One of the worst things about our civilization is advertising. It’s been around pretty much as long as humanity has. It’s supposed to be eye-catching first and informative second, but today, it’s really just more annoying than anything. Perhaps because we see them over and over again.
I’m known for yelling at my TV, sober or not, because I don’t like being lied to and most commercials are terrible liars. The thing is, I don’t even realize I’m doing it sometimes. Critiquing commercials is apparently a weird hobby of mine, and since I’ve been watching a lot of football, I’ve seen a lot of the same crap commercials. They aren’t even Super Bowl commercials.
So here are the commercials that are annoying the crap out of me right now.
Nissan Rogue ad with M.I.A.
This one has been around for weeks and weeks and weeks. As car commercials go, it’s nothing out of the ordinary these days. Cars doing improbably things like bouncing around a city, so what, right? Right off the bat, one knows it’s a terrible commercial because it chose “Y.A.L.A.” by M.I.A. (that’s a lot of initials). I don’t know if there are any words to this song, but the background mumbling and seemingly cut up words to a beat get really tiresome after about five seconds. Then there’s the implausible scenario that this woman picked up her two coworkers before going to the office–which is in downtown San Francisco. No one carpools in major cities because everyone lives in a different part of the suburbs, but whatever.
The woman and her two coworkers find themselves in traffic, so she takes the car up a ramp, lands it on top of a commuter train, which somehow doesn’t collapse under the weight. She then drives up the train and propels the car off at the last second, only to have it land in the office building’s parking lot. No one in the car looks surprised.
I can just see how this one got sold in a boardroom meeting. “So, we play this annoying music that’s hip enough that the viewers should feel bad for not liking how grating it can be on the ears. Then, we remind them how horrible traffic can be, and unintentionally promote mass transit as an alternative!”
Super intense ads for the iPad Air and Google Play
Over a year ago, Apple decided to quit doing successful ads about the new features of its products, because they stopped having new features. They shifted their message to, “Hey, this thing has a really good user experience, and you’ll miss it if you leave.” Now, they’re basically saying you need an iPad in order to enjoy life. First off we’ve got a monologue from Dead Poets’ Society. It’s a weird trend in ads lately to have some movie monologue audio over what your product does. Robin Williams tells us all about how art, music, poetry, etc. are why we live, even though they are not the most necessary things. Then we see a series of people using their iPads Air (I believe that’s the plural), most of whom are not actually using it to make art, and none are using it to write poetry or make music. “Oh look, these people are doing such interesting things, and they could have never done it without their tablet! Tell me more about how great this piece of technology is, Mork!”
Google Play’s product is more abstract, so their advertising has to be, too. Google Play is the company’s answer to the iTunes store. It’s where apps, songs, movies, books and periodicals are sold. Mostly, it’s a feast for the eyes and ears, so of course, Google goes for the heart instead. The narrator talks about the heart and all of its emotions and wants, all while flashes of movies and shows trade off with people watching these things, as well as reading books. The final line of the commercial is “There are about two billion, five-hundred million heartbeats in a lifetime. You should feel every one of them.” Of course! I need to get out and enjoy my life! And the only way I can enjoy my life is if I sit on my ass staring at screen waiting for a heart attack. Thanks, Google.
Apple, Google, you’re selling overpriced tablets that will be obsolete in six months and forms of entertainment we can get pretty much anywhere we turn. Chill out.
Teaser commercials for … commercials
When you sell a product that is virtually indistinguishable from your competitors’, you have to do some flashy ads to make sure the consumer is tricked into believing that your product is better. Bud Light and Pepsi are not strangers to this idea. But they are now hyping up their ads by airing teaser commercials, like it’s a movie. Pepsi wants me to care that they will be airing a football-themed ad during the Grammys, and Bud Light wants me to care that they will have ads about Arnold Schwarzenegger, Don Cheadle and some hairy dude with a microphone.
I don’t care, though. These ads are a waste of money. Super Bowl ads are all released online the week before, so there’s no point in hyping a certain time they will be played. They are also, you know, just commercials. It’s like these companies have never heard of creating a buzz on social media.
I’m assuming here that you derive most of your entertainment of these events from ads. If so, I’ve got a tablet you might be interested in.