Ads For Ad Blockers

I know you have to get the word out somehow, but seeing ads for ad blockers will never not be funny.

It messes with your head too. You know somebody is selling out a little, but who is it? Is the blocker guy helping the beast he’s trying to kill or is the ad guy shooting himself in the foot in the name of short-term gain?

As Opposed To What?

Not sure if this is a good question or if the car people are going to look at me like I’m some sort of idiot, but here goes.

Sometimes on car commercials they’ll say something like “get available features like heated seats or Apple CarPlay for only X dollars for a limited time.”

Yes, my question is the obvious one. What is an available feature? Aren’t all features available? Who are these people selling and more importantly buying the unavailable ones? Can you really go into a dealership and say “sir, this is a lovely Honda indeed, but if it doesn’t come with robot arms that will pick up vehicles in my traffic jam and deposit them over the rail for me I don’t think I can buy it”, and then have the dealer say “that’s not available, but that’ll be $200 now that you mention it” and then make the guy actually pay it without complaint?

Is available feature some kind of car jargon that sounds weird to regular people like me but makes sense if you’re in the business, or is available a fancy extra word used to help more easily part fools from their money?

“Honey, I had to take the furry antenna cover. It was an available feature, and deals like that don’t just grow on trees. It was either that or I hesitate and pay the imagination fee again, and at least now the aerial will be warm.”

Mini Golf

I saw a strip club across the street from a mini golf place. I’m a liberal, but that’s too much for me. What if you’re just trying to have a nice afternoon with your family and then your kids look across the street and have to see a bunch of losers playing mini golf?

By the way, am I the only one who can’t think about miniature golf without thinking about this?

Are You Being Passive-Aggressive To The Computer? That’s What I Thought!

I keep seeing this commercial where there’s this warm fuzzy style music playing and this kid is asking her virtual assistant questions. First, it’s how old is the earth, and then the kid starts asking unanswerable questions like “Do you know how the sun feels on your face?” and “Have you ever seen a shooting star?” I eventually figured out that it’s an ad for Nature Valley, but before I knew that, all I kept thinking is “This kid is a total asshole!”

If you haven’t seen the ad, here it is.

Seriously, little girl. Would you walk up to a dude in a wheelchair and ask him “Do you know how it feels to run? It feels amazing!” That little robot you’re dragging around through the tweet tweet birdies just wants to help you with your homework. I hope it gives you a few wrong answers just for spite.

The strategy article claims they’re trying to encourage people to go outside, which is a fine message. But why do they have to make the kid be such a total heel to the robot? Are they going to next have the kid run through the children’s ICU telling all the kids that she can go outside and they can’t?

I’m sure the visuals are all cute and heartwarming and aww that’s so adorable! But when you can’t see it, it does not give you the positive vibes. Heck, you don’t even know what the commercial is for. It’s memorable, but not in the way they want.

Hey Google, It’s Time To Tweak The Background Noise Filter Again

Not sure about anyone else, but I’ve about had it with the new Best Buy commercials, the ones that say stuff like “hey Google, play my New Year’s playlist.” The damn things have set our living room Mini off at least four times already. And to make matters worse, it was four times in the same stupid night. Every single time it would try to play something on Spotify and we’d have to yell at it to make it stop. And it’s not just us. I was talking to brother Brad on the weekend and he said the ones where he works have been doing the same thing.

When I’m in charge, there’s going to be no more of this let’s intentionally try to trigger the technology business. If you slip a “hey Google” or whatever it is you say to Alexa into your commercials or radio station IDs, somebody is going to be legally obliged to hunt you down and kill you. End of discussion.

Famous People Are Not Retiring Left And Right So They Can Go Into The Discount Face Glop Business

This is either going to help or it’s going to inadvertently make things even worse because they’re still served partly based on page content, but since I’ve caught these ads running on our site among others many, many times I figure I should mention it.

No, Marilyn Denis has not retired so she can spend her time selling skin cream. Neither, I should add, have Shania Twain or Céline Dion, who I’ve also seen mentioned. And while we’re at it, Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin and Connor McDavid have not been kicked out of the NHL for using super secret natural testosterone boosters that they would now like to put in your hands for a low, low price.

These ads, which are presented like shocking, clickbatey breaking news articles, are completely fake and you should think long and hard before either clicking one or doing business with anybody who feels they need to market their product or service this way. I can’t sit here and tell you with any degree of certainty whether or not these specific products are any good, because I haven’t used them. But generally speaking, if somebody has to trick you into looking at his sales pitch, whatever he’s hocking is probably complete shit.

And since I’m sure some of you are wondering, no, we personally can’t stop these particular ads from appearing on our site. We do have some blocking and filtering power, but the folks behind scams like these tend to use a whole lot of domains which makes banishing them to any useful degree virtually impossible. It’s hard enough for extremely well resourced advertising networks like Google’s, which does seem to honestly try to police these things, to keep up with them. So when your team consists mostly of me, there’s not much good to be done trying to police it from this end. Again, the best thing us ordinary folks can do is not engage with these scuzbags. No attention means no money, which is, of course, the entire point of their existence.

Denis’ name and image are being used as click bait for online ads promoting an anti-aging cream that also bill the veteran broadcaster as retired.
The fact is, Denis doesn’t endorsing any product lines, for skin cream or anything else and is urging people not to click on the Facebook and Twitter links.
“I need to speak about this, I’m getting the word out,” said Denis in a Bell Media release. “Because people need to know that I’m doing something about this, to try to stop people from getting suckered in.”
Denis isn’t the only Bell Media personality to have been targeted. Melissa Grelo, CTV Your Morning and The Social co-host, and etalk’s Lainey Lui have been featured in similar scam ads, in addition to celebrities like Kelly Ripa and Dr. Oz.

Denis says outside experts have been hired to do investigative work, but finding those behind the online scam is like “playing a game of whack-a-mole.”
“I am not leaving and there is no product line that I am endorsing, so please do not give out your information,” Denis said. “They are scammers. They are sneaky. They play the game. But if no one is engaging with them, then they won’t have a business, and that’s what I want.”

The Good And The Ad

Here’s Gill, continuing our long tradition of talking about commercials.

Advertising has been a big thing for many years. Sometimes the ads have been unforgettable, others have left us wondering what people were thinking. From the racist and sexist to questionable advice and the annoying, here are some campaigns you might remember or would rather forget.

  • White Washed – In 1910 a soap company produced this cringy racist advertisement depicting a white child as clean and polished while the child of color was dirty and ragged looking.
  • The best doctors smoke Camel cigarettes – In the 1940’s before they knew the truly horrifying effects of cigarettes the Camel cigarette company put out this ad saying that only the top doctors and surgeons smoke Camels.
  • Too Delicate to camp – This comes circa 1958 as a print ad for a men’s clothing company. It shows two rugged men hiking and a weak female struggling. The tagline basically tells people to keep women indoors.
  • Innocence is sexy- This is what happens when the neighborhood pervert gets the right to advertise. This ad from 1974 is creepy even by 1970’s liberal standards. It’s for a product called Baby Soft, and the neighborhood pervert is talking about how sexy innocence is. (Note from Steve: I first spotted this one about three years ago. Yes, there is a video. No, you do not want to watch it.)
  • Earworm go away! earworm go away! – A few years ago a product called head-on made people want to apply their foot directly to their TV set. It became such a popular culture phenomenon that it was even mentioned in a horror movie.
  • A cold bottle of progressive – In the 1940’s, wanting to capitalize on the growing black middle class, Pepsi produced an ad featuring a middle class black family with a young boy reaching for a Pepsi in an icebox.
  • Fruit roll-ups and rice crispy treats – In the school district where I attended kindergarten they only did half days at the time, so I would get off the bus just in time for grilled cheese, tomato soup, and Masters of the Universe. During the shows that would be on at noon there would be ads for products kids loved. I don’t remember the lyrics to the fruit roll-up song other than “my friends and my fruit roll-ups.” There was also an ad for rice crispy treats featuring a kid in what appeared to be black pants and a green shirt.
  • Taking a break – More recently there was an ad for king sized kit-kat with two guys talking. One guy asked what the other guy was doing and the other guy told him that he was taking a break. To make a long story short, the guys were basically doing nothing.
  • Captain Obvious – This advertisement with a couple on a first date and the guy asking for some of the girl’s hair makes one laugh with discomfort.
  • JustFab- A few years back if you happened to be scanning the networks for something interesting to watch you might have found women literally in full orgasm (shoegasm) for a website where you would pay a price to buy shoes.
  • Hanging Oak beer – This is not an ad, but earlier this year a Nova Scotia Canada brewery opened a can of controversy with their new label Hanging Oak Beer. The picture on the can looked more like that of a noose used by white supremacists to lynch people of color. The brewery denied its detractors, however the controversy still stands.

Questions

Do you know of an advertisement that probably wouldn’t be allowed on air or in print in 2018? What was your favorite ad from childhood?

Trumpy Bear?

The other night I fell asleep watching TV. There’s nothing really out of the ordinary about that, but what I awoke to was a commercial so strange that I was half convinced that I must have been dreaming it. I was pretty sure I was with it enough to tell the difference between dreamland and reality, but I shuffled off to bed not knowing for sure.

It was still bugging me the next day, so I asked Carin. She laughed, said she’d never seen it and thought that maybe it could have been one of my dreams. I don’t often remember my dreams, but the ones I do remember can be pretty weird so it’s not like she was being dismissive of my foolishness and trying to get me to leave her alone. Yeah, I’m shocked, too.

So with nowhere else to turn, it was time to hit the Google. And…well…how about that!

Seriously, what in the hell is this? A tribute? A parody? Both? Nobody really seems to know (although Ad Age gave figuring it out a decent try).

Whatever it is, it’s just a wee bit ingenious. It sure as hell grabs your attention, for a start. And if you’re the sort of person who is inclined to buy things from the television, you might just want this no matter which side of the aisle you’re on. There’s just as good a case for it being an epic troll job as there is for it being a real albeit ridiculous attempt at making a loving collectable, and it even comes with a certificate of authenticity. Who can resist that? I’m sure it’s worth slightly more than the paper that Fleshbag Trumpy’s speeches are written on, assuming he ever bothers jotting any of that shit down outside of Twitter.

I have no idea what it’s supposed to be, but at least I know it wasn’t a dream. Now on to sorting out whether that’s good or bad…