I have to tread carefully here because if it weren’t for television commercials I probably wouldn’t have had a career
but if I see that helmet-wearing pig tearing down a zip line screaming wheeeee one more time, my eyes will roll back and I’ll go into convulsions sort of like that woman who claimed hearing the voice of South Dakota’s own Mary Hart on TV caused her to have epileptic seizures. The first time Maxwell (yes..the little piggy has a name) appeared in a Geico ad, he was a student getting a ride home from school and driving everybody in the van nuts by hollering weeee weeee weeee out the window. Ha, ha. Clever. A take-off on the poem that has delighted little barefoot children for years. I get it. But there’s a fine line between novelty and aggravation and whether he’s in a car or suspended from a wire, that little oinker creeps me out. What made the ad even more annoying for me was not being able to understand those two words Maxwell says as he passes a fellow zip liner. After a little Google research, he’s apparently saying “Pure adrenalin.” Wheee.
I didn’t used to mind the Geico gecko but even this green little pitchman with the cockney accent is wearing mighty thin.
And speaking of insurance company overkill, I think the gal who plays Flo on the Progressive ads is very good but, again, constant repetition of the same commercials just rubs me the wrong way like a starchy stiff collar chafing my neck.
Oh, and what was Allstate thinking when they created that Mayhem character? Here, let’s see if we can scare viewers into buying Allstate insurance with a zombie-like guy in a suit who is immune to injury while causing people to crash their vehicles and have life-threatening accidents.
They’re all doing it; trying to save us money on insurance through ads that, I guess, are supposed to be humorous. Oh, yeah..can’t stop laughing when that Farmer’s insurance guy uses a flame thrower to ignite a big ball of lint or when an old NASA space capsule comes crashing through the roof onto a giant Jack-In-The-Box. Even my own insurance company sees fit to spend hundreds of millions to run irritating ads like the ones that feature a guy who keeps wrecking his car and calling State Farm for help even though he’d recently dropped his coverage for something cheaper. Or the 3 a.m. phone conversation the husband is having with his State Farm agent that sounds like he’s talking to his mistress which arouses the suspicions of his wife.
So Lund, if you can’t stand those commercials..why not switch channels,after all, the remote is always within reach. It’s true, I have worn out several remotes but it seems that even competing networks take their commercial breaks at the exact same time so there’s no escape. When we’re home I record most everything on the DVR so I can zap through the ads faster than a screaming pig on a zip line.
To be fair, there have been a few TV commercials past and present that I never grew tired of.
Remember C.W. McCall and Mavis “Old Home” ads? We’d see them every night, of course, during the Keloland 10 O’clock weather which was sponsored by Metz Baking Company. It was always a big deal when a new spot came out featuring the dog-eyed truck driver and gum-chomping waitress..not to mention the catchy lyrics, narration and music from the brilliant mind of Bill Fries an Omaha ad agency executive who came up with the characters and also wrote the song “Convoy” which stayed atop both the country and pop charts for six weeks in 1975 .
Oh, and who can forget the deliciously funny commercials by the late Jim Varney who became a national phenomena with his bumbling rubber-faced character Ernest P. Worrell.
The site of him mugging the camera talking to his pal, Vern, about various products, then getting his fingers smashed by a falling window or being shocked by a TV set with a shorrrrrrt in it, never failed to break me up.
More recently, those commercials featuring the E-Trade baby always bring a smile as did the Geico spot featuring Abe and Mary Todd Lincoln in which she asks her husband for his “honest” opinion on whether or not the dress she had on made her butt look big and he was forced to answer truthfully bringing priceless reactions.
Okay, maybe I do watch a lot of commercials. I know I’m looking forward to the Super Bowl not only to see if New York can work its magic on New England again but to observe all those mega-million dollar advertisements. I can’t wait to see how the Budweiser Clydesdales will try tug at the heartstrings this year or the humorous ways Doritos has come up with to peddle tortilla chips or to find out
how brazenly GoDaddy.com will attempt to sell web site domains by exposing the diminutive bosoms of it’s spokesperson, race car driver, Danica Patrick.
The only problem with Super Bowl Sunday is finding time away from the TV to go grab some of the food and beverage products advertised or relieve oneself of what’s already been consumed..which, now that I’ve just turned another year older, is a requirement that occurs with even more frequency. Knowwaddamean Vern?