Archive for the ‘advertising’ category

“The General Skunk” Commercial

April 3, 2020

                  

      When a woman in a commercial for The General insurance appears about ready to drive a newly-purchased vehicle off a car lot, she is met by the unlikely duo of Shaquille O’Neal and The General, the latter a cartoon pipsqueak in military attire sporting an enormous white moustache.  

        You’re not ready to drive without insurance,” cautions Shaquille.  “That’s as crazy as starting a skunk farm in your backyard!”  The admonition seems to trigger a traumatic memory in the woman. We flash back to an image of her apparently in her yard being advanced upon by over half a dozen skunks.  The woman extends her palms at the advancing skunks in an effort to keep them at bay.  “Easy, Petunia!,” she cries to one, “Back up!,” she beseeches…but her efforts are in vain, as we are shown a fleeting image of the skunks raising their tails, about to spray the woman.

        Flashing back to the present, the woman is now happily engaged in procuring insurance from The General.  “Smell you later,” she says to those bad memories as she departs…

          



        Dashlane’s “Password Paradise”

        March 24, 2020
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        In our scary times, perhaps we’ve all been thinking a bit more about Charon lately…you know, the dread boatman who ferries souls across the River Styx to the afterlife in Greco-Roman mythology.  He looks a lot like the grim reaper, clad in a cowled, all black,  shroud-like garment.  Charon would be perfect as a goth or performing in a heavy metal band.  In our Dashlane commercial, the River Styx is a suitably forboding, mist-veiled river where strange birds cry out mournfully, and our nameless “Everyman” passenger is none too happy about being ferried on his final journey…he even attempts to bribe the Boatman with money!  But then, things brighten up, and a radiant light breaks through the darkness in the distance…this looks like an afterlife possibly worth going to, and our voyaging soul smiles in anticipation for the first time!

        But wait, there’s a catch for our departed soul…Charon, who as per tradition never speaks but only looks grim and spectral, prompts the man for a password by holding up one of those whiteboards that you can write on with marker.  As the boat’s passenger struggles to recall his password, Charon even thoughtfully gives him prompts via the board, such as “Name of kindergarten teacher,” and “Name of first pet?”  The man fumbles trying to recall his password, even giving the spectral figure the name of a later pet, causing Caron to try to redirect the man through gestures and underlining to the fact that the password response requires the name of his first pet…but alas, all is in vain as the guy has utterly forgotten his password, and no amount of prompts are going to help him, otherworldly or not.  After three tries, Charon dramatically throws his board into the River Styx, for the man has exceeded the number of his allowed prompts.  The man gives off an epic cry of “Nooo!” when realizing the gravity of his plight; yep, it’s password purgatory, baby, and abandon all hope ye who enter here.  Too bad our hapless lost soul didn’t have a password manager such as our advertiser Dashlane would provide.  Eternal damnation is a high price for a bad memory, and many of us know that special Hell.  I can certainly relate…

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        Carfax TV Commercial, “Shrubs”

        March 22, 2020

        Our Carfax television commercial begins with the Car Fox, a personal hero of mine, standing in front of a pleasant, tidy little house with an attached garage and a car in the driveway. A large shrub is alongside the Car Fox, but all is not as it appears. Before the Fox can say a word, the shrub sprouts feet and a face, an adult male inside!

        Is the guy heavily into camouflage, early to test out a Halloween costume, or seeking to hide from the Coronavirus? – -Nope, nope, and nope; he and his family are simply so ashamed of overpaying for a used car that they are afraid to show their faces in public! Alas, if only they had looked up a Carfax first to determine an appropriate price for their used vehicle! His wife and two kids are also clad as shrubs, and amble off with the gentleman as the ad concludes. I do hope that there wasn’t any poison ivy lurking amidst their assumed foliage!

        I’m reminded that shrubs may be of great significance. In Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the Knights of Née could only be placated by shrubbery, so perhaps such outfits may be of value after all…and Car Fox, you’re unflappable and lookin’ good as always! Don’t you just want to scritch his head?!

        Chantix Turkey Commercial, “Snow Turkey”

        February 26, 2020


        The Chantix Turkey is at it again in his Eddie Bauer-type winter finery, engaging in a genial snowball fight with another turkey that appears to be a juvenile and in some sources is referred to as being his child!  I never thought of this turkey as having a mate; he seems too happy and care-free for that, but I’m not programmed with the dynamics of turkey-bonding, and prefer not to go there.  The presence of another turkey and perhaps turkey-unions also expands the notion of a universe inhabited by turkeys, as was glimpsed in a previous commercial that showed a journey by our hero into a city where he interacted with other turkeys.  Perhaps this turkey race refer to their planet as “Butterball” or even more darkly as “Fowl World,” but that’s pure speculation…

        At any rate, following a brief snowball battle conducted from snow forts, the turkey selects a wingful of split logs from a neatly-stacked pile, and moves inside with them through his tidy garage.  The wood is to fuel a nice fire going in the turkey’s fireplace, and the turkey even selects a good book from his shelf to aid his cozy repose before those comforting flames.  Before settling down in his comfy chair, the turkey even performs one of his trademark heel clicks to celebrate his liberation from the cigarette habit through Chantix, for the only thing smoking in his home will now be the fire…

        Perhaps one of the contestants on The Masked Singer will someday be costumed as a turkey, and give us a smokin’ performance of Turkey in the Straw, or something similar…and I look forward to more glimpses of how evolution has run a strange course on this Planet of the Birds, perhaps one of the supposedly many parallel universes existing alongside our own…

         

        “Mr. Peanut” Dies…Or Did He?!

        January 27, 2020


        Many of us know geriatric nuts, but Mr. Peanut was one of a kind…I mean, how many anthropomorphic peanuts do you know?!  The brand icon, whose full name was Bartholomew Richard Fitzgerald-Smythe, is a strange candidate for a staged death, being more recognizable than his host brand Planters.  He’s anchored the brand for over a century, and is instantly recognizable by his top hat, cane, monocle, and spats.– How many people do you know who wear spats?

        In a recent commercial, Mr. Peanut is riding in the Nutmobile (what else?) with Matt Walsh and Wesley Snipes when they swerve to avoid hitting an armadillo, and their distinctive ride careens over a cliff, leaving the trio hanging in a comic book situation from a branch that is slowly cracking, too weak to support their combined weight.  Mr. Peanut, perceiving their dire predicament, sacrifices himself for his friends, voluntarily loosening his hold to drop from the great height onto the Nutmobile, which explodes.  It appears to be a tragic but noble death…or have we jumped (or dropped) to conclusions?

        The “funeral” of Mr. Peanut is to be aired as a Super Bowl commercial spot, at which time many questions will be answered about the fate of the “ruthless capitalist” who sold his own people!  Will he germinate when placed into the ground, to come back in some new incarnation…or perhaps be replaced by his daughter, Ms. Peanut?  Inquiring minds want to know…

        (Tip o’ the pen to Carycomic!)

         

         

        Chantix Commercial, “It’s Time to Quit Slow Turkey”

        January 13, 2020


        Well, the holly-daze are over, and the winter doldrums are upon us…and just like many of us, the Chantix turkey in a recent commercial fights boredom by finding ways to fill his time.

        And fill his time at home he does!  He gets his mail, watches fish in an aquarium, and even works on a jigsaw puzzle…I could never get into that.  The turkey even takes to his kitchen, and makes some kind of concoction in his blender that includes (what else) a generous infusion of bird seed.  The Chantix Turkey can take his time, ‘ya see, to quit smoking slow turkey…

         

        Since the Chantix turkey lives in a nicer home than I do, I wonder how he earns his living…and disturbingly, I have something in common with him.  No, I don’t smoke, but I also need to get a life…and wouldn’t the Chantix Turkey at Home be a better reality series than most that are now on?  I’ve watched far worse bird brains…

         

         

        Geico “Man Cave” Commercial

        January 9, 2020


        Forget your articulate and genial “window bear” commercial.  In this Geico offering, the bear is much less anthropomorphic, and is physically in a house, trashing it…

        A well-to-do middle-aged couple sits on recliners in their beautiful home, each watching separate tv screens.  “He wanted a man-cave in our  new home,” begins the woman, “But she wanted to be close to nature, so we met in the middle,” adds the man.  The scene then widens to reveal a true cave entrance in the dwelling wall, out of which emerges…a bear, who making growling bear-noises slowly advances on all fours into the room.

        “Look who just woke up!,” comments the woman brightly.  “You are so cute!,” she says to the bear, who advances to the refrigerator and noses it open, the door eventually winding up detached several feet off to the side as the bear stands upright and begins to messily forage within the fridge, physically shaking it and retrieving a bottle.  Foodstuff is strewn on the beautiful hardwood flooring…

        “You got it!  You are so smart!,” the adoring woman commends the bear, who sloppily consumes the drink.  Apparently this bear, like some people’s dogs, can do nothing wrong.  It seems that one thing the couple could agree upon is getting help from Geico homeowners insurance.  From the mess that the bear is leaving, they’re gonna need it!  Their cost of regular major appliance replacement alone has got to be astronomical…