Earthstar Works

 home          arts          books          greetings          portals          lucki stars          about

Home > Lucki Stars > Adding Insult

Adding Insult
by
Lucki Melander Wilder

Lucki, I think we're kindred spirits on the advertising thing.  I notice many of the same little nuances,
and have often thought I should keep a notebook handy to write them down.  -- Tom Ligon, SF author

It's surprising (or perhaps not) how many times I "Say what?!" to TV advertising, and want to share the fun with someone (everyone?) else.

Email me to subscribe or give feedback, or to call attention to your own (un)favorites. Not all feedback necessarily appears in this page, and may be edited for links, typos, multi-source redundancy, and relevancy. That doesn't mean we consider negative feedback irrelevant or refuse to post it, as negative feedback can often help us learn to do more and better.

2019-07-20
Puttin' on Airs

So, Armstrong lands the lunar module. A moment later ('cuz this isn't a 6-hour commercial), he exits LLM, slowly descends the ladder, and takes that one small step for a man. Only he never hits the lunar surface. 'Cuz he's grown these fidgety little wings on his back (outside his spacesuit, no less). He's followed closely ('cuz this isn't even a 19-minute commersh) by Aldrin bearing the American flag, sprouting the same set of wings, and also incapable of reaching the ground...even though he has enough downward wing-force leverage to implant the flagstaff in the lunar regolith, go figure.

Uh, Houston, we have a problem.

Houston responds with a mild exclamation about the energy drink our two intrepid heroes just drank, whence came the wings. Guess the pair of astronauts will just have to extract the flag, reenter the module, come back to Earth, and shoot the whole thing in a studio (twisted-into-a-pretzel conspiracy theory, anyone?).

Amenadiel Firstborn with wings unfurledReally? 'Cuz the most ludicrous bit of the whole ludicrosity is that if you could grow wings of the size and strength of Amenadiel Firstborn's, you still couldn't fly in the Sea of Tranquility. 'Cuz the moon has no air for your wings to lift or maneuver against. It has only 55,000 pounds of atmosphere (technically, exosphere) covering the whole planet. That's ex-ter-ree-eem-ely thin (in both height and density). Hence the spacesuits.

Just too much ridiculousness to even want to suspend disbelief long enough to trust anything the commercial says about the product. Plus I cringed at even the comic credence given to the far-out fringe who thunk the mission was all a lie.

P.S. - I watched the Apollo landing live, with Number One Son Rey. I watched Armstrong exit the LLM and slowly climb down. I heard him say that (in)famous first line. And yes, the transmission was a little glitchy and staticky. But I always thought he was telling the truth when he said he didn't screw up the line, the transmission did. Yeah, and so did the people who made a big thing out of it. What, were they so jealous of him that they had to find a fault whether there was one or not? Because what I heard was more like "One small step f'ruh man...."

That's right. As far as I could tell in the moment, which I didn't need to second-guess later, he elided the words "for a" into single syllable: "f'ruh". He didn't forget the word "a"; it was in there...just clad in casual clothes. What he "left out", if anything, was the "o" in "for".

Big whoop. I've done that myself dozens, hundreds, thousands of times. You have too. Eliding that first vowel like that is a common habit among all English (as a first language) speakers...with the possible exception of Mister Data. Elisions are a normal speech phenomenon that come naturally and frequently to native speakers of any language that has elisions. And eliding a word-internal unstressed vowel like that "o" is so common, it has its own term: syncope.

Just sayin'.

email your feedback with ADDING INSULT and the entry date as the subject

BACK TO TOP

Switch to Abiding Blog
Switch to Aphor/Memes

Go to Newer Entries
There are no newer entries

-------------

Entries During
2019-2020

2019-07-20 Puttin' on Airs

2019-06-18 Photo Bomb?

2019-05-14 It's Campy, Alright

2019-04-15 Protection Racket

2019-03-15 What's He Doing?

2019-02-05 Whose Is What?

2019-01-01 Whose Idea?

-------------

Go to Older Entries
2017-2018
2015-2016
2013-2014
2011-2012

Switch to Abiding Blog
Switch to Aphor/Memes

2019-06-18
Photo Bomb?

Sat on this one for a while 'cuz I couldn't for the life of me remember which particular brand of product was being offered. Which certainly wouldn't have made the advertisers happy, that their commersh didn't make the product name memorable. But c'est la vie. I finally bothered to track it down. Guess it was easier to remember something about the first day of school as we were dealing with the last day of school. So, albeit a day late and a dollar short, here goes.

See, there's the proud mom. Apparently she just got a cool new phone. With a cool new camera. And here it is, her daughter's first day of school. So naturally, at least after a hug and kiss, she snaps a photo of her backpack-toting cute-as-a-button offspring getting ready to board the school bus. (Though I never really thought of buttons as being cute. But hey, what do I know?)

Then she imagines the happy results of taking and having that there photo.

Camera cellphoneDoes she imagine framing that photo to put on her wall or desk or nightstand?
No.

Does she picture herself looking at it in a photo album some cold winter's eve to come?
No.

Does she foresee a photo-fed nostalgia trip with her daughter before she sends her off to college?
No.

Does she dream of sharing that photo with her grandchildren as they prepare to start school themselves?
No.

Does she do anything that would indicate she thinks her memories of her daughter are the truly important part?
No.

What she imagines is posting the photo and reaping a bunch of likes and hearts and "Cutes" and shares. ('Cuz, you know, if you're not constantly being validated by other people on social media, it's like you don't exist, right?)

Which strikes me as being way more about her than her daughter. But hey, what do I know?

email your feedback with ADDING INSULT and the entry date as the subject

BACK TO TOP

2019-05-14
It's Campy, Alright

Learn something new every day. Did you know that the collective noun for a group of chameleons is a camp? But I digress. On to another car commercial. For another car. By another manufacturer.

Okay, first of all, no hamsters! (Not that they floated my boat all that much anyway.) Unless they're actually inside those three cars. Pedal to the metal. Groovin' to Jason Slack's "Traction Control". Driving through that colorful landscape. Up hill. Down dale. Paralleling peaks. Past a crater. Wait. What? The crater moved?!

Chameleon changing color to match sunglassesWell, will you look at that. It's not a landscape. It's a, um, chameleonscape. A humongous chameleon. A veritable super-gigantosaur of chameleonity. (Either that, or those cars are the size of fleas.)

Color-change washes along the scaly road. Independent, mobile eye moves. Long, lightning-fast tongue slurps. The driving (in both senses of the word) song terminates practically in mid-note. So, it looks like to me, do the cars. With the drivers.

And the super-duper cryptid of a chameleon looks quite pleased with itself.

Chameleons dote on insects and arachnids. Crunchy on the outside. Soft on the inside. Just like those cars. And drivers. Some chameleons will also take a stab at small/young lizards, birds, and the odd rodent or three. Hamsters, anyone?

[ASIDE] For some reason, I went to YouTube to look at that advert again. And guess what I found? The commercial posted by the car manufacturer, with their blurb that says: "We created three distinct new species of the 2020 [make and model], each perfectly built to adapt to unique surroundings. But what happens when they take on a new environment unlike any seen before?" [/ASIDE]

Well, so, let's see: Buy our car. Take a drive on the wild side. And may your soul enjoy heaven, 'cuz the rest of you is going down the tubes. Really?

Uh, not that I own a car. Or drive, for that matter. Nevertheless, no thanks. If you own one of those, please don't offer me a ride.

email your feedback with ADDING INSULT and the entry date as the subject

BACK TO TOP

2019-04-15
Protection Racket

Talk about advertisers generally being in a rut. The statuesque insurance company is the latest in a long line of advertisers who think we should be impressed by and follow the lead of people too stupid to walk and chew gum at the same time. Without getting said gum stuck on the soles of their shoes. As, for instance, they stick their foot in their mouth. Ot even if they don't.

Witness Protection witnessYou know, like the bumbling burglars with the sofa. Or the sorry losers with the candy. Or the foolhardy feeder with the lions. Or Tom Ligon's guest entry on the glassy gastronomes with the phones.

The dude's on deck at the water's edge. Facing the camera with shadowed face, distorted voice. He can't tell you who he is. Or what he witnessed. But he can tell you about his insurance. At least, until someone with a flash snaps a photo, illuminating his face. At which point, he turns, runs for the rim, leaps over the railing, and dives in. Splash.

Witness Protection reporterHe's just blown his cover? In public? Disclosing his status and locale and all? Freely? At a spot guaranteed to be crawling with photo-taking tourists? To talk about his customized car insurance? Too bad it was for his wheels instead of his health or his life. Maybe he or his widow coulda eventually collected on that. But no, while his car may still be well insured, one would suspect that the only vital insurance he had - being in the Witness Protection Program - just got cancelled. In spades.

And by the way, if that intrusive reporter from another statuesque advert returns to the scene to report on its being the last place said witness was seen alive, maybe this time before she exits out of frame on her left, she'll remember to pick up the purse she dropped on her right. Assuming nobody's already swooped by and snatched it.

Yeah, I'm really gonna trust any advice from those two.

email your feedback with ADDING INSULT and the entry date as the subject

BACK TO TOP

2019-03-15
What's He Doing?

Pair of turkeysGot two real turkeys to talk about this time. (Sorry, got bit by the alliteration bug. Twice.)

The first is the critter (not a spokescritter 'cuz it never says nothing, though it does gasp once) who's trying to quit smoking. Cold turkey. No, slo-o-ow turkey. So it starts using this withdrawal drug that has all these withdrawal-like side effects. Which is not the point I'm going to talk about here. 'Cuz I already have. Both as it comes to qutting smoking and to meds in general. No, I'm going to talk about what the turkey is doing, not what the product is doing.

Now, mostly the advert is silly fun. The slow turkey:

1.   Dips its toe in the pool and recoils at the cold. (There's its only line: that gasp.)
2.   Floats high and dry on its inflated raft.
3.   Uses its beak to gently turn the page of the book it's reading. (Now that's a trick worth learning.)
4.   Snuffs out its half-smoked cigarette.
5.   Dumps it, ashtray and all, into the (fortunately empty) trash can.
6.   Waters its flowers with a garden hose.
7.    Mows the lawn. (With a hand mower. Good eco-conscious turkey.)
8.    Swings its leafblower along the garden path. (Smart turkey. Wearing something to protect its ears.)
9.    Fills its wildbird feeder.
10.  Hangs the bird feeder on a branch. (Seems to have a bit of trouble there, but no biggie.)
11.  Strolls into the garage.
12.  And happily kicks up its heels as the garage door closes.

All in all, that's sorta cute. Very active turkey. Doesn't matter that he's slow. Knows how to get stuff done and how to relax. A lesson we can all learn.

Turkey near the sidewalkOnly one misstep. Let's go back to step 8 up there. 'Cuz first of all, I think leafblowers are one of the worst inventions ever. (So are leaf vacuums, but at least they do collect the leaves for disposal. Stupidly wastefully, though.) Using all that fuel and emitting all that pollution and all those decibels to blow leaves off the sidewalk. Not even to collect them. Just to blow them away until the wind either blows them back or dumps them on your neighbor's sidewalk. How frikkin' lazy can you get? What happened to its eco-consciousness? Hey, jerkwad, stop being such a bozo, get out your broom or rake, and actually clean those loose leaves (or maybe grass clippings) up yourself! You could probably use the exercise. (Okay, admittedly raking leaves and shoveling snow are two of my favorite exercises. So maybe I'm prejudiced. But come on.)

But the real misstep is that there are no leaves (or grass clippings) on the turkey's paved path. Not a one in front of it. And no little piles blown onto the lawn behind it. None that I can see. Nada. Zero. Zip. Zilch. After all, the trees are still green. What was the director thinking? Too expensive to animate a few leaves (or a mat or two of clippings)? After animating the whole turkey? Gimme a break.

The second "turkey" is an actor I'm in no way, shape, or form enamored of anyway. Never have been. So when I have to endure one of his car commercials, I really am not motivated to suspend my disbelief nor brook any nonsense. And there's weird nonsense in all of them. Which, since he's also one of the producers, may make sense.

But this one is more than weird. It's seriously crazy weird. And it's offputting. At least to me.

Pool balls, rack, cues, and chalkActor and eight friends around a table eating and talking. Then everyone gets up to leave. Pretty abrupt, but whatever. Nor was I quite sure whose home it was, 'cuz even the actor left while someone else was still in the house. But on the way to the door, he encounters - like, from his frozen deer-in-the-headlights reaction, unexpectedly ... and irresistibly - a pool table with an unfinished game. Really? Who leaves a pool game unfinished? Obviously not him. 'Cuz he wanders over in a daze. Revs up for a vertical-cue, curving trick shot. Evades all obstacles, including the eight ball. And sinks the ball perched at the edge of the pocket. Without dropping the cueball. To the amazement of the friends watching from the door. Then he wanders out to his car and drives away. 'Cuz, you know, the car handles as amazingly as that cueball did. (Of course, if the car had to spin like that ball did, I wouldn't want to be in it.)

Turkey in full (narcissistic) displayThe editing, especially of the shorter cut (which I saw first), left me a little confused. Almost made it seem, at first, that he'd hit the cueball and then butted it again. I finally figured that out, anyway. (Though ya gotta like Steve Markle. The pro who actually pulled off that masse for the actor.) And we never know if the actor really just set all that up ahead of time to impress his friends, in which case I suppose one could opine maybe that masse was a blood test and he did pass it.

Anyway, for all the - well, introspective is a nicer word than narcissistic - flavor of this commercial series, I think this one takes the cake. And I really don't think the actor is playing a character. I think he's playing himself.

'Nuff said.

Tue, Apr 02, 2019 at 2:42 PM, Kim wrote:
Hey, Lucki
  Of the two turkeys - I didn't understand what you were saying, much less the point you were making, about the second turkey. The first one, I was right there with you on the leaf blower!
Kim
  Lucki responds to Kim:
  Perhaps you haven't seen the car commercial at all, as most of Fiji's cars are imported from Japan and South Korea, not the US (which accounts for well less than $1 million a year in Fiji car imports). Cars manufactured in North America simply can't compete with Asia and Australia given the shippping distances involved.

email your feedback with ADDING INSULT and the entry date as the subject

BACK TO TO

2019-02-05
Whose Is What?

So the guy is sitting with the gal on her sofa. His arm around her shoulder. And they want to get kissy. Don't know where or how far it's really headed; but okay, let's let them enjoy the moment as she shuts off the TV and they lean in

Only one problem. She has a chaperone.

Her dog. Her big dog. Her big, agile, over-friendly, insistent, attention-demanding dog.

Which:

= Emits a single, sharp bark.
= Bounds over the back of the sofa to get between them.
= Wriggles around half-upsidedown against their chests.

(Understand: dog's big enough that, even though the couple are no longer touching each other at all, it can sprawl across both of them and still have it's head, neck, shoulders, forepaws, and tail on the couch pillows.)

= Runs across their legs and along the couch from end to end.
= Plants itself in the guy's lap with its hindquarters tucked firmly in between him and his gal.

Dog doing bone math on a chalkboardThat's one smart pet she's got there, don't you think?

Well, once he gets out from under the dog, the guy does what any guy would do. He goes shopping. For, you know, just the thing.

And he comes back with just the thing. Just the thingS. Plural. Gal and dog greet him at the door. He flourishes the thingS. Gal says "Aww." Dog says "Arff." They obviously love his thoughtful thingS.

Only one problem. Because of how they're all standing in the doorway, he's presenting the dog with a big multi-color bouquet. And the gal with a big chew-toy bone.

(And yes, of course I realize that was a double entendre. Intended or un. Either way, chalk it up to the director, right?)

email your feedback with ADDING INSULT and the entry date as the subject

BACK TO TOP

2019-01-01
Whose Idea?

This guy is a head honcho. Maybe the CEO who has to report to his Board. Or maybe he's lower on the totem pole. We don't really know. But we do know he has a quick chat with someone downline of him. Let's call her a department head. And the (possibly) CEO tells her the company must economize on something. Obviously he doesn't know on what, or he'd tell her on what. Guess he's hoping for inspiration from his staff.

So the (possibly) department head has a quick chat with someone downline of her. Let's call him a frontline manager. And she tells him the company must economize on something. Obviously she doesn't know on what, or she'd tell him on what. Guess she's hoping for inspiration from someone.

And the (possibly) frontline manager has a quick chat with someone downline of him. An intern. Just about as far downline as you can get and still be there at all. And he tells the intern that the company must economize on something. Obviously he doesn't know on what, or he'd say on what. Guess he's hoping for inspiration from somewhere.

Well, the intern tells him about a simple way to save. A good way. Really? Yes. Wow, what an idea!

So he promptly runs to the (maybe) department head and tells her about this simple way to save. Never mentioning the intern.

And she promptly runs to the (maybe) CEO and tells him about this simple way to save. Never mentioning the frontline manager.

Stealing an idea from a subordinateAnd the CEO is ecstatic. A simple way to save. He's glad he thought of it.

The question is: Do I really want to trust or purchase anything from a business that thinks stealing other people's ideas and claiming them as your own, just to make points with your boss(es), is humorous? Or should ever be touted as part of anyone's corporate culture? I mean, what does that say about their corporate culture?

The Bahá'í Writings talk about this kind of thing. While in Paris, 'Abdul-Bahá was asked, "Should Prayer take the form of action?" He responded, "Yes: In the Bahá'í Cause arts, sciences and all crafts are (counted as) worship. The man who makes a piece of notepaper to the best of his ability, conscientiously, concentrating all his forces on perfecting it, is giving praise to God. Briefly, all effort and exertion put forth by man from the fullness of his  heart is worship, if it is prompted by the highest motives and the will to do service to humanity. This is worship: to serve mankind and to minister to the needs of the people. Service is prayer."

He based his answer on things his father, Bahá'u'lláh, said. Like "It is made incumbent on every one of you to engage in some occupation, such as arts, trades, and the like. We have made this -- your occupation -- identical with the worship of God, the True One." 'Abdul-Bahá also once wrote that "...each child must be taught a profession, art, or trade, so that every member of the community will be enabled to earn his own livelihood. Work done in the spirit of service is the highest form of worship."

Shoghi Effendi also wrote that one of the principles of the Bahá'í Faith was "the exaltation of work, performed in the spirit of service, to the rank of worship" and, to ensure Bahá'í communities would keep this in mind, reminded our National Spiritual Assembly here that "work, specially when performed in the spirit of service, is according to Bahá'u'lláh a form of worship."

Can't be much clearer than that. But in the ad, their credit-stealing at work wasn't worship. It wasn't high motives. It wasn't true service. It was stealing. No one even ever said thank you. And if they're okay with treating each other that way, what are they doing to us customers? Just askin'.

email your feedback with ADDING INSULT and the entry date as the subject

BACK TO TOP

 

 home          arts          books          greetings          portals          lucki stars          about

  Copyright © 2010, 2013, 2017 by Earthstar Works