Tuesday, December 12, 2006

dumb ads; brain mush

We got TV for hockey season. We watch all the games we can (which aren't many), and The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Hockey games are mainly brought to us by Dodge and by the US Postal Service (or as we call it for reasons too complex to go into at the moment, Ground Chicken). Their ads share in common that they're incredibly stupid.

For the Postal Service, this is no doubt due to the fact that, as a large bureaucratic organization run by the federal government, its decision-making processes are broken. Things are bound to go wrong. In fact, you should consider yourself lucky if your mail arrives at all (although, considering the quality of mail we mainly get, maybe unlucky is the more appropriate feeling). The ads depict inanimate objects speaking in accented voices to one another. In one, the water cooler talks to boxed pairs of high-tops about how the Postal Service will handle sending them. The shoes say it's no problem, as a young female in a postal uniform enters with a clipboard, because "the lady drives a big truck." That there are only four boxes, and that she has to leave her clipboard behind, shows us just how practical and thought-out the whole process actually is. Why in blithering hell does she need a big truck to carry four boxes of high-tops? (I bought a pair of high-tops recently, and there's also no way my high-tops would have fit into one of those boxes. Are they being sent one shoe to a box?)

In the case of Dodge, the stupidity of their ads is definintely central to their sales strategy. The only car advertised during hockey on Versus is the Dodge Nitro. The whole range of dumb Nitro ads is displayed. I hate the one where the guy in the parking lot needing a jumpstart has his car blown sky high by the Nitro giving him the jump. I hate it so much I can barely refrain from screaming at the TV when it comes on. Then there's the one where the Nitro is dropped accidentally from a crane that was lofting it for no reason, and falls through the earth's crust, through a cartoon hell with a cartoon devil and a cartoon monster, arriving unscathed in (of course) China, all to what sounds like a Tom Jones loungesong. I do scream at the TV when that's on, because I am sure that if I don't, the pressure will damage my brain. Here's how clever Dodge really is: these ads are a surefire way to capture the attention of people who would think these were funny situations. That's a particular demographic group: dumb guys. Indeed, the protagonists are all men, the situations are generally manly, and as previously stated, scintillatingly inane. Dodge is cornering the dumb guy market! And marketing execs at Ford and GM are sleepless these days.

These are not the main reasons my brain is mush. I was compelled to comment on them because I am watching the Sabres/Devils game on Versus, because my brain is mush. My brain is mush because I spent 4 hours in committee meetings today. They're important committees, and I'm committed (or committeed) to them, but they mush my brain.

But now, I have to pack a Dodge Nitro in a box, so Ground Chicken can come in a big truck and pick it up.


Bobo the Wandering Pallbearer said...

Sometimes it's better to just . . . let art flow over you.

Doc Nagel said...