A Guaranteed Personality
So with a majority of the household having fallen ill of late (my +5 immune system renders me immune from those ailments which strike down lesser beings), the TV has been on a lot lately, and the siren song has lured me to the living room chairs on more than one occasion. It really makes me realize how much I hate bad TV, not because it's bad, but because I lack the willpower to not watch it, instead choosing to sit there and provide a running commentary on why it's so bad. Anyhow, before I allow this to become another treatise on television, I shall cut to the chase. I've been watching TV, therefore I've been watching Ads. Ads baffle me, mostly because so few of them seem to follow the rules of good advertising (listen to CBC's The Age of Persuasion if you want to learn. I'm looking at you, TV advertisers!). Sure, some of them yell the name of the product enough to make you remember it for all of 10 seconds, or some are even clever enough to stay for days and weeks. Problem with the latter is, you tend to forget what was being advertised. Below, I have a few recent Ads, with commentary
GM - Cars Gone Wild
These suck. They completely and utterly suck. They take a brand name (x_gone wild) generally associated with the sexploitation of barely-18 coeds, and apply it to....bland....cars? Not a nipple, nor a human body of any shape, age, or colour to be seen here! A proper "cars gone wild" ad campaign would be viral. It would be giant breasts painted all over that Pontiac or whatever, driven past places where dudes are known to congregate, or parked nearby. Now, lest you think I approve of this sort of tactic, I think I find it degrades both genders to various extents. What I AM saying is that it's just plain stupid to associate yourself with a sexist college-girl video brand, and then not follow that up by selling your product with the same imagery. Somehow I doubt the Japanese automakers are as intimidated as you make them out to be in that other ad of yours, GM, if you can't even be bothered to think up an effective, non-degrading ad campaign (or, for that matter, an effective, degrading ad campaign).
Wal-Mart - The Desert Island Woman
So there's a woman marooned on a desert island, and lo and behold the rescue chopper comes to her rescue. She learns that it is the spring of 2008, and declares that she will need a whole new wardrobe, which she purchases at Wal-Mart. I'm not sure if the so-called brains behind this ad realized just how appropriate it is for their business model. This woman does not know the year when she is rescued, and therefore it is safe to assume that she found means by which to survive for a significant time period. She appears thin, but given the tropical setting one assumes that seafood was available for nourishment, at the least. She appears to have built shelter, as well. This woman is free from every social contract she has ever known, she is the undisputed queen of a viable island, and while in her solitude may never satisfy her genetic desire to propagate, I'm sure that masturbation, and an appreciation of the world population problem could probably fix any issues arising therefrom. So, what we have is a truly free woman, free in every way possible for a living being to be free (except I suppose freedom of motion, but she has the whole damn island to herself, and the ocean to swim in! She can devote her mind and body to whatever goals she sees fit, she will never have to answer to anybody...but then the helicopter comes, and she flags it down, and then goes shopping, at Wal-Mart. The perversion of her natural desires is so complete that this woman can - after what we presume to be more than several months of complete isolation - return to the daily reality of consumer-driven life! I think this Ad showcases the ultimate wish of Wal-Mart, of corporations in general, and of society as a whole: The total and utter enslavement of our will to "civilization", to capitalism, and to Wal-Mart. I can't say this ad is ineffective, but it disturbs me on a profound level.
I Forget - The ad where William Shatner saves these kung-fu dudes some money
I honestly could not tell you who was advertising in this ad. I saw it at least twice, maybe three times today, and many more before that. This is probably because I don't have a team of awesome kung-fu dudes that I need to find a room for the night, but really, all I see here is a silly fight scene, and William Shatner applying his trademarked (patented? I wouldn't doubt it) slow...speaking....technique to an Oriental language, possibly Mandarin, possibly jibberish that uses oriental-like syllables, my ear is not attuned enough to know. That's all well and good, but if you honestly can't get your company name into my head after repeated viewings, even with an entertaining ad (it can be done, viz. the Motts' Clamato ad with the ninjas and the coaster-shuriken) it's what we back home like to call "EPIC FAIL!"
Although seriously, thanks for the entertainment, whoever you are.
On that last note of failure, I didn't really have a good gag this year, and I apologize. Next year maybe I'll kill myself off and see who buys it, or announce that my good friends at BRAND X want me to tell you how good their product is, or maybe that I've decided to become a hermit, or something....maybe I'll swap URLs with another blogger I know. Seriously, I just have to do SOMETHING next year.
I'll fool you all, mark my words