Could I have some logic with that?

I haven’t picked on commercials in a while, and there are two at the moment that bother me because they appear to treat the viewer as unable to think. I don’t know for sure, but I suspect these are being shown internationally. (I have a transportation background, so to me “international” refers to Canada/US, not overseas.)

First is a spot for the Chevrolet Malibu. The vehicle is in a showroom, surrounded by a group of people. They are asked to describe the car in one word. Among the replies is “fast”. Idiot! This is sitting in a showroom, so how the hell do you know it’s fast? It could be a real slug on the road? Case in point: back in the late seventies and early eighties, the Thunderbird had a reputation for being a car that could bring it. In the years I mention, it was powered by a 2.3 litre four. I had the same engine in my ‘81 Mercury Zephyr and even with the four speed transmission I had, there is no way I could characterize it as “fast”. So how the hell can you tell, just by looks, this Malibu is fast?

 

Next is an ad for ZZZquil. Man is lying in bed and a mechanic rolls his creeper out from under the bed and says something along the lines of (and I think I’m quoting accurately here) “your car’s in terrible shape. It needs parts I’ve never even heard of. And it’s going to cost a fortune.” Okay. Number 1, if you’ve never heard of these parts, how do you know the car needs them? As an addition to this, if you’ve never heard of them, I don’t think much of your abilities as a mechanic. And, number 2, if you have no idea what these parts are, how do you know it will be expensive to replace them?

In both these commercials, which I presume are meant to be serious, the one thing lacking is logic. In the case of the Malibu, unless that man has driven one, or been beaten by one at a stoplight drag race, how does he know how fast it is? In the Zzzquil ad, well, I asked the questions in the last paragraph.

Commercials such as these two, which talk down to viewers and potential customers, do not impress me, nor probably a lot of other people. Logic may be as rare as common sense, but some of us do possess it and don’t like being treated as if we aren’t intelligent enough to buy and use the products being hawked.

Cat.

 

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Enough nonsense

If you live anywhere in the Golden Horseshoe of southern Ontario or along the Niagara Frontier in New York State (and probably much further afield) you’ve seen commercials for Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls Ontario.

Based on their recent batch of commercials, I wouldn’t go to Fallsview.  If you’ve seen these three spots – the caddy; the bowlers, or the bodyguards – you know what I’m talking about.  If you’re fortunate enough not to have seen them, I’ll give you a brief description.

First, the caddy.  In this one, it takes place on what appears to be the final hole of a golf tournament.  The golfer is lining up his putt for the winning stroke when his caddy gets a text message.  Upon checking it, the caddy sees his friends have arranged a night at Fallsview Casino.  This sends the caddy into a fit of celebratory yelling and screaming and ends with the caddy picking up the golf ball and kicking it somewhere off the green.

Next, the bowlers.  Similar situation – bowling team all get a text about a visit to Fallsview and promptly disrupts the entire bowling alley.

The bodyguard one has to be the most irritating.  Two bodyguards step out from a stage door, to make sure it’s safe for the Big Name to exit.  They get a text about Fallsview and promptly start yelling and carrying on and flopping around on the red carpet.

Two thoughts on these spots.  First, if these people consider visiting a casino the high point of their lives,  they lead very sad lives indeed.

The second thought is this: If Fallsview Casino, or their advertising agency, think that commercials that treat viewers like idiots are going to attract people, perhaps they should think again.  To me, these ads scream “If you’re dumb enough to fall for this nonsense, come on down, we’ll gladly take your money.

I object to commercials – all commercials – that try to treat me like an idiot.  And these Fallsview spots certainly do that.

Since it’s December 31, I wish all my readers and followers a Happy and Prosperous 2015 and a safe New Year’s Eve.

Remember to hug an artist – we need love too.

Cat.

Whatever happened to…?

It’s a lazy day for me. The television is on, but I’m not paying attention to it, but rather to a pair of turkey buzzards turning circles a couple of blocks away.

A Sandals commercial intrudes and starts a train of thought. Whatever happened to Club Med? Do they still exist? Did they go out of business when hedonism became more mainstream, or did someone buy them out? Just curious, but if anyone knows, please tell me.

From there, for some reason, my mind jumped to something else that quietly vanished. Whatever happened to McDonald’s pizza? Granted it wasn’t really all that good and the bottom always seemed to be coated in some kind of grit, but when a pizza is ready in three minutes, you can’t expect perfection. Still, one day it was there and the next it was gone. Not that I can think of anybody who truly lamented its passing.

Just curious, but if you have any ideas on what happened, leave a comment.

Enjoy your day and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.

Cat.

Where’s the logic?

I haven’t been feeling well this summer and as a result have been watching a lot of television. If you’ve read my postings before, you know I take great delight in ripping into commercials. Don’t worry, that’s coming, but first, something nice to say about an ad, as well as a comment on a series I’ve been watching.

1 – I’ve recently been watching a series on AHC called “Gunslingers” about some of the better known names from the old west. So far, there have been five episodes: Billy the Kid; Jesse James: Wyatt Earp; Wild Bill Hitchcock, and John Wesley Hardin. I’ve been struck by the similarity in the way most of these men died:

Billy the Kid – shot in the back by Sheriff Pat Garrett.

Jesse James – shot in the back by one of his own men. What’s that old lyric “the dirty little coward who shot Mr Howard laid poor Jesse in his grave”?

Wild Bill Hitchcock (how did they get “Wild Bill” from “James Butler”?”) – shot in the back of the head while playing cards. This was the origin of calling aces and eights “the dead man’s hand.”

John Wesley Hardin – shot in the back of the head while enjoying a drink in a saloon.

The sole exception was Wyatt Earp, who died of natural causes in Los Angeles in 1927. Yeah, 1927- not that long ago really.

2 – Mazda Canada has been running ads for the Mazda 3. I’ll admit I don’t really see the connection, but I like the fact they are using Canadian sports icons such as James Naismith (inventor of basketball) and Christine Sinclair (Canada’s soccer goddess) and relating their accomplishments to the Mazda’s performance.

3 – Now the not so good spots.

First, Honda Canada (and I presume Honda USA as well) has been running ads for the Honda Pilot. Before I continue, let me ask you: When you come home, do you park near the house, or at the street end of the driveway? If you’re like me, you park near the house. Not the people in these Honda commercials. Right near the end of the drive. Are there mines in the drive so they can’t go any further, or do they just want to show off their vehicle to the neighbours. Where’s the logic?

Next, Buick. Again, a question for you: If you’re at a place that has valet parking, when you want you vehicle, do you just tell the valet the make of the vehicle, or do you also tell them the colour? In this commercial, the man simply says “It’s the Buick” with no mention of colour.. You arrogant SOB to think you’re the only person who can afford a Buick. Of course, the valet isn’t that bright either or he’d use the key fob before trekking the entire parking lot. Where’s the logic?

Finally, Ford. They’ve been running ads promoting some of the safety features. In this one, we see some amber lights in the lower left corner of the windshield and the driver tells us “the flashing lights just warned me an accident could be imminent”. Excuse me, but looking out the windshield would also tell you how close you are to that pickup in front of you. You don’t need flashing lights to tell you that if you’re paying attention to the road. Once more – where’s the logic?
The Ford commercial is a good example of how the auto companies are developing huge “nanny” complexes. They want us to buy their products, yet at the same time, they are installing all these devices to protect us from ourselves, such as lane change warnings. So many devices are being installed that supposedly protect the car’s occupants that people will rely on these devices and forget such things as checking rear view mirrors. To my mind, the only really beneficial gadget added recently has been the back-up camera.

Okay, I’ve ranted and I feel better.

.Remember to hug an artist, we need love too.

Cat.

It isn’t necessarily accurate

I haven’t picked on commercials in a while, so I think it’s time I did.  Three targets today – one television, one radio and one from Facebook. Let’s start with the TV ad.

Recently the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce has been running ads touting the joys and ease of using on-line banking to pay bills.  One such spot shows someone getting out their chequebook, some stamps and envelopes in preparation to paying their monthly bills – you know, that thing we all do once a month.  The ad also shows their identical twin sitting at their laptop doing the same thing and finishing much faster.  CIBC is pushing this so hard you would think this is a new concept and the “best thing since sliced bread” (what really is the best thing since sliced bread anyway?  Just asking.)  News flash for CIBC: while I know you were the first to computerize your account records back in the ‘60s, I’ve been paying my bills on-line through my bank for a couple of years.  Time to join the 21st century.

Radio next.  I’ve been hearing an ad for Pearle Vision (did you know they’re part of the Lenscrafters group).  At one point the woman voicing the spot mentions something to the effect they consider eye care a “sacred mission”.  Don’t know about you, but anytime someone says something is a “sacred mission” I run the other way.  Everyone’s eyes are different – different problems, prescriptions, or whatever.  If these people are fanatical enough to consider eye care a “sacred mission” I worry whether I’m going to receive what I need, or what they think I need.

Finally, Facebook. If you have a profile, you have seen all those annoying ads running down the right side of the screen. Sometimes I think these are written by people who have only the barest knowledge of English. The other day I happened to glance at one that suggested I could buy a vehicle with bad credit today.  Now why on earth would I want to buy a vehicle that has bad credit?  My credit is pretty good so why would I want to buy something that’s going to ruin my record?  A few more minutes working on the text for the ad would have been well spent and cleared up any possible misunderstanding – such as what I wrote here.  Perhaps that I was educated back in the 1950’s and ‘60’s, when teaching English was taken seriously accounts for my “language police” attitude on occasion, so I blame the education system.  A sidebar on this one.  About three months ago, a man and his son applied for passports and that was when the man discovered his son couldn’t write his name.  Cursive script is apparently not taught in  Durham Region schools any longer. Printing yes, but actual handwriting?  Don’t be so silly.

Enjoy your weekend and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.

Cat.

By the way, I usually write these postings in longhand, then enter them.

C.

Parental guidance?

As parents, we constantly told, or still tell, our children not to put things they find on the ground in their mouth.  You know – “don’t eat that, you don’t know where it’s been”.  It is that instruction drummed into us as children and repeated to our own children that makes a current commercial for Ensure that much more unbelievable.  Here’s the scene: a man is playing soccer with his son.  At one point junior kicks the ball over the net and dad goes to retrieve it.  While he is behind the net a bottle of Ensure rolls down the hill and hits his foot.  What does dad do?  Ignore it?  Don’t be silly.  He picks it up, opens it and drinks it!  I can only suggest dad ascribes to the “do as I say, not as I do” school in dealings with his son.  Once again advertisers are asking us to accept illogical commercials.

One of my pet peeves is people who don’t pick up their feet when they walk.  What prompts this part of the posting is that I was out today and there was a lady on the other side of the street and I could clearly her scuffing her feet as she walked.  Are these people afraid that if they lose contact with the earth they will float away?  Ain’t gonna happen people.  Shoe retailers and shoe repair shops must love people like that because they destroy the soles of their footwear so quickly. When I was young, I was always told to pick up my feet when I walked, so I can’t envision any parent telling their children to do otherwise.  I know we all develop bad habits as we age – I have some and resist attempts to get me to change them – but shuffling rather than walking seems more like laziness than anything else.  But then again, laziness is a bad habit too.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.

Cat.

Too much reality?

I don’t know about you, but when I watch television, I’m looking for some temporary escape.  Yet I notice that current programming seems to consist mainly of reality shows.  If I want reality, I’ll watch the news.  It isn’t my intention to pan these reality shows for there are a couple I like to watch, namely “Ghost Hunters” and “Pawn Stars”.  “Ghost Hunters” feeds my interest in the paranormal, which is why I enjoy it.  “Pawn Stars”, especially when they call in the experts, can be educational.  I’ve learned some interesting things from these experts.

I also understand why reality shows are so popular with the networks and the cable channels.  They’re cheaper to produce than shows such as “Castle” or the “CSI” franchise.  But do people watch these reality shows because they find them amusing, or is it a case of hoping it’s gonna get better?

While on the topic of reality, I note there appears to be a trend toward using sports figures to shill for various products.  There is a commercial for Head and Shoulders shampoo that apparently uses some football player sitting at a piano.  I say “apparently” for there are goalposts visible in the background.  I have no idea who the hell he is, other than he didn’t play for the Toronto Argonauts.

The other one that comes to mind, mainly because I just watched it, is for one of the poker sites.  The person in this case is someone named Georges St Pierre.  Okay, and what is this man’s claim to fame?  According to Google, Georges St Pierre is a mixed martial arts fighter and in fact is the current welterweight champion.  I also discovered he’s Canadian.

I can see using an actor or singer as a spokesperson, for they would be well-known and would (or should) appeal to a wide audience.  But using a sports figure who may not be known outside his team’s home town; or a mixed martial artist would seem to restrict the appeal to a niche audience.  What kind of response would some relative unknown get? Just sayin’.

Enjoy your week and remember to hug an artist – we need love too (some product endorsements wouldn’t hurt either). 🙂

Cat.