Intensities in Ten Suburbs

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Take Five / Commercial Break: Siginificantly Above-Average Playoffs Ads

Posted by Andrew Unterberger on October 31, 2007


All right, you guys got me. I bit off a little more than I could chew last night with my promise of ten super-shitty playoff-heavy commercials as well as five that were not so. I tried to scramble to erase my initial previews of the latter, but I left one mention of ’em in there, and you guys being the super-dedicated hawkeye IITS readers that you are, you called me on it. But hey, that’s why I love you guys. So, without any further ado, the five that commercials that made inning breaks and relief pitcher warm-ups endurable:

  • Ortiz and Urlacher Switch it Up. I had no idea what the hell I was watching the first time I saw this commercial, and it’s still pretty fucking weird. Aside from being big dudes playing for scary teams, I’m not really even sure what Sox slugger David Ortiz and Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher have in common to bring ’em together here, but it’s hard to argue with any commercial that has two of the most physically intimidating men in pro sports kicking a little bamdinton ass. Especially when the commercial so aces the details–the broadcaster’s deadpan, the verite-ish cinematography (which makes the shuttlecock sticking out of the one dude’s leg seem particularly disturbing and hilarious) and even Ortiz’s trademark thanking-the-man-upstairs finishing move. Oh, and it’s a Vitamin Water commercial, I think.
  • Nothin’ But a Good Time. Don’t really care at all about the visuals on this XBox 360 ad–which are still pretty cool, showing emergency supplies of 360 titles being delivered to the needy. But this one’s all about the music–a kiddie chorus-voiced cover of Poison’s hair metal standard, “Nothin’ But a Good Time”. Transforming one of the sleaziest songs of the 80s into a pre-teen gamer anthem is pretty well guaranteed to put a smile on my face .
  • I’ll Take the Stairs. Bud Light’s riffing on one of the classic old school visual gags is one of the most successful uses of anti-humor I’ve seen used in recent TV, advertisement or no. First time through, I was praying it was going to go there with the joke, and when it did, I was chuckling for the next ten minutes. Essential viewing, no doubt.
  • A Car You Can’t Ignore. Who says physical comedy is dead? Stacy from Wayne’s World (OK, fine, Lara Flynn Boyle) could probably sue for royalties, but this had me in semi-stitches anyway. Best viewed in immediate succession with its follow-up commercial, which I can’t find a link to at the moment, so I guess you’ll never know about that for certain.
  • Warren Wallace. As penance for innundating us with those increasingly unfunny and unsettling Gekko commercials (does anyone else find the ones where he laments the fact that if he had a different name, he wouldn’t have a job, to be a little too, I dunno, Beckett-esque?), GEICO hits us with its best ad campaign since the Cavemen glory days, about the titular pint-sized auto-racing fiend. Dunno what it is about super-cocky pre-teens that so winds me up, but Warren’s toothpick-chomping arrogance had me quoting along every time he came on TV after the first. Proof that when it comes to catchy advertising characters and campaigns, GEICO is still a hundred miles away, son.

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