Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Good, Bad, Annoying

I have had enough! Our government is fighting, with members individually attacking others "across the aisle" (or sometimes on the same side) in personal and completely non-productive ways. Washington state recently saw a brutal murder of four members of its law enforcement community. When I hear the vast majority of "commentators" (a term used here in the absolute broadest sense) on radio or TV, I have begun to feel sick. I wish to take a News-Hiatus, but I feel I should pay attention when the President speaks about continuing this war and whatever-the-hell else. Then again, maybe I'm not in the right frame of mind even for analyzing his speech or his actions. To put it frankly, the news is making me sick.

So let's talk about some FLUFF, shall we? I mean, the nitty-gritty of what really matters: celebrities acting out, holiday music, TV shows with a glorious lack of substance (except for humor; that's allowed), and such...

Does anyone know whether they still do the CLEO Awards? Isn't that what they used to call the awards for television commercials or advertising in general? I remember as a child I would watch something called the CLEO Awards; I recall seeing hilarious commercials rewarded during the program, as well as recognition for commercials that had become so well-known as to become a part of our social fabric in some way. Well, I haven't seen it on TV in years, but I have a lot of commercials that I would recognize!

Just go ahead and let me know: Am I unique or strange for watching commercials and really loving them (or really hating the bad ones)? I mean, I get into TV commercials; I am curious about and fascinated by the ways that people use to sell their product or service. I am amazed when I see something so NOT funny getting a lot of airplay, or even moreso, when I find that the ad is selling a lot for the company. Let me explain what I mean.

I HATE: There is a commercial with only two actors, an oldish man and a middle-aged-looking woman. They are walking through the halls of what looks like an abandoned Capitol building or museum. They are dressed in strict business attire, like full suits. We never see more of them than an odd view from above; it's nearly an aerial shot! As they walk, the woman's voice states something to the effect that their firm has effed up on something tax-related. Sorry, that's all I get from it. The guy simply asks what they are going to about it. This is when the woman says, "They're bringing in B.D.O. [indistinguishable]'s already on it." That's the whole conversation, and then a voice-over guy says simply, "Those who know, know B.D.O." Um, okay. I guess that I am not one of those who know. But if you are trying to sell your service, shouldn't you be addressing the fact that people look at that and have no effin idea what the hell you're talking about!

I LOVE: The holiday Garmin commercials. They brought endless joy to my TV watching last year, and I was so happy to see that they created a couple of new ones so far for this year. The ads always feature someone driving along through their town, with a voice singing a song to the tune of "Hark to the Bells." Only the words are changed into hilarious and frantic issues one faces while driving around trying to complete holiday errands. I remember the best part of last year's, in my opinion, was when the lady driver pushed a button on her Garmin GPS thingy to find the closest salon. As she did so, she glanced in the rear-view mirror at her eyes, while the song lyrics went: "Find salon now. Have a uni-brow." Most of the situations are silly, and it drives the point home perfectly and succinctly. As the ad fades to show the brand name alone on the screen, you hear a single young chorus-type voice: "Garmin-dot-com, Garmin-dot-com" to the fading tune of "Bells." I think these commercials are genius and also fun.

I'M CONFUSED: ...One commercial that I have recently begun to see on TV is for the Dodge Ram truck. As the truck is filmed doing all of these impressive turns and spin-outs and driving through mud and whatever, the voice-over guy is saying, "I am Ram. And my tank is full." It's obviously supposed to be the catchy slogan of the truck. But what does that mean? Why would that sell anything? The first time I saw it, I was with a friend, and we both agreed: "Don't remind us about the tank and having to fill it and the price of gas..." But it gets weirder. Interspersed among the footage of the truck maneuvering around are pictures of great minds from our history such as Albert Einstein. Is this just a blatant attempt at associating random, impressive people with the truck?! Am I meant to think Hmmm...If I buy a Ram, I'll be like Einstein (don't ask me how, I just will!)? The most offensive commercials on TV are the ones that insult my intelligence like that. So I won't be purchasing a Ram anytime soon.

And finally, I have had a love-hate relationship with that "Progressive Lady," as she is commonly called. Do you know who I mean? She's very chatty and made-up, a characature of a perky sales woman. And she does the ads for Progressive Auto Insurance. I used to be really annoyed by her, but I have found her funny in the more recent ads I've seen. I mean, I don't fall out laughing, but they are cute and amusing. However, while taking an online consumre survey recently, I realized that I had never put the ads featuring this lady (whose voice and visage I could now recognize anywhere) were indeed for Progressive. I marked on the survey that I could not recall seeing a TV ad for Progressive! It was only a few minutes after I completed the survey that I saw one of these commercials on TV. And I noticed for the first time that they are ads for Progressive. Weird.

Well, in conclusion, I am just a person who finds TV ads infinitely interesting. Am I the only one?


Anonymous said...

I love when that Progressive lady insults that guy's "purse"...and his reaction. Too funny! I too love an Ad. Of course the holiday ones get anoying fast.The Ram one....I totally agree. WTF? I have strong opinions of commercials but sadly can't get my mind to come up with a good example. Nuts!CLEOs....love that!I know it's an international thing which makes it especially great! Don't know if they still do them but I bet they do. Love to you!

TerminallyUniq said...

Ha ha!!! YESSS, the "purse" one is my favorite I think! Thanks for visiting my blog :)

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me those Garmin commercials blow that stupid song makes me want to gouge out my eardrums! UGHHH!