edgy

Let's Play the Ad Game

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Buy our new chicken tenders: they won’t rape you like our competitor’s fish sticks might!

It just took me ten seconds to write that, and half of that time was spent looking up whether or not anyone’s ever been raped by a chain restaurant fish stick. And what I’ve just created is what we in the advertising game call a “Rage-portunity”.

As I’ve detailed in the past the purpose of advertising is not to inform or entertain, but to manipulate and illicit a reaction, whether it’s a positive one or not doesn’t matter, all that matters is that you remember it. Because long after you’ve forgotten that I gave you my word that my appetizers were almost entirely rape free, you will still remember the name of Admiral Tasty’s Home for Battered Fish. I don’t think that you’re being constantly manipulated by advertisers preying on your basest human emotions is any big surprise. What I do think is surprising is how it continues to work just as easily today as when the first cave man said of his new line of pointed sticks “Ogg, grog ooh! Ooo! Ah-ah-Ooo!” Provocative to be sure, but he couldn’t be-point sticks fast enough after that feces smeared message appeared on a rock across from the fire.

You'd be Waco not to try our new "Firey Compound Sampler"!
You'd be Waco not to try our new "Firey Compound Sampler"!

This little gem apparently appeared on the sky line of South Bend, Indiana a couple weeks ago. They have since been removed after complaints from residents who called the campaign irresponsible and thoughtless. And those people are wrong.

Why do I say that? Is it because I am simply a contrarian, poised at the drop of an opinion to mindlessly, reflexively take up the opposing argument out of a desperate, sad play for attention, any type of which, whether it be positive or negative, I wrongfully translate into “love”, equating the very act of being acknowledged as a confirmation that my existence is not futile and anonymous, that in fact the universe does hear my shouts into the void and that the annoyed groans of those who answer back are the closest thing I will ever experience to an actual inter personal connection with another living being?

Shut up…

You’re stupid and your hair smells dumb.

No, in fact I say this because there was nothing “thoughtless” about this billboard. You don’t put a fifty foot fuck you to 900 corpses in the sky without hundreds of someones looking at it and approving it before it even gets off a note pad. The question comes down to, does it work, and is it worth the investment?

I’ve never been to Indiana personally, and as far as I can tell,  Hacienda Mexican Restaurants isn’t a national chain, so I’d never heard of the establishment before. I’ve heard of it now. Plus, I know that their margaritas are so good, you’ll think they’re poison. And after a brief search for rates for a 14′ x 48′ billboard, I couldn’t find how much it might cost to insult the families of 900 dead cult followers, or what exactly one would have to pay to shock and outrage those more easily shockable and outrageous commuters of a small midwestern town. Again though, I imagine the national attention and coverage would certainly have cost quite a bit more.

Now, I don’t want to say that people are predictable and easily manipulated, because you’re so handsome and or beautiful that even attempting to do so would be an insult to your colossal intellect and firm, luscious breasts and or penis. I also don’t have time to show you the exact equation to represent the inverse effect of negative publicity on the volume of cheesed tortilla chips sold, or the precise calculations on the effect of referring to your lightly alcoholed sugar rimmed frosty drink as a “9/11 of flavor” versus a “Holocaust of fruit in your mouth oven”. I have them, but they only exist in glossy color chart form in my office where I teach young ad execs how to easily remove their soul so that they can store all of the money their protested ads will be making them.

“Our role is not to be controversial or even edgy. We want to be noticed…” said the vice president of sales and marketing at Hacienda while trying to stifle a giggle as he thumbed through the wad of cash in his pocket. It’s not hard to shock people today, we’re such an insulated society that continues to pad itself against more and more of the obscene and crude world around it while simultaneously lapping that same smut up with a spoon. Things that were considered common place and ordinary a few short decades ago are now looked at with shock and confusion that any of it was ever allowed to happen without immediately being followed by a flurry of lawsuits detailing how seeing someone do something that had nothing to do with them hurt their feelings ever so much.

But who am I to dismiss a winning formula? It seems arrogant and dishonest of me to believe myself above it all when I so desperately want to draw eyes to this very site. So with that in mind, allow me to introduce my new ad campaign for Van Full of Candy:

Van Full of Candy, it’s what Hitler would laugh at!

Jawohl ist VFoC sehr lustig!
Jawohl ist VFoC sehr lustig!
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Let’s Play the Ad Game

Posted on Updated on

Buy our new chicken tenders: they won’t rape you like our competitor’s fish sticks might!

It just took me ten seconds to write that, and half of that time was spent looking up whether or not anyone’s ever been raped by a chain restaurant fish stick. And what I’ve just created is what we in the advertising game call a “Rage-portunity”.

As I’ve detailed in the past the purpose of advertising is not to inform or entertain, but to manipulate and illicit a reaction, whether it’s a positive one or not doesn’t matter, all that matters is that you remember it. Because long after you’ve forgotten that I gave you my word that my appetizers were almost entirely rape free, you will still remember the name of Admiral Tasty’s Home for Battered Fish. I don’t think that you’re being constantly manipulated by advertisers preying on your basest human emotions is any big surprise. What I do think is surprising is how it continues to work just as easily today as when the first cave man said of his new line of pointed sticks “Ogg, grog ooh! Ooo! Ah-ah-Ooo!” Provocative to be sure, but he couldn’t be-point sticks fast enough after that feces smeared message appeared on a rock across from the fire.

You'd be Waco not to try our new "Firey Compound Sampler"!
You'd be Waco not to try our new "Firey Compound Sampler"!

This little gem apparently appeared on the sky line of South Bend, Indiana a couple weeks ago. They have since been removed after complaints from residents who called the campaign irresponsible and thoughtless. And those people are wrong.

Why do I say that? Is it because I am simply a contrarian, poised at the drop of an opinion to mindlessly, reflexively take up the opposing argument out of a desperate, sad play for attention, any type of which, whether it be positive or negative, I wrongfully translate into “love”, equating the very act of being acknowledged as a confirmation that my existence is not futile and anonymous, that in fact the universe does hear my shouts into the void and that the annoyed groans of those who answer back are the closest thing I will ever experience to an actual inter personal connection with another living being?

Shut up…

You’re stupid and your hair smells dumb.

No, in fact I say this because there was nothing “thoughtless” about this billboard. You don’t put a fifty foot fuck you to 900 corpses in the sky without hundreds of someones looking at it and approving it before it even gets off a note pad. The question comes down to, does it work, and is it worth the investment?

I’ve never been to Indiana personally, and as far as I can tell,  Hacienda Mexican Restaurants isn’t a national chain, so I’d never heard of the establishment before. I’ve heard of it now. Plus, I know that their margaritas are so good, you’ll think they’re poison. And after a brief search for rates for a 14′ x 48′ billboard, I couldn’t find how much it might cost to insult the families of 900 dead cult followers, or what exactly one would have to pay to shock and outrage those more easily shockable and outrageous commuters of a small midwestern town. Again though, I imagine the national attention and coverage would certainly have cost quite a bit more.

Now, I don’t want to say that people are predictable and easily manipulated, because you’re so handsome and or beautiful that even attempting to do so would be an insult to your colossal intellect and firm, luscious breasts and or penis. I also don’t have time to show you the exact equation to represent the inverse effect of negative publicity on the volume of cheesed tortilla chips sold, or the precise calculations on the effect of referring to your lightly alcoholed sugar rimmed frosty drink as a “9/11 of flavor” versus a “Holocaust of fruit in your mouth oven”. I have them, but they only exist in glossy color chart form in my office where I teach young ad execs how to easily remove their soul so that they can store all of the money their protested ads will be making them.

“Our role is not to be controversial or even edgy. We want to be noticed…” said the vice president of sales and marketing at Hacienda while trying to stifle a giggle as he thumbed through the wad of cash in his pocket. It’s not hard to shock people today, we’re such an insulated society that continues to pad itself against more and more of the obscene and crude world around it while simultaneously lapping that same smut up with a spoon. Things that were considered common place and ordinary a few short decades ago are now looked at with shock and confusion that any of it was ever allowed to happen without immediately being followed by a flurry of lawsuits detailing how seeing someone do something that had nothing to do with them hurt their feelings ever so much.

But who am I to dismiss a winning formula? It seems arrogant and dishonest of me to believe myself above it all when I so desperately want to draw eyes to this very site. So with that in mind, allow me to introduce my new ad campaign for Van Full of Candy:

Van Full of Candy, it’s what Hitler would laugh at!

Jawohl ist VFoC sehr lustig!
Jawohl ist VFoC sehr lustig!

TV Review: “Mr. Sunshine” / Groupon

Posted on

I had intended on reviewing Matthew Perry’s latest cancelled television program this morning and took a surprising left turn. Come with me on a journey through the career wasteland of an actor who got really lucky one time, and freshly shorn vaginas that hate the environment.
The smirk of a son of a bitch who knows exactly how lucky he is.
The smirk of a son of a bitch who knows exactly how lucky he is.

Let us begin with the debut of “Mr. Sunshine”, a show that you’d better hate now while you’ve still got the chance. From the writers who heard about “Becker” and saw almost half an episode of “Parks and Recreations”, we get “Mr. Sunshine”, featuring Matthew Perry playing Matthew Perry as a vaguely defined San Diego sports arena muckity muck. Finally answering the age-old question “Why don’t I care about who orders all of the peanuts in a place like that?”

The main problem with “Mr. Sunshine”, aside from it being shown to anyone not responsible for making sure that those involved never got another job in the entertainment industry ever again, is it’s half-hearted attempt at “edge”. It feels like all of the interns working on “Community” rose up and decided that they could make their own, edgier show if they could just raise enough money to rent a “Friends” star for an afternoon.

There is absolutely nothing special about “Mr. Sunshine”, except for how precisely it has all of the pieces of a successfully failed show: the uppity lead who will spend a half a season learning a lesson and then never changing again, the functionally retarded buffoon man-child who can say all of the writers most pointless non-sequitors, and the Allison Janney as Jane Lynch playing Alec Baldwin.

Halfway through this waste of everyone’s time, I was actually worried about how I would formulate a review of a show as bland and predictable as a beige whoopee cushion, but then I was treated to a pleasant surprise in the form of one of Groupon’s new commercials.

I’m not going to bore you with all the details, but the punchline was “I got a super great deal on a pussy waxing!”

Perhaps I SHOULD elaborate.

It's like a raped tropical rain forrest, in her pants.
It's like a raped tropical rain forrest, in her pants.

I, like most people who own a television, saw the debut of Groupon’s new ad campaign during the Super Foot, Bowl Match Contest last Sunday. Now, the name of the game in Super Bowl advertising is “Zow!”. That is an actual industry term and is in no way me simply belittling the proud men and women whose job it is to try to trick us into purchasing shit we don’t need. The Super Bowl is, for lack of a more exactly fitting term, the Super Bowl of advertising. A thirty-second commercial spot during the game costs anywhere between 14 and 700 quatrillion Dollar Bucks. That’s big time money, and it is so much because for that four-hour block every single person, living or dead, is tuned into the game and just sitting on shit piles of money that they need to be told what to do with. It’s a true science fact. So the way you make your mark on an audience of that size is by doing something either very clever, or very stupid, and since we are in a very real clever drought, stupid usually rules the day.

So it turns out that there was a group of people who told viewers that they should have been offended by Groupon’s new “Suck it, World” ad campaign. And while I thought that openly mocking the plight of a mostly peaceable people, was certainly an interesting choice by the people at a website for coupons to flight simulator classes and restaurants that people don’t go to, I didn’t really think much else about that specific message because I don’t generally put a lot of curry in my mouth. But this ad, oddly enough, did get my attention.

So the basic set up is the same, a sort of mock public service announcement with your standard insincere run down of something that we should all really care about if only we could get 50-90% off of our not caring. Elizabeth Hurley in a bath robe pretends to educate us about the Brazilian rain forest being stripped bare of trees, like so many labia follicles being torn from mother Earth’s tenderest of flesh. But that’s okay, because she got a voucher for a discounted cunt deforestation of her own, so YAY!

Now, it’s really no secret that America doesn’t give a shit about the rest of the world, but is it really necessary to rub the planet’s collective nose in your freshly de-pubed twats of uncaring? And why are so many people pretending to be offended by being reminded that they don’t care. We knew you didn’t care about Tibet or the rain forest before this commercial, so what you’re really upset about is someone pointing out the fact that you don’t care. You see, as long as everyone doesn’t care equally we’re all right, but the second someone reminds you of something horrible and mocks you for not caring about it, it suddenly becomes the only thing in the world that you’ve ever wanted anything done about. For a second, until everyone forgets and we can all go back to comfortably not caring again.

So cut it out commercials. Stop making people feel bad that they don’t feel bad. People don’t watch horrible new Matthew Perry television shows to be told they don’t care enough about once proud, respected institutions that have since become pathetic, pitiable charity cases!

TV Review: "Mr. Sunshine" / Groupon

Posted on

I had intended on reviewing Matthew Perry’s latest cancelled television program this morning and took a surprising left turn. Come with me on a journey through the career wasteland of an actor who got really lucky one time, and freshly shorn vaginas that hate the environment.
The smirk of a son of a bitch who knows exactly how lucky he is.
The smirk of a son of a bitch who knows exactly how lucky he is.

Let us begin with the debut of “Mr. Sunshine”, a show that you’d better hate now while you’ve still got the chance. From the writers who heard about “Becker” and saw almost half an episode of “Parks and Recreations”, we get “Mr. Sunshine”, featuring Matthew Perry playing Matthew Perry as a vaguely defined San Diego sports arena muckity muck. Finally answering the age-old question “Why don’t I care about who orders all of the peanuts in a place like that?”

The main problem with “Mr. Sunshine”, aside from it being shown to anyone not responsible for making sure that those involved never got another job in the entertainment industry ever again, is it’s half-hearted attempt at “edge”. It feels like all of the interns working on “Community” rose up and decided that they could make their own, edgier show if they could just raise enough money to rent a “Friends” star for an afternoon.

There is absolutely nothing special about “Mr. Sunshine”, except for how precisely it has all of the pieces of a successfully failed show: the uppity lead who will spend a half a season learning a lesson and then never changing again, the functionally retarded buffoon man-child who can say all of the writers most pointless non-sequitors, and the Allison Janney as Jane Lynch playing Alec Baldwin.

Halfway through this waste of everyone’s time, I was actually worried about how I would formulate a review of a show as bland and predictable as a beige whoopee cushion, but then I was treated to a pleasant surprise in the form of one of Groupon’s new commercials.

I’m not going to bore you with all the details, but the punchline was “I got a super great deal on a pussy waxing!”

Perhaps I SHOULD elaborate.

It's like a raped tropical rain forrest, in her pants.
It's like a raped tropical rain forrest, in her pants.

I, like most people who own a television, saw the debut of Groupon’s new ad campaign during the Super Foot, Bowl Match Contest last Sunday. Now, the name of the game in Super Bowl advertising is “Zow!”. That is an actual industry term and is in no way me simply belittling the proud men and women whose job it is to try to trick us into purchasing shit we don’t need. The Super Bowl is, for lack of a more exactly fitting term, the Super Bowl of advertising. A thirty-second commercial spot during the game costs anywhere between 14 and 700 quatrillion Dollar Bucks. That’s big time money, and it is so much because for that four-hour block every single person, living or dead, is tuned into the game and just sitting on shit piles of money that they need to be told what to do with. It’s a true science fact. So the way you make your mark on an audience of that size is by doing something either very clever, or very stupid, and since we are in a very real clever drought, stupid usually rules the day.

So it turns out that there was a group of people who told viewers that they should have been offended by Groupon’s new “Suck it, World” ad campaign. And while I thought that openly mocking the plight of a mostly peaceable people, was certainly an interesting choice by the people at a website for coupons to flight simulator classes and restaurants that people don’t go to, I didn’t really think much else about that specific message because I don’t generally put a lot of curry in my mouth. But this ad, oddly enough, did get my attention.

So the basic set up is the same, a sort of mock public service announcement with your standard insincere run down of something that we should all really care about if only we could get 50-90% off of our not caring. Elizabeth Hurley in a bath robe pretends to educate us about the Brazilian rain forest being stripped bare of trees, like so many labia follicles being torn from mother Earth’s tenderest of flesh. But that’s okay, because she got a voucher for a discounted cunt deforestation of her own, so YAY!

Now, it’s really no secret that America doesn’t give a shit about the rest of the world, but is it really necessary to rub the planet’s collective nose in your freshly de-pubed twats of uncaring? And why are so many people pretending to be offended by being reminded that they don’t care. We knew you didn’t care about Tibet or the rain forest before this commercial, so what you’re really upset about is someone pointing out the fact that you don’t care. You see, as long as everyone doesn’t care equally we’re all right, but the second someone reminds you of something horrible and mocks you for not caring about it, it suddenly becomes the only thing in the world that you’ve ever wanted anything done about. For a second, until everyone forgets and we can all go back to comfortably not caring again.

So cut it out commercials. Stop making people feel bad that they don’t feel bad. People don’t watch horrible new Matthew Perry television shows to be told they don’t care enough about once proud, respected institutions that have since become pathetic, pitiable charity cases!

TV Review: “Retired at 35”

Posted on

Like entertainment, only not!
Like entertainment, only not!

There’s a reason the situation comedy is dead, and “Retired at 35” is it. That is not to say that this show is solely responsible for the death of an entire genre of television, though sure, I just made it sound like it is. In fact, “Retired at 35” is probably one of the better versions of this show that I’ve seen. But there’s a problem inherent in that statement.

So, I’ve discovered that TV Land, cable station channel 629 on your local dial, has started producing “original” programming. Those of you not familiar with TV Land, I’ll make it easy for you, if it was on 50 years ago, it’s on again on TV Land. As such the average median age of a TV Land viewer is approximately mummified, so these new sit-coms not surprisingly, center around the premise of old people being a creepy, bitter hoot. You see, old people are just like you and me, those that have something left to live for, except everything they do that we do is kind of gross and sad.

“Retired at 35” is the story of a wormy New York middle management execu-something of an anonymous company that comically produces food based stick items, your toothpicks and popsicle sticks and what have you. This hysterical eating accessory tycoon for some reason makes the trip all the way down to visit his parents in Florida, naturally, for his mother’s umpteenth birthday. It’s during this birthday celebration that our hero quits his job (not a formal declaration of retirement as the shows future promos seem to indicate that he will then be looking for a job, making the entire show based on a seemingly random lie) that somehow inspires his mother to leave his father and their loveless marriage that had somehow managed to only hold together as long as no one did anything pointless and impulsive in front of them.

The rest of the episode then centers around this quitter son trying to set up his nonsensically separated father with elder poon, hunting said wrinkly gash at the local bingo hall, naturally, and in a “comical” twist of fate, bedding said blotter bimbo himself.

And while somewhat amped up with “edgy”, “mature”, “humor”, if this all sounds terribly familiar, and terribly terrible, it should. Shows like these are what make it so easy to see when something interesting and original comes along because it looks nothing like this.

Me am on ABC Family next Fall!
Me am on ABC Family next Fall!

Now, television is not an exact science, no one knows exactly how it’s supposed to be done. But the fact that this program will be gone next year, and all of the time and money that will have been wasted on this soon forgotten collection of cliché, just like the one before and the one before that, should be some kind of clue that this isn’t the best path to results. If television WERE a science, and someone was given a grant for an experiment that produced a form of life, so without the sustainable elements OF life that it would whither away within a couple months time after writhing in such agony that it’s very existence seemed to be meant as nothing more than an affront to every god that man has ever believed in. Then that scientist came back next year asking for another grotesque amount of money to recreate that exact experiment, only this time this abortion of television science would be a truck stop short order cook with a sassy Asian neighbor, that scientist would be asked to leave and to never be allowed to science again. For his safety and ours. But the folks that put together this program are the same that put together the last one and will be the same to put together the next one. It’s a creative gene pool so thin and diluted that it’s a wonder that any of their offspring survive at all.

But fear not gentle viewer, as the television landscape continues to stretch farther and farther, well beyond it’s breaking point, more of these shows will be forced to be made to fill the gasping void of programming hours and we’ll all get to relive this exact same tired, threadbare premise again and again… Wait, did I say fear not? I’m sorry, I meant, weep for the medium, because soon all that’ll be left is TV cameras following annoying people with pitiable lives that should never be shared with anyone. And won’t that be fun?

TV Review: "Retired at 35"

Posted on

Like entertainment, only not!
Like entertainment, only not!

There’s a reason the situation comedy is dead, and “Retired at 35” is it. That is not to say that this show is solely responsible for the death of an entire genre of television, though sure, I just made it sound like it is. In fact, “Retired at 35” is probably one of the better versions of this show that I’ve seen. But there’s a problem inherent in that statement.

So, I’ve discovered that TV Land, cable station channel 629 on your local dial, has started producing “original” programming. Those of you not familiar with TV Land, I’ll make it easy for you, if it was on 50 years ago, it’s on again on TV Land. As such the average median age of a TV Land viewer is approximately mummified, so these new sit-coms not surprisingly, center around the premise of old people being a creepy, bitter hoot. You see, old people are just like you and me, those that have something left to live for, except everything they do that we do is kind of gross and sad.

“Retired at 35” is the story of a wormy New York middle management execu-something of an anonymous company that comically produces food based stick items, your toothpicks and popsicle sticks and what have you. This hysterical eating accessory tycoon for some reason makes the trip all the way down to visit his parents in Florida, naturally, for his mother’s umpteenth birthday. It’s during this birthday celebration that our hero quits his job (not a formal declaration of retirement as the shows future promos seem to indicate that he will then be looking for a job, making the entire show based on a seemingly random lie) that somehow inspires his mother to leave his father and their loveless marriage that had somehow managed to only hold together as long as no one did anything pointless and impulsive in front of them.

The rest of the episode then centers around this quitter son trying to set up his nonsensically separated father with elder poon, hunting said wrinkly gash at the local bingo hall, naturally, and in a “comical” twist of fate, bedding said blotter bimbo himself.

And while somewhat amped up with “edgy”, “mature”, “humor”, if this all sounds terribly familiar, and terribly terrible, it should. Shows like these are what make it so easy to see when something interesting and original comes along because it looks nothing like this.

Me am on ABC Family next Fall!
Me am on ABC Family next Fall!

Now, television is not an exact science, no one knows exactly how it’s supposed to be done. But the fact that this program will be gone next year, and all of the time and money that will have been wasted on this soon forgotten collection of cliché, just like the one before and the one before that, should be some kind of clue that this isn’t the best path to results. If television WERE a science, and someone was given a grant for an experiment that produced a form of life, so without the sustainable elements OF life that it would whither away within a couple months time after writhing in such agony that it’s very existence seemed to be meant as nothing more than an affront to every god that man has ever believed in. Then that scientist came back next year asking for another grotesque amount of money to recreate that exact experiment, only this time this abortion of television science would be a truck stop short order cook with a sassy Asian neighbor, that scientist would be asked to leave and to never be allowed to science again. For his safety and ours. But the folks that put together this program are the same that put together the last one and will be the same to put together the next one. It’s a creative gene pool so thin and diluted that it’s a wonder that any of their offspring survive at all.

But fear not gentle viewer, as the television landscape continues to stretch farther and farther, well beyond it’s breaking point, more of these shows will be forced to be made to fill the gasping void of programming hours and we’ll all get to relive this exact same tired, threadbare premise again and again… Wait, did I say fear not? I’m sorry, I meant, weep for the medium, because soon all that’ll be left is TV cameras following annoying people with pitiable lives that should never be shared with anyone. And won’t that be fun?