Sunday, February 13, 2022

Super Ba'al LVI: Ideological Idiocracy Inspires Insipid Incoherency

Looks like there's a theme with this batch of insipid yet unpleasantly-hallucinatory Super Ba'al commercials: Idiocracy. This Uber Eats spot kind of says it all. The message being sent here is "You people are stupid, we hate you, shut the fuck up and give us your money."

I hate television commercials in a way only someone who used to actually storyboard them can. It's been at least 15 years since I worked in the industry and it was filled with the most obnoxious and unpleasant people I've worked with in any industry back then. I can only imagine what it's like now.

I wouldn't watch Modern Family if you tied me to a chair, so I have no idea who this douche is. But it's a prime example of 2015-vintage white minstrelsy, with this douche playing the idiotic, throwback white guy to the wise black oracle. Oddly, you're seeing a lot less of this kind of thing this year: there's a lot more equal-opportunity idiocy.  I guess with Orange Hitler out of office, the sicko hate-freaks who dominate the advertising industry can slather their misanthropic animus around a bit more.

This ad is typical of the piss-poor copywriting we see these days, but is somewhat salvaged by Kevin Hart's performance. He's made to look like an entitled idiot, sure, but you feel like he's in on the joke.

This is another spot that plays exactly like an Idiocracy DVD extra. I'm not sure what the point of it is. It sure as hell doesn't make me want to eat Pringles.  

We just discussed this cat in the previous Frase-a-Thon, so we get the prerequisite pearliness. It's not a Super Ba'al without at least a few Fraseriffic syncs. There's a Simple Minds track in one of these spots, so you have Frase-by-association too.

I love the faked astronaught stuff. And yes, I do realize that "faked astronaught" is redundant.

Again, we're seeing equal-opportunity aspersions here. Which makes sense: the people who work at these agencies don't regard anyone below their class as human, so it doesn't matter to them. They hate everyone equally. 

Each other and themselves most of all.

This is a little throwback to a time when Judd Apatow movies were fun and fresh and Seth Rogen was a cool stoner and not a complete and total asshat. 

The zombie thing is just one joke too far, though. This is typical of account execs, in my experience. They can never leave well enough alone. Usually because their initial concepts always suck.

Another throwback, this time pushing the electric car social-engineering agenda that a lot of other spots are pushing. This doesn't make me want to run out and buy an electric car, though. It just makes me miss the Nineties even more than I do already. I would have thought that impossible, so well done, GM.

Another absolute pile of utter incoherency. You go from Clown World to some random studio vocalist singing that song Billy Corgan wrote for Murdery McCIAWhore back in the Nineties. It's like, stick to one terrible concept already. I had to rewatch this twice because I wasn't sure if it were my imagination or did the spot do less than nothing to actually, you know, advertise the product it was meant to.

This is just grim. Peyton Manning, Steve Buscemi and Serena Williams are on hand to arouse those Nineties feelings for the GenXers, but the 1973 ELO track botches the vibe. Like everything this year, this spot wanders around in search of a joke then ends with a non-sequitur. 

Oh, God. Ever have one of those mornings after you spent the night drinking and drugging and you kind of half wake up only because your dreams are so horrifically surreal you are afraid they might literally drive you insane? That's this ad. I'm not being at all hyperbolic. Incoherent nightmare world, plus idiotic.

This is like it was shot using generic Super Bowl ad template #491.

More Romanism, only terrible. I can't understand a word the guy playing Caesar is saying and on top of that we get terrible jock-acting that harkens back to the bad old days of "The Super Bowl Shuffle." I don't know if I were just transfixed by Halle Berry's cleavage but what the fuck is this an ad for? Why do these ads actually obscure the product they're supposed to be promoting? 

OK, wait a minute: why is Lori Lightfoot doing an ad for Doritos? Or is that just her body double? Aside from the meandering laugh vacuum we're seeing here, I have one major question: why is CGI so crap these days? Seriously. Look at this stiff trash and go look at something made 10 years ago. 

I guess this is meant to be a Midsummar knockoff. It's pretty dire and creepy as all the rest of them, but I have to admit I laughed out loud at the payoff.

More electro-car social engineering, with two more throwback stars. It's awful, incoherent and laugh-less. Whatever meager acting skills Arnold once had are long gone. I loved Salma Hayek back in the day, but she's not much better than he is.

Abusing the second greatest film score of the past 20 years only makes it worse.

This is more of the same, but I did get a major DPO vibe from it. If you know what that means, you're at the right blog.

Wait: what the hell does "Total Eclipse of the Heart" have to do with anything we're seeing here? I'm not feeling particularly sanguine about this huge electro-car push, but if this is the kind of thinking behind it, we can at least take comfort in how inept the roll-out will be. 

Speaking of terrible CGI, this is as bad as it gets. Do those robots weigh anything? Do they look like they have any mass to you? If those things were real, why aren't ever shown off in public? Why did Google dump Boston Dynamics on Hyundai? Why was their market cap under a billion dollars at the time? 

This ad seems like it was written for Debra Jo Rupp, speaking of Nineties nostalgia. This actress is OK but you can't help but thing how much better it would be with Kitty Foreman herself.

Oh God: this reminds me of all those horrific James Corden-type vaxxaganda productions we've seen so much of the past two years. What is it with Millennials and Fifties-style musical routines? This also feels vaguely Soviet to me, like everything on TV these days. Certainly the commercials.

Another overstuffed, incoherent mess. And again; are the terrible special effects part of the bit or just a sign of societal decline? Because the production values on all of these spots are, shall we say, a bit lacking.

Is this part of a conditioning program to get everyone used to stormtroopers gallivanting through out neighborhoods, snatching and black-bagging thought-criminals? 

Or does the question answer itself?

This is most certainly conditioning for the coming food shortages. Of that I have no doubt.

I obviously approve of the messaging here: no one is ever going to Mars and the Metaverse is a clusterfuck of a kind rarely seen since Waterloo. But again, 'the fuck is up with these visual effects?

This is a very Nineties spot, screaming out for Janeane Garafalo. But it also reminds me of Neil Gaiman's Death character for some reason. And then Joe Namath pops up for some unknown reason because no one seriously gives a fuck about anything at this point in the timeline.

This is meant to convince the gullible that Amazon is secretly working on mind-reading technology. They may be, actually, but nothing will ever come of it. If you still don't believe we're well on the techno-downslope, just look at the crap CGI in all these ads.

I seriously didn't recognize Scarlett there and I've spent more hours than I can tell trying to make sense of her face for my old day job.

This is an absolute embarrassment, clearly produced long before Meta flushed hundreds of billions of dollars down the toilet. Again, the CGI here is trash. And why the fuck don't any of those avvies have legs? 

This will be the most legendary disaster in corporate history. Of that I am existentially certain. Why? Because it already is.

Again, the new generation of advertising seems to be about throwing as many ideas out as you possibly can and hope it magically comes together as a coherent spot. It doesn't. 

Granted, I'm being snarky as all get out tonight, but believe me when I tell you no one - absolutely no one - would have signed off on this or more than half of the other ads back when I was in the biz. 

Am I hallucinating more than usual or is there a trans-versus-cis subtext here? Kind of feels that way to me. Edgy, if so.

I guess Lindsay Lohan wasn't enough to carry a spot herself, so we see a bunch of other old celebrities here. Wasted opportunity. By the way, does Planet Fitness still serve their members pizza and donuts? 

The next generation of surveillance devices is here and this is even creepy than Alexa and Ring. Just in case this parade of face-kicking ineptitude had you letting your guard down.

All's well that ends well: this is legitimately awesome. And I've been sick to death of Marvel movies for ages now. Thanks, JB.


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