Talk about commercials : LUSENET : Xeney : One Thread

Which ones do you love? Which ones do you hate? How much do you think advertising affects you?

And was that Salon article hilarious, or what?

-- Anonymous, March 24, 2000


If it is on TV which is being referred to.........that and most of the programs content are the reasons I quit watching TV. Ads in papers and magazines, I can read or pass up. With TV I am a captive audience. So to heck with it.

With apologies to fans of TV who wouldn't miss a minute of it and those who earn a living at it. That is just ;m own bag.

-- Anonymous, March 24, 2000

I like the idea of commercials which show characters in other TV shows--like when the cast of Friends would be sitting down to watch whatever was on next. It helps to further the question of how the characters interact with their world--e.g., why didn't anybody walk up to Tom Selleck's character on Friends and tell him he looked just like Magnum, P.I.?

I hate, hate, hate commercials which pitch to their target audience by pointing out that they're morons and they need this product to cover their asses. Like those billboards for churches which say, Think of it as Strength Training for the Weak-Minded. Oh, great. Now I'm weak-minded. Being underconfident wasn't bad enough. Or the Sprite commercials: Obey your thirst. Ignore commercials. Except this one.

Trained dog commercials generally make me stop in my tracks and stare slack-jawed at the screen. I can't get my kids to do some of the things these dogs are doing.

-- Anonymous, March 24, 2000

Ooh, I have a confession to make. I usually hate commercials, and never watch them, but there's this totally corny commercial that I absolutely love:

it's for some sort of Volkswagen (I think the Cabrio) and it's these four friends driving on a country road at night in their convertible, and this nice music (I wish I knew what it was) is playing and they're all looking up at the sky and there are zillions of stars, and it's so beautiful, and they're all just looking at each other and smiling and stuff, enjoying the sky and each other's company, and then they get to this party they're supposed to be going to, but when they get there, they all just look at each other knowingly and decide not to go in, and just to keep driving around and looking at the stars and listening to the nice music instead.

I know this commercial is totally cheesy, but whenever it comes on, I'm compelled to watch it. I guess it reminds me a little bit of high school when I used to drive around with my friends a lot late at night, and because we lived in the country, there were often lots of stars. Between the everpresent fog and the light pollution, San Francisco (my current place of residence) has a serious dearth of stars.

-- Anonymous, March 24, 2000

Jen, we love that commercial, too. Jeremy loves it because they never show people in a convertible driving at night -- it's always sunshine, by the ocean. Nighttime is the best time for convertibles. We really miss that, so the commercial makes us nostalgic.

-- Anonymous, March 24, 2000

The sock puppet


-- Anonymous, March 24, 2000

Hey, I have a question about that Cabrio commercial that Jen mentioned....what IS that music? I can make out some of the words, but not all, and I'm not familiar with the music. I like it though--I like it a LOT. Does anyone know if it was especially commissioned for the commercial (it doesn't SOUND like that to me, it sounds like they're using some other person's music) or an outside song roped in for the commercial? If the latter, does anyone know the name of the song, the artist, and the CD we can get it from?--Al of NOVA NOTES.

-- Anonymous, March 24, 2000

I'm on this very secret-agent panel where a particular company sends me videos of commercials and asks me to screen them, give my opinion, etc. I just saw a real cute one a couple days ago that I hope ends up getting used... basically, it's a dog food commercial. A single woman and her dog live alone, and she gets these dates over the internet. Before she lets them in, the dog answers the door and screens them out. Then one day the woman is sitting at the park and the dog sees a potential good date walk by, so he uses a kid's nearby jumprope to trip the guy. Heh. This is probably proprietary information, um, so don't go telling everyone where you heard this from. Heh

Some of the commercials i screen are SOOOO lame though. IT's a good thing they ask people their opinions before they spend money on some of the crap they come up with. It makes me wonder how some of the commercials DO make it through, geez.

-- Anonymous, March 24, 2000

The artist is Nick Drake and the song is called "Pink Moon". It's from the early 70's and the whole CD, also entitled Pink Moon", sounds just as good.

I don't know how many Cabrios are being sold by that commerical, but a whole lot of Nick Drake music is being sold!

-- Anonymous, March 24, 2000

Thank you, Elayne. You've made my day---that's been driving (no pun intended) nuts for DAYS. I'll look him up. Never heard of him, but I can see that's my loss.--Al of NOVA NOTES.

-- Anonymous, March 24, 2000

I absolutely hate the 1-800-call-att commercials with David Arquette. I hate them with a white-hot hate.

Last year, it seemed there was a rash of commercials that featured clowns. I hate clowns and could never understand what the clown had to do with the car. I'm glad that trend has abated.

I enjoy funny commercials. My recent favorite was for McDonald's. Open with a boy playing with his fluffy white cat, teasing it with a bit of string. Close with a shot of the boy, leaping for french fries just out of his reach, and the cat grinning like a maniac.

That article was a hoot. I want a job like that. Guardian of an advertising icon.

-- Anonymous, March 24, 2000

"I don't speak for the Doughboy". Heh.

-- Anonymous, March 24, 2000

This is an old one, but you all probably remember it. Levi's Wide- Leg jeans.
A little skater guy with big, big pants is wheeled into an operating room. Whoosh. Bleep. Whoosh. Hum. Beep. He opens his eyes and pulls the mask off his face, and starts to sing.
"I've got to -" beep beep "-run away, I've got to" - whoosh - " get away."
All the surgeons and nurses join in singing Tainted Love - oh, that one's a classic.


-- Anonymous, March 24, 2000

I hate nearly all car commercials. They emphasize things I don't care about in cars, like style and luxury and safety. All those ads with people whizzing around on open roads or off roadin' in trucks annoy me. Better to show a car that's comfortable and doesn't overheat when you're stuck in traffic.

I hate ads with any kind of grossness like burping or dripping food, or for embarassing products, but we've gone over that already.

I like that Cabrio ad too. There aren't that many I can say I love, though.

That article was great. I've already forwarded it to a couple of friends who are totally into pop culture.

-- Anonymous, March 24, 2000

Re: the Salon article- Oh my god, that's so disturbing and yet hilarious! That Doughboy guy (Ready?) was OBSESSED with this imaginary walking dough and his imaginary personality...y'know, it worries me that all these stupid pitchcharacters can have no flaws whatsoever, or Heart Attack Central on the parts of the... whatever positions you'd call those. Does anyone REALLY consider the Doughboy their helper, teacher, or friend? Even five-year-olds? (I personally resent him because his belly button "whoo-hoo's!" have inspired many people to poke ME in the belly button, and I hate that). Do we really bond with that leprechaun? Anyone even notice the Green Giant? My favorite spokescharacter was the Energizer Bunny. Didn't speak, just rolled right in, beating his drum, doing a little twirl, and having attitude =)

Commercials I love: Those with personality (flawed characters, if you will ;), that assume I have actual intelligence, that are just funny. I've also noticed a liking of QUIET spokescharacters (see Bunny, as well as the Bud frogs before they brought the annoying lizards in- at least the frogs only did a syllable each). Stuff they show on the Clio Awards is excellent, and I'd actually not go to the bathroom just to watch those. *Sigh* Why can't all ads be that good? Seeing as I missed the Super Bowl entirely this year, the last really good commercial I remember on TV was the GI Joe-esque/Barbie/Ken/car one a few years ago. That's just cool. Or the one with the insane Sunshine character chasing a family around going on about how he's filled with goodness, while the mom falls, her daughter pauses, Mom yells, "RUN!" -hehehhe. Also love parody commercials =)

Worst commercials: Ones advertising for "women's stuff"- i.e. cleaning crap, pads, things involving children. So fake, phony, perky, I'm going to be ill. (Which is why I like that Sunshine one above). "Not so fresh feeling" makes me shudder to this day. Also "the itch so private" product I couldn't figure out until I taped and paused and read the box up close- anal itch cream. Bleah! The worst I saw ever for sheer incessant annoyance was one run in the Bay Area by Channel 7 news, in which a tourist family headed by this CHEESY guy drive around S.F. and see the newsvan around town. "So, we took a ride around the bay, and there's that newsvan again!" (Repeat about 8 times). Also featured a pathetic shot of the suffering wife trying to use chopsticks and eat out of a box, with the guy narrating "There's Rose eating sum dim! Ha!" Goddamn, it annoys me to this day. No brain cells used there!

Does advertising affect me much? Rarely. I'm going to buy the product I need irregardless of the ads (and I try to ignore ads as much as I possibly can). Unless I see something in an ad that I truly haven't seen before, I won't go buying something new. Though if an ad's REALLY bad I might just avoid the product out of perverseness.

-- Anonymous, March 24, 2000

I love the Cabrio ad too. Definitely takes me back... I also get a big kick out of the "Money Out the Wazoo" commercial. Hee hee...! Just thinking about it makes me laugh. Sock Puppet is good too.

The one ad that I absolutely cannot stand to watch is for Pepsi One. I think. You've all seen it, I'm sure. It's where everyone is so engrossed in their reading material that they don't even notice which sliding soda can they're drinking from. It's gross. All those germs and that stranger backwash. Nice.

-- Anonymous, March 24, 2000

i can totally relate to just about everything most of you are saying (the ones you like, etc.) because I am a commercial FANATIC! Most of the sitcoms and shows I can do without these days (except ER), they're just getting so incredibly corny and annoying. But the faves are the really witty ones.

The old one where all the kids aspired to be losers ("I want to be a brown-noser. I want to be a yes-man!"). That was just too funny! Unfortunately, the current commercial is artsy-fartsy awful!

Another graduate of last year's Superbowl, the commercial where they shoot hamsters at the "O" in the Outpost sign. How's that for branding? I had no idea what they were for, but it was less than hour before I found out. The best part was at the end telling people to send them complaints. Kitschy!

If you missed the Superbowl this year, you didn't miss much. I was disappointed to see that they've lost it. Can't think of a good one.

And for pure nostalgia, I chuckle over the new Mikey commercial. They're all grown up!

As for car commercials, yeah they usually suck, but there have been some pretty cool ones (the current Cab commercial included). Remember the one with the couple driving through New Orleans and everything was happening to the beat of the song they were playing? If you ever got to see it in it's entirety is was pretty neat, but then they had to go and hack it up to complete uselessness. Bummer. I hate it when they take a really great one and hack it up. VW usually has very hip commercials, although I think they totally missed the boat with the new Beetle spots. Annoying. I actually bought the CD from the couch one. Da-da-da. It's pretty bad, but I do kind of like that stupid song.

What I've been waiting for many years though, too many, for that stupid annoying Energizer Bunny to be tortured, killed and turned into an Easter Bunny Pie. I've got dibs on the head!

The article was a hoot in a very surreal way. Those people are completely certifiable. "After all," Callcott and Alvey write, "who is better qualified to judge baking dough than a piece of dough himself?" As they say, you are what you eat...ewww!

-- Anonymous, March 24, 2000

I really, really liked the Flip Top Head commercials for Reach toothbrush. I have no idea why, but that cracked me up, every time. I love the M&M commercials, they're cranky and naughty and bad. I'm going to hell for this, but I like the Gap Khaki campaign, too. Whee!

On the hate list, I -hated- those commercials "The Mommies" did for Dial soap, god those women are irritating. And I boggle at the new Tampax campaign. . . gleeful cheerleaders leaping, then "Tampax was Here." Which, of course, brings to mind the alleged state of the scene had those cheerleaders not used Tampax and. . . ew.

As for what's effective. . . I am a total sucker for toothbrush commercials. I have no idea why, but I see a new bendy-special texture-wear and tear color strip-whatever doomajiggy, and I want one. I need one. I usually end up buying one. I probably have fifteen toothbrushes.

-- Anonymous, March 25, 2000

Nick Drake is one of my favorite artists and I'm so happy that commercial is causing his music to be rediscovered. He lived a short and mostly sad life, but his music is beautiful.

I don't have anything to add about commercials, but I wanted to add my support of Nick Drake.

-- Anonymous, March 25, 2000

The funniest commercial I have ever seen is one that my friend downloaded from the Internet. It's a European commercial. Here's the description for your enjoyment:

(Camera focuses through car windshield). Nice wholesome family (2 adults and 2 elem. age kids), clean, pressed, and ready for the day get into the car. The father turns on some music for the drive into town. Nice, funky music. The family nods along to the music. Then you hear the words, "I wanna f**k you in the a**! I wanna f**k you in the a**!" The family finds no cause for concern, but continue to nod their heads. Then, words flash on the bottom of the screen entreating you to learn the English language at ___'s Language School!

-- Anonymous, March 25, 2000

Carol, I love that commercial!

You can see it on the web here, but it's about 8MB long, so you either need to have some time on your hands or a really fast connection. But it's worth the wait!

-- Anonymous, March 25, 2000

for some reason I like all the Dentyne Ice commercials.

The latest commercial is my least favorite though. I think because of the eyes of actors. They are fairly ordinary. Maybe they hired a different ad agency for that one.

-- Anonymous, March 25, 2000

I love the Ruffles commercial (atleast I think it's Ruffles) where the guy comes to the door asking for stuff just so he can get more chips. Why do I love it? Well, when the bald guy asks for a hairdryer, that's pretty funny. But when the guy whose chips get stolen goes to the door with gloves and throws them down, I can't help but giggle. Everytime, it never fails.

-- Anonymous, March 25, 2000

The Apple "1984" commercial is the best ever made. A few months after seeing it I paid almost 3000 1985 bucks for one.

The best commercial I've seen in a while hasn't shown on TV. It is for, a site for product reviews I found about from our gracious hostess. You may have seen the horrible "breast pump" ad they are running.

They sent out 35 cameras to some of their site users and had them make commercials based on reviews they had authored for the epinions web site. One of the runner ups is an iMac review. I don't think you've ever seen a computer review quite like this one:

Epinions has paid me almost $100 for my reviews, so God Bless venture capital.

-- Anonymous, March 25, 2000

The one that's really bugging me right now is the guy who wants some sort of laptop, and has a voodoo doll with which he tortures the only guy in the company who has that kind of laptop, and then at the end of the commercial this delivery guy gives him the laptop he wants and says something like, "Everybody's so jealous of your laptop" and then it shows the mailroom cart running over a voodoo doll of the original guy. You know, when I describe it, it sounds kind of funny, but the ad itself drives me bonkers.
The Tainted Love ad is a classic. I love that one. Another one I just adore is the one with the cat sneezing and all its fur flies off (I think it was for allergy medication).
I have a friend who has worked on a number of ads (not as an actor, but in the background doing special effects and stuff) and she told me: the way they got that cat to cling to the ceiling was to make a dummy of the cat with its nails embedded in fake ceiling and film it upside down. The dummy had a white disc where the head was supposed to be, then they filmed the real cat with one of those white cones around its neck that doctors use to keep them from biting out stitches, so they could splice the real cat's head onto the dummy. I found that kind of spooky but really neat.

Joanne ( It's kind of gross, but absolutely hysterical!

-- Anonymous, March 25, 2000


You're right! That is a funny one.

-- Anonymous, March 26, 2000

It's because of that Volkswagon commercial that I've been on a Nick Drake obsess-fest this past week. I had seen it a few months ago and thought, my god, that's it! That's exactly what it's like to be young and it's the end of summer and you're driving at night, with your friends and no one is saying a word, you don't have to, because the music is enough. This week, for whatever reason, the music caught my attention.

(Aside: the other Salon article in which they go on and on and ON about how Napster is ripping artists off - well, they can go pound sand. After finding out that it was "Pink Moon" by Nick Drake in the commercial, I logged on to Macster and downloaded a bunch of Nick Drake songs, all of which I loved. I then went to Virgin MegaWhore and bought "Fruit Tree", the box set, laying down - happily - $45. I don't who gets the proceeds for Nick Drake anymore, but hey, here ya go. I'd spend more if I could.)

Anyway. I was squirming, reading that article. I work at the digital arm of a huge, international ad agency and every word of that article is painfully true. Reading the style guides for brands is often painful, involving gape mouthed awe at the minutae for a product or a product icon. It's bizarre stuff. I don't think they fully understand that the public does not take this stuff as seriously as they do. I'd still buy Pillsbury products if the Doughboy smoked crack while snogging one of the M&Ms in a commercial. I'm not in it for the spokesthingie - it's all about the cookie dough.

-- Anonymous, March 26, 2000

I'm not in it for the spokesthingie - it's all about the cookie dough.

Okay, the line before this was pretty funny, but THIS one made me snort my coffee up my nose. That hurts, by the way.

I think it ought to be someone's sig file.

-- Anonymous, March 26, 2000

Hey, do you Nick Drake lovers have a suggestion as far as which CD we who are new to Nick Drake might start with?

-- Anonymous, March 26, 2000

"Pink Moon" is the best, I think, but as it was his last album and made while he was in the throes of a massive, immobilizing depression, it sounds rather different than his earlier two albums.

So, start with the debut, "Five Leaves Left". That's some good stuff. The horns in "Bryter Layter" are hard to get used to, but it's still a good album.

-- Anonymous, March 26, 2000

I have been itching for a commercial thread for weeks now just because of my latest favorite.

WARNING! WARNING! New mom typing here. (=

My absolute favorite commercial right now (god, I can't believe I'm tearing up just thinking about it) is this absolutely GORGEOUS commercial that is shot in black and white.

It has all of these scenes of children and the voice over is a child. He's saying: "Cradle me. I'm yours. (god, I'm bawling now) My eyes. Yours. My heart. Yours." And a few other parts.

During the part where he says: "My heart. Yours" it's this scene of this little girl in a field. She has her eyes closed and her arms held out to the side and the wind is whipping past her and she just looks like she's flying. It's so beautiful and I can't believe how hard I'm crying just typing about a darn commercial!

The commercial itself is for "The first five years of a child's life are the most important." It's a PSA, I think, but it's so beautifully done I love it to death.

Obviously. (=

-- Anonymous, March 26, 2000

another nick drake fan putting in my $.02. oddly enough, i just started listening to him recently, but it had nothing to do with the cabrio commercial. i didn't even realize that was him until a couple weeks ago (i tend to tune out the music in commercials).

i'd recommend "pink moon," even though it is different from his other two albums. the extraneous strings and other instrumentation on "five leaves left" and "bryter layter" can't hold a candle to just nick + guitar.

-- Anonymous, March 26, 2000

I love the anti-smoking PSAs that wind up with the catch line, "Only one product kills 1/3 of its users." The bungee-jumping spot where three kids leap off of a bridge and grab a can of soda (the third can explodes with fatal consequences) was great. And no fair cross- referencing this response with my high score on the serial killer test.

My second favorite ad series was for the Virginia Lottery. Whenever the pot got really big because there hadn't been a winner for several weeks, the Lottery would run a commercial about how Lady Luck was looking for her wand (the idea being that there hadn't been a recent lottery winner because Ms. Luck didn't have said wand).

In each spot, someone had got hold of the wand and created unexpected consequences. Once, it was a dog that ran off with the wand and magically lined the streets with fire hydrants. Another time, the wand was in for repair and the repair man was hesitant to turn it back over to Lady Luck. In the last shot of the commercial, you could see that he had half-transformed himself into a chicken and was obviously hanging onto the wand until he could reverse the spell. Maybe you had to see them to appreciate them, but they were great.

-- Anonymous, March 26, 2000

Commercials, the glue that which holds together television, or something far too deep for the topic at hand. I enjoy mastercard commercials, they are priceless. Let's see, I like VW commercials, aren't they clever? And what is up with Mentos commercials because, I must say, they have the lowest budget I have ever run across. The only commercials I realy HATE are the makeup ones with Shania Twain. I can't remember what brand that is, but she is one annoying person. Let me tell you..

Jen Chaos Theories

-- Anonymous, March 26, 2000

LOL! I am really liking the swiffer advertisments. The ones with the dancing/singing army men. :)

-- Anonymous, March 27, 2000

Oh gawd, Shara, YES!! I love that one too!

And not because it's incredibly clever or anything, but just because those army men all seem so, so, so... Comfortable with their sexuality as they're singing and dancing about a cleaning product.

I wonder how many military folk had complete heart attacks when they first saw that commercial. It makes me laugh every time.

-- Anonymous, March 28, 2000

It's so wierd; I had just started listening to Nick Drake a couple of months before that Cabrio commercial came out. A friend had put the cd in while we were commuting to work one morning on a perfect rainy day, and I just fell in love with it. And when I found out he was a late 60's early 70's guy, I called up an ex(musician)boyfriend and yelled at him for not telling me about Nick Drake sooner :)

Anyway - I just about fell out of my seat when the commercial came on with Pink Moon. That ad just does it for me every time. They've captured that feeling perfectly. I tend to hit the VW website once every couple of weeks to watch it. Just get my little fix of warm summer nights.

Oh - and yeah - that "it's all about the cookie dough" line was pretty damn funny :)

-- Anonymous, March 28, 2000

That water commercial makes me giggle every time. Its the one where the older woman tries to pick up one of those insanely heavy water containers that go in a dispenser. She fumbles it and it catapults down a starway, then it quick pans to an older guy walking up the stairs about to get slammed by it. Something about the way the water ricochets off the sides of the stairwell and the look on the guy's face just kills me...

-- Anonymous, March 28, 2000

The VW suite of ads for the Bug and the Jetta. The Philips ads with the "It's Getting Better All the Time" jingle.

I like commercials that are kind of funky around the edges.

I hate most other car commercials and ads for fast food chains. I also hate, choose brand X over brand Y commercials. Who cares? People will most often use either what was familiar/parents used or whatever is on sale that week at the grocery store.

-- Anonymous, March 28, 2000

Now, I'm as much for young girls with surgical enhancements whoring themselves out to major corporations as the next gal, but I almost wept when I saw that new Pepsi commercial with Britney Spears. Not that I held much stock in the stout moral fiber of Ms Spears but when Bob Dole came on the screen, well, a little part of me died. I have always respected that goombah, that whole war hero and house majority leader thing and what not, but to see him sitting with his dog eyeing that pop-tart was just mortifying. I would have expected this of Clinton, but good gracious... I can't go on. I need to wash the dirt off.

-- Anonymous, April 05, 2001

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