Headscratchers/Advertising

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to navigation Jump to search


  • Just WHY does everyone hate that dang Snuggles Bear so much? It's just a bear, what did it ever do to you?
  • According to Old Spice Man logic, does the scent make you more -manly-, and therefore more attractive to those that like masculinity (implying that gay/bi men will also be attracted to you), or does it just make you more attractive to women (and therefore could conceivably work when worn by a lesbian/bi woman)? [I asked this of @OldSpiceMan when they were doing the Youtube videos - "I'm a woman who likes women, would Old Spice work for me?" - but regrettably got no answer.] Possibly more WMG, but still enough to niggle at me.
  • Seriously. Doesn't "went to Jared" sound like some sort of Unusual Euphemism the longer they play the commercials? Originally it just seemed like a poorly set up attempt to make Jared's Diamond Jewelry "Jared The Galleria Of Jewelry" synonymous with (high-priced and/or high quality) diamond jewelry, which is a perfectly normal trope, but recent commercials seem to go out of their way to say, "Oh, yeah, he totally went to Jared." Wink wink, nudge nudge. (Quote marks used to indicate a quote or quotes from the ad campaign. The Monty Python bit is just because it's impossible to accurately convey the tones via text.)
    • It's probably not an accident. The exchange rate of diamonds to panties has always been fairly high, at least in some people's minds, and Jared (not to mention all the other diamond companies) is probably hoping to sell them to gullible men on that basis. Sexual euphemisms sell, after all. Of course, that leads me to my own IJBM, to wit...
  • Am I the only one insulted by the implication that a man doesn't love his wife/fiancee/girlfriend unless he buys her a big giant rock? Material wealth =/= personal worth or integrity. Of course, as stated above, I'm fighting against a perception that's been around since people first decided that diamonds were pretty, but still...
    • Considering the political (Blood diamonds, look it up, you'll never want to buy a diamond again.) and the economical (diamonds are made from the most abundant element in the universe. they are not that rare, the only reason they're so valuable is that a cartel of sellers has a stranglehold on the market and only lets a little trickle out.) combined with ads like tis. No, no you are not the only one annoyed with that.
    • Comedian Juston McKinney offered a great rebuttal: the bigger the diamond, the more likely it is that he doesn't love her. If he can plunk down $5,000 for a goddamn rock, then he doesn't need to keep her around and can afford to cheat.
    • You're not the only one. I'm equally insulted by the notion that a woman doesn't love her significant other unless he buys her jewelry.
    • And. conversely, that he doesn't love her unless he spends thousands of dollars on useless trinkets.
  • The fact that Axe even has those commercials anymore and that I keep going to the logical problems with every women who smells you trying to sex you up.
    • Their primary audience is insecure man-children who are (a) obsessed with sex, (b) terrified that they'll never get to have it, and (c) desperately hoping that there's a magic wand (so to speak) that they can wave to have it whenever they want. The idea that commitment > cheap sex never enters into it, nor does the idea that women are just a wee bit more complex than that. Of course, that only leads to...
    • Where do they find the women who act in those commercials anyway? Their parents must be so proud.
    • It bugs me that people assume that I'm a sex obsessed frat boy because I use axe. I use it because it smells good, OK?
      • Money's money. And their primary audience seems to be 13-year-old boys.
    • The ones that bother me are the ones that have dudebro spraying on the Axe and suddenly every hot chick within smelling distance literally pounces on him and starts groping him. If the sexes were reversed and it was men pouncing on and groping women, everyone would get the creeps and rightly so.
    • In This Troper' s college-town experiences, nearly everybody he knew who used Axe used it to cover up the smell of marijuana smoke. Worked just as good and cost a lot less than an air purifier.
    • The thing that bugs This Troper the most is the fact that Axe (blatantly sexist) is owned by the same corporation that owns Dove (love your body campaigns and all that jazz). What?
      • I can understand how that would bug someone, but in the end money speaks higher than morals,oh, and Axe is targeted towards men while Dove is targeted towards women.
      • On this theme, there was once a TV advertising campaign for Lynx (took me a while to work out LYNX in the UK is the same thing as AXE in other countries. Maybe the different name here is because we have a very staid unsexy insurance company called AXA...). In this series of ads, bloke and his girlfriend are getting up in the morning. In a hurry, she doesn't look at what she's firing up her armpits. It turns out to be boyfriend's LYNX/AXE. Much hilarity ensues as it turns every otherwise hetero female within sniffing distance into a rampant lezzie. (Maybe this answers the original poster's q about Old Spice?). Disappointingly, this ad campaign only lasted a few weeks prior to Christmas one year and vanished without trace - I can find no trace of it, not even on You-Tube. Yet these were far and away the horniest adverts Lynx ever ran, and the ones I suspect were furthest removed from reality... anyone else recall them, were they shown outside Britain, and where did they go?
  • Does bread ever get advertised? Fancy Pepperidge Farm crud aside, when have you ever had to watch a commercial to know to buy bread?
    • I used to see them a lot on CBS during The Price Is Right and my grandma's soap operas. It's been a while since I've spent the morning at my grandma's house, though, so I don't know if they're still around.
    • There are lots of bread commercials in Sweden. About as many as say, shampoo commercials (depending on the time of day).
    • Wonderbread (and anything else Hostess sells), Sarah Lee, Pillsbury [whatever]s, and regional stuff, apart from "fancy pepperidge farm crud" (I've never actually seen anything from Pepperidge Farm apart from cookies/biscuits, so if you mean those, there's also Chips Ahoy, Keebler, and anything for which Nabisco is known). Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to scrub the corporate gunge from my soul for having said all that.
      • Wonderbread has this cliche filled mess.
    • In England we have a few, (but mostly for things like Warburton's, and Hovis though).
    • Maybe only in Texas (haven't seen them in Louisiana), but This Troper has seen ads for Mrs. Baird's Bread. Also remember seeing a few for Sunbeam.
      • Louisiana Troper here. Saw one local ad for Sunbeam bread about 14 years ago. Haven't seen anymore since. Maybe they figured out that there isn't enough regional competition for them to bother with advertising.
    • Demptser's has this one. Another spot (which I can't find) features that same character speaking in tongues.
    • One of the Target ads that's a bit cleverer than the rest (not that that's saying much) shows a boy standing by an open jar of Market Pantry peanut butter and an open jar of Market Pantry jelly that are on the kitchen counter. He reaches one hand into the peanut butter and gets a handful. He reaches the other hand into the jelly and gets a handful. He brings the two hands together and begins trying to eat the mess while jelly drips out of his hands. Scene switches to a picture of Market Pantry bread on a red background with the caption "80¢". Cue Target logo. His mother really should have known to buy bread.
    • I remember commercials for Whitewheat, though it's been a while.
  • The Chef Boyardee commercial, where the little girl asks her mom to have the titular ravioli, only to be denied on the grounds that she always eats it. While the two are leaving, the can hops off the shelf and follows them all the way home. The mother asks her daughter what she wants for dinner, and the little girl picks up the can and smiles. There are a few problems with that. The mother would automatically assume she shoplifted it, and become quite angry with her. The other problem is how absolutely nobody noticed a can of ravioli rolling uphill.
    • Not to mention, if the mother's reasoning is that she has it all the time, how is acquiring a can anyway, legally or otherwise, going to change her mind?
      • WHY DID SHE FEED HER KID THE DAMN STUFF FOR THE MAJORITY OF A WEEK?! Do they just have no other types of food in their house other than Boyardee? It would explain her going shopping.
      • Couldn't she just buy some for a later day? Or do they go shopping everyday of the week?
  • EVERYTHING about the McDonald's "what can I get for a dollar" commercial. First of all, he gets all these crappy things for his dollar, but the dollar is never taken...he still has the dollar at the end of the commercial. Second of all, who walks into a tanning salon or a travel agency asking what can he get for a DOLLAR? And finally, there's the fact that the Dollar Menu would NOT cost exactly one dollar, because there's the whole thing with taxes and whatnot.
    • That last sentence Just Bugs Me. Oregon has no sales tax and most of the state has no restaurant tax, so the dollar menu actually is $1. Clearly all McDonald's commercials are set there.
    • There is a newer ad that's worse, with the person in question declaring that buying a burger off the dollar menu was the best dollar she ever spent. I get that McDonald's wants to tell us that their food is good, but it's just ludicrous for them to expect anyone to believe its so good that it's the greatest thing you will ever spend money on, EVER.
    • The first UK equivalent of this ad (advertising a menu with 8 choices for £1 each) boasted "40,312 combinations". This was a serious case of Advertising Copywriters Cannot Do Maths -- they presumably were trying to calculate the number of ways one can make a purchase consisting of at least two items from the menu, but not more than one of any item, and instead of the correct calculation (the sum of 8C0 through 8C8, which with a little thought is obviously 28=256, and then subtract 1 for 8C0 (the number of "combinations" containing no items) and 8 for 8C1 (those containing only one item) (because those two cases are "combinations" only to mathematicians) to arrive at the correct answer of 247), they for some unfathomable reason calculated 8!-8 -- not even close to any feasible statistical calculation.
    • Not to mention the obnoxious sounding colloquial language makes me want to deck the voiceover man.
    • Statistics 101 (well, maybe statistics 99.7): There are, simply, 265 combinations. The 40,312 number is based on the assumption that the order of your...erm...order matters. When ordering it doesn't matter if you get fries and a shake or a shake and fries. The number in the commercial assumes it does matter. (Maybe it does for you. YMMV)
  • This has to do more with movie posters than any actual commercials on television, but here goes. Is there ANY film that's come out recently that hasn't used an overwhelming amount of orange and blue on their posters? It's ugly and makes them all look the same. Not to mention insulting, as the orange/blue contrast is supposed to be the most subliminally pleasing to our eyes, and is somehow more likely to make us purchase movie tickets. (Because you know, actual trailers/actors/directors don't generate any interest in said film, no sir) I'm a big collector of movie posters, and there's hardly any from the past decade I find worth owning because of this hideous trend.
    • Movie posters almost always use contrasting colors, just because it's more "vivid". The orange/blue thing is a selection bias originally and a perception bias subsequently.
    • We've got that now: Orange-Blue Contrast.
  • The AXA/Equitable commercials with the gorilla. They feature a large talking gorilla trying to talk oblivious people into preparing for their retirement or what have you, ending sarcastically with: "But don't listen to me, I'm just the 800lb gorilla in the room". It mixes TWO different metaphors. The correct phrase to describe a looming issue that people ignore is: "The Elephant in the Room". The phrase: "800lb Gorilla" refers to an authority figure, or just a badass in general. It comes from the old riddle: Q: "Where does an 800lb gorilla sit?" A: "Anywhere it wants". "800lb gorilla in the ROOM" is just confusing the issue. That Other Wiki mentions that the two terms are confused enough to be interchangeable, but It still bugs me
  • Why is it that only women seem to eat yogurt in commercials?
  • The AT&T ads with Luke Wilson. Okay so you have smart phones, so does every other carrier nowadays. What, you cover 97% of all Americans? You didn't say that 97% coverage was "3G COVERAGE". Nevertheless do you have to sound like such a Jerkass?
    • The one that bugged me was the one where he's listing all the cities that the network covers... a list that includes Chicago, Houston and Phoenix, three of the 10 largest cities in the U.S. Was that supposed to impress people?
  • Why is it I can't remember how to do algebraic formulas, but I can remember a deodorant commercial I haven't seen since I was five?
    • Either math is really not interesting to you or that commercial might've wowed you so much, you remember it to this day.
    • You are probably definitely right on that first part. The second part, it was the jingle "Raise your hand...raise your hand if you're Sure!" and it featured an image of the Statue of Liberty. (Who, at the time, was big in the news due to being retouched.)
    • Because commercials are designed to stick in your head to the verge of suicide, whereas algebraic formulas are not.
      • (-b +- sqrt(b^2 - 4ac))/2aaaaaaaaaah!
  • The new commercials for Twix candy bars. Someone gets in an awkward situation, a voice says "Need a moment? Have a Twix," the person freezes time around them and eats the candy bar, and then time unfreezes and the person has thought of a clever lie to get them out of the awkward situation. A fine concept, but the issues have involved:
    • A guy is reading a book on getting "Mega Hotties" with his friend. A woman he knows recognizes him, he eats the Twix, and then scolds his friend for being juvenile, despite him enjoying the book before being caught reading it, and the girl is so impressed that she asks him on a date.
    • A man meeting a woman at a party and, after a couple lines of dialogue, inviting her over to his apartment, implying that he wants to have sex with her. After she is rightfully bugged by this, he uses his time freeze to craft a lie about how he wants to blog with her, and she goes with him to his apartment.
    • A man's wife/girlfriend finds a message on his phone from someone named Terri saying "I need you." The rest of the commercial consists of him lying and saying she's his boss, despite the commercial clearly implying that he's having sex with Terri, including him telling his girlfriend/wife that the second message telling him to "bring whipped cream" was "for his boss's coffee." See here.
    • A recent one has a guy looking at some random "sexy" women, who seem to be playing in the street. The man's wife/girlfriend, with was is presumed to be their newborn child, yells at him, asking "What do you think you're doing?!" Then, after eating a Twix bar, he says, "I was just looking at... potential baby sitters!" She then KISSES him, and says, "You are SOOOOOOO sweet!" Also, the girls wag their fingers to him ("Come here..."). Apparently, his wife/girlfriend didn't notice him pausing before responding, doesn't think why he would be looking at these girls, and thinks that some random bimbos would be good candidates for baby sitters.
    • Basically, these commercials just bug me because they use blatant sex appeal and produce an aesop of "if you lie and eat our candy bar, you can have sex with girls!" Especially jarring is the last commercial, which implies the man is having an affair and portrays it in a positive light!
      • Those Twix commercials have been bugging the fuck outta me too. "Eat our candy and you can get away with lying, cheating, lusting over girls, and being a generic dick!" What a wonderful message.
      • Perhaps it's a masked "take that" at said demographics stating that if they take a moment to shut their damned mouths and think for once, then they wouldn't even be in those situations to begin with.....
        • Um, no. They get into these situations by being total pervs, and they get out of them by being unrepentant liars. It's insulting and needlessly exclusive (I'd be interested to see how many female customers they lost after those stupid commercials began airing) and inexcusable.
        • And the women they're with are so dumb that they're satisfied with the simple lies. Wouldn't a normally suspicious woman ask, "Aren't you going to call your boss and ask what he/she needs?" after the guy explains that Terri/Terry is his boss?
        • Yeah, because being a reasonable individual with a good moral compass, or in layman's terms: THINKING ABOUT YOUR ACTIONS BEFORE YOU MAKE THEM, won't keep you out of the trouble these people are in. They messed up with these commercials and hit the mark all at once. They made a commercial that won't sell their product, but they took daily occurrences and showed us just how horrible they are. Once you're done laughing, you stop and say "wait...what? THAT'S NOT FUNNY, THAT'S HORRIBLE!!!"
      • The ad campaign actually started innocuously. A guy is chilling at home when his wife comes out and asks, "Do these pants make my butt look big?" (The pants in question are tacky, skintight gold things that make her hindquarters look like she's packing bowling balls in said pants.) An announcer says, "Need a moment? Chew it over with Twix." The guy stuffs his mouth with Twix and gives an unintelligible answer his wife can't understand because his mouth is full, she assumes he said no, and hugs him. So it was still a guy lying to his wife (or else being honest but obscuring the truth with a full mouth) but it was truly funny, because he was trying to preserve her feelings and not being an asshole. It seems really odd to me that the marketing folks at Twix thought that it would be a good idea to go from, "Guy tells white lie to preserve his wife's feelings" to "Guy lies to his wife to not get busted in an affair."
        • The Cinema Snob did a very funny spoof of how that type of strategy would go over IRL. Watch it here.
  • Why are commercials so much louder than the show you're watching? I always have to mute my TV because they blast the dang commercials through the speakers. Just because it's louder doesn't mean I'm more likely to pay attention to it!
    • The FCC allows any commercial to be as loud as the loudest part of the program your watching, and it also includes, oh, let's say, explosions. So advertisers take full advantage over this.
    • Because during commercial breaks, people get up to use the bathroom or make food. If they kick up the volume, you'll still hear the ad.
    • The marketing departments disagree with you. You are more likely to listen if it's louder.
    • I don't know if the likelihood of listening is linked to volume as much as the ability to hear is.
    • In Germany it is especially bad when you are watching a quiet movie and the scene goes on several minutes with a ordinary, quiet conversation or several second pure silence... and this bitch from the Yogurette ad scares me with her scream. Scaring customers was never a good way to sell something or is it?
      • Scaring customers is exactly what a lot of companies do, but I agree with your point.
    • Ridiculously Loud Commercial
  • And while we're talking about Old Spice, what's up with so many advertisers blatantly ripping off their formula now? The "confident, absurdly successful guy walks toward a camera while sexified women do menial tasks behind him" format has popped up all over the place lately, and all it does for me is remind me of the Old Spice commercials, which defeats the purpose of this other brand running their ad in the first place.
  • Why the hell is a famous footballer qualified to tell us which brand of razor blade to buy?
    • It's your typical "quality by association" stchick coupled with Brand Names Are Better. For example, let's say that a commercial has, oh, Bruce Campbell saying that "Trope Brand Razors give me a close shave while making my face feel fresh and rejuvenated" (or something like that). A person would see said commercial, say "Oh, Bruce Campbell uses Trope Brand Razors so they must be a better quality product than Brand X Razors" and then go out to buy them. It's really nothing new.
  • And why the hell are they sold like they are the most powerful biggest machines around, that can go from here to the moon in 60 seconds and produce explosions bigger than a jillion big bangs? The Fusion Gamer! The Fusion Power Phenom! Ultra mega turbo destroyer warpspeed blaster! We're talking about little blades that trim the hair on your face!
    • Also, what's with that ever-present anonymous woman rising up out of nowhere to feel the guy's chin after he shaves? What was she doing down there where we couldn't s- ...Oh.
      • What makes men's razor commercials even MORE annoying is that they never have cool stuff like this for woman's razors. They got all of these "technologically advanced" " razors that makes shaving comfortable and prevents "pulling and tugging" so the razor will "glide", but woman's razors? Nope. They're plastic handles with small knifes sticking out for you to cut and razor burn your legs with, so you can " release the goddess in you!" My goddess is currently "Goddess of constantly lotioning my legs to help the razor cuts and burns"
        • Use the pink Venus razors (the ones specifically for sensitive skin) with white Dove Soap as a lather and use only a fresh razor every time. I have to do that or else I have the same problem. My guess on why women just have to shut up and deal with it is that a man can have a tasteful beard and still be presentable, while a woman who never shaves is probably 1. a scary hippy or 2. a scary feminist, according to cultural norms. So men have more choice and therefore their razors have to be more competitive.
        • It gets worse. The ad with the trees changing into triangles and such seems to imply that it's not meant for your legs (I'm sure you get where I'm going there). If what you said was true about what they do to your legs I (as a straight male) REALLY don't want to see the aftermath of those things.
        • No no, those aren't trees, they're BUSHES. My God, they're not even being coy about it anymore!
  • Those Super Cuts commercials are horrible. The message is supposed to be, "If you get a haircut from us, you will have the confidence to do anything." Okay, that may work for the running of the bulls, but I don't think it would work for winning an arm-wrestling competition. Confidence or not, you're still not as strong or skilled as other competitors.
    • Hint: Confidence =/= Strong, skilled, or winner.
    • At least the Clearasil commercials remind you that confidence can make you look stupid too.
  • Another similar one: ever noticed how ads targeting male insecurities are always so incredibly Anvilicious? Granted, female insecurities are always in the crosshairs, but the "no one will like you unless you buy our crap" message is more implicit. For instance, products that hide gray hair will say things like "get your confidence back" or "feel young again" if aimed at women, subtly implying that you're a musty old crone who people will only love if you dye your hair. Ads aimed at men, however, flat out depict gray-haired guys getting rejected by women until they use the product, at which the exact same woman will then jump his bones. There was one diet plan ad that, no bullshit, had a satisfied male customer raving that "I don't disgust my wife anymore!" All advertisers think Viewers are Morons, but these commercials stand out as especially cruel and insulting.
    • If I were to be completely cynical about it, I'd say that when it comes to beauty and diet products, women have already been successfully trained from youth to believe that they're ugly and unlovable unless they buy Brand X. Men, however, need to be beaten over the head with it because they are more likely to have been raised to have this crazy thing called "self-esteem" and will need more convincing.
  • Whenever a hotel commercial advertises that "Kids get in free!" my sister and I always point out that you pay per room not per person so the price is completely unaffected.
    • Hotels also charge for the number of occupants. I would guess the hotel doing the advertising is one of these.
  • Those ads on "The N" network that are obviously cell phone scams. The worst has to be the one were a girl texted the company (which is just a machine dealing out random numbers and answers) if she and her boyfriend were "meant to be". The answer was "No." She laughs at this, and they keep dating. Flash forward six months later, and he RUNS AWAY FROM THEIR WEDDING, as she cries on the chapel steps. First off, why would she trust a random answer generator for marital advice? Second, how much faith does she have to go along with this in the first place?
    • because they believe teens will do ANYTHING that will help them get closer to the possibility of having sex. Because our PHONES will guide us to the way of true love!
    • There's one I've seen where the girl texts the service and is told they have a 3% compatibility rate. She gets pissed and picks up her purse. Then she throws her drink in the guy's face! Fair enough if you want to believe the silly text messaging service, I guess, but he literally did nothing wrong! Even the cell phone service is only claiming you're incompatible, not that he's a horrible person!
    • That sounds similar to the cell phone commercial that suggests that if you use their phone and data service, you will have a happy marriage and raise the future president.
      • which is also annoying...
      • Seconded. Really, service provider? You suggested my kid will be president if I sign up? You went there? Y'know, if you wanted my business that badly, you could have maintained some dignity if you had just cried and soiled yourself instead.
  • Those damn Special K commercials. "Uh-oh, you're about to eat something that's BAD and has FAT and SUGAR IN IT!! Good thing YOU know Special K's got you covered with our crunchy paper and colored sugar water!" They almost seem like they want to make you think that by having their product instead of that eeeevil coffee drink or ice cream or cookie you're taking some sort of moral high road. I do love Special K, but their ads suck ass.
    • Because the worst thing a women can do is *gasp* EAT SOMETHING THAT TASTES GOOD! Nooooo! Women can't eat real food! They might gain weight! And we can't have THAT, now can we? Women MUST be in an eternal task of losing weight so they can be hot! Hot women matter most, and they can't enjoy a coffee because they could gain a fourth of a pound and men won't want them anymore!
    • You silly geese. We don't eat! Eating makes you poop, and everybody knows girls don't poop.
      • I Knew It!! So do you stay in the bathroom for so long just to throw us off the trail?
        • Oh shit, HE'S ONTO US. Quickly, the Female Fraternity must be protected! *headshot*
          • The Female Fraternity? It that like the Male Sorority?
          • Exactly like it. Now pass the aloe; she used a .25 caliber on my head and it's itching like crazy.
  • The Dairy Queen Blizzard commercials where the family stalks the Blizzardmobile. First off, is a Blizzard really Serious Business? Two, the parents actually have Blizzards in a new one. Isn't that enough?
    • They also act as if it's an ice cream truck, with a DQ employee just ready to hand them out a Blizzard. If the mom had actually reached the Blizzard mobile, she would probably just see a box filled with unmade ice cream.
  • There was an old commercial for I Can't Believe It's Not Butter with Fabio and a Shallow Love Interest in a Faux Medieval setting. He hands her a muffin with some I Can't Believe It's Not Butter On It, she takes one bite and says "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter," and there is a big romantic buildup. The problem, she obviously CAN believe it's not butter, as she immediately identifies it as not butter.
    • YMMV. I'd like bodice-ripper fiction a lot better if they always just talked about food.
      • Would it be the eating of food that causes the bodice to rip?
  • Those fucking Go Compare adverts. Why do they keep making them? Everyone hates them. When I think of 'Go Compare' I think of violently killing that moustached bastard, not...whatever the hell they're advertising.
    • George M. Cohan is spinning in his grave. It's too bad "Over There" is public domain these days.
  • Skittles commercials. Why do they focus so incredibly heavily on breeding nightmares, rather than taste? The closest thing to "our candy tastes good" they ever get is "people are so addicted to our product that they are willing to do horrible, horrible things to get some", which doesn't make me want to buy skittles, but rather contact the FDA. So why have ads like that?
    • "Hit me again, tube sock," isn't very appealing to you, either?
    • What about the Sheep Boys? Or the Scottish-Korean Guys? Yeah, they're pretty bad.
      • The Scottish-Korean guy was from the Starburst commercials.
      • They appear to be going for that Adult Swim-style non sequitur humor, but they forget to be humorous. If you're the sort of person who doesn't find randomness inherently funny, then all you're left with is a weird, creepy commercial that doesn't connect with the product it's shilling.
      • I love randomness, but the commercial with the dude's beard is just seriously disturbing. What makes it even worse is something I read comparing it to Michelle Duggar's hair.
  • There's a new Lucozade Sport drink out which advertises as being 'low in calories'. Thing is, Lucozade Sport is an energy drink, which means it's supposed to supply you with quick energy. A calorie is a unit of energy (it's 4.2J or 4.2kJ depending on which scheme you use). Therefore, the ad's saying "Our energy drink is awesome because it supplies very little energy!"
    • You can have an energy drink that has zero calories. An energy drink isn't necessarily supplying you with the energy itself. It may be making the claim to boost your level of energy with vitamins or caffeine.
    • On one British consumer show, they talked about some cereal which proudly boasted of being "high protein, low calorie". They'd asked a nutritionist about this, and not surprisingly he told them it was nonsense -- "high protein means high calorie".
  • Well, I couldn't think of a better place, and it's sort of like advertising because of the bottle shape being a trademark of Coca-cola, but I'm bugged by how they have their special bottle shape which is enough taller than regular bottles that they don't fit in my refrigerator standing up. Do they want me to buy their competitor's instead?
  • Why, oh, why can't GEICO just pick a damn mascot already? First it was the gullible dude (IE: "People do stupid things (guy gets flattened by a steamroller). Paying too much for car insurance shouldn't have to be one of them."). Then it was the gecko. Then it was the caveman/cavemen (IE: "It's so easy, a caveman can do it. *cue caveman walking away in disgust*"). After that it was the money with the googly eyes (IE: "That's the money you could be saving by switching to GEICO."). And, finally they have that announcer guy (IE: "Can switching to GEICO really save you 15% or more on car insurance? Does (insert person/place/thing here) do (insert action here)?"). I say they should just combine all of their mascots into one mascot and get it over with-IE: A gullible cave-gecko made of money with googly eyes that's an announcer. Problem solved.
    • As of 10/18/10, there's a new commercial made with Xtra Normal, possibly beginning a new series of commercials.
  • The new Pepsi Max commercial that aired during the Super Bowl (#XLV) where a couple is sitting on a bench. A single woman sits on the bench next to them and the woman of the couple thinks the guy is checking her out, so she throws her Pepsi can, which then hits this innocent woman in the head, knocking her out cold. She falls on the ground. The couple gets up and runs off without checking to see if she's okay. What kind of a shitty move is this? Never mind the racial implications.
  • In McDonald's commercials, why do Ronald and the gang willingly hang out with a masked man who admittedly calls himself "the Hamburglar"? In McDonaldland, that's got to be the same as asking a convicted break-and-enter offender to watch over your jewelry store.
    • The Onion referenced the Hamburglar's strange implications with McDonald's unveiling and then quickly dropping their new "Hammurderer" character.
      • Satisfied OP is satisfied.
    • Hey, they also hang out with a guy whose name means "A sharp contortion of the face expressive of pain, contempt, or disgust." Yeah, he used to be evil (at least, in the sense of food theft), but you'd think he wouldn't continue to have a name like that after his rehabilitation (and amputation).
      • Amputation? What the hell did they cut off?
        • Two of his arms (not during a commercial, of course, it was a character redesign).
  • There is political campaign in Missouri right now between Roy Blunt and Robin Carnahan. Both of their ads are attack ads against the other, and neither candidate is saying anything positive about himself. Not only that, these ads are in practically every commercial break. I live in Illinois and I have to put up with this!
    • I assume you're still in St. Louis media jurisdiction, which is why you're seeing those commercials. Sadly, a lot of times these fear-inducing ads are far more effective than positive ones, because no matter what a candidate can promise, they want you under the impression that it's way better than what their incompetent, self-righteous, money-grubbing fool of an opponent will bring to this [country/state/county/city.]
    • The strangest thing is that there is another series of ads for some other candidate that says something along the lines of "while candidates X and Y sling mud and throw accusations around, our candidate never slings mud and throws accusations around, and focuses on the issues that matter. Vote for Candidate Z." Longer cuts of the commercial mention things like abortion and voting, but never the stance. How can these people think they're actually helping by implying that their candidate approves of implied hypocrisy, and may or may not be highly controversial in some vague, undefined way? No Such Thing as Bad Publicity doesn't even start to explain it, unless they're actually on the other side.
  • Why do "Heat Surges" (those devices that look like a fireplace) claim they are built by the Amish? Didn't the Amish forego electronic technology to be closer to God, or am I missing something here?
    • Short answer: No. (Long answer: Noooooooooooooooooooo.) It varies from one Amish community to another, but most use technology to some degree. Anyway, even if they didn't, there's still the fact that not using technology doesn't preclude you from building it for the use of others.
      • The heating elements come form a factory. The wood frames come from the Amish. If you see that on a heater without a wood frame, a marketer screwed up.
  • When it comes to advertising on tv for God-knows how many times, isn't there usually a HUGE cost to dominate the airwaves? Let's take Crazy Frog (Or as I prefer to call it, Stupid Bastard), how did it make so much money in the first place to get played so many damn times? I understand after it got "popular" because people bought it but what about before?
    • The internet and word of mouth.
  • Sometimes a company has bought a lot of airtime on a particular channel. Their commercial runs during nearly every commercial break. This is fine. Occasionally, it runs twice in the same break. Annoying, but not a show stopper. But every now and then, a channel will run the same exact commercial back-to-back with itself. FUUUUUUUUUUUUU--
    • The first airing is broadcast nationally, the second is purchased from the local station.
    • I once saw a commercial break where every other commercial was the same yogurt commercial. I think the frickin ad played 8 times before the show came back.
  • There was this moustetrap commercial in which a woman tells his husband she just killed a mouse using the mousetrap. What bugs me was that she was so flipping calm about, she acted like she just made a sandwich!
    • Well, if she'd flip her shit, that would raise Unfortunate Implications about how women can't handle dead animals but MEN can. And if she'd been distressed about the dead mouse, well, who wants to sell their product with "and it will make you cry, too :D" ?
    • Who buys mouse traps that kill mice? People who want to kill mice. Who isn't going to cry that they've killed a mouse? Someone who wanted to kill a mouse and bought a device designed to kill them. I don't understand why this is in this section, surely if anything it's a Just Bugs Me about life- that people use mousetraps.
  • The Time-Warner commercial with two girls trying to tame an out-of-control washing machine is supposed to show the benefits of having Time-Warner's high-speed Internet service. After the girls fail to find the solution to the problem with the washing machine, one of the girls calls her dad through a webcam. Without seeing the problem (supposedly the benefit of the fast Internet service), he asks them if they've tried unplugging the washer. How the web chat is supposed to help two stupid girls is beyond me.
    • This is also a bit of a broken aesop and a failing of the supposed purpose of the commercial in the first place. The commercial promises, "get the answers you need - fast!" However, the girls have to call (by webcam) the dad of one of the girls because the Internet searches have suggested using a coupling wrench and other solutions. They only succeed after getting the common sense directions from the dad.
  • The idea that advertising is some sort of evil manipulation used by companies to con people into buying products. Look, there's unethical practices in advertising, sure, but mere persuasion is not morally wrong. And that's all adverts try to do; convince you to buy [x] product instead of [y] product. Stop blaming advertising and just don't buy it.
    • Except that there are enough manipulative, misleading, generally dishonest, and downright untruthful advertisements that buyers should always be wary of any form of advertising. Besides, so many things are advertised, the just don't buy it solution wouldn't work.
  • A guy accidentally sends an e-mail response to "all" instead of just one person. He runs around smacking the computers out of people's hands, stealing some laptops, and any way he can think of to keep them from reading the message. He uses his car to get from point to point, but his car isn't a central point of the commercial. Then, he gets back to his office and his co-worker tells him he didn't reply to everyone after all. The commercial: Bridgestone Tires
  • How much do advertisements actually affect the viewers besides making them annoyed or helping them decide what sort of food they want to cook for dinner?
    • I've always wondered that, too. Advertising can be for many purposes, like awareness or differentiating your product from the competition, but I've always wondered how much awareness you need, especially for products that you use regularly, like sodas. How much more awareness do you need for a brand of soda and how effective is the competition's advertising? If I've been drinking Coke for years, Pepsi (or another competitor) has an uphill battle that may never sway me to their products. Their products are already everywhere. If I'm not buying it when it's available to me almost everywhere I go, what chance does advertising have to get me to buy the product? Am I really going to forget to try Pepsi if I don't see a commercial or sign for it every 15 minutes?
      • Advertisements work on a number of levels, and when you actually learn about all of them you're response will be somewhere between deep respect and further IJBM. Even those who think that they are most hardened against them are affected more than they think. Now, when it comes to soda, you seem to be under the impression that they are targeting every single person. While it might be nice to sway you, they're just targeting the tautological group of people they are able to sway. The sad part? In general, this group isn't really large enough to justify normal advertising costs (new products and promotions obviously alter this), but it is large enough that Pepsi letting Coke dominate the advertising realm would be significant to them. It's essentially a case study of the prisoner's dilemma.
    • It's simpler than that. Most advertisements don't affect most viewers at all. Individual sales are worth more than the advertiser lets on. So let it now bug you even more that all of that annoyance and wasted time and energy really is for nothing. If you think you're immune to advertising... you are. It's no longer targeted at you.
      • Most advertising actually cancels each other out, ie If Coke and Pepsi are both yelling about how great they are, you're in exactly the same situation as if neither of them were. Unfortunately neither can stop, because that would give the competitor an advantage. This let to a strange situation in the UK, when tobacco advertising was banned it was actually beneficial to the tobacco companies, as they all suddenly saved millions on their advertising budget without really losing out.
  • The Snickers Squared shark commercial, because the Let's Meet the Meat of talking cows and candy wasn't disturbing enough, we had to have the human version apparently. I couldn't sleep the night after the first time I saw that damn thing, and I have to change the channel every time I see it now, given that one of my terrifying and irrational phobias is of being eaten alive. How the hell is saying, "Our company is run by murderous assholes who feed people to sentient sharks just for pointless research?" and "this will make you taste better to predators" supposed to make us want to buy your product, Snickers? Yeah, I know, it's supposed to be black comedy, but we see pictures of two of the victims (and see one living guy about to get eaten) and they refer to them by first name multiple times. If you're going for black comedy, don't do your best to remind us that these are people who have parents and very well might have children who are now orphans, you bastards.
    • Yeah, that is one awful commercial. I'd like to say I have no idea what they were thinking but apparently people actually find it funny. Oh, and people seem to have picked up on the greatness of these commercials, because a recent commercial for a razor has two guys in those underwater cages divers use to look at sharks. The announcer is talking about how one drop of blood can make them crazy, and the one guy using the razor that isn't being advertised ends up cutting himself with the razor, making the sharks attack the cage.
  • This ad for Invisalign Teen. What kind of asshole parents would play favorites with their kids like that?
  • Commercials that advertise some sort of medicine that strengthens your "cell walls." Seeing as how animals have no cell walls, this is a blatant example of You Fail Biology Forever.
  • This ad where kids are chasing after another kid for his yogurt that tastes like Ice Cream. It bugs me how those kids are so stupid that they can't see that there IS no ice cream. Why won't they just leave the kid alone?
    • Well all they see is him holding a little cup, and ice cream does come in little cups. And they might think he's lying about it not being ice cream, cause you know, who the heck wants to share ice cream?
  • Those commercials with the kids who act so smarmy and sarcastic because they know so much better than their dumb parents about things (the first one that comes to mind is advertising an online realtor service). Little kids talking like little smartass know-it-alls does not make me want to pay for your service, it makes me want to PUNCH THE KID IN THE FACE.
    • There's a new commercial for cable (I think it was Cox) that didn't even need a nasty kid in it but put one in anyway. It was the "Show and Tell With Your Parents Job" kind of thing, and one dad was a cable guy. This bitchy girl in the front of the class starts asking questions about what the company provides, and when he says the company doesn't provide it (which she knew all along) she would say "Cox cable does." She did this for about a minute and when the kid (and teacher for the last question) have finished humiliating him he asks "Who wants to hear from (the next parent in line.)" He was being amazingly chill for a guy whose job, which he probably planned on doing his whole life, was just ridiculed. It made me want to punch that kid AND fire the annoying teacher, NOT switch my cable.
  • Commercials for establishments, restaurants especially, that are not in my area(Dairy Queen)or even in the whole freakin' state(Sonic). I think I actually know the reason--I've heard that national ad buys are cheaper than regional ones--but it still irritates me.
  • The Gardnier: Fructis shampoo commercial which basically says "our product is a more attractive method of getting rid of dandruff than having a monkey on your head picking your hair". How is shampoo better? Everything Is Better With Monkeys! How is a monkey less of a babe magnet than the same stuff everybody else is using?
    • The monkey's probably not getting off your head to go to the bathroom, that's how.
      • Considering that the monkey is still there picking stuff out of the hair and either tossing it or eating it, that's what we like to call a "self-correcting problem".
  • What's with the new Toyota Highlander commercials? The message seems to be that you should buy the car so your kid won't feel embarrassed. The fact that the kid telling you this is a spoiled brat doesn't help at all.
    • My personal theory is that its actually being funded by a political group lobbying to ease up on laws regarding how parents punish children, especially regarding beatings, by showing what happens when a child doesn't get enough beatings. I expect a scandal when the real source of the ad is revealed to emerge some time in the next year or two.
    • Nostalgia Filter plus Most Admen Are...uh, were, like that as kids themselves?
  • What the hell, Klondike?! You just had to be like Axe and appeal to the Manbabies..."Hurrdurr, Mark has to listen to his wife nag for FIVE SECONDS! Women are shrill, humorless bitches unless they bring us cheap ice cream!1"
  • What is with the new Miracle Whip commercials? Ads by definition are supposed to make you want to buy something, but at least two of these are full of people ranting about how much they have MW and anyone who happens to like it. Yeah, that makes for a really appetizing-sounding product.
  • What is it with Car Insurance Commercials for the major brands (a big exception being All State, but YMMV)? Are they all trying to see who can make the most annoying ad?
  • Relatedly, how is it that every single car insurance company is capable of saving you money compared to the competition? Is there just one REALLY EXPENSIVE COMPANY everybody is using as a metric?
    • You'll love the correct answer. People who switch from auto insurance company A to auto insurance company B save hundreds of dollars on average. Because if there weren't significant savings to be had from switching, they wouldn't switch. The problem is when every company decides to present it as though it's a universal comparison.
  • Sonic has hit a new low with the commercial of the big pile of cookies dating the big pile of creme. That alone is bad enough, considering how grotesque the costumes are. But no. Then they had to have a long kiss... If they were trying to make cookies and creme look disgusting, they've succeeded...
    • YMMV. The commercial achieves it's goal for me, since I usually want ice cream (which is what the one pile is) after I see it.
  • Those commercials for a new computer (or a service that moves stuff from old computers onto new ones, something like that). A couple (with a kid I think) comes home to find that their entire house just got robbed, and we see that everything is gone, except the computer. The idea is supposed to be that the computer (which is shown to be an old desktop) is so out of date not even robbers want it. The couple then goes out and buys a brand new lap top computer. I know there's insurance and everything but that really doesn't seem like the kind of time that you'd have money to buy a brand new computer.
  • Adverts guilt tripping parents into making stupid purchases. There are two adverts going around in the UK at the moment. Some sort of yoghurt (that you must take daily to avoid death) which is now aimed at children, because otherwise they wouldn't have any energy! Then some juice crying out "it's better than water", if you're not forcing this drink down the throats of your children they're going to become dehydrated and die! Yeah I'm exaggerating but it's the same thing day in day out; buy this cereal or your child won't learn, get this yoghurt or they'll have weak bones. It's playing off the fear every parent has that they're not doing the best for their child, surely that's just as wrong as implying children should pester their parents for toys (which isn't allowed anymore, at least in the UK).
    • They'll do anything to get money. Ever seen hair products/facial cream products? They make a big deal about how, if you had pimpled skin, then you aren't beautiful, then cue an obvious model with baby-smooth skin smiling and saying how she had been taking the thing for a week and it turned her into how she was at that moment. For the men? It's usually baldness adverts, and they seemingly imply that if you're balding, you're not a real man.
  • The Nestle Water commercials usually make a sliver of sense, but in a recent one, a girl on a soccer team asks the coach why they drink sports drinks instead of water. Well, little girl, sports drinks contain electrolytes like salt to help balance the levels of them in your body because you lost some while sweating. And why does the coach have both drinks anyways? It's a waste of money.
    • They may have two drinks because some people didn't like one of them and they didn't want some of them to die of dehydration so they can save five bucks.
      • Alright, I'll give you the people like different options things, but they still should have more than enough drinks for the team, the other team should have some, the people watching should have some water of their own, and there should be cars near by to drive people to places with liquid. Even if you're really working up a sweat, you wouldn't die of hydration. All last resorts if people get that picky.
  • There's a new commercial for Stride 2 (or something like that) that has a guy get offered a free pack of the stuff. He turns it down because his original piece still has flavor. The dude trying to give him the pack then chases him through the mall they're in. I don't see the logic in this, who the heck turns down a free pack of gum just because they already have a piece? The guy giving it out didn't want him to eat it right then and there, he could of saved it for later.
  • Why doesn't the guy in this old deodorant commercial just wear shoes to cross the heat-sensitive floor?
    • The next question is, if he's slathering greasy deodorant on his bare feet, couldn't the authorities just run a trace on his footprints?
  • This Nissan commercial. I can understand showing your truck do something cool, but this commercial baffles me. It shows a Nissan truck actually snowboarding down a mountain and then do a barrel-roll while, at the bottom of the screen, is the message, "Fantasy. Trucks can't snowboard. Do not attempt... Or do barrel-rolls. Do not attempt." So... I don't get it. The commercial shows the product doing something awesome, and then says that the product cannot do what the commercial is showing? What does that accomplish?
    • It's an attempt to cover their ass in case some idiot actually attempts these stunt, gets hurt, and decides the sue. It's likely all CGI just to show how cool it is.
    • It's humor.
  • Can someone please explain Dior perfume commercials to me? I don't see how any of these commercials relate to perfume, or just smelling nice in general.
  • How about those current[when?] Chevy ads with hip kids doing crazy stunts with the slogan "Let's Do This" while a disclaimer at the bottom of the screen says "Don't Do This"?
    • It's a joke. Come on, TV Tropes, we should know what jokes are!

Back to Headscratchers