Friday, November 26, 2010

For the record they TSA still has this awesome sign:

I like to think of the title of this piece of art (seen here at the newark airport), as being titled:
" pictures of thing you could be doing that are more fun than waiting in line for an hour for security.
According to this handy diagram they include:
-playing with fireworks!
-being exposed to radioactive material and turning into the hulk!
-huffing paint thinner!
-huffing semi-gloss house paint
-actually painting your house ( in a semi-glossy way)
-Using one of those horseshoe magnets that no one who is not name Wiley Coyote has ever actually used!
-driving a Hyundai accent continuously for 60 months with this convenient "60 month battery" which is inexplicably labeled as such! Right here on the sign!
-killing weeds!
-filling your zippo with brand new fluid!
-possessing pastel colored girlie shooter drinks! (The vials on the left. Why else are they pink and yellow?)
-cleaning your tub and/or sink with bleach!
-cleaning your sink and or tube with "drain away" which is the only fake product in this pictogram that has a slogan. How much time and how much money did The Department of Transportation spend on this sign that the graphic designer had time to label both the voltage and usage on the battery and come up with a slogan for "Drain away"?

Maybe all this detail was actually in response to direct input from the Department of Transportation.
Maybe they rejected the first crack at this diagram because no one would understand what Drain Away was without the slogan "unclogs stubborn drains", or what type of gas burners were prohibited without the word "camp stove" written in huge goddamned letters on the side.

I've always wanted to carry a bunsen burner in with me and point out that the sign clearly allows it since it is meant for a lab and not a camp site.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

GM stop making me love you!

Even before GM went bankrupt, I was never a big fan of any of their brands. Except for Pontiac, so I was none too happy when they kept the boring and pedestrian Buick brand but killed off the most badass of American auto brands.

But This new GM ad is phenomenal.


Going into it I didn't know what it was an ad for, and between the clips of Animal House and Popeye and Truman's reelection, I was pretty sold regardless of what product it was for.

The fact that they actually thank the American public for helping them get back on top is a genius P.R. decision.

In conclusion: GM! Stop playing with my emotions. It was so much easier when you were the bad guy. Making boring cars and killing off storied brands like Pontiac and Oldsmobile.

Now when I drive by a GM dealer all I'm gonna be able to think of is John Belushi and eating spinach.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Robet Carlyle not stabbing you in the face with his drink

I read in Advertising age recently that this Johnie Walker Scotch ad is widely regarded as "The Best Ad of 2010 which does not star Isaiah Mustafa."

I hadn't seen it before because its a 6 minute long short film which I assume you would watch if you went to Johnny Walker's website. And despite enjoying a wide array of hooch, I don't really end up on websites for alcoholic beverages unless I go there to find material for this site (see the Miller High Life redesign post).

This ad/shortfilm/35 second bagpipe concert stars Robert Carlyle, who is still most famous for his awesome turn as total asshat and psychopath Franco Begbie in Trainspotting (Despite his having appeared in 37 projects and counting since then).

I think Carlyle is a really underrated actor, I've never seen him in a film and not thought he was awesome in it, even if the movie around him wasn't good.* He does a great job in this ad, but I'm only so interested in this history of this product, I think the ad appeals more to people who already enjoy Johnnie Walker than to someone like me who has never tried it.

I first started trying to write this post back in September but kept getting just past the two minute mark of the ad and remembering this ad is 1/3 the length of an episode of Family Guy and its for a brand of Scotch I've never tried because I consider it overpriced, and already have my favorite brand of Scotch.

Though now that I see the productions values on this ad I see why Johnnie Walker costs way more than I think it is worth. Think about how much money per bottle must go into Walker's advertising, especially when you consider they somehow found six minutes in a row in Scotland during which it was not raining, which means they must have had the whole crew for this ad camped out in the highlands for the better part of a year, trying to do this one long take and being constantly interrupted halfway through by rain, or snow, or lightening, or sheep falling from the sky.

Compare this to Glenfiddich's entire ad budget of the year 2010, which consists solely of 2 items:

1. Print labels with the word "Glenfiddich" on them, adhere to bottle so customer knows which bottle to buy.
2. Taste amazing so customers choose to buy bottle.

I'm biased toward Glenfiddich because the awesome Korean War vet who lives next door to my parents drinks Glenfiddich, and only Glenfiddich, and he is the coolest man ever.

So I guess you can add a third item to that list:

3. Convince Bill Tucker to drink Glenfiddich. Have him be awesome and spend most of the 1950's jumping out of airplanes. Repeat.

You may be thinking to yourself right now, "He drinks Glenfiddich because a paratrooper he knows does? That's not a very good reason."

To which  I respond: You clearly have not met Bill Tucker.

*I guess he is sort of the Scottish Chirstopher Walken in that respect. Though I think Chris Walken himself is somehow the Scottish equivalent of Christopher Walken, though mostly only in the movie "Scotland, PA" where he plays MacDuff as William Shakespeare originally intended him.

I mostly added this footnote so I could state for the record an idea i've had for a while (with additional material provided by C. Kevin Mauer):

There needs to be a buddy cop movie starring Christopher Walken and Williem Defoe. And in this film Christopher Walken needs to do a Williem Defoe impression the entire film, and Williem Defoe needs to do a Walken impression the entire film.** I don't know what the crime they would be solving would be and I don't really care, you could remake Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot! for all I care, and as long as it has those two guys doing impressions of eachother while solving a crime and shooting stuff it would be the best movie ever.

**This screen story copyright 2010 Strictly Commercials

Friday, November 12, 2010

String dance time!

Based on the first three episodes, Conan's new show does a pretty good job of bringing back the weird wonderful and sometimes excessively stupid humor that made me love conan so much back in middle school and high school, as opposed to the more stayed safe humor he evolved into into in late 2000s that made me switch to watching Crab Ferguson*.
I saw the Conan using  the masturbating bear in one of the first bits in the first episode as demonstrating to their audience they ain't be playing it safe this time. Especially since they were afraid to use the bear** until his final weeks of the tonight show.
I am glad conan is back on the air, but I will miss covering his awesome ads here, if only because it gives me am excuse to post awesome clips from the late 1990s.
(Some of which I will post below later. I promise. I mean unless I forget to.)
*as much as i love conan amd grew up watching him, i have to say i think Craig is easily the best late nigh host i have seen and his show just keeps getting funnier.
**or banned from using the bear by nbc. I never could find out if conan was told by nbc to make his show less weird.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dean Winters arose from the grave to bring you this ad.

These commercials are okay but not great, but the concept and script is made oh so much better due to them starring Dean Winters. Dean, who Liz's half wit Irish-American boyfriend on 30 rock, was always my favorite reoccurring character on that show.

As a half wit Irish-American, I always liked the character. And Winters portrayal of him made him as endearing and earnest as he was obnoxious.*

Beyond Winters seeming like a supercool guy the thing that inspired me to cover this beyond the 30 rock connection was that it is in all sincerity pretty amazing he is alive to do these ads.

I'm the last person who should try and type anything sincere, but let me just point you toward this New York post Article on Winters and say that I'm very glad he recovered in order to play Mr. Mayhem.

As I said, the ads are good but not great, I'm just posting it to support a dude who played an Irish-American hockey fan on T.V. There are several in the series, but AllState fortunately made one of them that uses clips from all of them so you can just watch this and get the gist: (sort of a trailer for a series of commercials if you will. I did not realize one could have a preview for commercials until just now.)

*Actually the character would probably be my favorite anyway just because one of the plot points is that he is die hard hockey fan.And a fan of a shitty team to boot. I can't find the clip of my scene with winters on the show so I will paraphrase:

Liz: I was so mad I was ready to storm in here and murder you!
Dean Winters: I wish you had. I wish I was dead. The Islanders lost tonight.
Liz: But doesn't that, you know, happen a lot?

The End (Go Tavares)