Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ad In, Ad Out

With David gone, I’ve been watching his TV more often. And being a gifted observer of life, I can’t help but notice some things.

Like commercials, for example:

Professional driver on a closed course. Thanks to my not-so evil twin’s massive flat screen, I can actually read the disclaimers at the bottom of automobile commercials. And they’re ridiculous.

A car spins and skids across the street into a tight parallel parking spot. A truck uses its brakes and a massive chain to bring a landing plane to a halt on the runway. A pickup careens through rough terrain and finds itself in Loch Ness.

The companies selling these vehicles—or more specifically, the lawyers in said companies—feel the need to tell us these are “professional drivers on a closed course.” Often they will add the line, “Do not attempt.”

Why? Does the disclaimer really keep YOU from throwing an industrial chain on your truck to stop a moving plane?

The Commish of the More Taste League. One of may favorite ads in the past six months features John C. McGinley as the fictional commissioner of the fictional More Taste League (which apparently exists only to force 20-something white males to drink the very real Miller Lite).

If you are not familiar with McGinley, you should be. From his first movie role 20 years ago in Platoon and his turn as Charlie Sheen’s stock trading buddy in Wall Street to his performances as one of the Michael Bolton-loving “Bobs” in the classic Office Space and his wiseass character Dr. Perry Cox on NBC’s Scrubs, he rocks.

Line for line, pound for pound, dollar for dollar, he is the greatest actor of our … nay, of ANY generation.

As “The Commish,” he verbally assaults non-Miller Lite drinkers. And it doesn’t get any better than his trademark tone: sarcastic, slightly frustrated, and completely lacking humility.

Seasonique birth control. Split screens representing split personalities are a simple rhetorical device, never used more effectively than in this commercial for Seasonique, the pill that gives women fewer periods.

I’m riveted. One facet of this brunette’s personality, the spunky “Emotional,” saunters about on the right side of the screen while wearing a revealing booby shirt. She grins like a fun-loving coed, praising this new, different pill that lets her bleed less—and have menstruation-free sex more often.

So far, so good.

Meanwhile, the “Logical” persona of our heroine occupies the left side of the screen. She sports a tired ‘80s haircut, wears her argyle sweater over a neck-to-wrist plain white shirt, and scowls at “Emotional” while delivering lines like, “You KNOW how I feel about ‘different!’”

Later in the ad, “Logical” sits upright in her plain white chair, searching on her latop, without any apparent feeling, for medical information. She looks every bit the librarian—and not in the junior-high schoolboy wet-dream fantasy way.

“Emotional,” on the other hand, sprawls in a fuck-me pose on the fuck-me cushion of her fuck-me comfy chair. She even casts furtive glances at “Logical” as if to say, “If you weren’t my doggish alter ego, I’d rip off that travesty of a sweater and do you RIGHT NOW!”

The message is clear: Logic is boring and asexual but emotion is hot and horny. This ad sure could use some disclaimers.

Left side: “Do not attempt.” Right side: “Do me.”


At October 30, 2007 10:50 PM, Blogger Death Warmed Over replied to my musings ...

There are no greater comercials than the Viagra and Levitra ones.

I like how the men get excited that they will no longer have Erectile Disfunction. The disclaimer should be: "despite taking this pill your wife of 20 years still won't want to have sex with you."

I also enjoy the calm matter of fact disclaimer admonishing you to seek medical help if your erection lasts more than four hours.

A four hour erection with a woman who still doesn't want to have sex?

Sounds fun.

At October 31, 2007 8:37 AM, Blogger Stacy The Peanut Queen replied to my musings ...

Oh thanks for this this morning. You just made me think of that hideous "Viva Viagra" commercial. That kills me!

At October 31, 2007 11:32 AM, Blogger Nessa replied to my musings ...

Cars, alcohol and sex - I think you covered all of the important stuff. These commercials just give young children i-dee-ers. Bad, very bad.

At October 31, 2007 2:46 PM, Blogger Tai replied to my musings ...

"Does the disclaimer really what keeps YOU from throwing an industrial chain on your truck to stop a moving plane?"

Well, now that put it that way! NO!
The only reason I haven't tried that is because I don't have a truck. Or chain. I could probably find a moving plane, though.
You're right. Disclaimers do nothing!

At November 01, 2007 7:58 AM, Anonymous whatigotsofar replied to my musings ...

I would very much like to be one of those professional drivers. They get to drive all the coolest cars without having to deal with traffic.

At November 01, 2007 3:13 PM, Blogger DaBich replied to my musings ...

Tell Mr. Amulet...Crosby is BETTER than Ovechkin ...

At November 01, 2007 9:30 PM, Blogger Jenn replied to my musings ...

"Why? Does the disclaimer really keep YOU from throwing an industrial chain on your truck to stop a moving plane?"

Hahahha! THat was funny shit.

As for Logical and Emotional, why does it have to be from one extreme to the next? Where's the inbetween kinda gal? So the pill is like viagra for women?

At November 02, 2007 2:47 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

DWO: Leave it to you to find the real issue behind the Viagra ads.

PQ: I avoided the "obvious" ads, the ones that get ripped on the most. Viagra certainly qualifies.

Nessa: That's the one reason I like the ads--they expose kids to the real world. Well, as real as ads can get ...

Tai: Thanks for pointing out my typo. It has been corrected. I think disclaimers are really, really dumb. Is that obvious?

WIGSF: I'll fight you for the job. Dangerous? Sure. Fun? Damn right!

DaBich: We can agree that these two are among the best in the league. Right?

Jenn: I always pictured you somewhere in the middle. Us Tool lovers aren't fully emotional, but you're not exactly all-buttuned up, either.

-- david

At November 02, 2007 5:07 PM, Blogger The Phoenix replied to my musings ...

I love all of the funny Bigfoot commercials. You shouldn't piss off Sasquatch.

At November 02, 2007 5:36 PM, Blogger Phats replied to my musings ...

OK so I totally thought this was going to be a tennis post, I was so excited. Maybe how my favorite player tested positive for Coke at Wimbledon and chose to retire.

I like that musical cars commercial, it makes me smile.

At November 02, 2007 10:47 PM, Blogger Lee Ann replied to my musings ...

That is funny. You picked that commercial apart the same way I pick apart those erectile disfunction commercials.
All of those symbolic actions to represent an erection...wild!!!!

Have a great weekend!

At November 04, 2007 1:36 PM, Blogger :P fuzzbox replied to my musings ...

Good ads but you didn't mention my fave. Jack Link's 'Messin' with Sasquatch' is hair by hair the funniest ad campaign ever.

At November 05, 2007 3:12 PM, Blogger Lindsay replied to my musings ...

At November 05, 2007 11:50 PM, Blogger Phats replied to my musings ...

don't forget your picks are due by thursday :)

At November 06, 2007 6:26 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Phoenix: I'm waiting for a "Bigfoot Meets Nessie" commercial.

Phats: A tennis lead, yes. Like a bad serve, it just didn't go anywhere.

Lee Ann: We should seek work as professional ad critics.

Fuzz: You and Phoenix are eye-to-eye. That one is hard to make fun of.

Lindsay: I'm curious, but not curious enough to click on your link unless you introduce yourself.

Phats: I just got back in town last night--I'll get to them tonight!

-- david

At November 06, 2007 5:54 PM, Blogger Perplexio replied to my musings ...

I'm waiting for a Geico commercial where the Cavemen are driving a car and run over that Gecko with the pretentious British accent.

As for the birth control ad you speak of-- the fun one is definitely more appealing but if the logical one let down her hair and took off her specs...

And with the recent passing of Robert Goulet I'm really going to miss those Emerald Peanut commercials. I came to look forward to Robert Goulet showing up at 3pm every day to "mess up my stuff."

At November 08, 2007 11:52 AM, Anonymous LisaB replied to my musings ...

David's alter ego is starting to remind me of Fuzz ;-)

At November 09, 2007 6:30 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Perplexio: I welcome any ad that wipes out that pissy little lizard.

Lisa: Wouldn't it be funny if it turned out that Fuzz was actually the author of all of our favorite blogs?

-- david

At November 09, 2007 6:30 AM, Blogger tworabbitshow replied to my musings ...

Excuse me... "verbally assault NON Miller Lite drinkers"???? Surely you have that backwards. Miller Lite drinkers should be thrown from a moving plane on an industrial chain.

At November 10, 2007 1:04 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

TRS: Sure, I'd rather have McGinley do Guinness ads, too!

-- david


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