Archive for the ‘advertising’ category

Mayhem’s “Elf on the Shelf”

November 21, 2019

What could be more seasonally festive than Dean Winters as Mayhem performing the Elf on the Shelf routine?  Beginning with an idyllic and well-decorated living room Christmas scene with subtle background music playing, we are shown the absurdly human-sized Mayhem elf in cutesy elf-attire sitting on the proverbial shelf, one which was clearly not designed to support his weight…

“I’m the ‘Elf on the Shelf’…and thanks to your ‘woodworking skills,’ this is about to get a whole less jolly!,” cautions Mayhem. There is an ominous cracking sound, and then down comes the shelf, with Mayhem and all…electronics sputter and crackle on the floor in their death throes around him, the costly gifts now ruined.  A dog on a chair whines as Mayhem laughs and reminds us, “and unless these are protected by Allstate, this little mess-up is going to cost you big!”  The narrator’s voice then kicks in, telling us that with an Allstate protection plan offered through Walmart, your electronics can be protected from breaks, spills, and other Yuletide mishaps.  

Prone on the floor, Mayhem then fields an electronic device of his own to call out.  “Elf down, elf down!,” he advises…and after being hit with Xmas promotions since October, I’m ready for a Mayhem Xmas special!  Maybe this Mayhem Elf and the pre-redemption Grinch could get together for a feature-length film for the Xmas-weary, perhaps titled Revenge of the Consumers!  And how about a sequel to this commercial, like Elf in the ER? Merriment ensues at General Hospital as doctors try to treat an uninsured, supernatural being dressed in absurd, felt clothing who calamity follows…

 

Allstate’s “Mayhem: Mother-in-Law” 

November 20, 2019

Many of us have had the experience of driving with a distracting or troublesome passenger, some so irritating that you can barely drive for wanting to choke the life out of them.  Well, Dean Winters and Tina Fey have another Allstate commercial gem that probes the potentially vexing relationship between a mother/daughter-in-law, with “Mom” judgemental and dispensing lots of unwanted advice…

Winters, who can play anything from a car thief to a raccoon to a cat, morphs easily into the mother-in-law role, wearing earrings, applying blush and lipstick, and mercilessly needling the driving Tina Fey with caustic and critical barbs about her driving and other things.  “I’m your mother-in-law,”  Winters advises viewers at the onset, “and I have to question your every move!”  

Question this mother-in-law certainly does, such as “Do you have to drive this slow?”  Turns out that Tina Fey is observing driving safely in conjunction with the Allstate Drivewise app to get insurance discounts.  “How did you make someone I love?!,”  questions Tina Fey.  The nastiness continues…“My son always did say that you were the ‘safe choice,’ ” carps Mother Mayhem.  “And that’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me!,” replies the long-suffering daughter-in-law.

After admonishing Tina Fey to try her lipstick as it was her son’s favorite color, Mayhem can’t resist asking her daughter-in-law why she drives like an old lady.  “You’re an old lady!,”  Tina Fey reminds her meddlesome passenger.- – Ahh, family!  Blessed be the ties that bind…and gag!

 

 

 

Allstate’s “Mayhem: St. Bernard” Commercial

November 18, 2019


Don’t worry; Foxsylvania hasn’t gotten into some kind of kinky sexual thing here.  It’s just Dean Winters as Mayhem impersonating a 70-pound St. Bernard dog as he tries to distract driver Tina Fey as she resolutely pilots her vehicle. All of the uncontrolled puppy behaviors are depicted; affectionately licking his owner (after eating his own poop, fortunately not shown), thrashing materials around with his mouth, and barking out the window at other (real) dogs in cars…

…and why does Tina Fey have nerves of steel?  She’s using Allstate’s “Drivewise” app to qualify for a discount as a safe driver, and Mayhem’s “tongue on cheek” performance isn’t going to deter her.  He is, after all, just a baby…and Mayhem may have met his match, although he certainly seems to be enjoying himself…

 

 

The Sparkle Fairy in, “More Towels, More Ribs”

November 12, 2019


I’ve always considered the Sparkle Fairy to be in that rarified class of people (entities?) who are cool yet disquieting at the same time. Progressive insurance’s Flo I would include in this grouping, although she lacks supernatural powers.  I’m not sure that I’d like to encounter the Sparkle Fairy in my supermarket or elsewhere, although she seems mostly harmless.  To give proper credit, however, she wears blue really well, and some people even consider her hawt.  I also appreciate her general vibe and “fish-out-of-water” characteristics.

In a recent commercial, a guy is pigging out on ribs, a messy meal, and wishes for more paper towels to assist in this.–PrestoThe Sparkle Fairy appears, and announces that her product now offers 200 more sheets than a leading competitor’s brand.  “I wish I had 200 more ribs!,” pines the hungry guy.  Obligingly, the Sparkle Fairy makes those ribs appear on his table.  Smitten, the guy proposes marriage on the spot.  “I’m into Giants,” advises the fairy matter-of-factly.  To each their own, I suppose, and who am I to judge?

In my twisted mind, I can envision a paranormal investigation show going in search of the Sparkle Fairy and perhaps baiting a trap with paper towels. When thus captured, the fairy’s anger is unleashed and serious dark enchantments ensue, with many turned into newts. Hilarity ensues…

Movie Night with Casper the Friendly Ghost…

October 21, 2019

I’m not a big fan of Casper the Friendly Ghost.  It’s not that I have anything against him, it’s just that I prefer my ghosts to be scary if not outright terrifying.  Casper may be friendly, but I find that annoying, and so he is to me in this Geico commercial, in which young couple Kurt and Jill are preparing to enjoy a movie in the living room of their new house…

“I can’t believe it,” says Jill.  “You can’t believe that our house is haunted by ‘Casper the Friendly Ghost?,'” replies Kurt.  At that moment, Casper enters the scene, cheerily greets the couple, notices the movie, and enthusiastically invites himself to go get some snacks.  He then returns with popcorn, announces the other varieties of it that are available, and sits or hovers there on the sofa back between them, stuffing his face and making a pig of himself.  Jill then clarifies herself to say that she can’t believe how much money they’ve saved on their car insurance with Geico.

Perhaps the couple could invest some of those savings to hire Ghostbusters to get rid of this pest, who even chews loudly.  This ghost is a milquetoast, not a proper haunt, and his cuteness gets cloying very quickly…

 

d-CON Refillable Bait Commercial…

October 17, 2019

d-CON is in the strange position of making a product that most people hope not to need, but want to buy if they need it, and in advertising for their rat and mice control products have now as in the past taken a whimsical approach.  In the past they have shown a clearly human actor clad in an obvious mouse costume, in one ad being told by a woman that he “disgusts (her),” to which the mouse responds, “Prove it!”  

In a recent commercial, we’re shown instead some almost cute puppet mice at a social gathering, most likely set in a kitchen.  The hostess mouse remarks to a guest that she sees her guest has found the snacks, that mouse responding that “she must have the recipe!”  The hostess replies that everyone thinks she made the treats, but really they were made by d-CON.  There is then a thunking sound as the guest falls to the floor, leaving the clueless hostess calling for her friend, “Judy?”

Mice love d-CON to death, you see…and isn’t it curious how people love cartoon mice, but not the genuine article in their homes?

 

Chantix “Cold Turkey: Skyscraper”

October 10, 2019

In a recent Chantix commercial, the now familiar Chantix turkey visits the observation floor of a skyscraper on a windy day, finding the temperatures a bit chilly for him as he emerges from an elevator.  The turkey then retreats, returning in a jacket and taking in the sights from his vantage point, even availing himself of the coin-operated viewer common at such locations and at one point looking directly at the viewing audience from the apparatus!

Being an anthropomorphic turkey, our boy actually takes a “selfie” from his location, observed by a pigeon in the background who looks and behaves conventionally for his species. There is no communion of the minds or small talk taking place between these two birds; they are not “birds of a feather,” since we’ve previously even seen the turkey driving a vehicle and living in a rather nice house.  One wonders if the turkey would become irate if the pigeon were to poop on his vehicle, and perhaps be driven by stress to fire up a cigarette again.  That doesn’t take place in this installment, for the turkey, successfully weaned from tobacco, throws into a trash can the pack of cigarettes that he apparently carried in his jacket. Then the turkey clicks his heels (or whatever passes for them on a turkey), and returns to the elevator for his descent from the skyscraper.

With Thanksgiving drawing nearer, I do hope that our turkey can steer clear of opportunistic hunters, although it probably wouldn’t be hard for him to outwit Elmer Fudd…