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Archive for the ‘Stupidity’ Category

Watch enough of the NCAA tournament — I saw my share, as you might gather — and you quickly decide which commercials are tolerable and which you will quickly grow to hate. Here, in no particular order, are my personal best and worst. May I have the envelopes, please:

Best

  • Palm “Life Moves Fast” (pictured)

I used to have a Palm PDA, and later a Treo. They were fine and in some ways I miss the Treo. I don’t know if the Palm they’re promoting here is a killer multimedia phone that will restore their fortunes, but boy does she walk great.

  • Bud light “Why Do You Love Me?”

This is the one with the couple picnicking in the park. OK, it’s just a commercial, but the girl really makes it work. It’s like a 30-second sitcom. I think we will see more of her.

That’s about it for the good ones. Now to the majority.

Worst

  • Capital One “What’s in Your Wallet”

Time to retire the Viking marauders.

  • Burger King “Crazy King”

Burger King has the most consistent record of stupid/annoying commercials in the last 30 years, going back to the days of Herb (remember him?). Their streak is safe.

  • Home Depot “Windex”

This one is actually on the Westwood One radio broadcasts, not TV. It’s not terrible, just sort of “Eh. Windex? Really? And why do they repeat it so many times?”

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Bandicoots, 2 for the price of 1!

Bandicoots, 2 for the price of 1!

After years of not having a cassette player, I unearthed a pile of decades-old cassettes of work I did at WLRH in Huntsville, Alabama, so I went out and got a $10 cassette deck from Goodwill and have been transcribing some old audio. Here are a couple of “commercials” I produced for the morning show I co-hosted. Public radio doesn’t do this sort of thing anymore, for which it gets the thanks of a grateful nation.

The cassettes are old enough that I’m surprised anything comes across at all. Speed regulation on the Aiwa deck, usually a problem with older cassettes, is actually pretty good. But the frequency response is a bit dodgy.

These two are the best I’ve found so far. I had totally forgotten about Mainstream Mammals. Have fun, if possible.

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Vocus = spam

DavidB

David B (photo by bwjones) is not a spammer

Lately I’ve been trying to close out the email account I used at WMUB Public Radio (Miami University). Since my name and address was printed in various media guides, I got a lot of interview and book pitches, etc. For most of these I just click on an “Unsubscribe” link. The best are those that just automatically do that. The worst (in ascending order of turpitude) are those that:

  • Require you do do a few more clicks
  • Make you unsubscribe, then come back and resubscribe with a new address when ALL I WANT TO DO IS CHANGE MY FREAKIN’ EMAIL ADDRESS
  • Tell you the changes will take effect in 10 days (What th’… ?)
  • Tell you to call a phone number, with extensions, during business hours
  • Have no way to unsubscribe
  • Use fraudulent unsubscribe links
  • Have anything to do with Vocus

It began when I tried to unsubscribe from a couple of especially annoying and egregious promotional pitches. I began to notice that instead of reducing my inbox clutter, I was getting more and more of this junk from Vocus. Obviously the unsubscribe request was simply triggering more spam.

Here’s more on this rotten bunch from ‘word of mouth marketer’ David Binkowski’s blog in 2007. His last post was in March 2009 so I don’t know if his blog is still active. Wish I had seen this earlier.

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CreepyPalmPreAdCount me among those who find the current crop of Palm Pre ads with Tamara Hope to be seriously missing the mark. The 3rd one, ‘Reincarnation,’ is especially . . . well, creepy.

I don’t have a Pre and don’t plan to get one, though I liked the Treo 650 I used for several years. So I don’t read the Palm blogs, but after seeing the ad I Googled “stupid Palm Pre ad” and discovered I’m not alone (one rarely is in cyberspace these days).

The techie contingent seems to object that the ads don’t show all the cool features of the Pre. I don’t have a problem with soft or image ads if they’re cleverly done. But this one leaves me . . . well, creeped out.

By the way, phooey on Apple for disabling iTunes for the Pre. Not good.

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