How to Avoid Choking Down Terrible Stuffing


Stove Top stuffing is not only the most popular brand of stuffing sold in the US, but probably the only recognizable brand as well. At least that’s what I’m going with since I can’t even name another one (Kirkland Signature and other store brands don’t count). The point is, Stove Top on a Thanksgiving dinner table is like seeing Nike polo shirts on Tiger Woods and it fits the confident tone of this commercial.

Thus, I’m hardly offended when the Pilgrim in this spot claims that Stove Top stuffing makes Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving. It may be a bit exaggerated, especially since I, personally, am not a stuffing connoisseur, but since I can’t think of any real competing brand then fine, Stove Top stuffing can hold it’s title of staple. I concede the point, even with the Pilgrim so incensed, he feels he had to escape this calamitous affair.

However, the advertisers couldn’t help themselves from getting weird with this spot. Since they already have a goofy David Cross doppelgänger dressed in Puritan chic they thought it would be great for him to imitate scurvy convulsions, being it was the en vogue disease of sea travelers in the 1600s. Unfortunately, to the average TV viewer that doesn’t study pathology of diseases no longer affecting the general populace, this action looks more like the Pilgrim climaxing on a vibrating chair, or pleasuring himself with a pencil sharpener.

Normally, I’d chastise this commercial for throwing such an odd punchline at the end of commercial, but I find myself befuddled, because the joke is disturbingly funny and doesn’t appear to hurt the brand. Sure, it’s weird as hell, but as long as that Pilgrim doesn’t lay any “scurvy” hands on my stuffing, I’ll probably indulge in the Stove Top myself.

City Folks Just Don’t Get It!


They’re right. Even though technically, I’m a suburbanite, I don’t get it from the badly mixed cut scenes of animals dubbed with human voices to the cartoon version of the subjects of American Gothic. It’s like the time my cousin hit a speed bump on his two wheeler and ended up with his nuts smashed against the cross bar; it’s a horrible wreck, but I’ll be damned if anyone is going to stop me from laughing till I pass out.

I can’t fault the basis of this website as creating more specific dating sites has become the in vogue thing in internet matchmaking. After all, if that beautiful buxom twenty-three year old cow herder turns out to be greasy, fifty-six, and a guy, at least he’ll be able to hold his own in a steamy convo about John Deere and combines. I’m sure that this website draws users like Christian Mingle gets the devout and gothic grabs all the Robert Smith fans.

I just think if you want to convincingly attract users you don’t spend your marketing budget on TV spot that looks like some high school senior submitted it to barely pass his senior project or that some local access show rejected in the mid 90s. Rather than try to be clever, just put a banner on screen and overdub a quick audio of some farmer sounding type giving the site a shoutout. Hell, he can even remind us city folks of our inability to get it.

Best Worst Line of the Entire Spot (0:05):

“Do you think they will ever find us true love?” No Mr. Cow, because bestiality is illegal.

– Words by Stuck

My Sister Hooked Me Up With A Loan Shark Pt. 2: D-Bag on a Vespa

Sometimes an evil is so great one must post about it… twice… inside of a couple weeks. Again, I focus your attention to the lecherous lending institution, MoneyTree, and dare you not to be outraged by their inexplicable audacity.

This time the compassionate family vibe has been tossed to the side for some shiftless hipster that must bank at some ass backwards institution that nobody who has legitimate expenses and bills would use. Most major banking branches release funds from checks to you within the same business day and his direct deposit should be hitting his checking account bi-weekly. I have a hard time comprehending how in the age of debit cards, ATMs, credit cards, and even scannable cellphone apps that anyone would have such a difficult time accessing funds. This whole commercial doesn’t make sense.

Until you understand that this guy isn’t employed and probably lives off money orders and birthday cards from his affluent parents. There’s no other way to explain some smiling douche bag that shrugs off paying all the excess fees it takes to utilize MoneyTree’s services while using a prepaid debit card as his primary form of spending, but can spend all his time cruising around on his vespa and going to bonfires.
So thank you, MoneyTree, for not only hunting down desperate housewives, but for also supporting a legion of Manchildren stuck in a perpetual quarter life crisis. I suppose I have to give you credit for targeting a sector of the population that could be easily duped by the Peter Pan philosophy of living, but I’m sure their Moms would appreciate it more if you threw in a GED answer key or Taco Bell job interview with every high interest fee you charge them.
-Words by Stuck

Redd’s Apple Ale

I understand these recent spots for Redd’s Apple (and Strawberry) Ale, which is probably why they went with them.



They are short, funny and to the point.

Slapstick is present because Redd’s knows their target audience will respond to it. The same is true for the presence of football and the absence of the word “cider.”



I give respect and a million extra credit points to Redd’s for making an Ale rather than a cider and staying firmly focused on a certain type of beer drinker since the 2013 Super Bowl, at least. Carving a new lane – making a new map, even – is admirable.



My initial though after reviewing Redd’s ads was that they might have more success if they advertised to lady alcohol drinkers. After all, what man is going to drink a fruit-flavored ale? Are football playing, bar-going dudes going to drink apple and strawberry ale?

Despite what common sense tells us, the answer is yes. If Redd’s can succeed in making it cool, men will drink it. Taking lumps is cool. Being different is cool. Funny is cool. Different, when all is said and done, is cool.

– Words by Jeff

Ron and Dodge

Dodge Durango and Ron Burgundy have teamed up to sell you an SUV.

These ads and campaign are great on the surface.

They are funny.

They make fun of car commercials and the stupid features they shout about.

They tie in the product and one of the best Hollywood characters in recent memory in a natural way that makes sense.

So this is a perfect, win-win little campaign, right?


This campaign is cute and entertaining for exactly the 90 seconds it takes to watch the three 30-second spots. After that, it floats away into the atmosphere.

The upcoming Anchorman film cheapens itself by plainly seeking out corporate partners. Selling itself to move Dodge trucks does nothing positive for the film and it’s aims at a franchise. In fact, fans may be turned off.

And on the Dodge side of things, do they sell any more trucks because of this ad. Or, do they simply continue to brand themselves as the goofy car company that advertises with a laugh track (a la Geico).

— by Jeff Osborn

Talking Dirt

The new Honda Odyssey is my favorite kind of product: One that was designed to market, not designed in a bubble with hopes it could later be marketed.


People know when they are being sold to. They also know when something is genuinely made with them in mind.

A built-in vacuum not only appeals to van owners, it also makes the news.

Style Never Goes Out of Style

I am a big fan of the products Toyota delivers, but I cannot remember the last time I they had their advertising on track.

They constantly try to insert awkward celebrity features and as recently as August they were running these horrible little spots, featuring a Juno-esque soundtrack that made more people want to bang their heads against a heard surface than buy a Toyota.

Toyota’s most recent campaign for their Corolla, Style Never goes out of Style, complete with variations on the below and some alternate spots, is totally baffling.


This ad is bright and colorful. It has cool music and lots of people having fun. So why do I have a problem with it?

The goal is to sell cars, right? I don’t have a problem with ads, even car ads, using other types of storytelling to sell products. It happens all of the time. But if you are going to focus on something that is not directly related to the car it had better, at the very least, make sense.

This campaign is confusing, disjointed and effortless. Toyota has been around while styels change around it. Great, we get it. So has almost EVERY OTHER CARE BRAND OUT THERE. Now tell me why Toyota will make my life better. Show me why I will be happier if I own a Toyota. Because if the best you can give my is that flash-mobs will break out around me when I drive it, you are going to have to try again. That just sounds annoying.

Respect Nature

Trident and Dunkin’ Donuts are two of the many, many companies eager to use Vine to engage existing and new customers.

Let us not get overly excited.

Good idea: Sharing creations on Vine (or anywhere else) from fans that are already excited about what you do to evoke excitement in your tribe (and add to it).

Bad Idea: Designing your own creations on Vine (or anywhere else) and passing them off as genuine excitement from fans. (This includes approaching existing users to create for/with you, upsetting the natural order of things.)

Great marketers realize that the extent of their powers are to share stories with an audience in an attempt to elicit a positive emotional response. Amateur marketers think they can influence audiences by shouting and giving commands.

Yes, even social media tools have a natural balance and force behind them.

There are a lot of complicated rules in this life, but this one is stupid simple: Acknowledge nature, respect nature.

killer heat


I am several years late to the party in breaking this commercial down, but oh well.

It was easy for me to dismiss this commercial the first million times I saw it, but once realized it was real, I paid closer attention.

This ad, and the series of Tundra ads it belongs to, are an effort not to confuse consumers or distort the truth. Big, loud, boisterous, and “manly” almost to a fault, the one thing “Killer Heat” is not is deceptive. And that makes it refreshing.

Advertisers try every moment of every day to demonstrate why the product they are pushing is special. With all of that effort, an extraordinarily small number of ads and campaigns actually accomplish the feat of honestly, accurately demonstrating the product.

Back in 2009, an author on the Tundra-fanatic website wrote: “If there’s anything wrong with the “Killer Heat” commercial, it’s that it takes a real truck person to understand just how amazing this stunt was.”

While the above notion is accurate, the whole point of the commercial was likely to stand out to truck people.

As the quote suggests, “real truck people” will understand the commercial on a level most others will not. And for those folks, the Toyota Tundra will hold a special place in their minds (and, if  Toyota is lucky, their hearts) as they continue to think, learn, and talk about trucks. This is the sign of a truly great advertisement and advertisement campaign.

A round of applause for Toyota, their Tundra, and Saatchi & Saatchi (the ad agency behind the campaign and ad). They brought some heat back in 2009 – heat that still airs on television sets across the country frequently today.



movie trailer tuesday – midnight in paris

Midnight in Paris is the best movie I have seen in a long time, so this post might be a little biased. I will do my best to treat the trailer as though I do not have a huge crush on the film itself.

Did this trailer make me want to see the movie?

Not really.

Was the trailer effective as a commercial?


Like so many films I discuss on Movie Trailer Tuesday, the main reason I saw Midnight in Paris was word of mouth from people I know who’s opinions I trust.

A film as original and exceptional as this one is hard to make into a trailer.

Woody Allen is used to handling films like this, but Hollywood is not. Hollywood is accustomed to making trailers for formulaic movies with predictable plots, mainly sequels and novel-based pieces without an original idea within the entire project.

This trailer is better than many of those made for 2012 Best Film nominees, but it really does not convey the wondrous experience the film delivers.

Quick side note:

The best decision Woody Allen ever made just might be putting Owen Wilson in this film (especially if Allen himself was the other option). Had Midnight been made 20 years ago, it might have been an inferior film because of Wilson’s absence. Wilson is entertaining, energetic, and funny throughout. The “Holy-shit” face he pulls several times during his midnight adventures is one of the best film faces I have ever seen. That one expression conveys more than most actors can put forth with over-animated monologue deliveries and melodramatic emotional breakdowns. As my wife often says, “The best actors convey emotion with their faces and movements, not their words.”

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