GOOD: Geico, lifetime achievement category. You've got to hand it to Geico's marketing department. They just keep churning out one clever, non-irritating ad campaign after another. First it was the cavemen, which was a funny idea for a commercial if not an ABC sitcom. Then it was the "put a normal customer alongside a random celebrity" campaign, and anything that gives Peter Frampton an outlet for showing off his talking-guitar effect is aces in my book. Then you have the delightfully cockney Geico Gecko, the wad of money with the googly eyes that travels to the tune of "Somebody's Watching Me" by Rockwell, and my personal favourite, the good news/bad news ads. You've all seen them.
Doctor: Bill, I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that you have testicular cancer.
Bill: Oh no! What's the good news?
Doctor: The good news is I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance by switching to Geico.
Bill: Oh. I thought the good news would be that you caught the cancer in time.
Doctor: Ho ho, not at all! It's far too late to operate. I'm an incompetent doctor. But an incompetent doctor with cheap car insurance!
Ok, the actual ads may not be so tasteless, but they're still funny. Well done, Geico! It's not every insurance company that earns a name-drop in a Kanye West song. But the company has also earned perhaps an even greater honour. I and some of the former editors of my old school newspaper recently discussed some fundraising plans, and our group has unofficially been named GEICO --- the Gazette Editor In Chief Organization. Now, while the others may not have technically accepted this name (and nobody refers to this entirely informal group by the name aside from me), it's only a matter of time. I mean, come on, that acronym is sweet as hell. Who can turn down a solid acronym? Only Nerds Or Bloody Ornery, Dumbass Yokels, that's who! NOBODY!
BAD: The eHarmony.ca commercial featuring Tanyalee the apparently self-employed artisan and Joshua the geeky chemist (Tanyalee's words, not mine). In just 30 seconds of commercial, Tanyalee makes herself out to be one of those insufferable people that likes to go on and on about her artistic side. First of all, she slags her husband's job, which for all we know is working on a cure for the swine flu or some humanitarian venture. Then, as the ad details, she also roped him into at least helping set up, at worst co-owning some kind of hipster clothing store. If you've ever been on Queen Street West in Toronto, you will find roughly 672,356 of these stores, and none of them will ever have more than three people inside at one time. Then they get talking about staying up all night working on a canvas, as poor Joshua sits there with a 'man, the things I do to get laid' look on his face. I give this marriage until the autumn of 2011. This blog is actually a public service announcement for some of my friends who are considering, and in some cases already have signed up for, eHarmony. Do you really think your ideal relationship involves putting up shelves and 'expressing yourself' through painting? Hell no. Just go to a bar and pick up like everyone else. I will never tire of the bar scene!
GOOD: MuchMusic Video Awards commercials (the ones with the vocoder voice, not the one with the Jonas brothers). At first this was going to be in the 'bad' section, given that the vocoder voice chiming in and providing background hums throughout the commercial is just irritating as all hell. But then I took a step back and realized that the vocoder was only mentioning two particular musicians --- Nickelback and Lady Gaga, far and away the two shittiest acts on the show. Not that the Jonases, Black Eyed Peas or the other bottom-feeders at the MMVAs are much better, but still, I would happily listen to 'My Humps' on auto-repeat for an hour than anything by that body-suited nightmare or generic Albertan sludge rock. Kudos to Much for at least singling out the biggest turds in their toilet of an awards show.
BAD: The Bowflex ad featuring that rat-faced guy who brags about 'giving all his fat clothes to his fat friends.' Classy move. I would've loved to have seen this play out.
Friend: Hey there Brian, you look in great shape these days! I'm proud of you!
Brian: Thanks dude, I appreciate it. And thanks for all of the support along the way.
Friend: No problem. It's the least I could've done for my good buddy who's going through such a major lifestyle change. I only wish I had the willpower to do the same.
Brian: Yeah, I meant to ask you about that. You're a size 46 waist, right?
Brian: Ok, awesome. I have, like, four pairs of pants that are just like tents on me now. Would you like them? You know, since you're such a giant fat-ass.
Brian: The pants are actually size 48, but hey, it's not like you won't keep on growing, eh, Chubbs?