Thursday, September 18, 2008

Top 5 Commercials That Make Me Never Want to Buy the Product

There are two reasons for commercials: to give budding actors something to put on their resume, and to sell things. In thirty seconds, an announcer/spokesperson tells us exactly why this product will make us happy/pretty/better than anyone else. When there are a dozen different versions of toilet paper, it's up to ad executives to put together an ad that will make a viewer think, "Hey, I love that bunny! I'll buy this brand!"

Simple, right? At the very least, just extolling the virtues of some product should be enough. Sometimes the execs get it really right and actually make something entertaining. (See cat herder.)

Sometimes the execs take their crack a little too early in the day.

Not only are the following commercials bad, but they actually make me never want to buy the product. Even if the actual product is okay--hey, even preferable!--these commercials have turned me off forever. These aren't just kind of annoying or lame or stupid commercials. These are opposite-commercials. The competitors might as well use them. Here's the wall of shame, in no particular order:

1) Chips Ahoy!--"If You Want My Body"

No. No, I don't want your body, you giant cookie. Your chocolate chips make you look like a pox victim. Your singing makes my brain dribble out of my ears. Also, how can someone have sex with a cookie? What was that tiny woman planning on doing? And if a real person eats the cookie in the end, who the hell is that tiny woman? Why is she so tiny? Is she only with the anthropomorphic cookie because he's the only one her size?

2) Sprite--"Obey Your Thirst--and Sumo Wrestlers"

I love Sprite. It's my soda of choice--crisp, clean refreshing. What more could I want? A fucking better ad, that's what! The idea of my face getting squished by two monochromatic sumo wrestlers freaks me out. And this is just the tip of the "Obey Your Thirst" commercial freakdom. Don't make me associate Sprite with a creepy drug trip, please.

3) Charmin--"Ultra Strong for Ultra Poop"

Cartoon animals selling products aren't exactly new. But I don't want them selling my toilet paper, especially when they're bears. It makes me think of really big, gross poop--the kind you take care to avoid and leave alone. (Also, if you see bear poop, you're probably going to get mauled, so that's not a good connotation either.) Plus, how many pieces of toilet paper are you walking around with? If that's a serious problem for you, you're just lazy and disgusting.

4) Anything sold by Billy Mays--"If I Get Really Loud, You'll Buy This"

Why is this guy selling eighteen different products? At first I thought, "Oh, it must be some cleaning product company, they're all related and just didn't want to film commercials on multiple days, so they asked the same guy to do all of them." But the slider pan? And who thought, "He'll make people excited about stuff!" More likely, he'll make me want to rip off my own head and cook mini hamburgers with that. (Although I do secretly wonder if the cleaning stuff works.)

5) Beggin' Strips--"Dogs Can't Believe How Bad This is"

I'm a sucker for a dog in commercials. Remember how I hated the bears and toilet paper? I love the puppy and toilet paper combination in the Cottonelle commercials. Put a puppy on something and I'm ready to buy. But these Beggin' Strips commercials have made me an animal hater. If this is what dogs sound like in their heads, I will not be able to get one. But if I do, you can be damn sure they're not getting these fake-bacon treats.

There were some that I couldn't find commercials online for, one in particular being an old Perdue chicken commercial in which a really annoying voice sang "Pick...pick pick" over and over while a family picked on leftover chicken. This list might have a sequel if those ever pop up. Until then, I'll be drinking 7Up.


Akshay Ahuja said...

My god, I had forgotten about that old Charmin' ad. The current ad with the bears rubbing themselves all over the trees is bad enough.

My two small contributions to the list:

One of the most puzzling ads I have ever seen. There are literally too many questions to even write down. I never actually ate a Skippy snack bar after seeing this ad, and I think it was a good decision. (Note: I like how the elephants assure viewers that "the very same Skippy" that is in the jar is also in the bar, as if our primary concern might be getting adulterated non-Skippy peanut butter in our candy bars.)

I'm a little young for Lipitor, and it seems these ads have been pulled because Dr. Robert Jarvik is not actually licensed to practice medicine. Nonetheless, my informal sample of three people concludes that EVERYONE FINDS THIS GUY INCREDIBLY CREEPY. Didn't anyone focus group this ad? If Pfizer was going to use an unlicensed researcher, couldn't they at least have found someone that didn't look like he might enjoy hurting small animals? Pfizer also released another ad featuring PseudoDr. Jarvik jogging with son (sadly not online) and he somehow managed to be even more creepy in that ad.

Max Norris said...

I was actually looking for the Purdue jingle; I occasionally slip stray MP3's onto my wife's phone just to annoy. Last week was Adam Sandler's ring tone from "Bedtime Stories", this week it's Pick Pick Pick..

Found it among other commercials, about 3/4 into the video.

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