Welcome back to our series Commercials That Suck! If you missed the first installment, you can find it here. Basically, we at SlackPost spend an abnormally large amount of time watching TV commercials. That’s all well and good — CAPITALISM, BABY! — but our issue is the simple fact that most ads are horrendous. Astonishingly bad. Like, how do people get paid to make these things? It truly boggles the mind. In any case, here are some of the main offenders from the last several months, plus a few commercials that we actually like.
ugly truth: POOP vs. PEE
Methane is found in dog poop, and urea is found in cat pee. Yeah, those aren’t things you want to be ingesting. But just because something found in something bad is found in another thing, that doesn’t mean that the other thing is necessarily bad. Justin Long is found in those old conceited Mac ads and Herbie: Fully Loaded. Know what else Justin Long is found in? The art imitating life imitating art sci-fi parody masterpiece that is Galaxy Quest! No wonder kids are cheesing when the anti-tobacco lobby’s telling them that cigarettes are made of cat pee. How else are they supposed to get buzzed legally?
Now you might be saying to yourself, “But SlackPost, cigarettes ARE bad for you!” You may be right, concerned reader (in fact, you are). Call us crazy, but we expect an organization calling itself “truth” to pay attention to things like accuracy and logic.
Apple – Our Signature
A narcissistic love letter from Apple to consumers:
We’re so amazing and life-changing, right? You’re welcome.
PS – Are we synonymous with “happiness” yet?
For your “signature,” you literally and figuratively took a bite out of The Beatles’ Apple Records logo. You make glorified computers, phones, and audio players. It’s not like you’re curing cancer (too soon?). Although, I do like seeing a Chinese classroom using iPads. How cute is that? You let the kids from your sweatshop use what they made!
PS – Why did you have to make Justin Long a thing? Why?
Expedia – Find Your New Friend
Today, I made a turtle friend! No, you did not make a turtle friend. You went snorkeling and saw a turtle. And no, the turtle did not welcome you into its home. It thought, “Well that’s an ugly seal,” and then went on doing turtle things. Expedia traveler, you are not turtle enough for the turtle club.
Guinness Black Lager “Seamless”
Apparently there are people out there who are skeptical about black things being refreshing — I’m assuming racists and the kind of people who need a crude picture of the Rocky Mountains to tell them when their beer’s ice-cold. To convince these people to try Guinness Black Lager, the visionaries in marketing had to think outside the box. So they hired a smug guy in a suit jacket (no tie, obviously) with Fredo Corleone hair and just the trendiest amount of stubble to make this impeccable pitch:
Iced coffee black, but iced coffee refreshing.
Cola also black, but cola refreshing.
Guinness Black black. Guinness Black refreshing!
With flawless logic like that, why stop at Guinness Black? Crude oil? Three-month-old bong water? The black liquid from Prometheus? They’ll make you understand how the word “crisp” can describe liquids, as you find yourself being that person who smacks their lips and goes “ahhhhhh” after every sip.
Excuse me, Guinness ad people, I’d like to suggest an additional analogy for your next commercial. See, there’s this other delicious drink that’s black. Not sure if you’ve heard of it. I believe it’s called Guinness.
freecreditscore.com: Set It Off
Get the Score Alert app so it can interrupt you when you’re trying to get down at the club! Most of these freecreditscore.com jingles suck, but this one sounds especially like Rebecca Black’s “Friday.”
We’re all bummed that the Men’s Wearhouse founder and commercial guy, a man by the unfortunate name of George Zimmer, got fired. So here’s a final tribute to the man who’s been guaranteeing that we’re going to like the way we look since before we were born. Looking like a boring twin of the Dos Equis guy, he is… The Least Interesting Man in the World.
Men’s Wearhouse’s current ad campaign aims at the modern man who wears a suit not only for formal or businessy things but also to look cool while riding a bike or eating a sandwich. Addressing the evolving perception of suits, Zimmer says “You don’t have to be one to wear one.” So you can rock toolish clothes without being a tool? But bro, you just bought these threads because a commercial told you to. Although the guy did say you were going to like the way you look. In fact, he guaranteed it.
“It’s been said that every man should own one blue suit and one gray suit.” What is that, some kind of ancient Chinese proverb? Must be Confucius. Or maybe it’s Sun Tzu. Businessmen are all about reading The Art of War, after all.
Whatever will Men’s Wearhouse do without the esteemed personality of George Zimmer you ask? Why, they’ll celebrate sleazebags who ogle women on the street like symbiote-infected Peter Parker in Spider Man 3.
Walmart New Schmucksperson
Walmart has attempted to diversify by plugging a new rando spokesperson, Jamaal, into their disorienting, way-too-fast-paced TV ads. To be fair, in just these 16 seconds I concluded that I like Jamaal a hell of a lot more than their other schmuck. But still, this ain’t working. You expect us to take your word that Walmart just saved someone loads of money? Let’s see the receipts. The astonishment on these actors’ faces is not selling it.
Anything with the Wendy’s Spokeswoman Who Isn’t Wendy
Remember those kids in elementary school who bragged about their Pizza Lunchables to add the bitter taste of resentment and shame to your bologna sandwich? Well one of those brats stars in Wendy’s commercials now. She’s not Wendy herself, but I guess the marketing execs decided they needed a skinnier redhead to sell fattening food (and to look more credible selling salads). I can’t stand any of her commercials, but these two make me scream at the TV the loudest:
Fake Wendy goes from quirky to creepy when she stalks and interrogates a little girl leaving her softball game with her dad. They follow her advice and get Frostees, and she follows them while pretending to shop. Daddy look, it’s the lady who comes to all my softball games but doesn’t have any kids! At least it’s a happy ending for the little softball player, unlike the pee-wee hockey player who decided he’d rather have Ben & Jerry’s and is now locked in Fake Wendy’s basement.
Fake Wendy makes you even more uncomfortable hanging out poolside with her friends talking about how much they love the new Berry Almond Chicken Salad. Who’s Andre? Better question, why am I watching a Latino/Euro poolboy fantasy during a fast food commercial?
And now for the car ads…
Scion 10 Series Celebration Anthem
While this autotuned ad may like to be mistaken for one of Pogo’s brilliant remixes, we can’t mistake it for anything other than a jumbled mess of self-important yuppies saying/singing things like “XB” and “FRS” as they twitch their heads forward like chirping birds. Is that really how people talk? If I look like that when I speak, I’m taking a lifelong vow of silence. In any case, the Scion 10 Series is apparently a car for people who think unintelligible acronyms mean fancy hi-tech.
Kia Cadenza “Impossible to Ignore”
Hottie pulls up to her high school reunion for the class of 1993 in her Kia Cadenza. You know that girl you never noticed in high school? And then somehow didn’t notice at your 5th, 10th, or 15th reunion? Well now it’s your 20th reunion, and she’s finally a head-turner. Barring identity theft, miraculous cosmetics, and eternal youth, she couldn’t have been older than 15 when she graduated. So I’m pretty sure EVERYONE noticed her in high school. The music makes the ad even more awkward, remixing David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” and using lines that sound utterly idiotic by themselves. Instead of goofy 80s Bowie, we get the melodramatic chorus of a cheesy house song. Swedish House Mafia must be pretty bummed they disbanded without ever using a phrase as epic as “serious moonlight.”
VW Steak and Tiramisu Test Drive
The way the wife says “tiramisu” with that twinkly-eyed look reserved for only the most intimate moments makes me more uncomfortable than a car commercial has any right to. She looks and sounds like tiramisu just made sweet sweet love to her, and now she wants to cuddle. Someone needs to charge this couple with grand theft auto and some kind of sex crime.
Acura RLX “Luxury, Luxury”
Your fancy ass wakes up in your fancy ass house and does fancy ass things with your fancy ass things before it gets into your… Acura? Nothing wrong with Acuras, but if you’re going to be a douche who insists on having nothing but the fanciest and schmanciest, you should probably go for something a rapper would actually namedrop.
Nissan Show and Tell
If you watch closely, the teacher isn’t even paying attention when the kid opens up the trunk. How did they let that happen?! Nissan wins SlackPost’s award for worst tagline. What do we want people to think of when they think of our cars? How about “exciting innovation”? Umm, that’s just an adjective and a noun. Shouldn’t we go for something, you know, more exciting? Nah, let’s just take that first idea and make it unnecessarily wordy and vague. “Nissan – Innovation that excites.”
“The moments we share today inspire the stories we tell tomorrow.” OK, sure. “Introducing the all new JX from Infiniti.” WHAT?? “Here’s all the cool crap the car can do.” Wow! You can throw your whole family in it?! “So your family can share every moment, together. The end.” WTF JUST HAPPENED?! To put it lightly, I absolutely hate commercials that start with vague, bullshit life lessons and pseudo-Confucian proverbs and then suddenly verge into automobile features. They should never be made, ever.
Mazda “Change” and “Innovation” Campaign
But wait! Here comes Mazda with an entire campaign based on that terrible formula. “This one guy was mad inventive and created the bikini. This other dude was so innovative because he decided to do the high jump backwards. Here at Mazda, we’re ALSO creative!!!” No. No you’re not. ZOOM ZOOM.
Honda Summer Clearance Event
I normally don’t buy things just because commercials tell me to. I will, however, buy Old Spice products for no better reason than the ads. Unlike almost any other company, Old Spice has never made my life unpleasant with bad commercials. So I feel like they deserve my business. They clearly value the creative process of advertising. The spectacular camp, the witty songs, and Terry Crews make Old Spice the undisputed champion of the advertising world.
Time Warner Cable: Enjoy Better – Airport Delay
Most of these ads just remind me how much I hate Time Warner Cable and its shit service, but the Hot in Cleveland tie-in is the shining exception. I can die happy now that I’ve seen Betty White hit on Bill Cowher.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 9
The It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia crew continues to pump out hilarious promos. Even if you don’t get the Ingmar Bergman parody, these bits are funny enough in their arthouse film absurdity. And Dee’s signature gagging adds a bonus laugh.
GEICO Dikembe Mutombo
It’s a smart campaign, but most of the ads are obnoxious. The banjo players are still unnecessary here, but you get to watch Dikembe go to work and unleash his signature laugh that’s somehow endearing and maniacal at the same time.
Dr. Pepper TEN
A 10 calorie soda practically sells itself to women. So how do you get dudes to buy it? Make the manliest 30-second commercial in the history of mankind. Genius.