Intensities in Ten Suburbs

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The IITS 2007 Pop Culture Hall of Fame Nominees: Commercials

Posted by Andrew Unterberger on December 14, 2007


Day 4 of the Pop Culture Hall of Fame voting. As we’re doing commercials tonight, the cultural significance more or less goes out the window, and we’ll mostly just be voting among ones I found the best or most interesting (with the very large exception of one commercial that was simply too terrible to be ignored). Some of them you might’ve seen a thousand times too many, some of them you might not have seen at all (and I’ve included YouTubes for all I could in case), but they were the ones that best filled in the cracks of my 2007 TV watching experience–I think I’ve already written about at least half of ’em for this blog, in fact. In any event, don’t forget to vote and such–up to five, with an optional write-in vote (though several of you have been writing-in several, which I guess is OK), either in the comments box or to And if you want, you can wait until the end of the week, when I’ll compile a list of the nominees, and you can just submit one big ballot–for those of you yet to vote in any of the polls, I can only assume that this is what you’re doing.


I’m not sure exactly when or why Wendy’s decided they were marketing to such a fringe audience, but man did their ad campaigns get surreal this year. The “Hot Juicy Burger!” ads–featuring setups like a forest full of people kicking trees, and a wide open field with everyone running and jumping into a hole in the middle–were weird enough, but this gem, seemingly combining German Expressionism, Japanese Monster Movies and Beatlemania, unified by the unforgettable tagline “Obsessing over celebrity–that’s wrong. Unless that celebrity is BACON!” I think has to take the cake. The fact that it also happened to promote the best Fast Food item of 2007 shouldn’t hurt its chances in this poll none either.

“But You Gotta Do…What You Gotta Do”

Ah, stealing. In what must sadly rank as his most high-profile acting gig in years, this Gatorade commercial sees Harvey Keitel acting as an angel on Derek Jeter’s shoulder (good or bad angel I’m not sure, or is that the point), advising him to take second base, despite that the pitcher keeps looking over and the catcher’s “got a gun” (I presume he means a good throwing arm, though the commercial would’ve been a lot funnier if the Angels catcher had actually pulled out a semi-automatic and mowed Jeter down on his path). This is all when and good, but it’s Keitel’s use of a word that must rank in the top ten in the history of the English (err, Yiddish) language–“schmendrick”–that really seals the deal. I’d like to think it’s the word that really gives Jeter the push he needs, like “Hell naw! I’m not lettin’ no schmendrick get in MY way!” And yes, that is the way Derek Jeter really talks (presumably).

57,000. That’s how many google hits there are for the phrase “IDK, my BFF Jill?” One of the few commercials to actually break into larger pop culture in 2007, you could spend hours on YouTube just watching the remixes, recreations and edits of this video–the dance remix where they set it to various internet phenomena is pretty good, but for my money the version that slows the commercial down by half is one of the funniest things I’ve seen all year (for some reason). Still, the original reigns supreme, a piece of multi-leveled hilarity that demonstrates the generation gap (or, more specifically, ad men’s misconception of it) better than anything else in 2007. The one where the grandmother says “IDK, my BFF Rose?” is an underrated sequel, for the record.

Fist Bump / Stairs Gag

Neither of these Bud Light gags were quite good enough to deserve their own entry, but as two of the best commercials from the Super Bowl and World Series (respectively) from the most reliable quality sporting event commercial source of them all, I figured a combination was entry-worthy. The Stairs one especially still slays me, just because the set up is so perfect–why would the guy keep glasses behind his couch, anyway? And perhaps more pressingly, who has a staircase that only leads down in the middle of the living room?


Talk about a pop culture fan’s dream commercial come true. Bruce Campbell perfomring a lounge version of “Hungry Like the Wolf” to a bevy of beauties in a lush, faux-60s setting? Not too shabby. More than just the cachet attatched to it, I love how abstract this commercial is, especially for a deoderant ad, not exactly a commercial sub-genre known for its out-of-the-box thinking. No dialogue (minus the utterances of the ad’s new one-word catch phrase), no real use of the product, just Bruce and the ladies mellowing it out. The clip’s secret weapon, though? The whistling hook at the end, possibly the most quietly insiduous ad jingle of the year.

I Wanna Be a Cowboy

In what is proving to be an all-around banner year Cowboys QB Tony Romo, his greatest performance might still be found in this SportsCenter clip, ’07’s best entry in what is quite probably the most consistently quality ad campaign of the last decade. Looks like ESPN has pulled it from YouTube, and only has the inferior (though still pretty funny) reception ad up on its website, so I guess I’ll describe it–SportsCenter anchor Scott Van Pelt is walking down the building’s hallway when he notices loud music coming from a dark room. He opens the door, and Romo is there partying with a bunch of chicks. Upon noticing Van Pelt, the music is turned all the way down, and the party instantly grinds to a halt, and they have the following dialogue (transcribed from memory, so might be off).
“Hey, Tony.”

“Hey, Scott.”

“I’m done with the show.”


“Yeah, guess I’ll go home…probably watch some TV…”


Van Pelt eventually leaves and closes the door behind him, at which point the volume is instantly turned back up (the song being played is revealed to be Boys Don’t Cry’s “I Wanna Be a Cowboy”) and the window’s blinds are lowered. “This is SportsCenter.”

Hey, I’m just glad Boys Don’t Cry is finally getting its much-deserved introduction to the next generation.


As more devoted IITS readers will no doubt recalled, over this summer I offered a small premium for any fan willing to create me a .gif of the asian metalhead from the Dunkin Donuts “Rip Things in Half” commercial, which as you can (hopefully) see above, was actually created by an IITS reader named Katie. Though the thing still refuses to play at full speed on my computer, and though Katie generously refused my cash reward (less because she, say, thought reading my blog was its own reward, than because she seemed to think it was sort of sad that I was willing to pay so much for it), it helps me to sleep easier at night to know what will probably go down as my favorite shot from a 2007 commercial will be so forever immortalized.

Goulet’s Grand Finale

We all new that it was a great commercial when we first saw it in the Super Bowl in February. But just as Joy Division’s Closer instantly took on new relevance upon singer Ian Curtis’s death later that year, so too does Robert Goulet’s ad for Emerald Nuts take on a retrsopective sense of tragedy now that the great entertainier is no longer with us. Perhaps it won’t really hit viewers until the Montage of Mortality at the Oscars next year, when the slow-motion image of Goulet crawling away on the ceiling will eventually just be too much to handle.

I’ll Tell You One Thing They Can’t Insure…

I dunno what it is exactly about arrogant pre-adolescents that I find so utterly hysterical, but GEICO’s Loren Wallace series (and yes, apparently it is Lauren or Loren and not Warren, much to my surprise) featuring the titular over-confident auto racing tyke–was the one group of ad campaigns I simply could not ever turn away from when it was on this year. The classic quotes came fast and furious–“I didn’t say I wouldn’t go fishin’ with the man!” “I’m a hundred miles away, son. Ready to strike.” “Listen…go kart trick…grocery store…those remote control boats…when it comes to Mike Wallace, the story ends with ME putting HIM in the wall.” This kid should be bigger than Abigail Breslin by now. And have more Oscar nominations.

Rules to Live By

So yeah, this commercial is bad. Really bad. There’s nothing about it that isn’t an antithesis to good. The fact that the douche says “1, 2, and C” when listing his rules, the grossly inappropriate use of Devo (and I don’t even like that song), the terrifyingly unfunny attempt at a mid-ad plot twist…seriously, if terribleness was a delicious ice cream flavor, this commercial would be double chocolate mint caramel fudge swirl. And yet…it’s utterly hypnotic. It is so titanic in its bounting heaps of awful awfulosity that I simply couldn’t exclude it from at least the nominee stage of the hall of fame. After all, no other commercial this year was such a subject of debate among me and my friends–mostly about whether the twist meant that that the guy’s brother was trying to tell him “don’t be like me, I’ve wasted my life dating women with dragon tattoos, owning lap dogs and not getting chili on my Nachos Bell Grande!,” whether it meant he was deliberately trying to trick him into the bad decision of getting chili on his Nachos Bell Grande out of sheer malice, or if he was just being a gigantic hypcoritical douche for no real reason. I tend to drift towards the latter.

Honorable Mention:

1, 2, 3, 4
Sir Charge! (Actually I just forgot about this one until it was too late, feel free to vote for it)
Impossible is Nothing.

86 Responses to “The IITS 2007 Pop Culture Hall of Fame Nominees: Commercials”

  1. 1. Goulet (Canadian!)
    2. RIP THINGS IN HAAAAAAAALF (I admit, Goulet’s death cost this one #1)
    3. Bruce Campbell, sexy motherfucker
    4. Harvey Keitel, stealing
    5. Baconator

  2. Mitchell Stirling said

    I’ll do all these for the weekend. I’ll have to at least watch the adverts.

  3. jonathan said

    1. IDK, my BFF Jill?*
    2. IDK, Goulet?
    3. IDK, Fist Bump/Stairs?
    4. IDK, Harvey Keitel?
    5. IDK, Ahoy?


    Incidentally, I’m interested in Sir Charge’s immigration status. He left the old country… why? Is appearing on Verizon phone bills really that sweet a gig?

    *I really like this one.

  4. Greg Fanoe said

    1. IDK, My BFF Jill (if this doesn’t win the whole contest has no point)
    2. Rip things in half
    4. Ahoy
    5. Fist Bump/Stairs

  5. billy said

    Still working up a ballot, but holy hell man:


  6. Victor said

    For me there was only one commercial:

    John Mellencamp’s lasting tribute to America and Chevy Trucks “Our Country” (which just got nominated for the Best Solo Rock Vocal performance Grammy!).

  7. Dan said

    IDK, My BFF Jill?
    Sir Charge
    Rip things in half!
    Harvey Keitel

  8. Al said

    The only commercial that has caused me to question my sanity is the Wendy’s commercial where the burger sings Air Supply.


    1. WRITE-IN: Burger sings Air Supply

    2. Goulet

    3. Rules to Live By

  9. David said

    That old spice jingle has been around for ages, it’s just now being recycled.

    But I’m with you, it’s killer.

    It’s also in the Simpsons, see the episode “lost our lisa”

    Not a bad list all things considered.

  10. Griezz said

    1) Bruce Campbell shills for Old Spice
    2) Wendy’s Baconator ad
    3) Rules To Live By (Not)
    4) Goulet’s nutty swan song
    5) (write-in) Best Buy ad about the paperboy’s gift

  11. Ken said

    Stairs gag
    idk my bff jill

  12. Jason L said

    1. IDK, my bff Jill
    2. Ahoy
    3. Surreal Wendy’s commercials
    4. Write-in: the Burger King ads with people dressed as burgers, which I’ve seen everywhere
    5. Goulet

  13. Katie said

    1. IDK, my BFF Jill
    3. Write in: Berries and Cream Skittles
    4. Write in: Lymon Sprite
    5. The Baconator

    And, for the record, reading this blog IS its own reward.

    … But, at the same time, it is ALSO kind of sad that you’re willing to pay 25 bucks for an animated .gif. Haha.

  14. Katie said

    1 Goulet
    2 Bruce
    4 IDK, my BFF Jill?
    5 IT. GETS. ME. PUMPED!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Haley said

    IDK, my BFF Jill
    Write in: berries and cream
    Bruce “the chin” Campbell

  16. Millie said

    1. Harvey Keitel -Stealing
    2. Bob Goulet
    3. My BFF Jill
    4. I Wanna Be a Cowboy
    5. Ahoy

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  25.  No se excesivamente corectamente la agudfeza que has intentado comentar.
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  26. recrearse said

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  27. codigos said

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  28. No encuentro correcto lo que has escrito. Me da la impresion de que de ningun modo te has documentado correctamente.

    ¿Realmente opinas todo eso?

  29. Gracias Por Todo. Me alucina de que manera has planteado el argumento.
    ¿Me serias tan amable de ofrecer un poco mas noticia de el topico?
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    Muchas Gracias.

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  31.  Hass propuesto el argumento de manera soso, no ciertamente creo que te hayas informado para escribir.
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  32.  ¿Donjde lograria apreciar mucha maas texto referente a ese argumento?
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  33. Me deleita bastante laa mayoria de la noticias que muestras.
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    Te Deboo Una

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  35. De segro que este editorial hha sido visto por la casi todos los visitantes, de la web ya que se trata de algo un llamativo fragmento de texto
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  36. He revisado centenares de veces sobre este contenido.
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  37.  ¿Serias Tan Amable De contarme en que pagina
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  39.  ¿Puedes hablarme en que lugar has podido encontrar tanta asesoria productivo?
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  40. No encuentro acertado lo que has blogueado.
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    ¿Ciertamrnte piensas todo esto?

  41. He esxtado investigando enn la web a lo largo mas de 4
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    mas practico que loo que es ahora.

  42.  No coincido en sintonia con nada de lo que hhas redactado.
    No hay referencias ni parece ser que te hayyas informado
    con anterioridad dde comentar.

  43. No encuentro adecuado lo quee has posteado . Creo que noo te has documentado adecuadamente.
    ¿De verdad crees eso?

  44. Que pasada!! Unos muy coherentes puntos de vista!

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  46.  ¿Serias Tan Amable De declararme en que has visto tanta noticias util?
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  47. De hecho no hhe podido resistirme comentar. Excepcionalmente bien comentado

  48. La Mayoria De la referencia esfa posteada de
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    de lo mas bueno que he localizado en gran parte de la red web.
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  49. trampeaban said

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  50.  Bien posteado, aunque hay varias ideas en llas
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  51.  No termino de entender muy adecuadamente la agudza que hhas tratado redactar.
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  53. Me parece que este editorial ha sido vistoo por la
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  55. ¿De verdad opinas esto? Ni Siquiera me daa la impresion que la indicacion que has posteado pueda ser verdadera.
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  56. Flipante!! Unos muy muy buenos puntos de vista! De
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  57.  He estado totalmente en sintonia con la totalidad de los puintos que has escrito, a persar de que
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  58.  Creo que de ninguna manera te has informado bien. Como sea perfectamente redactado

  59. Muy Bueno. Me alucina acerca de como has contenido
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    Te debo una.

  60. Es bastante facil descubrir un topic en la internet en comparacion con los
    libros de texto, tal como yo he hallado este fragmento en este Web

  61. Me satisfac la manera en que has escriito sobre el topico no obstante de ningun modo estoy een sintonia con algunas sugerencias.
    No existe demasiada documentacion.

  62. ¿Como van?! de ningun modo tengo la impresion que la post este perfectamente verificada.
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  63.  Has planteado el tokpico de manera insipido, no me da la impresion que
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  64. Muchas gracias por la totalidad de la posteo que has apuntado.
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  65.  Absolutamente Toda la posteo see encuentre blogueada
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  66. Creo que no tte has informado corectamente. De todas formas ingeniosamente puesto

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  68. Tampoco he podido evitar resistirme a dejar un comentario.

    Impresionantemente bien comentado

  69. Ni Siquiera me encuentro dejasiado de acuerdo con lo que redactas.
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  71.  La información que ofreces no resulta actualizada y dee ningún modo has contrastado la información acerca
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  72. No termino de entender abundante cuidadosamente laa materia que haas probado postear.
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    encontrado este post en este blog.

  75. gta 5 mapa said

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  77.  Creo que dee hecho no te has informado aceptablemente.

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  78. He leido cientos de ocasiones sobre este idea. Para nada resulta muy inedito.
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  79. Senillamente estoy totalmente dee acuerdo con absolutamente
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  80. argucia said

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  81.  No me siento en consonancia con nada de lo que has publicado.
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  82. Me satisface demasiado los motivos que redactas aqui, a
    pesar dde que el composicion del portal web se trata de algo sobrio.
    Como sea, maravilloso blog-post.

  83. He estado navegando durante mas de 8 horas cada dia, y nunca he encontrado un comentario
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    Personalmente, si muchos de propietarios web y
    personas hicieran tan adecuado contenido web asi como el quee creas, internet seria
    muchisimo mas practico de lo que es ahora.

  84. ¿Realmente piensas todo eso? ¿O solamente quieres generar polemica para conseguir comentarios?

    No creo que sepas absolutamente nada del asunto que has puesto.

  85. Me agrada tu internet web. Me da laa impresion que has expresado la asesoramiento dee forma realmente
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  86. Ian Leaf Fraudster

    The IITS 2007 Pop Culture Hall of Fame Nominees: Commercials « Intensities in Ten Suburbs

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