Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dairy Queen Commercials

Hi, folks. I just saw this:

Yeah. I've actually seen it before. In fact, I worked on one of these new "man-friendly commercials." I worked on this one:

Huh? So, they chose a mascot who has traits similar to Chuck Norris? It doesn't make sense. They took the phrase "so good, it's ridiculous" and then decided to make a ridiculous commercial. But, even ridiculous needs to have some sort of grounding.

Another one:

I want to like it. I do. But, what I can't help but think is that they are jumping on the same train that the Old Spice, Dos Equis and Axe Body Spray commercials have engineered for several years now. However, it feels like they're not the only ones to attempt to cash in on hyper bravado advertising. Machismo, ridiculous machismo, can be pretty funny. And, as we all know, funny is memorable and pleasant memories are what ad execs want you to think when remembering their product.

Except, I think we've been inundated with manly man-ness lately and I feel like DQ pulled this change up out of no where. I mean, I feel like they just had the disembodied mouth ads running and now have switched to this mustachioed mascot out of know where. And the set-ups feel like thet were suggestions written by teenagers and pulled out a hat by, well, Chuck Norris. Well, maybe not Chuck, himself, but his nephew.

I mean, why??

I want to laugh, but it's so bizarre that it makes it too silly. I feel like they've taken the subtlety out of what makes silly humor sellable. Clearly they are trying to hit a demographic - the "grew up in the 80s and remembers it" demographic. Mary Lou Retton? Has she been relevant even in an obscure way since the 80s? They could've put anyone in that pinata, but they chose her. I guess that's what made her a more attractive choice to pick.

Randomness and wackiness is great, but there has to be something that grounds the entire situation so that we can set the bar of realism in order to guage how crazy things are. All I'm getting is complete bizarreness smothered in testosterone. That may work for men's deoderant, since those are products that are supposed to define a man. But, for a burger or a soft-serve shake? It's a stretch.

I don't recall ever seeing this commercial, but it is pretty hilarious without being overly-bizarre, and I wish they stuck with this level of wackiness:

Snickers Commercials

I have to admit, I'm a fan of these new run of Snickers commercials. Here's a sample of the one running currently:

This isn't the version I initially saw. The one I saw was slightly more edited and I still loved it.
Alright, here's the honest truth. I have a girlfriend. And, I love her a lot. But, when she gets hungry, I swear to all that is holy that she turns into Joe Pesci. So, basically, I have a bit of a personal relation to these stories. However, I know she is not the exception. I think this goes for a lot of people, too, and I have friends that immediately exhibit celebrity idiosyncrasies when they reach a level of hunger.

Here's another I love:

And another:

Basically, the format is simple, and I love it. Set up is a celebrity annoying normal characters, who treat the issues with the product. Once product has been ingested, that person reverts to normal. But, in a twist, the last scene has a once normal person become an annoying celebrity. It's great because 1) we all have friend who get annoying and whiney when they get hungry, 2) we know celebrities can be annoying, and 3) we like to laugh at annoying celebrities. These guys have it figured out. I believe this is the first of the run (at least in my mind):

It seems as though the Snickers folk have some very good ad wizards up their sleeve. They have a running formula, for now, and it seems to work. I don't regularly eat Snickers but I think of them. However, this success in ad campaigns is recent. Though I didn't hate it, I didn't enjoy this campaign: http://youtu.be/6e0Gsn4khss%20,, although the one I'm showing you is the less common, full version, which is way better than the edited version more commonly shown on T.V.

Even though I understand the concept, and agree with it, the execution couldn't have been more disturbing: http://youtu.be/N37nayVB-RI

Truth be told, Snickers does satisfy you:

It's been an advertising slogan for decades. It's nice to seem them stick with it, like creamy nougat and ad a nutty modern take on it.

Remember this ad? I thought it was pretty funny:

However, this is one moment I felt they strayed from their original concept. This athlete is not necessarily hungry, he's suffering from a concussion. Further, the concept is, "not going anywhere for awhile? Eat a Snickers." Basically, if you're just sitting there, eat our product, out of boredom. That's a lame sales pitch.

Snickers has been with American society for a long time, and I doubt they are going anywhere, especially with the advertising firm they're with now. But, frankly, I think they should have continued with this advertising vein:

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Weird Best Buy Turn Your Cell Phones Off Commercial

I get it. We need to turn our cell phones off, not talk, not let our babies breathe, etc. just so we don't disturb our fellow movie goers in the theaters. Apparently, there commercials are to show us the way in the common courtesy not taught to us by our parents.

Except, that it doesn't work because people still talk, still use their cell phones, and still let their babies cry uncontrollably in movie theaters... sometimes while these theater silence advocacy commercials run!

Here's one I've never seen before:

Hey, that's great and all, because Hong Kong style wire martials arts is totally not played out. But, irregardless, do you really think you're going to suddenly teach social etiquette to someone who has no regard to others around them? Most of these silence perpetrators have a long history of not knowing when to shut up. I'm pretty sure they're not going to learn their lesson via a one minute video of Chinese guys flying around on wires.

I guess this sequence is bad ass. It looks like they took a lot of time and money to make it. But, it's such a throw-away reason to do it. It's like, "oh, I painted you this picture so you can use it to advertise that there is a new bus route between these two cities. Oh, by the way, my name is Rembrandt, and I signed it." In the end, nobody gives a shit that Best Buy sponsored this common courtesy ad because the only people NOT on their cell phones while this ad is running are the ones who know not to be on their cell phones in the first place.

Miracle Whip Commercials

Here we go:

So, Miracle Whip, I guess being the bad boys of sandwich condiments, went with an "in your face" stance to their advertising. Which makes sense, I guess, since you either really like Miracle Whip or you really hate it. Honestly, I can't even remember where I stand on this front. Perhaps that makes me Switzerland in these condiment war. Or, possibly, it makes me a traitor to both either since I won't take a side. Not sure. Frankly, I can't remember if I like Miracle Whip or not since it has been so long since I've actually remembered eating it. I think the hype that not-everyone clearly likes it makes me worry if I am on the side that doesn't. With odds like that, why bother? What could I possible be missing?

And that's where I see the flaw in this advertising campaign. Basically, they're saying, "we know we're not for everybody. Therefore, if you've tried us, and you like us, you're with us and the others be damned. But, like most rebel groups, how do you know if this movement if for you if you've never tried it? You basically need another rebel to introduce you to the idea and say, "this is the way." To which your repsonse is, "Yes. This is the way," or you get shot and left on the side of the road. Wait... maybe I'm getting my politics mixed up with my sandwich fixings.

Irregardless of this, "I'm different so I eat different" sentiment that the ad wizards came up with, I think this theming works in that they acknowledge the fact that not everyone likes or going to like Miracle Whip. Apparently, though, if you do, you'll be one of the elite few who say they eat the product while they listen to bands who only release new music on vinyl and drink Keystone beer only because it is so cheap, it's hip.

Another commercial aired tonight that I haven't seen yet.

The link: http://youtu.be/01xCAPQqcOs

Apparently, they are looking for newly wed couples who have or are willing to have a difference in a opinion about Miracle Whip. Frankly, for $250,000, I will tell you that Miracle Whip is the antichrist while my wife jumps up and down stating she saw Jesus in the white stuff just to win. There's a few that have both couples agree. But, in this day in age of reality television, we all know that total agreement doesn't leave much for story and drama.

They also went to this length:

Pauly D, really? You paid that guy to do a commercial? While he's apparently getting tailored for a suit? As if this guy ever saw the need to wear a suit. I'm pretty sure he'd wear an Affliction shirt to his own wedding.

Then there's this:

So, if you like Miracle Whip, you're in line with this guy? That's not much of a selling point. "Hey, this guy likes our product. Try it, and see if you're cool like him."

BUT, I have to admire the advertising agency's balls to say, "Hey, this product isn't for everyone. It never really has been; let's embrace that."  I kind of like that approach because it's honest and straight forward. Basically, it doesn't treat me, the consumer, like an idiot or a cow.

I do like this one:

Probably because I literally just watched Old School a few hours ago in which Carville has a cameo, but I think there is honest truth in his statement. That tomato better be ripe and ready to go because not even Miracle Whip - which has 'miracle' in its name - can save it.

In the end, I'd have to say Bravo to the ad execs who Miracle Whip entrusted to handle their media blitz. I think it's fun, truthful, and while it won't win everybody, I think the sheer "I'm curious to find out where I stand" factor is enough of a win for that company. Hell, I'm curious to go buy a bottle just to see if it's still as nasty as I remember it was.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Slap Chop Commercial

The video: http://youtu.be/VTmC7UQj7_M

Oh, this is one of my favorites. In fact, most informercials for products found on TV are my favorite. Where they find these guys to run them, I have no idea, but they are good. This guy, Vince Offer, is fantastic. He's very smooth with his action... you think had gone to a special school to learn and train how to use the Slap Chop, all while under fire and in mud.

First off, his mix for tuna salad is interesting. But, better yet, is his concept for an exciting breakfast. Hardboiled egg, a pickle, and a green onion? That sounds pretty exciting alright.

At one point, he says this, "You're gonna love my nuts." This is in reference to how he is going to chop up some nuts with ease. But, you and I both know that this was a clever ploy to slip in something facetious without the censors jumping all over him. I know how you work, Mr. Offer, you dirtly little hooker beater, you. (http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/crime/shamwow-guy-slap-chop-bust"

I do love the Graty. Partially because it's called the Graty. But his little rhyme is the seller: "tacos, fetuccini, linguini, martini, bikini." What? I get the first three, but martini and bikini?

Anyways, watching Vince Offer and his Slap Chop and ShamWow commercials, even though now dated, never really goes stale because they're so weird.

Yaz Commercials

I really enjoy commercials that aired for a bit, then were pulled and later reposted with changes. Yaz Birth Control was one of these. And, if I remember correctly, the first ad was short lived.


The revised ad with the necessary FDA clarifications.


Whoops! I'd hate to know the reasons why the ad was revised in the first place. Medical commercials are always strange. 75% of the commercial is primarily listing the contraindications and possible side-effects. Now, some don't even show people in the commercial and just use cartoons because trying to connect images of happy people don't even register when they list a string of complications that may or may not include death or incontinence.

Yaz is a great commercial, however, because the concept is several girls chatting about birth control in as a natural conversational tone as possible. As ridiculous as this sounds, this one was one of the few commercials that actually did a better job of it without having the informer not sound like a doctor. Perhaps their attempt at making the commercial sound like a natural conversation is the reason why they had to revise it.

Carl's Jr. Commercials, in general


Alright, this is one early example, but not the ones that set me off to boycott the company. The setting is three firemen eating, which feeds the masculinity aspect. Basically, if real men eat this, then so should you... that is, if you're man enough.

Then, to convey the hotness of the jalapeno burger (of which is not that spicy, from what I'm told, but that is irrelevant), they have the guy sweating. That's a big, tough fireman who is sweating... so that must be one spicy burger.

All of this is fine, and it is shot well, though I don't enjoy unjustified shakey cam styles of filming. My point here is the initial bite of the burger and the chewing. I swear that the mic is set up in his left lower molar. It is absolutely unnecessary! Ommiting the sounds of someone eating wouldn't make sense, either, but this is an apparently busy firestation in which they apparently eat in the garage (that's a separate issue). There is a lot of radio noise and even the occasional firetruck airhorn honk, because that's what firefighters do when hanging out in their station, that there's no need to hear every little fiber of that food being processed in that guy's mouth! Also, the foley guy who handled the empty soda sounds should be fired. That was the worst effect ever.

This is just one example why I walked away from that franchise.

Here's another:

Excellent, a hot chick. Guys like this. Most guys don't even know what she is selling, but it came from Carl's Jr. so they should buy it. That's fine... it's beer advertising 101 but applied to food.

Except that her chomping on to that burger is pretty damned gross. Listen, I don't have major issues of people chewing. It has to happen and it's fine. We all shit. However, I don't need to hear it amplified on my TV screen! The audio is way more than a boom mic being held off screen. This has been boosted with foley from a jackal eating a fallen gazelle in the Serengeti.

Oh, in case you were wondering, there is an almost 3 minute documentary of the exciting filming of this commercial, for whatever reason: http://youtu.be/16J5LKmeO2g

How about this one: http://youtu.be/lkQLAqSNyUA

I like the comedy here because I often think the process of directing someone to clean something on their face is unnecessarily complicated, I can't help but notice that every piece of food makes noise. Chomping into the burger, once again. Thanks. And the fries make a noise as she takes a few. I've never heard such noisier fries. Even the drink makes noise when she drinks it in an effort to overcompensate the fact the actress isn't actually drinking soda from it. She drinks from it, giving a gurgling empty register, but then she moves it and it sounds like it has content in it.

More chewing: http://youtu.be/UuY1U88ZYcQ

Alright, you all get the point. To be honest, I don't even know if their ad campaign is still on track with this. If it isn't, it's comforting, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to go back. I mean, I just watched these commercials (and others) and now I feel sick.

I'll leave you with this for a laugh: http://youtu.be/dkGUI4bnQbQ