Archive for the ‘television’ category

Liberty Mutual’s “Emu”

March 18, 2019

For many years now, insurance companies like Geico and Progressive have been producing clever and memorable commercials to tout and lure us to their services. Arriving a bit late to the commercial fray, Liberty Mutual has now produced commercials that incorporate an animal representative in the rather unlikely character of an emu

These ads invoke the “buddy cop” series of the 1970’s, exemplified by such shows as Starsky and Hutch; Robert Blake’s series Beretta even included a cockatoo as Beretta’s companion.

In the Liberty Mutual commercials, the bird becomes even more of an active partner, riding shotgun with his human partner Doug while wearing aviator sunglasses! Called the LiMu Emu, this bird rocks, although in the Reflections ad he does have a bit of a problem interacting with his own image in a window glass, showing those bobbing, weaving, and pecking behaviors that birds sometimes manifest when confronted with reflections that they consider to be another bird.  Partner Doug explains that the LiMu Emu spends so much time time interacting with humans on insurance customization that he doesn’t know quite how to respond to another bird, but that he’ll “figure it out.”

Now I know how to distinguish my own reflection, but do confess to a weakness with distractions posed by shiny things.  At any rate, we can rely on the new dynamic duo of the LiMu Emu and Doug, and as Beretta might have reminded us, “Keep your eye on the sparrow…”

“Power Thru Overtime” Jack Links Commercial…

March 15, 2019

Subtitle: “When meat eaters ruled the seas…”
(Scene: In a commercial we are shown a Viking longboat on a wine-dark sea, the sky likewise brooding and elemental. But what is this? Only one Viking warrior remains conscious trying dutifully to ply the oars, her crew mates passed out from fatigue or perhaps mead. She is weary, for the hour is late…but fortunately, the warrior has a powerful ally in Jack Links Beef Jerky! She bites off a healthy mouthful (not at all daintily), and is empowered! Bigfoot appears in the stern of the longboat, and begins to lay down a powerful and quickening beat on his massive drum to set the rhythm for the lone rower. She is empowered, and roars lustily, the very model of a Viking shield maiden! A raven perched on the railing joins in the cry, and the sleeping crew begins to show signs of life. — On to victory for Odin, mighty warriors!

We then flash to the office habitat of our modern female warrior, successfully fighting the battle of after-hours office fatigue with her Jack Links Jerky. Empowerment is delivered, and Bigfoot enters the office to break the wand of the custodian’s vacuum, because sometimes only destruction will express the mood!- – Rawrrr! – –Meat will apparently deliver this one through overtime just as it delivered the Vikings past treacherous seas. It is good to know that their unconquerable spirit lives on!

Geico’s “Lobster Hot Tub Party”..

March 11, 2019


I have often walked past the lobster tank in my local supermarket, pitying the poor doomed creatures within and wishing that I could set them free, like some kind of crustacean messiah. In a recent Geico commercial, I can imagine one such liberated lobster enjoying his freedom, sitting in the corner of a hot tub, his claws spread wide as he enjoys the tub jets. There are also two newlywed humans in the far corner of the tub with him.

“I can’t believe it!,” says the guy as he looks at his phone. “That there’s a lobster in the tub with us?,” questions his new wife. It seems that the guy is more incredulous about how much they saved on car insurance with Geico, and how easy it was to do it. The mellow lobster, voiced by H. Michael Croner, asks if the couple is staying at the hotel, and congratulates them when he learns they’re newlyweds. Marriage is not for him, however, as he’s afraid of committment…he’s been boiled alive! The hotel chef appears at this point, looking for the lobster and causing him to duck underwater. We can understand when the lobster reappears, and proclaims that the chef is “the worst!” If you look carefully, the lobster appears to redden somewhat as the commercial progresses…

This cool crustacean can hang out in my bathtub anytime, and should the Lobster Liberation Army ever stage it’s move, I’m maintaining my innocence…

 

 

 

 

McDonald’s “Fillet-o’-Fish” Returns…

March 7, 2019

Our McDonald’s Fillet-o’-Fish commercial begins on an icy boat in some frozen fishing waters where a crewman is playing a familiar theme on a recorder. Suddenly the ship’s radar signals an approaching image, which turns out not to be a school of fish but a yellow submarine!  Surfacing, out from the yellow submarine pops not the Beatles but a Jacque Cousteau look-alike, who is holding a tray heaped with Filet-o’-Fish sandwiches.  The commercial even throws in one of those aggravating Billy Bass-type mounted electronic fish novelty items from a few years back, who is pleased to sing you the McDonald’s Filet-o’-Fish song, and leave it to rattle around maddeningly inside your head while you beg it in vain to stop…

…and why is McDonald’s bringing back Filet-o’-Fish advertising now?  Well, they sell 40% of their fish sandwiches each year during the Lenten season, and the Golden Arches are just fishin’ while the fishing is good.  And I’ll bet that some of you owned a singing Billy Bass fish on a plaque, or knew someone who did.  The ones I most encountered sang Take Me To The River, which memory is already playing inside my head…good song, but make it stop!  

“The Masked Singer” Concludes…

February 28, 2019

After nine episodes, The Masked Singer concluded its first season on February 27th, that episode clocking in at an inflated two hours. The first hour was a recap of the contestants previously unmasked and eliminated, leading down to the three finalists of Monster, Bee, and Peacock. My enthusiasm for the series dwindled when Rabbit (Joey Fatone) was eliminated in the semi-finals, which I think was caused by his later selection of materials, none of which generated the excitement of his first performance of “Livin’ La Vida Loca.” No one really wanted to hear Rabbit sing “My Girl” or perform a country number, although he reportedly remained in character even when on breaks during rehearsals, and I felt that he and Peacock best incorporated dance and stage presence into their performances.  Perhaps these guys could continue to perform as their costumed characters; I’d go to a psychotic Rabbit concert!

I was rather surprised that Bee (Gladys Knight) came in third, with the Peacock (Donny Osmond) coming in second…this guy is an underrated performer!  Monster (T-Pain) won the top honors with his soulful croonings, and seemed to be a sentimental favorite despite being nearly eliminated in an early round.  

The series was weird stuff, but we are living in strange times for which the antidote may be this kind of freaky escapism…and by the way, The Masked Singer has been renewed for a second season, to begin at an unspecified date…

The “Banana Splits” Murders…

February 21, 2019

 

I, for one, am not surprised that the Banana Splits gang are finally going homicidal; they always were rather surreal, shady, and oddly disturbing, and one knew that there had to be something more darkly seething under the surface than what they wanted you to see.  

For those of you who just fell off the turnip truck, the Banana Splits were an oddball creation of Sid and Marty Krofft, and were people costumed in cheap fursuits with unchanging and unmovable faces that presented themselves as being a gorilla, elephant, dog, and lion on kiddie television episodes that aired from 1968 to 1970, continuing afterwards in syndication for a decade. They were supposedly a rock band, and a typical segment might involve them running madly about before running into one another and falling down. Their theme song was extremely annoying, but an ear worm that could play inside your head, driving you to madnessIt was the ’60’s, after all, and we didn’t know any better.

Anyways, the Syfy channel is bringing back the Banana Splits for a movie in which a boy and his parents go to a taping of the old show when things take a turn for the worse, and the body count starts rising. I’ve always suspected that this moment would be coming…

“Better Butterfinger” Commercial…

February 14, 2019


The Butterfinger brand has been bought out from Nestle by Ferrero, who have amped up the brand and its slogan with an alien presence in a new commercial.  The trademark admonition that “Nobody better lay a finger on my Butterfinger” has been said by many over the years, including Bart Simpson.  Last uttered in 2012, the slogan has now been updated to “Nobody lays a finger on my better Butterfinger!

In the frenetic ad, a yellow and blue alien (Butterfinger colors) escapes from a lab, helps himself to a dusty Corvette, and goes on a thrill ride with a hitchhiker he picks up who happens to be selling alien T-shirts!  The wild ride ends with the alien using his telekinetic powers to help himself to a Butterfinger bar, after which he proclaims the revised slogan.  

I saw this commercial for the first time after watching a recording of a Project Bluebook episode, and then seeing LaToya Jackson revealed as the Alien character on S1/Ep7 of The Masked Singer.  I think that the powers that be are trying to tell me something…

(Tip o’ the pen to Cary Comic for the idea for this post!)