Top 5: Things in Commercials Making Me Crazy.

It’s no secret that, for the most part, I like watching commercials. I often forget to fast forward through my DVR’d shows because I’m busy watching/distracted by the commercials. (I’d be watching my DVR’d shows right now, but Optimum has failed me yet again. I never thought I’d say it, but I miss Time Warner). From time to time, however, my love of commercials falters, and I end up baffled, befuddled or generally bugged by what I’m seeing. Here are five commercials that are making me alternately scratch my head or fast forward:

1) Old Navy — Airplane! Series 

It’s great that Old Navy is referencing another classic comedy in its new series of commercials. They clearly thought the Christmas Vacation commercials were a great success (and who knows, maybe they were, I don’t have the numbers), so, they selected Airplane! as their next target  allusion, and got Julie Hagerty on board (pun intended). The series is more of the standard Old Navy wackiness, which I can usually handle, but one guest star puts me over the edge: “Jennifer Love Hoodies.” Did Jennifer Love Hewitt just buy a new house? Why did she agree to this? You can hear the discomfort in her voice as she proclaims her new name.

 

2) Sears — Til Dance Do We Part

The first time Sears did its “Top Ten Advantage” commercial, I was all over it. A yuppie couple runs together on a beach; it looks like a stereotypical commercial for beach fashion (Pac Sun, Hollister, etc), and then, out of nowhere, they run smack-dab into Sears appliances. Sears tricked us, and it paid off, and we were all like “OH! IT’S A SEARS COMMERCIAL!” The commercial wasn’t too long, and it worked by riffing on commercial tropes.

The latest addition to this series is a riff on Dancing with the Stars called “Til Dance To We Part.” This one has a problem: it tries to be TV. It goes past the commercial zone, and into the “wait is this a promo for a new show?” territory. And then, they hit the appliances, and you’re like, “Oh. It’s a Sears Commercial?”  This one was a good attempt, Sears, but the surprise can only pay off once.

 

3) Hellman’s — Real BLT

This commercial is sensory overload in the best sense (I’m on a pun-roll tonight!). The use of sound and visuals is perfect. The only thing that would make it better is bacon smell-o-vision…that is, until he PUTS MAYO DIRECTLY ON THE BACON.

Who does that? The bread is right there.

 

4) McDonald’s — Fishy Fishy

Two words: Fish McBites. Okay, three words: Fish McBites. Gross.

Okay, a haiku:

Want to be annoyed?

Wall fish sings “Fishy. Fishy.”

“Fish, Fish McBites.” Gross.

 

5) AT&T — It’s Not Complicated

Last year, during March Madness, AT&T did this great series of commercials where elementary schoolers would pick winning teams based on arbitrary, kid standards like color and mascots. The campaign was extremely successful, and AT&T decided to build on it (and way ahead of March Madness) with the “It’s Not Complicated” commercial series, and it’s one of the most annoying things I’ve ever seen.

Where the original series felt genuine, these feel absolutely forced. Maybe it’s because the kids know they’re going to be seen by millions on YouTube and TV. Maybe it’s because they’re hyped up on sugar. Maybe it’s because they really love AT&T. OR MAYBE it’s because they’re trying to one up each other, and that always makes for the most obnoxious viewing experience. Either way, this kid talking about the flat screen TV hanging in a tree house makes me groan, mute and fast forward EVERY TIME. (Not to mention, the ad fails horribly at selling AT&T. I have no idea what aspect of the brand they’re selling, and I only knew it was AT&T was by looking it up.)

 

BONUS) Wonderful Pistachios got on the Gangnam Style train way late during the Super Bowl with Crackin’ Style.

Crackin Style

Ain’t the internet just a wonderful place?

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