Tag Archives: tv commercials

Calling the Clio Committee

Why do I love this commercial so much? You might think it’s because of the daughter’s incredible NY accent. No, that’s just, like, a supah oh-w-some bow-nus. I like this commercial because these two are actually good actors. Especially the injured Pop. Totally believable. Not like that sham Hillside Honda romance. (While you’re at it – please check out some of the comments under the video on the YouTube. Classy.) With all the unwatchable commercial acting out there, let’s recognize how remarkably decent these performances are.

Related: Commercials Worth Watching: J&R

Ass Effects

Most writers will probably tell you that if you want your writing to come out well it’s important to read your work aloud. Things that look good on the page and may make perfect logical sense often come out awkward or confusing when verbalized.

So one might wonder what they were thinking over at Eisai/PriCara when they named their acid reflux mediation AcipHex. Or how their commercials got by the ad group without anyone raising a hand with a discomfited clearing of the throat, “ahem, did he, uh… does anyone else think it sounds like…?”

But it might explain why they started looking for a new marketing manager for the product a month and a half ago:

Requirements: Self starter, multi-tasker, understands rhyming.

Commercials Worth Watching: J&R

If you live outside NYC you’ve probably never gotten to enjoy the brilliant commercials for lower Manhattan’s J&R electronics superstore. If you’re here and you haven’t seen one today, it’s time.



and also yes.

They were produced by New York ad agency Toy, which has also done work for Virgin Mobile and Office Max. So simple. So good.

Dating Advice from Broadview Security: DON’T!

More bad news for the single ladies, courtesy Broadview (née Brinks) home security: Dating will get you raped and killed. Fortunately for just $99 you can get a home security system to protect you from the predatory attacks you’re asking for by wearing that. For extra safety, try these three tips from the company’s TV campaign.

1. Don’t go on a first date:

2. Don’t ever break up with anyone:

3. In fact, don’t even talk to men:

In Response to AT&T Lawsuit Verizon Employs Classic You’re-Just-Jealous Defense

Verizon did a bang up job with its There’s a Map for That commercials, lambasting AT&T’s shitty nationwide 3G coverage. So the latter, naturally, sued to get the ads off the air, on the grounds that they mislead the viewer into thinking that if you’re not in a 3G zone you can’t get any service at all. Nice try, but no cigar. Engadget this week commented on Verizon legal’s nanny-nanny-boo-boo rejoinder:

Sure, Verizon’s doubled down on the 3G map ads in response to AT&T’s false advertising lawsuit, but eventually the company’s lawyers had to file a response and, well, ain’t nobody backing down in this one. Here’s the freaking introduction:

AT&T did not file this lawsuit because Verizon’s “There’s A Map For That” advertisements are untrue; AT&T sued because Verizon’s ads are true and the truth hurts.

Yeah. It’s gonna be like that. Verizon goes on to argue that even AT&T concedes the maps are accurate, and that pulling any of the ads off the air without proof that they’re misleading consumers would be unfair, and that at the very least both parties need time to investigate further. Honestly? We’ve read it over a couple times now and while the legal arguments are certainly interesting, it’s hard not to get the impression that Verizon drafted this response with publication in mind — check out this quote:

In the final analysis, AT&T seeks emergency relief because Verizon’s side-by-side, apples-to-apples comparison of its own 3G coverage with AT&T’s confirms what the marketplace has been saying for months: AT&T failed to invest adequately in the necessary infrastructure to expand its 3G coverage to support its growth in smartphone business, and the usefulness of its service to smartphone users has suffered accordingly.

See what we mean?

Booya. Pretty entertaining stuff. Maybe they should put their lawyers on their next ad campaign. Of course, their money might be better spent making phones that can utilize Verizon’s extensive 3G coverage, without sucking. Cue the Droid.

Modelquins pose … a threat to my TV watching; Old Navy Lady, Carrie Donovan, commemorated

It was after midnight on a recent Friday in midtown. Blinding white lights and the crackle of walkie talkied banter heralded another of the thousands of film and photo shoots that take place around the city. Four lithe female figures stood backlit on an empty stretch of Manhattan’s tony 5th Avenue. Sex and the City promos, perhaps. Maybe some Gossip Girl shenanigans. Oh, if only.


Alas. No 80s male fantasy humor. No Kim Cattrall.

In fact, it was the Old Navy Modelquins. Which means that, yes, there are more of those insufferable commercials on the way. If you’re wondering what asshole agency is responsible for these advert abominations, it’s none other than Crispin Porter + Bogusky, the geniuses behind Microsoft’s brilliant Windows 7 ads. What happened, fellas? Is annoying the new black in the advertising world?

At least the Gap subsidiary itself has some respect for the days when the brand had some style — at least as far as its marketing went. For its 15 year anniversary Old Navy has created a series of commemorative sundries featuring the prominently bespectacled “Old Navy Lady,” Carrie Donovan. She, often accompanied by her TV dog, Magic, starred in over 40 Old Navy commercials between 1997 and 2000, according to the New York Times.

The spots were quirky, cheeky nods at fashion and celebrity culture, campy send-ups in a pop-art pastiche. Donovan, a former fashion editor, though not a household name by a long shot, portrayed the fashionista-tastemaker archetype with such perfection — a seemingly impossible blend between subtle and over the top — that she became an immediately recognizable icon even to those to whom her trademark oversize black-rimmed glasses were a novelty.

So well-conceived were the ads that they garnered cameos from a bevy of TV stars. Past their primes, true, but isn’t that crucial to the joke? Recall these two gems (and please forgive the poor quality). Can you spot the famous faces?

Donovan, sadly, passed away several years ago, so there’s no hope for a return of the campaign. Perhaps more depressing, though, is that being inanimate, the Modelquins will never die.

Feel Good Friday

A couple videos to warm the cockles of your cold and tired heart. Maybe even the rest of it, too.

First, a story of nurturing, separation, and the enduring power of love. And of shopping for wildlife at a department store. Money can buy you love: Lion Love.

(Full ending with original soundtrack here.)

For something a little less involved/narrative-based, put your eyes on Keepon, the hugably cute dancing robot that made a splash on the YouTube back in 2007 and was subsequently co-opted by researchers who use it to study autism and other important stuff. But its research value aside, and whether or not you’ve seen it before, it can’t fail to light up your day just a little.

For a new twist I suggest you have a friend G-Chat you the link so that you can have the video run mini-sized in the corner while you trudge through your inbox. NB: The song is great, but Keepon’s squishy moves work their magic even with the volume off.

And of course, I can always rely on the E Trade Baby. Holy smokes, these get me every freakin’ time.

But throw in someone getting hit in the balls and I’m sold

I saw this Visa commercial recently and, watching blank-faced as a portly man danced goofily, but not remotely entertainingly in a hotel room, I wondered if people really still think that it’s inherently funny to see fat people dance.

Then, while I was on the YouTube enjoying the comedy stylings of my friend Joe Minolfi at Carolines — funny stuff — I got distracted by one of the “related” video suggestions on the right side of the page.

minolfi grab

This video, called My Humps, posted by user fatboygetdown, is clearly just two minutes and thirty-five seconds of a fat boy getting down (to the Black Eyed Peas). Why would I want to see this? Better question: Why have over one million one hundred and ninety thousand people watched it?

Oh, right, because people really still think that it’s inherently funny to see fat people dance. Sigh.

A Message from Nanja Eboko, Exchange Student from Cameroon

Apologies that I’m not savvy enough to post this video like a proper blogger would, but please believe me that this is worth a click. My roommate and I managed to catch this commercial for Cameroon last Wednesday night during Conan. Prime broadcast real estate on a major network — just keep that in mind while you watch. It’s the third video listed on the Come to Cameroon website. Here’s a teaser: The spot begins, “Strategically located within Africa, Cameroon … combines political stability with enormous reserves of natural resources…”


As my viewing partner astutely noted, Cameroon seems to be giving Kazakhstan a run for its money.

Star Rises, Credit Score Hovers, Hope for the Future Plummets

Can’t stand ’em, can’t help by sing along with ’em, want to kill ’em or fuck ’em or both, there’s sadly no denying the thoroughness with which the freecreditreport.com guys have permeated the pop culture bubble. The latest commercial features faux frontman Eric Violette getting stuck with a crappy cell phone as a result of his crappy credit. I’ll pretend it didn’t occur to me that the slick 80s brick with the Gordon Gekko/Zach Morris pedigree doesn’t appeal to a certain late-twenties-probably-broke-ish demographic. But I barely had time to consider the fact, as I was quickly distracted by how long the singer’s hair has gotten.

Like he thinks he’s some kind of rock star. Like he is some kind of rock star. Oh my god, is this guy some kind of rock star?

  • You recognize his face immediately.
  • You know the lyrics to his songs.
  • You know the order in which those songs were released (more or less).
  • You have strong feelings one way or another about him and them and…

sing along


change the channel…

quickly and quietly


while spitting expletive-laden vitriol about how much you hate these fucking commercials and these fucking songs and that fucking guy.

An iconic singer who compels a whole country to react, and to feel. Rings suspiciously of rock stardom to me. Shudder.

You might be thinking, “Oh please, we can tell the difference between a rock star and some TV-ad hack.” Maybe you can, but think of the children.

For the love of all things holy. For the future of this great nation. Think of the children.