commercials are the listing of the side effects. I can't believe that some of the choices are you will get a boner but there is the possibility of "shortness of breath" "heart attack" "Explosive diarrhea" . I think I would take the choice of being able to breathe over getting a boner.
   50. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: October 18, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4275229)
Samsung and Apple are not exactly on the best of terms right now.

True, but why go after Apple customers? Maybe I'm old fashioned, but a straightforward ad that said "our product is better than Apple's for reasons x, y, and z" might be more effective.

   51. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 18, 2012 at 11:34 AM (#4275232)
Unfortunately for Fox, those new viewers will watch the show on CBS.
In fairness, How I Met Your Mother sucks now. If you want to watch the show when it was good, the syndication re-runs on your local Fox channel are the way to go. If you don't just stream them through netflix.
   52. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: October 18, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4275233)
How can otherwise intelligent people not figure out that a 3 pound "steak" burrito selling for $.69


Yobagoya!
   53. Dave Spiwak Posted: October 18, 2012 at 11:38 AM (#4275238)
Howabout that Klondike ad where the fat guy gets a ticker tape parade in his living room and a Klondike Bar for listening to his wife talk about stuff for 5 seconds? Haha it's totally so hard to listen to your wife talk about stuff for five seconds -- am I right, guys?!
   54. esseff Posted: October 18, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4275240)
Then there's the school talent show in an auditorium that's packed, except for the front row center seat that one entitled family is using for its electronics.
   55. JJ1986 Posted: October 18, 2012 at 11:47 AM (#4275251)
In fairness, How I Met Your Mother sucks now. If you want to watch the show when it was good, the syndication re-runs on your local Fox channel are the way to go. If you don't just stream them through netflix.


The syndicated episodes run so horribly out of order, sometimes jumping from season 1 to last year's episodes and things like that. It's not good for such a plot heavy sitcom.
   56. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: October 18, 2012 at 12:14 PM (#4275309)
I'm equally as curious about how the decision was made that "BJ Upton diving back into first base against the Twins" was the most appropriate picture to use at the top of the article.

Boner pills make it easier to get a BJ, and the only thing better than getting a BJ from a hot babe is getting her identically hot twin sister in on the action... or so I suppose.
   57. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: October 18, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4275315)

True, but why go after Apple customers? Maybe I'm old fashioned, but a straightforward ad that said "our product is better than Apple's for reasons x, y, and z" might be more effective.


I think it's the reverse of those old "Mac vs. PC commercials" with John Hodgman. Samsung is trying to portray Apple as obsolete, out of touch and un-hip, basically undermining the very image Apple has generated for itself. Whether it will work or not, eh, who knows.

I have to say I have no memory of seeing the One, Two Kalamazoo commercial. Given that I've seen all the others 1000 times until they are burned into my brain, I have to think that I in fact have seen it, but have no memory of it. Which doesn't speak well of the ad.

Does anyone else have nostalgia for the Cola Wars?
   58. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: October 18, 2012 at 12:20 PM (#4275326)
I miss "Where's the beef?" They should actually run that before the boner pill ads
   59. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: October 18, 2012 at 12:23 PM (#4275334)
The best part of the boner pills commercials are the listing of the side effects.

My favorite was a weight loss pill some years back whose narrator cheerfully intoned "oily discharge in gas" as a potential side effect.

"Uhhhh.... thanks for the offer, but I think I'll just stay fat instead."
   60. just plain joe Posted: October 18, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4275336)
all that said, i still have no desire to buy geico insurance. i really wonder about the overall effectiveness of the hip, smart campaigns.


As it happens I used to work in market research, essentially testing commercials before air to see which ones were more effective than others. Many, many, many times we found that the hip, smart, funny commercials were less memorable than others because people were concentrating on the hip/funny/smart. As is nearly always the case, simpler is better.
   61. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 18, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4275347)
Does anyone else have nostalgia for the Cola Wars?
I couldn't take it anymore.
   62. hokieneer Posted: October 18, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4275364)
I heard Lawrence tell the story of the genesis of the show on WTF. He was wasting time in the writers room on Scrubs talking about possible next shows, and he made a joke that if he told ABC that he had a show called "Cougar Town" with Courtney Cox starring as a newly-single middle-aged woman, they would pick it up off that one-sentence pitch. The writers loved it, starting ####### around creating a joke show, until Lawrence thought that there was actually something there. He pitched it to Cox, she was in, then he pitched it to ABC, and he had a show.


That's pretty good. I like Lawrence and he has a pretty successful track record: Spin city, Scrubs, Clone high. I have never watched a minute of Cougar Town, I prefer the original Cougarton Abbey.


RE Samsung Ad,

I thought it was funny the first 50 times or so. Of course I don't care for Apple, their products, and the "culture" with them, so the commercial was right in my wheelhouse. I better shut up about Apple before our local Apple Rep appears and posts 5 graphs about the benefits of the new connector/cable.


   63. Flynn Posted: October 18, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4275371)
The syndicated episodes run so horribly out of order, sometimes jumping from season 1 to last year's episodes and things like that. It's not good for such a plot heavy sitcom.


Yeah but the plot is always Ted's being a jerk about something.

As it happens I used to work in market research, essentially testing commercials before air to see which ones were more effective than others. Many, many, many times we found that the hip, smart, funny commercials were less memorable than others because people were concentrating on the hip/funny/smart. As is nearly always the case, simpler is better.


The problem with ads is you're trying to do something quantitative and people are qualitative. Those making the ads and their audience.




   64. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: October 18, 2012 at 01:07 PM (#4275383)
The gold standard for bad commercials for me is this. And the very funny review (NSFW).
   65. Charlie O Posted: October 18, 2012 at 03:07 PM (#4275556)
I'm on board with hokieneer about the Samsung ads. I enjoyed them the first few times for the same reasons he stated.

The commerical I find most annoying is one that might just be shown locally. I see it numerous times per game. It's an ad for a car that toots its horn when you come close to overinflating the tires. So this undisciplined nerd who bought one has the horn honking at him whenever he's about to go too far in any aspect of his life. The first couple of times it was just annoying. After several dozen more, I'm ready to kill anything close to me when I see it.
   66. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 18, 2012 at 03:17 PM (#4275561)
My favorite was a weight loss pill some years back whose narrator cheerfully intoned "oily discharge in gas" as a potential side effect.

"Uhhhh.... thanks for the offer, but I think I'll just stay fat instead."


People like you are the reason we'll never achieve energy independence.
   67. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 18, 2012 at 03:21 PM (#4275565)
The commerical I find most annoying is one that might just be shown locally. I see it numerous times per game. It's an ad for a car that toots its horn when you come close to overinflating the tires. So this undisciplined nerd who bought one has the horn honking at him whenever he's about to go too far in any aspect of his life. The first couple of times it was just annoying. After several dozen more, I'm ready to kill anything close to me when I see it.


He's an undisciplined nerd? With that beard, I thought he was supposed to be a hipster.

This was one of those commercials I saw about ten times before I finally realized what product it was for.
   68. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 18, 2012 at 03:29 PM (#4275576)
I thought it was funny the first 50 times or so. Of course I don't care for Apple, their products, and the "culture" with them, so the commercial was right in my wheelhouse.


I am AN Apple fan and I think the commercial is a hoot. As someone noted upthread the guy blown away by the headphone jack on the bottom is great.

I'm hanging in there on HIMYM but they better bet get to the big reveal soon. This week's episode was basically "Lily and Marshall are bad friends because they are spending all their time with their newborn baby." That's right, not "Ted, Robin and Barney are the most narcissistic people in the world for not understanding that Lily and Marshall are spending all their time with their newborn baby" but "Lily and Marshall are bad friends..."
   69. puck Posted: October 18, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4275578)
Nobody better complain about the ad selling Johnny Cash "Egg Sucking Dog" singles and bulldogs, I love that one.
   70. boteman digs the circuit clout Posted: October 18, 2012 at 03:52 PM (#4275606)
They're like political attack ads. The people they will offend weren't going to buy what you were selling anyways. They're mobilizing the base...

ICWYDT. They're selling mobile phones, so...

I chuckle every time that "touching phones together" spot comes on. I know people who drink the Apple Kool Aid and this just brings it out in the open for all to see.

CougarTown is just a jolly good excuse for Bill Lawrence to keep having fun making a TV show.

Since I keep my TV muted while listening to the RadioDelayed MLB Gameday radio commentary I miss most of these. I have to dive for the remote to unmute them if I actually want to hear what they're talking about, which is a rare occurrence.
   71. Charlie O Posted: October 18, 2012 at 04:10 PM (#4275623)
He's an undisciplined nerd? With that beard, I thought he was supposed to be a hipster.


Is that what they were going for? To me, he looks like a dork hopelessly trapped in 1974. The lame handshake ruined his shot at being considered hip by any generation.
   72. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: October 18, 2012 at 04:22 PM (#4275634)
Really? I like the ad with the horn, I think that's an amusing concept and does a good job illustrating the product. Now, I am only about 50% sure I know which car company it is for (Hyundai?) and I find it epically hard to believe that anyone would purchase a car because it beeps the horn as you fill up the tires, but perhaps I'm wrong.
   73. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 18, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4275635)
I'm hanging in there on HIMYM but they better bet get to the big reveal soon.


I hope this is the last season, simply because I can't imagine they drag it on too much longer.
Jason Segal probably wants to make more movies...
   74. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 18, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4275637)
I'm hanging in there on HIMYM but they better bet get to the big reveal soon. This week's episode was basically "Lily and Marshall are bad friends because they are spending all their time with their newborn baby." That's right, not "Ted, Robin and Barney are the most narcissistic people in the world for not understanding that Lily and Marshall are spending all their time with their newborn baby" but "Lily and Marshall are bad friends..."
Yeah, I quit toward the end of last season, and everything I've seen from this season has made me feel I made the right decision. The storytelling has gotten really hacky, and they seem to think the characters are being sympathetic when they're just being awful people. At least 50% of my decision to quit was driven by the Barney-Quinn plot, which had her being horribly manipulative, and then him being a controlling jerk, and then we're supposed to be happy for them getting married and think he's changed into something better, and then they break it off for reasons that make no damn sense. Urrghh.

Plus there is a lot of good network comedy on tv right now. 30 Rock, Parks and Rec, ##### in Apt 23, Happy Endings, whenever Community comes back. And I've heard good things about New Girl and Ben and Kate.
   75. Sleepy supports unauthorized rambling Posted: October 18, 2012 at 04:24 PM (#4275639)
True, but why go after Apple customers? Maybe I'm old fashioned, but a straightforward ad that said "our product is better than Apple's for reasons x, y, and z" might be more effective.


They've been doing that for years, and it's been ineffective. Apple is selling iphones like hotcakes because they are "hip", and "cool", not because they are particularly technically exciting; pretty much any modern phone you buy these days is going to be awesome, and technical improvements are in the margins at this point. Samsung does a good job (imho) of attacking the idea that standing in line every year to buy apple's "only marginally improved, by design" equipment is "cool".

The stereotypes they are using are not deliberate attacks on anyone, since even though a lot of people are just like the people in that commercial, no one sees themselves that way. Scruffy hipster wannabe, fat deja vu guy, clueless girl; the point of the ad is to market to people who see themselves as *superior* to those people. Which is everyone, even if they are exactly like those people. (And if yuppy mom and dad are on to it, how cool can it be?)

The other point is to show that they can innovate too; while the "touch phones together" is a pretty lame trick, it's visceral. You can see it, and the girl's "when will WE be able to do that... thing? In the... next one?" brings it all home.

Is Springsteen singing "The Traaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnn" in those ads? I thought it was "strain." Admittedly, I am really bad at determining song lyrics.


I finally get gamingboy's "THIS TRAIN []" reference, lol. All this time I've thought Bruce was singing "History" ("his t'rey")
   76. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 18, 2012 at 04:24 PM (#4275640)
If the car simply flashed it's lights instead of the annoying beep, I'd be happy with that feature.
But a car that is going to honk 4 times in about 3 minutes? That's going to be really irritating...
   77. ASmitty Posted: October 18, 2012 at 04:26 PM (#4275645)
(Hyundai?)


Is it Nissan? I usually go by the voice-over. Jeff Bridges in Hyundai, and I don't recall him on that ad. I think it's Robert Downey Jr., who does Nissan.

In any event, good job identifying the product, ad people.
   78. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 18, 2012 at 04:26 PM (#4275647)
He's an undisciplined nerd? With that beard, I thought he was supposed to be a hipster.

Is that what they were going for? To me, he looks like a dork hopelessly trapped in 1974.
The guy has a really peculiar look. He could really be any of those things. I love his whole look, actually, the 1974 hair totally works, and I want that leather jacket he wears to fill up the car.
   79. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 18, 2012 at 04:27 PM (#4275648)
Plus there is a lot of good network comedy on tv right now. 30 Rock, Parks and Rec, ##### in Apt 23, Happy Endings, whenever Community comes back. And I've heard good things about New Girl and Ben and Kate.


I'm pretty sure the common factor in all those shows you listed (plus Modern Family and Up All Night) is that they don't use a studio audience or laugh track. It's much easier to run the jokes rapid fire (or build off them) if you don't have an unnatural pause for 2 seconds between each funny line.

There is a youtube video out there that runs an entire Friends episode where the studio audience laughing is replaced with silence. It's REALLY freaky seeing people stand around and say nothing in the middle of a conversation.
   80. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: October 18, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4275658)
Is it Nissan? I usually go by the voice-over. Jeff Bridges in Hyundai, and I don't recall him on that ad. I think it's Robert Downey Jr., who does Nissan.
You are correct, it is indeed Tony Stark doing that ad.
   81. hokieneer Posted: October 18, 2012 at 04:34 PM (#4275661)
Speaking of network comedies and Friends, I like what I have seen of Matthew Perry's new show Go On . We'll see how I feel after the first 3-4 episodes.
   82. JJ1986 Posted: October 18, 2012 at 04:47 PM (#4275686)
Plus there is a lot of good network comedy on tv right now. 30 Rock, Parks and Rec, ##### in Apt 23, Happy Endings, whenever Community comes back.


Happy Endings is the best. I haven't watched it while it aired, but I caught the whole thing over the summer. The jokes come at an incredible pace and its the spiritual successor to Seinfeld or IASIP where a bunch of ######## are ######## and no one learns anything or becomes a better person in any way.
   83. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 18, 2012 at 04:49 PM (#4275691)
I love his whole look, actually, the 1974 hair totally works, and I want that leather jacket he wears to fill up the car.


He looks like Alan O'Day making a video for "Undercover Angel."
   84. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 18, 2012 at 05:03 PM (#4275721)
The jokes come at an incredible pace and its the spiritual successor to Seinfeld or IASIP where a bunch of ######## are ######## and no one learns anything or becomes a better person in any way.
I think the friend relationships in Happy Endings are a lot more realistic than what you see in Seinfeld or IASIP. There's more of a traditional sitcom core there, to me. It is pretty much a giant whirring joke machine, I agree. I think ##### in Apt 23 is more properly the offspring of the amoral anti-sitcoms of the last two decades. Krysten Ritter's character is wonderfully unencumbered by normal humanity.
   85. Riki Tiki Javy Lopez Posted: October 18, 2012 at 05:09 PM (#4275728)
State Farm's 'french model' ad is the best of the bunch, IMHO. The dude saying 'bonjour' is hilarious.
   86. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: October 18, 2012 at 05:10 PM (#4275731)
##### in Apt 23


I saw an episode of this on a television, and Van der Beek was really funny on it. And in the season premiere, his attempted Dawson's Creek reunion apparently just ends up being Busy Philips showing up and insulting him. I'm really looking forward to it!
   87. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 18, 2012 at 05:12 PM (#4275734)
And in the season premiere, his attempted Dawson's Creek reunion apparently just ends up being Busy Philips showing up and insulting him.
I want to go to there.

(Most of the first season of ##### 23 is streaming on Hulu, by the way. The "Wedding" episode is probably my favorite. That and "Casual Sex".)
   88. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 18, 2012 at 07:22 PM (#4275958)
I keep seeing ads for Happy Endings and I know nothing about it. Given the raving in this thread I'm going to have to find a way to check it out on vacation in a couple of weeks.
   89. Lassus Posted: October 18, 2012 at 07:50 PM (#4276003)
I haven't seen Smiling' Bob in an awfully long time. It's too bad, I loved that guy, his boundless optimism was inspiring.

He went on to purchase a small-market MLB team.


I own an Android, and I think those Apple commercials would have been a lot better with more breadth (volume) and less attempt at depth. Sharing a playlist is something I should want? WhoTF cares?


I'd never heard of Happy Endings. I'm still crushed "Animal Practice" was cancelled. Although, to be fair, it did really really suck.
   90. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 18, 2012 at 08:04 PM (#4276021)
As it happens I used to work in market research, essentially testing commercials before air to see which ones were more effective than others. Many, many, many times we found that the hip, smart, funny commercials were less memorable than others because people were concentrating on the hip/funny/smart. As is nearly always the case, simpler is better.

Yep. This is one thing GEICO does really well. Their commercials are memorable but by repeating the memes you almost always know it's a GEICO ad right away. You never find yourself thinking, "hey that was a hilarious commercial, what was it for?" As a GEICO customer, I would say the commercials worked on me.

there are absolutely tons of ads for boner pills - including the stuff that smiling bob peddles

That company went out of business and the owner, Steve Warshak, is now in prison for fraud. Interestingly, Warshak is also the guy who founded Fathead (the vinyl self-adhesive posters). He was essentially forced to sell the latter company because the NFL would not give him a license to use their players, due to his connection with Enzyte and the allegations against him at the time.
   91. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: October 18, 2012 at 09:44 PM (#4276176)
Clone high


Oh man, that was a great show. How the hell did it get cancelled in the middle of it's first season? Stupid MTV.
   92. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: October 18, 2012 at 10:13 PM (#4276218)
The jokes come at an incredible pace and its the spiritual successor to Seinfeld or IASIP where a bunch of ######## are ######## and no one learns anything or becomes a better person in any way.

Well, IASIP is still running. Does that disqualify it from having a spiritual successor?

(As I was typing this I realized I'm in the process of missing this week's episode, but I'm not going to jump in 13 minutes late.)
   93. VoodooR Posted: October 18, 2012 at 10:50 PM (#4276273)
Remember in the early 90's all the advertising for collect call numbers? Whoever spent all that money on those ads might as well have just dumped the cash into a landfill.


I do remember them now that you mention it. They were all over the place for a while. Why was the money a waste? Did they not reap profits for a while?
   94. Howie Menckel Posted: October 18, 2012 at 11:28 PM (#4276311)

"In fairness, How I Met Your Mother sucks now."

I don't watch all that much TV.
I did see this show in its first year, and liked it.
Kind of lost track of it, and then eventually the reruns appeared on NY Channel 9, I think, 7 pm or so.
Come home from work, pop it on, I hadn't seen most of the episodes, but I knew who the characters were, and I enjoyed it - even when they were out of sequence.

Over time, I started realizing I had seen most of them more than once, so they grew stale.
Then last year I was surprised that the SHOW WAS STILL ON THE AIR!

I taped a couple of the new episodes this season.
It's like watching actors in their late 20s trying to play high school kids, and the scripts are even worse. The show always had some flaws, and I realize the wonders of syndication, but don't these now-wealthy actors have any sense of shame?

To be fair, if they never work again, those royalty checks might keep them out of the poorhouse, I suppose.

   95. MM1f Posted: October 19, 2012 at 12:28 AM (#4276342)
The commerical I find most annoying is one that might just be shown locally. I see it numerous times per game. It's an ad for a car that toots its horn when you come close to overinflating the tires. So this undisciplined nerd who bought one has the horn honking at him whenever he's about to go too far in any aspect of his life. The first couple of times it was just annoying. After several dozen more, I'm ready to kill anything close to me when I see it.


Oh, God that ad is the worst. It's the worst because I go to the kitchen or check my email or something when ads come on and then I hear a car honking every few seconds and I think my car has been broken into or someone is outside honking at me. Scares the heck outta me.

The other point is to show that they can innovate too; while the "touch phones together" is a pretty lame trick, it's visceral.


It is pretty lame. Whats the appeal of a technological trick that you have to be standing next to your friend to pull off?

You can see it, and the girl's "when will WE be able to do that... thing?


The way she bumps her fists there, as she says "When will we beat able to do that thing?", makes me giggle like a 15 year old because the fist bumping looks like some kind of hand gesture for boning.

That company went out of business and the owner, Steve Warshak, is now in prison for fraud. Interestingly, Warshak is also the guy who founded Fathead (the vinyl self-adhesive posters). He was essentially forced to sell the latter company because the NFL would not give him a license to use their players, due to his connection with Enzyte and the allegations against him at the time.


Not only is this a fascinating little story (how is someone the founder of both a poster company and a boner pill?), but Googling "Steve Warshak" brings up a story titled "The Rise and Fall of Cincinnati's Boner King," which is just a fantastic headline.
   96. thok Posted: October 19, 2012 at 06:20 AM (#4276389)
The GEICO "happy" ads seem so arbitrary at times. Why would a bodybuilder be happy directing traffic, since there are better ways to show off his muscles?

(Also, I'm bewildered by the "Does this plant have a small carbon footprint?" line in the Gallagher ad. It's a vegetable! It is specifically designed to remove CO_2 from the air and turn it into oxygen. If it doesn't have a negative carbon footprint, somebody is doing something wrong.)
   97. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 19, 2012 at 08:46 AM (#4276414)
Sharing a playlist is something I should want? WhoTF cares?


Exactly. It's a feature that nobody but a guy from Silicon Valley who designs phones for a living would ever want.
   98. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 19, 2012 at 08:52 AM (#4276416)
(Also, I'm bewildered by the "Does this plant have a small carbon footprint?" line in the Gallagher ad. It's a vegetable! It is specifically designed to remove CO_2 from the air and turn it into oxygen. If it doesn't have a negative carbon footprint, somebody is doing something wrong.)


The line's in there for people who hate and fear environmentalism and think that climate change is a big scam, but don't know enough about the actual science to speak the language.

It's probably written by the same guy who does science dialogue for Michael Bay movies.
   99. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: October 19, 2012 at 08:54 AM (#4276417)
If the car simply flashed it's lights instead of the annoying beep, I'd be happy with that feature.

I think you'd probably be disappointed in how effectively the headlights flashing is a help to you while inflating a tire during the day.
   100. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: October 19, 2012 at 09:03 AM (#4276425)
(As I was typing this I realized I'm in the process of missing this week's episode, but I'm not going to jump in 13 minutes late.)


Last night was a callback to "The Gang Solves the Gas Crisis". And it's good to have regular Mac (not Fat Mac) back.
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