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Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Bad Commercial

I enjoy bad TV commercials. The kind where you can sit around and drive trucks in and out of the logic they have set up. Sometimes the commercial is just dumb and other times it leaves me with questions. When I can sit around and dissect something that is only on for 30 seconds, it means I have too much free time. Still...

Yellow Book Commercial.
A woman is getting married. Looking in the mirror as she tries on her wedding gown, she notices that on the small of her back is the name Mike. It's a tattoo that is hard to miss for it's size and cursive font. It's the future in this commercial, so she goes to a wall sized visual phone book and looks up tattoo removal. A man comes on and asks, "What can I do for you?"
The girl turns around and shows the name tattooed on her back.
The man asks, "So. When do you marry Mike?"
The girl says, "Umm. Tom."
"Oh!"
Let me get this straight, you are getting married to a guy named Tom, and this just now has become an issue? How much does this new guy really know about you? You have a guys name scrawled out in some 12 year old girl's Myspace font right above your ass and he never mentioned anything to you? Either you have not had sex yet, he hasn't done you doggy style or he is the biggest idiot that ever lived.
"Hey. When I was pounding you from behind last night, I couldn't help but notice another guys name looking back up at me."
"So what? You got to fuck me, right?"
"Well, yeah. But were getting married and I thought it might be nice if you at least don't wear a backless gown so as you walk down the isle toward me at the altar, everyone sitting down doesn't see another guys name above your ass when you walk past them. Cause that sorta makes me look like an idiot."
"Whats the big deal, George?"
"It's Tom!"
"Whatever..."
At least this is the back story I think happened.

Terminix commercial.
We see a bug climbing over rubble. A voice over tells us, "experts say that bugs could someday rule the world. Not if Orkin can help it!"
The commercial ends on this stark visual; a twisted blackened tree stands by a road that leads to a modern city in ruins. The very last thing we see is the Terminix van, a contrasting white, driving toward the fallen city.
What kind of moron decides to keep killing bugs after an apocalypse? The world is gone, Dude! We don't need a bug man anymore. You have gas in a clean van. Let it go, man. Let the bugs go.
Is it comforting to know that in the event of society being destroyed you will still have a guy out there killing bugs for as long as he can? There is commitment and then there is crazy. This is crazy. What Terminix is telling you is, our people are so brain washed that even if the world goes boom, we will still do our job. I don't know if I want a guy like that in my house. Do you?

I drive a lot and my other joy is the bad radio commercial. Kaiser seems to just pour these things out. They don't run it anymore and I like to think it's because someone pointed out the flaw in it. Basically, the commercials tells you how much they care about their patients and how much they believe in prevention over anything else. It ends when the comforting female voice says, "We believe laughter really is the best medicine."
God damn! Here is a giant HMO telling you that they think laughter is literally the best medicine. How nice. Don't go to the emergency room if something is wrong, go to a comedy club instead and be sure to laugh really hard!
Laughter is seldom thought of as a medicine. Laughter is pretty fun and very enjoyable, but I don;t think it cures things like cancer and broken legs.

8 comments:

Martha Craft said...

Hello. I'm the Assistant Vice President of Public Relations and Corporate Communications for Orkin, and I need to point out an error in your post. The pest control commercial you cite - showing a cockroach surviving the end of the world - is actually a Terminix ad. The Orkin commercials show giant bugs delivering pizzas and driving cars...we went for the friendlier, more realistic approach.
Martha Craft
AVP, Public Relations & Corporate Communications
Orkin, Inc.

Martha Craft said...

Hello. I'm the Assistant Vice President of Public Relations and Corporate Communications for Orkin, and I need to point out an error in your post. The pest control commercial you cite - showing a cockroach surviving the end of the world - is actually a Terminix ad. The Orkin commercials show giant bugs delivering pizzas and driving cars...we went for the friendlier, more realistic approach.
Martha Craft
AVP, Public Relations & Corporate Communications
Orkin, Inc.

Anonymous said...

Love the Yellowbook commercial. The bug commercial is actually Terminex not Orkin. Orkin has those great big bug commercials where the termite is driving away in a low rider.

Joe said...

I stand corrected.

Dean said...

Goddamn, there are people who take your blogs more seriously than I do...

Joe said...

I bet it is someones job to Google the company name and see what pop's up from time to time. They are defending their commercial and trade mark. I get it. Course, the commercial Okin does have, the one with the giant bugs trying to sneak into your home, is pretty dumb too.

Matt Gubser said...

Nah, I'm sure Martha is a regular reader. That's awesome. I think you may be onto something with the corporate name-dropping Joe.

Joe said...

Years ago a friend and I put on back to back solo shows. We named our project, Spirituality for Dummies. About two weeks into the run, we received a letter from a lawyer informing us that we could not use that name. The For Dummies people does not want people to think they are associated with us in any ways. I spoke with a friend and lawyer and said we could fight. No company owns the phrase, for dummies and we were not claiming any connection. But, we were small and broke and they were big and scary. We had to print up new inserts to the show bill telling everyone we had nothing to do with the For Dummies people. I asked the lawyer how they heard about us. She turned out to be very human about the whole situation too. She said that was her job. She reviewed internet searches and anything else brought to her attention by a staff. When you are a multi national company, you can afford to have a team making sure no one comes close to your products name. The internet has become more not less like the wild west. I think she Googles the name from time to time and my blog popped up. The crazy thing is how serious we all take this stuff=)