Intensities in Ten Suburbs

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Standing Offer / Commercial Break: Snakes & PCs

Posted by Andrew Unterberger on October 14, 2008


Well, after my readers came through beautifully on that “Rip Things in Half” .gif a year ago, they disappointed me terribly with their inability to help me properly document the “Hey Brad…Not Brad” mania of last April. So this time, I am giving you all a choice of two recent paragons of commercial ROFLness, and will resume my standing offer of $15 for the submitting of either (and, say, $25 for the both). Based on past experience, if this is something you actually know how to do, it should take you like an hour, and with the current state of the world, can you really afford to turn down a job that pays $25 / hr right now? If I can’t coax a little assistance out of my readers on this one, I might have to relocate this blog to a Usenet newsgroup or something.

The first one is from that atrocious set of Holiday Inn commercials featuring Philip Baker Hall as a professor with an apparently very low ethical price tag, teaching his students about business by serving as a shill for Holiday Inn at every possible opportunity. The Cal Ripken one is the worst of the bunch, not the least because the tenuous baseball connection has guaranteed it exposure throughout the MLB playoffs. Mostly, though, it’s just lazy–all right, I suppose every girl grows up wanting to marry Cal Ripken, but who would want to be nicknamed “Bob,” exactly? But I’m utterly smitten with the “ssssSNAKE EYYYYYES?!?!?” guy, for some reason. His sneer, his eyebrows, his false sense of braggadocio…I must have them in .gif form, with “ssssSNAKE EYYYYYES?!?!?” flashing under it.

The second one is from the recent series of Microsoft commercials, the ones they’re hoping will bail out the company after the brilliant but commercially disastrous SeinGate ads. They’ll never come close to living up to that campaign again for me, but these are still somewhat clever, undeniably compelling and persuasive commercials, despite the fact that I couldn’t be less invested in the Mac / PC debate (and that I still can’t believe that isn’t actually John Hodgeman at the beginning of those commercials). The cast of characters presented in these ads is a wide and diverse one, but my favorite has to be the shimmying black kid, who is apparently taking a break from soccer practice or something to gloat “I’m a PC, I’m a PC” while gliding about the field. You’re not gonna find too many customers cooler than that on TV–or on the internet, if he was to show up in .gif form with his signature phrase appearing under him.

So come on, do us both a favor and help me out here. Don’t make this harder than it has to be.

One Response to “Standing Offer / Commercial Break: Snakes & PCs”

  1. Chris Argento said

    I’m still waiting for you to write about those Mohegan Sun commercials that bastardize “My Sharona”, etc. The best part for me about moving from the NYC metro area to Las Vegas had been getting away from those commercials constantly playing on SNY and ESPN. The songs are horrible but grab a hold of your brain and burrow their way in there – “We’re at Mohegan Sun/Having fun Playing all the games/At the BIG CASINO!” I had mentally resigned myself to a lifetime of having those stupid jingles stuck in my head. Then I moved out here and obviously there are no Mohegan Sun commercials on TV. In a week, I was jingle-free and feeling great. The best few weeks of my life followed. Then, fucking Artie Lange. I was listening to Stern one day and he brought them up, him and Howard started singing them, and they’ve been in my head for the past few weeks, fighting with “Surfin’ Bird” for dominance in my subconcious. I feel like as a pop culture historian, you need to document these things.

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