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Tour de France Commercial Recap, Week 2 Sunday, July 20, 2008

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Posted 20 July 2008 - 09:35 PM

Tour de France Commercial Recap, Week 2
It's not about the bike(s).

Ah, another week of cycling draws to a close. As the riders of the Tour de France struggled up the first Alpine stage in Italy this morning I was left to reflect on another week of excessively repetitive television commercials. Here's the latest batch:

1.) Cash 4 Gold



This ad strikes me as the second most depressing of all the ads. It basically reaches out to those people up at 8AM watching European cycling on a Tuesday morning and says, "Hey, you! Yeah, you, the one that's unemployed and sad and is watching this even though you don't particularly have any interest in cycling! Listen up! Remember that guy that you married a few years ago before the divorce? The one that put you off relationships for the rest of your life? Why don't you sell us the ring he gave you? We'll pay you one tenth of what it's worth so we can smelt it down and sell it for its actual value! We'll send you cash int he mail! What do you say?"

2.) H2O Mop



This isn't actually a 30 second commercial but rather it's a 30 minute commercial. Generally I catch the tail end of it before the tour starts. Sometimes the tail end of it consists of 29 minutes because the Versus program lineup likes to lie about when the Tour actually starts. It is very good at tricking you into either watching this ad or some bull riding. Either way you lose.

3.) DirectBuy



This one is my nomination for the most sad ad during this year's Tour. It features chubby husbands and wives with breast implants as they explain how they got all their amazing furniture for rock bottom prices. Just watch these guys talk for two seconds and you'll have them pigeonholed as "THAT GUY!" You know the guy. I don't know if it's possible to put the guys' personalities into words, you really have to listen to them to understand. "That guy" is under the impression that the awesome deal he got on that dining room table is going to impress his friends. He's also under the impression that it makes his wall-to-wall carpeted home in Wisconsin look exactly like a room in a cozy village in the hills of Tuscany. That guy is wrong on both counts.

4.) Bacardi Mojito



This is a pretty typical commercial. It features a ton of hot girls shaking their hips and an exceedingly chumpy bartender mixing up some mojitos. While the bartender mixes the mojitos the girls all shake their butts and the guys stay happy because of the butt shaking. When the bartender suddenly stops making mojitos everyone stops and looks lost. They are confused and seem to not know what to do with the rest of their lives. At that point the bartender smirks and continues making mojitos and the party starts back up. The bartender has realized that he has powers greater than the average bartender. He is no bartender. He. Is. A. GOD!

He may be a god but I'd love to wipe that smirk off of his all-knowing, chumpy face.

5.) 9/11 Commemorative $20 Bill Ad



You know what, maybe this is the saddest ad. It's sad because it's extremely exploitative. It's sad because it brings up instant memories of sadness. And, perhaps the saddest part, is that there are people in the world who will purchase this thinking that it's not the tackiest thing that was ever created in the history of the world. The commercial tries really hard to sell this abomination.

Firstly, it claims that it is giant and it dwarfs the regular $20 bill. It then shows it in comparison to a regular $20 bill and it appears to be about 5% bigger. It seems like they should have just told us about how big it was because the visual proof only serves to contradict their claim.

Secondly, it shows how on one side it has the "standard" number 20 in all the corners to identify it as a $20 bill. Then on the flip side it shows that it has a 9 on one side and an 11 on the other, "The first time ever that two seperate numbers have been used to add up to the full $20 face value." That is probably technically true but I am not sure it's as great a thing as they make it out to be.

Thirdly, the commercial continually talk about how it is "Liberian legal tender currency." They use this phrase with a level of pride usually reserved for people who can truthfully say things such as, "I participated in the NASA moon landings," or "My father was Charlemagne." They forget that the phrase "Liberian legal tender currency" is more akin to "genuine 100% authentic plastic."

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Posted 20 July 2008 - 11:49 PM

That DirectBuy is nuts. I got a call from them one time about 4 years ago, and they said they were showing people around theor warehouse on regular guided sales tours every day, and what the hell, it happened to be on my way to work, so I said sure, put me down for the nine o'clock. Later I realized I didn't feel like going, so I called back and said "take me off the list for nine." They asked when they could reschedule me and I said "You know what? Let'[s just forget it. I'm not really all that interested after all."

They called me at least once a week for the next two years. That convinced me their service was shit.
"I had a lot of different ideas. At one point, Luke, Leia and Ben were all going to be little people, and we did screen tests to see if we could do that." -George Lucas, in STAR WARS: the Annotated Screenplays (p197).
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Posted 21 July 2008 - 07:05 AM

Wow. I had no idea that's what it was like.

Try taking the Dianetics survey. Paul and I went and took it on Beacon Street in Boston as a joke when we were 15. They STILL send stuff to my parents' house trying to recruit me.

I was proud because I got the worst score. The girl there, after seeing my score, said, "You're fucked!"
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