Ugh! Commercials…they are stolen bits of time, a necessary evil we must tolerate in order to watch television. Realizing this, advertising agencies do their best to make commercials as entertaining as possible …and generally fail, sometimes spectacularly.
The field of commercials that drive me nuts and contend for my bad commercial of the month award was large, and have some strong contenders. I’ve whittled the list down to the five (at least for now) “worst of the worst”, and here they are for your consideration:
5. The GEICO “ Honest Abe” commercial.
Come on Abe…just be “Honest Abe” and answer the question…you don’t have to lie to stay out of trouble.
First, when his wife asked him, “Does this dress make my backside look big?”, he should have answered “No”, rather than squirming like a worm on a fish hook. It would have been the honest answer, and would not have gotten him in as much trouble as the equally honest, but more complete, “No, Mary, the dress does not make your butt look big. Your butt looks big because your butt IS big.”
Second, I hate seeing Abraham Lincoln, one of my favorite presidents, the leader of the free world, the most powerful man on earth, squirming like that worm on the hook. It makes me want to jump into the TV, grab him by the shoulders and give them a good shake, and say, “Abe…go open Mrs. Lincoln’s purse, get out your cajones and put them on, and answer your wife’s question.”
4. Collectively, all the companies selling gold.
What are their criteria for choosing their pitch men? One company uses an actor known for portraying a prosecutor on a TV show. Hello… Excuse me… Prosecutor? As in lawyer? We trust lawyers less than we trust Congress critters but the gold company thinks we’ll invest our money where the huckster shyster lawyer tells us to?
Suuuurrre we will.
Another gold company takes the opposite tactic. They trot out G. Gordon Liddy, a burglar of Watergate fame, and a convicted felon. This paragon of virtue is supposed to gain our trust and snooker us into investing our money in the company he represents.
Not me, I’m not THAT snookerable, and besides…I’m not buying anything from a man with a permanent scowl on his face.
3. The Nationwide insurance company nerd.
Is it just me, or do y’all wanna take that stupid blue strap, holding that stupid blue phone and wrap it around his scrawny little neck and choke him ‘til his eyes bug out?
Oh, wait…his eyes already bug out.
“We’ll rename the company Nationpam!!!”. Yeah, right, and I’ve got a slightly used bridge for sale.
After this commercial, I’d quit driving and start walking everywhere before buying insurance from Nationwide. They are just too dumb for me to trust them to protect my assets.
Vanishing deductable? Vanishing commercial would be oh so much better.
2. SHAM – Wow
The first half of the product name, Sham, tells you everything you need to know, but it gets better. The list of irritating things about this commercial is too long for one (or 100) blog posts, but here’s a good starter set:
a.) “did ya get that, camera guy?” (no, you dummy, I’ve got the camera pointed at the floor!)
b.) How about the pretentious headset?
c.) Or the demonstration’s style, that reminds you of a carnival barker? If I want snake oil I’ll go look up a carney, OK?
d.) Maybe it’s the overall cheap production. After all, the set is nothing but a blue paper background behind a cheap table top.
e.) Or maybe, just maybe, it’s because “Vince” comes across as an elitist, superior jerk. You can almost read behind his eyes, “HA HA HA…this product is overpriced garbage, but these people are so stupid I can talk them into buying it!”
Psssttt…hey Vince…not me you can’t.
1. “Active-On…apply directly where it hurts!”
The sad thing is this is actually a good product. Active-On, and it’s sister product Head-On, do relieve pain as advertised…but how they sell enough of the product to make money with those cheesy commercials is beyond me.
I tried it when a friend bought it…but he’ll buy anything.
I don’t think he owns ANYTHING that wasn’t bought from a 3 am infomercial.
While the stuff works, every time I see the commercial and the gal “air rubs” (think air kiss, but even more phony) the stuff on the guy’s aches, all I can think is, “Shazam! The stuff works through his clothes!”…right before I fall off the chair laughing.
This is obviously a short list. Next week, in a different mood, my “worst of the worst” might be different. Here are a few “honorable mention” categories and individual commercials that didn’t make my top five…this time.
Any commercial for shysters bottom feeding pond scum ambulance chasing lawyers .
The Dos Equis beer “most fascinating man in the world” commercials.
Political campaign ads. All of them. Conservative. Liberal. All of them. Period.
Here in Georgia we have a term, a “gnat bites”. A gnat bite is something so totally inconsequential that it really has no effect on anything, but that gets up under your skin and itches, just like a gnat bite.
These commercials are my own personal “television commercial gnat bites”. Why don’t y’all share your own gnat bites with us in the comments below?
- Would you ‘like’ (or dislike) a TV commercial? (lostremote.com)
- Irritating Commercials (ofmodernproportions.com)