(9 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
Every now and then we discuss this subject, but the last time that we broached the area I was not as good about finding video on line as I am now. This time instead of merely discussing the adverts, there will be in most cases the actual advert before the bulk of the discussion.
Whilst many adverts are annoying, a select few make my list of obnoxious ones. These fall into a few fairly well defined categories, but there is always the miscellaneous one. You must realize that what is obnoxious for me might be delightful to you, so this is necessarily sort of an arbitrary list. However, some adverts just cross the line.
I have grouped the obnoxious ones into these categories: the stupid husband or boyfriend, and by extension the smart wife or girlfriend; the precocious kid; the deceptive parents; obnoxious celebrities; offensive cartoons; and other. These categories are quite subjective, so feel free to suggest others in comments.
The common thread in most of these is that someone is a buffoon and that deception is often used. This not always the case, but far too often in. In addition to obnoxious adverts, there are the ones that are just stupid, and I have an example or two of those as well.
As a prime example of the stupid husband genre, here is the current Vonnage advert:
This advert is just about the epitome of the stupid husband genre. They chose the actor to play the husband well, with the gangly figure and the beard growth. It makes me wonder why, first of all, such a “smart” wife would have married him, second of all, why she would have sex with him, and third of all, what future the child has with such a stupid father. Sometimes Vonnage has amusing and even witty adverts, but this one is just obnoxious.
It does not have the element of deception in it. However, since it is so prototypical of the of the stupid husband genre is just obnoxious.
Another example is the Quicken Loan one shown here:
This one not only is the archetype of the stupid boyfriend genre, it also has the deception factor as well. The girlfriend has stolen his heart (after only a little beyond two weeks, another stupid thing on his part), and then tells him that she is dating his best friend. Thus, both she and his friend have been deceptive. I find this advert to be extremely offensive, and Quicken Loans should reconsider its agency.
There are many more examples of this genre, and I would appreciate any comments with your least favorites. I just have to move on here.
Then there are the precocious kid adverts. Those are not usually that offensive, but the ones that Verizon runs about Suzy and her lemonade are. Here is the first one in the series:
I do not know why I find this to be offensive, but I do. I guess that part of it is because a child well under the age to enter into contractual obligations is portrayed as doing just that, using a Verizon telephone. Here is another one:
Now she is a big executive, and adults are falling all over themselves to please her, and so are other kids. Note that the boy on the bicycle fits the stupid husband mold, since he does not realize that Verizon in all of its wisdom has already contacted her. Cutesy kid adverts do not work well for me.
Even more offensive are the ones that etrade runs, with the computer altered mouth movements where the toddler gives stock trading advise. These might the be the worst of the bunch right now. Here are two of the most offensive ones. The first one actually causes Lindsey Lohan to sue. This is a nice clip, because it also includes as the second clip one that borders on pornographic:
This series is offensive to me on many levels. First, there is the element of deception in that a toddler can enter into a contractual agreement. Second, in the first clip there is also deception about what the toddler was doing, instead of being with his girlfriend. It was the “milkaholic” Lindsey, and I also find that offensive because when this advert originally aired, Ms. Lohan, love or hate her but she is a real human who was having real problems, was used as a laughingstock. Third, in the second clip, it was borderline pornographic, and certainly more than a little suggestive that a toddler would want the link to a site where animals were mating.
This is really over the line. I think that it is rude, ugly, and at the least in extremely poor taste. etrade should do better, and get a new agency as well.
The deceptive parent genre is very widespread and pernicious. I have only one example to give you, and that is the one that Jello is currently running about the Chocobeast. I find it quite offensive, because parents are deceiving their children:
This one bothers me more than any of the previous ones because deception is shown by both the parents and the children. Sure, they should have not taken snacks out of the refrigerator without permission, but as a father of three, I NEVER expected anything in there to be sacrosanct. It was all food for the family. If the parents had wanted to keep it for themselves, they should have told the children that those treats were for mum and dad. Evidently they did not, and in the advert the mum accuses the children of STEALING! That is just wrong in a family setting.
Then the dad comes and terrifies the children, also a really bad thing to do. His reward is the thanks from the mum for terrifying them! This is just wrong on so many levels that I think that the Jello folks should apologize publicly and find another advert agency. I hold this advert in contempt.
I am going to go out of synch with the items in the introduction and skip to offensive cartoons. The ones with the red bears that pitch Charmin Ultra 2000 toilet paper:
I have been three times a parent, and can tell you with certainty that I NEVER inspected the butts of my children for toilet paper residue! Now, when they were in diapers, it was my, or the former Mrs. Translator’s, responsibility to assure that they were well cleaned, but after they were potty trained our inspection days were over unless they complained with irritation. This advert is just out of line. I can not imagine why the folks who manufacture Charmin would use such adverts. By the way, that is one of the most overpriced and underperforming toilet papers going. White Cloud, which does not advertise hardly at all, is a Consumer’s Reports best buy.
There are other cartoon adverts going, but not like in the past. Now we move to the ones that use “celebrities”. There are lots of them, and one that stands out is Robert Wagner, and his daughter, pitching reverse mortgages from Urban Financial Group:
What they do not tell you is that the money is expensive, and that a lien is placed on the home and if it is not paid, the home reverts to Urban. I think that his old role as the lead in the TeeVee show It Takes a Thief is well ingrained into him.
Not guilty either is Henry Winlker, aka Fonzie from the old series Happy Days. He pitches the same thing for another company:
This guy jumped the shark decades ago. But the most egregious one was from a former US Senator and failed Presidential candidate Fred Thompson:
He says that he is proud. Well, yes, proud that he is making money again by deceiving people. I find all of these to be deceptive and obnoxious. But we have a winner for the celebrity series!
The last person, and last topic for the evening is one of the most egocentric, foul, offensive, and obnoxious people ever, and he is pitching a product with dubious outcome. That would be the NutriSystem scheme. Even the fine print shows that the results shown are “not typical”. I have also found out from some research that, on average, celebrities get around $33,000 per pound lost, in addition to their facetime on the adverts. Here is the advert first, and then my tirade about this megalomaniac:
Why in the world would anyone take Terry Bradshaw seriously? Sure, he was a great jock. So? He is thrice divorced, is a megalomaniac, and from this early advert you can see that he is quite taken with himself. NutriSystem has kind of replaced this original with a less offensive one, but Bradshaw is still in it.
This guy is a big Republican supporter, loves Gingrich, and has called out Terrell Suggs for criticizing Tebow for his antics. Bradshaw also is employed by Fox, so that should be enough said. No one should buy anything that Bradshaw pitches. Any advert with Bradshaw in it is patently offensive, and the sponsor should be ignored.
Epilogue: (I always wanted to use that from the old Quinn Martin TeeVee shows). I have not joined in any Limbaugh boycotts, at least officially. Whilst I find him to be despicable, it is wrong to insist on him being removed from the foul air that he creates. He has a right to speak what passes for a mind. Unofficially, I have not bought Florida orange juice since he pitched it, have never patronized Pizza Hut since he pitched it, have never ever tasted Snapple since he pitched it, and on and on. It was a personal choice, not shouted from the rafters, but I have never bought anything that he endorsed to the best of my knowledge.
I do not believe in cutting off voices, as foul as they might be. Diverse voices are essential to a healthy democratic society (with a diminutive “d’), and I do not intend to be a part of any movement to stifle it. Whilst I disagree him almost all of the time, I defend his right to say what he says, although I do not believe that he believes what he says most of the time.
Daily Kos, and