HE SAID: Case of the Mondays?

February 7, 2011

Superbowl edition. I feel great today…a little bittersweet about Tom Brady winning the first ever unanimous MVP, but having to watch two teams that were not the New England Patriots in the superbowl. But karma served Big Ben, and I’m glad the Steelers lost.

Here is my least favorite Superbowl ad: Groupon making a joke out of Tibet…Who was the genius in marketing that gave the ok on this one?

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Pretty fun article from Wilbon on attending Obama’s Superbowl Party.

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Sportspickle’s twitter feed, read through the timeline for superbowl tweets. My favorite – ‘hope this year’s wardrobe malfunction is Fergie’s throat spontaneously combusting.’

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SHE SAID: Holiday Commercials

November 15, 2009

294709-main_FullHoliday Commercials stink.  I concur.

But it’s kind of a given.  Even more so given the current economical state.  Everyone and their mother is trying to sell sell sell and get in the black between the traditional consumer mad dash from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve (although apparently that margin is now ten days before Halloween and Christmas Eve).  It’s a tiny time frame, I would imagine these people are under a ton of pressure, and the result is ads that are all too frequent airing too early in the year.

Toys, home goods, big box stores, oh my.

Recently, I feel like the amount of jewelry ads airing mid November astounding.  The forced, vomit-inducing cheesiness that runs rampantly on these ads is insulting to everyone, from the actors to the unsuspecting viewers.  If someone ever actually used the phrase “he went to Jared” to announce an engagement … if that’s the best they can come up with, that’s depressing. Although Kay, while normally anger inducing with the “every kiss begins with k” catchphrase, managed to come up with this one, which makes me laugh almost every time I see it.  I’m still waiting to see DeBeers moment of cripplingly forced, generic, gender stereo-typing, lame excuse for a romantic moment this season, but I have no doubt it will make me change the channel when I do.

Why does my mom expect all five of her grown children to be sitting in the living room come Christmas morning?  Thanks Lowes.

But I’m getting into entirely different territory here.

I have recently come to the conclusion that the ads I like are the low budget local ones that I catch every once in a blue moon when the urge to watch a back to back of the Wheel and Jeopardy strikes me.  They are way more entertaining and genuine than anything else out there, especially the dreaded holiday ads.


SHE SAID: Previews

July 8, 2009

Advertising annoys me when I’m aware of it.  When it’s done well and I’m duly fascinated by either or both the presentation and the product, I adore it and am the first to admit my awe of  it’s swagger and power.

That being said, advertising is dirty.  Convincing people they need something they don’t isn’t the most honorable job description and I’m all in favor of obstructing that dirty little goal with subtly and innuendo so I can enjoy the breaks in my television programming, and my drive on I95, and my magazine perusal and my internet browsing and my radio listening, and wherever else I am subject to the onslaught of advertising afforded to us by modern media without realizing that I am having something shoved down my throat.

preview image

Which brings me to previews.  Previews make car ads look like fine art.  Cut to give a feel for a movie in 2 minutes or less, they usually give away most of the defining moments of the movie and if all of the good scenes aren’t included, most are.  All while we’re waiting for the movie for which we paid over eight dollars to begin.  Is anything good while watered down like that?  And if it is, shouldn’t we be worried?

I’m not a huge fan, but I can get my mind around why they are included in the movie theater experience and will accept that while I’m annoyed, it’s part of the deal.  An added bonus for someone who is perpetually late, it buys me another 5 – 10 minutes to get to the theater.  And yes, Jeremy, I still think we could have made it to the movies those two times I was marginally late because of this preview window.

On a rented movie, however, I see no need.  If the movie is coming to theaters soon, it’s a limited window in which to advertise and not entirely supportable anymore.  Rent that movie while it’s still in the new release section, but on it’s way out, and the preview is for a movie that’s in-between theater release and DVD release.  Rent that movie once it’s been banished to the back shelves of the store, and the preview is pointless because you’ve either seen the previewed movie or know you don’t want to see it.

Conversely, if the preview is too far out into the future not enough of the movie is shot to include a catchy preview and the release date is laughably far off and the viewer will forget about it until the real movie publicity begins which makes the pre-preview even more extraneous.

Oh, and I rented a movie and I’m on my couch with a fuzzy blanket and my feet curled in and it’s the first time I’ve sat down all day and I just put the remote down so I have to put my snacky cakes down and reach for it and then retuck myself in and to skip over the five previews.  And please stop selling me something for a few seconds so I can enjoy entertainment without feeling the need to consume something else or hear what other products Lion’s Gate feels I would also enjoy watching.


HE SAID: Previews

July 8, 2009

I’m impressed, you covered many topics in a short span, I guess I’ll start with the obvious – once again you being a ritard when it comes to showing up on time.  When you arrive at a designated meeting point for a 7:30 movie at 7:28, and that meeting spot is a ten minute drive from the theater (not to mention the additional 5-7 minutes for parking, ticket & popcorn buying), just sack up and admit that you were late, and as a result we were forced to see a subpar Forrest Gump 2: Benjamin Button when we could have been enjoying that Millionaire movie that won a bunch of awards.

Next up would be advertising in general, which you did touch upon.  I can give you my thoughts on that quickly: I have no thoughts on it because I don’t watch commercials anymore.  Before the greatest invention of our time, Tivo/DVR, when I was forced to watch more of them, I simply don’t remember being affected by any of them.  My parents would beg to differ, since I’m sure I begged for this every birthday and Hanukah.

Now, to the bulk of your post…movie previews.  While I admit movie previews have got a bit out of hand recently, and are sometimes too long and too many can be shown, they are still key to the movie theater experience.  In fact, often times, they directly affect my overall enjoyment of the movie.  A great movie is still a great movie.  But lets say I go see something like, Benjamin Button, and I also see shitty previews, I’ll leave feeling deeply unsatisfied.  However, if I get to see a preview for Watchmen, Terminator 4 and Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince, the actual movie could be more disappointing than Transformers 2 and I’ll be happy.

If you think about it, previews are essential to knowing what to see and what to avoid.  I agree that something needs to be done about the length and amount given away from lots of previews, but overall if used correctly will greatly benefit you.  I think I’ve watched so many previews that I can actually watch them better than most.  For example, when seeing the trailer for The Taking of Pelham 123, many people would see an intense action movie with a couple of stars and a big name director.  I see a movie starring Denzel playing pretty much the same role he always does, and John Travolta overacting like he always does.  Now I know to avoid that movie at all costs.

Think about one of your recent movie watching experiences.  You saw Rachel Getting Married and were expecting a lighthearted comedy, not the gut-wrenching melodrama that unfolded in Anne Hathaways best role since Havoc.  Now, you still may have enjoyed the movie, but I guarantee if you had seen a preview (or at least read some of the fucking back cover) you would have known what you were getting yourself into and had a better movie watching experience.

Movie previews on DVD rentals are even more fun, ESPECIALLY when you rent older movies.  There is nothing quite like renting a movie from 1996, seeing a preview for A Time To Kill, and thinking, “Wow, what the fuck did Matthew McConaughey do to his career?”

Before I leave, I’ll leave you with two recut trailers from youtube, they are pretty effing hilarious.  Top Gun & The Shining.


SHE SAID: US vs. Euro Ads

May 4, 2009

A friend of mine sent me this link the other day

When I passed it on to my friend Sara, she immediately identified it as a European ad (she’s wicked smart and savvy).

I then realized that a lot of the ads I like, the ones I think are smart and funny and the most interesting, are usually European.  American advertising consists of mainly car ads (some horrible rendition of a once much loved song and quick cuts of a fast car), pharmaceuticals (a testimonial so we can put a face to male enhancement issues and our father’s can relate to that nice looking man in the v neck cardigan), and beer.  Maybe I’m giving away the kind of television I’m watching that those are the ads playing, but in any case, I know there’s not much else out there.  And whatever is, even while funny, isn’t nearly as clever as Europe’s.

European ads are usually pretty sexy, and while I don’t think that’s always necessary, I do think most of those ads wouldn’t fly over here, given our love of the puritan moral system and our need to protect our children from anything mildly sexual.  God forbid they should be exposed to something sexual, or even worse, as Jane Jackson knows all too well, see a boob!  No, I am not saying all advertising should jump on the Abercrombie and Fitch bandwagon, but it is weird how shy we are of our bodies (other than the male enhancement phenomenon, which is astounding).

I was in Europe as a young teenager and I passed a billboard for Milk.  The image was a naked man with a towel draped over his waist lying on his side with his back to the viewer and a naked woman was also on her side proped up on her elbow, peeking over him (no, you couldn’t see anything).  The caption was: Milk.  For Stronger Bones.  Might be the best ad I’ve seen to date and you’d never see that in the States because it would be too sexual, even though it’s subtle and tastefully done.

Given our love of the “sex sells” theory, you’d think American advertising could come up with something more artfully devious than the Swedish bikini team for beer.  How about this or this.  Is the woman being objectified?  You betcha.  But at least she’s getting something done instead of splashing water and smiling.  Plus, opening a beer with your cleavage is pretty sweet.  I’m still perfecting the art.  Selling cars?  Here’s one.  Or this one that doesn’t use humor, sex or Bon Jovi but is just settling for being superterrific.

For our viewing pleasure, American advertisers, feel free to use sex.  It’s one of the biggest motivaters of all time and our country could use a real sexual revolution.  All I ask is that you use it well.


HE SAID: US vs. Euro Ads

May 4, 2009

I don’t want to ruin your credibility, Nifer, but I’m pretty sure you are the last person who should be commenting on television advertisements.  Can you even see the ads on that tiny, piece of shit tv? Maybe, but even if you can you claim you don’t want to upgrade it because you “never watch tv.”

I can sit here and disagree with you, and provides tons of youtube examples of funny and/or sexy U.S. based television commercials.  This is sexy, albeit made less sexy over time because obviously the main subject apparently tried to run the 100 yard dash in a 90 yard gym.  Or what about this one?  Granted, it is a Victoria’s Secret ad, but they sure as hell aren’t selling support and padding…they are selling sex.

That being said, you are 100% on the ball with your post.  It’s not just European either, it’s everywhere else.  Check out this beer commercial, from Australia, which combines humor with sex.  However as I write I’m beginning to realize this is sort of a tough thing to convince people of, unless they have actually exposed themselves to foreign television.  As I said above, it’s not hard to put a youtube list of commercials that are simply going to help prove our point.

I’ll try to help your point out with one last thought – I have been fortunate enough with my job to somewhat travel the world that last 4 years or so, and I’ve spent time in Paris, Sweden & Australia…and let’s just put it this way – Skinemax is not needed for softcore porn in any of these places, like it is here.  Simply watch a little TV, and you will see all the softcore you need, I promise.