Advertising Blues
by Kaz Kozalak

I’ve noticed some curious things going on in television advertising lately.

A primary example of one of the more unusual TV ads is the current series by Intel. These ads feature the Blue Man Group. The Blue Man Group appears to have no traditional marketable talent.

In the ads they have what appears to be a thick layer of blue latex applied to their entire bald heads and their hands. The rest of their bodies are covered in black jumpsuits. They dance around like geeks in one commercial and hammer on plastic sewer pipe in the shape of a “4” for the Pentium IV processor. Brilliant!  In another commercial, they apply green paint to a wall in three stripes indicating the Pentium III processor.

Why didn’t Chevrolet hire these dudes to do a commercial for pickup trucks instead of their current “Like A Rock” themed commercials? Maybe because Chevrolet was just smart enough to know not to.

What is missing from the commercials is any reason as to why you should buy Intel products. It’s just blue-headed guys doing strange things. Stranger yet is the reasoning that must have gone on at Intel to produce these commercials. “Let’s put three blue bald-headed men in our commercials who don’t talk doing strange things. That’ll make people rush out to buy Intel and scare the daylights out of AMD.” OK. Sure. Sounds good to me.

Stranger still must have been the discussion that went into creating the Blue Man Group….

    Stanley: “I’d like to go into show business.”

    Kyle: “What should we do? Create a rock band? Do magic tricks?”

    Eric: “No. I think we should shave our heads bald and cover ourselves in solid blue latex and hammer on plastic sewer pipe. That is where all the money is to be made.”

    Stanley: “That’s an excellent idea. But what about Kenny? What should Kenny do? Oh, my God! They've killed Kenny!”

    Kyle: “You bastards!”

Another curious ad is one being run by Tampax. The ad draws your attention to how small the Tampax tampon is. It is so small that can be hidden in your hand. This is in comparison to the previous Tampax tampon that had to be stored in the trunk of your car.

At the end of the ad there is a phrase that says, “The revolution continues.” Huh? Revolution? I wasn’t aware of any revolution. Have Tampax and Kotex been exchanging mortar fire and this information has been kept secret from the public? I demand to know! How many casualties have there been?!!! It’s a cover-up.

A really sad series of commercials includes one being run by Pillsbury. The ad shows that all you have to do to bake Pillsbury cookies is to cut the already made cookie dough and place them in the oven. Wait a minute! That isn’t baking cookies! That is just applying heat! I know what real baking is like. My grandmother used to do real baking.

During baking, my grandmother’s kitchen was a surrealistic scene. There was a rolling pin, a rolling pin board, and cans of flour, sugar, powdered sugar, yeast and Crisco. I think she had a five hundred gallon tank of Crisco buried in the back yard. There were mixing bowls, eggs and hand tools of all sorts. When she got going, there was so much flour dust flying around I’m surprised now that the place didn’t explode because of the open gas flame. When my grandmother baked, it took all day.

When Pillsbury says applying heat to prepared dough is “baking” they make me laugh and insult my grandmother’s memory. People who apply heat to prepared dough should admit they don’t know anything about baking or are just too lazy to do the real thing. They should just go to the store and BUY their freakin’ cookies and admit they’re a failure to their children.

People who lie to their children about they’re “baking” and who are Catholic need to confess this to their priest….

    Parent: “Father, forgive me, for I have sinned. I have told my children that applying heat to prepared cookie dough is actually ‘baking’.”

    Priest: “Wow! That’s a whopper. Excuse me for laughing, but you are forgiven. Your penance will be to go out and buy a five hundred gallon tank of Crisco.”

Finally, there’s a new commercial being run by Pfizer advertising Viagra, although, to the best of my recollection, the word “Viagra” is never used. The commercial shows a NASCAR type racecar speeding down a highway ALL BY ITSELF! That’s simply not a realistic scenario. At the end of the commercial, the racecar breaks through a barrier indicating the road ahead is closed! So, although it’s never shown, the racecar must end up in a ball of flame after crashing through the barrier. I also believe the racecar is sporting the late Dale Earnhardt’s number “3”.

I think this commercial sends too many subtle and conflicting signals. I think some of the symbolism is excellent, but this may not sink in with some of the dimmer bulbs in the population. Some fellows may get Viagra and mistakenly put it in their gas tank; missing out on the intended use for Viagra, altogether.

Perhaps a better use of “Viagraesque” symbolism might have been to show thirty seconds of a blimp being inflated.