Archive for the ‘absurdities’ category

Progressive’s “Checkout” Commercial…

November 16, 2018

Perhaps he’s just big for his age…the man/child riding in the kiddie seat of the grocery cart in the Progressive “checkout” commercial, that is.  He’s a bad boy, too…showing the grocery store employee his toy dinosaur, drinking milk directly from a carton, spilling out a bulk food container chute, and throwing items snatched from the shelf on the floor.  You’ve seen poorly supervised brats in supermarkets doing things of this sort, and more…but have you ever seen a guy in his thirties pulling the same stunts?  Talk about a case of arrested development…

…we are later shown the character called “babyman” in daycare, a Goliath among his peers, as he sits nonchalantly on the floor dressed in bib overalls, enjoying a snack, and later becoming visibly startled by a “pop-up” book.  “Act your age!  Get your own insurance!,” gruffly admonishes the announcer in this commercial encouraging millennials to chart their own course and question insurance decisions that their parents might have made.  Iconic spokesperson Flo is nowhere to be seen…

Perhaps the babyman could use a little firm correction from Flo during his more inappropriate moments, and possibly even a spanking…of course, he might enjoy that, and we don’t want to venture too far into the adult baby fetish thing lest absurdist humor become creepy…

  

KFC “Chicken and Waffles” Commercial..

November 12, 2018

When you’ve seen KFC icon Colonel Sanders in his trademark white suit dancing with a human-sized animated bottle of Mrs. Butterworth’s, you’ve seen pretty much everything, or at least need to cut back on the recreational drugs. It’s not that I’m judging them, you see, and the Colonel is surprisingly light on his feet, at one point hoisting Mrs. Butterworth aloft in a performance worthy of Dancing With The Stars. They are, after all, promoting chicken and waffles at your KFC franchise, and I wish them every happiness together…

The commercial spoofs the “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” dance scene from the movie Dirty Dancing. The dance moves aren’t quite as spectacular as those in the original choreographed scene, however, in large part because a bottle of syrup doesn’t have, well, legs. One must work with what one has, I suppose, even if the end result is kinda surreal and freaky. I’m cool with that, although if I start dancing with my syrup bottles I’ll be ready for institutionalization. One also must presumably take care to separate bottles of Mrs. Butterworth’s from Aunt Jemima’s lest a sticky business develop. I don’t know what extremes syrup bottles might be capable of, after all, either as rivals or co-conspirators…

The POM Worry Monsters…

November 6, 2018

I’m no stranger to Worry Monsters; we’re intimate associates, actually. It’s just that I never imagined them looking quite as they are depicted in commercials for POM Wonderful juices. Managing to look both disturbingly human and grotesquely cute at the same time, these monsters look like rejected prototypes from a Disney/Pixar movie, or perhaps toys for children that you hate. They’re covered in pastel-colored fur, have distorted or exaggerated facial features, and monster appendages like horns and pointy ears. There are scarier monsters in real life American politics, nudge-nudge, wink-wink!

The underlying notion seems to be that as you get older you worry more about your health, so you turn more to things like running in the case of the male profiled, or yoga in the case of the female. But if you drink POM Wonderful juice that boasts ingredients like pomegranate juice, you’ll worry less about your health, and your Worry Monsters won’t be either as bothersome or as potent. The blue furry monster pursuing “Jake” in our commercial is winded, not able to keep up with his running, and the only fear that he can cast to his charge is over chafing. “Julie’s” purple-hued yoga monster bewails the fact that she can’t spend quality time pouring over the Internet with her host over diseases that she might have. These are ineffective, underutilized monsters with issues, you see. Perhaps they need to see Dr. Phil; that might make for memorable viewing…

…one might fantasize about the Mountain Monsters crew plugging one of these critters during a search for Bigfoot; heck, they’d probably wear their hide as a vest to the hoots of their fellows over the pastel shades. And when it comes to inner demons, I’ve stopped fighting with mine…we’re on the same team, now! So eliminate those free radicals, people, and remember to VOTE! It’s never been more important…

“It Happens to All of Us” Laxative Commercial…

October 29, 2018

The world of commercials for toilet paper and, ahem, laxatives is a strange one indeed.  Frankly, it is a place that I prefer not to go for fear of encountering toilet paper-obsessed bears, or perhaps the Phillips woman jumping up on a bus and shouting, “Who suffers from gas?  Bloating?  Constipation?”  In approaching such a personal and delicate topic, however, advertisers have been driven into the realm of the memorably absurd.  Today’s exhibit centers on a Colace commercial entitled, It Happens To All Of Us.

Wisely, the advertisers have chosen the world of animation to deal with this topic.  In bright and cheery pastel tones, we are shown such things as a plump bird straining fruitlessly to poop on a passing car.  A dog being walked by his owner whines in his defecation crouch due to constipation.  And most memorably, an alien waits impatiently outside of the door of some kind of sanitary facility, frowning.  Constipation…It happens to all of us, you see…dum dum DUMM!

Now we are not told why the alien appears to be holding a rolled-up newspaper underneath his arm; I would have thought that an advanced race would have long since transcended such retro technology.  But perhaps this image gives insight into why aliens are reputed to conduct anal probes on abductees…they are researching the constipation problem. Perhaps we will also someday learn the truth behind all of the cattle mutilations, so watch the skies for constipated aliens this Halloween!

(…tip o’ the pen to carycomic!)

 

The Grim Reaper of Home Appliances…

September 8, 2018

I, for one, fear the Grim Reaper of home appliances. My grief was great when he came for my hot water heater, leaving me $800 in the hole for plumber bills and heater replacement. Death, there is thy sting, right in the wallet!  Oh, the suffering budget, the anguish, the gnashing of teeth!  It was not a pretty sight…

…and so I can appreciate the trials of the poor woman in the American Home Shield commercial who answers her door to find the Grim Reaper paying a call, the icon hovering complete in smoldering black cowl.  As the dreaded black specter advances, our housewife understandably freaks out.  “No, it can’t be!  I’m not ready!  I do spin class!,” she protests, sinking to her knees in supplication.  But the Reaper advances further, his bony finger extending to indicate that his target is not the woman herself, but rather her large stainless steel refrigerator/freezer!  Now understanding, the woman protests “What? The refrigerator! – – Oh come on!  Do you know how much it cost me?  You’re killing me!”  Then the lady decides to rephrase her unfortunate choice of words, but death is implacable.  As the refrigerator shakes in his otherworldly powers, the announcer tells us how all of our appliances will eventually die, but their plan will see to their replacement.  For good measure, the Reaper decides to take out our hapless lady’s home central air system too.  It was a full day’s harvesting, apparently…

When the Reaper comes for me, I’m going to say “Oh happy day!”  No wait…that’s what I’m going to tell the aliens…

 

Kayak TV Commercial “Shark…”

July 22, 2018

 

Imagine performing dentistry on a Great White Shark…now that’s a toothy business!  This shark is reclining on a dental chair, too, although there’s no need to tell him to open wide…his maw gapes enormously, and is full of razor-sharp teeth.  In the Kayak commercial, you can even see the shark’s tail moving slightly.  The attending dentist doesn’t appear too worried about his unusual client, however, just going about business as usual.  An observing guy in the background comments that the dentist appears confident.  A woman also in the background agrees, but adds that he doesn’t appear Kayak confident as she is, with Kayak having searched hundreds of sites for her to find the best flight.  It’s “search one and done,” you see…

Now being offbeat, I fantasize about crossover commercials.  Picture one featuring the Kayak shark, and the Aspen Dental dentist.  “You really should take better care of your teeth,” the Aspen Dentist might lecture the Kayak shark, who perhaps deliberately in spite ate a whole box of Oreos before visiting the dentist.  “Cancel the rest of my appointments for this afternoon!,” our Aspen guy might add before settling undaunted into the task of cleaning the hundreds of teeth before him. Dentistry soldiers on…our unsung heroes.

Or imagine Progressive Insurance’s agent Flo trying to sell insurance to the shark, who would only listen so long before snapping at Flo in frustration.  Cobra-like, Flo would whip safely away before chiding the shark that he didn’t have to snap her head off.  Flo has impressive survival skills, you see, enduring being marooned on a desert island with only a “name your own price” tool in a commercial that recalls a Tom Hanks film…

“Frozen Aisle” Aspen Dental Commercial…

July 4, 2018


While visions of Hell usually emphasize a hot, burning place, horror can be found in many locations, and the image of a dentist emerging from a freezer case to snatch someone back into its unspeakable depths suffices nicely.  Like this dentist, the emissaries of the netherworld can also be charmingly seductive…

Our Aspen Dental commercial begins with a woman and her self-absorbed hubby prowling the aisles of a generic supermarket while she complains about having to pay for her dental services, whether or not she’s happy with them. “There has to be an easier way,” mutters hubby, his eyes never leaving his paper.

Thus summoned, the dentist rolls out of the adjoining freezer case, complete with frost and icicles on his body and dental chair…chilling!  While the woman gawks and hubby continues to read his paper, the dentist from a frozen hell begins his spiel.  “If you’re looking for easy, look no further,” he advises as he tells the woman of Aspen’s money-back policy on dentures.  Next the woman is happily in the frosty dental chair; “That’s pretty easy!,” giggles the woman. “Easy said, easy done!” agrees the dentist as they are retracted back into the freezer case which closes. – –Abandon all hope,  ye who enter here?

Clueless hubby finally looks up from his paper, obviously totally unaware of where his wife is or what has just gone on.  I’m sure that those of us who are in or once were in a relationship can relate…