Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Bad Ad: The Canadian Tire Guy

We all know him, we all hate him. He is... The Canadian Tire Guy.

He is played by Canadian actor Ted Simonett, but details, photos, and available videos of the old commercials are almost impossible to find on the whole internet.

I checked everywhere.

Basically this dude was the bane of my existence for the 8 YEARS that he was the Canadian Tire spokesperson. It seems like all the money they saved on paying this terrible actor was spent to ensure that his commercials ran practically 24/7.

He is coined "the Ned Flanders" of commercials, always popping up at his neighbour's houses with the perfect tool for their really specific-tool-needing situation. He was ugly and chipper, two qualities I hate in an unattractive old man, but yet he continues popping up at his neighbours, and on our televisions incessantly.

I did a longer search than I usually would to try and track down even ONE of this endless list of crappy commercials, but I guess Canadian Tire was embarassed about them and pulled them all from the internet somehow. They finally figured out that no one wanted to see them.

Macleans posted a delightfully mean article about him, delightfully called "What a tool" back in 2005.

In case you're unsure about what I'm talking about (comeon... you're not), here's a clip of the neighbour we love to hate aka the Canadian Ned Flanders from the Rick Mercer Report.

Screw that guy.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Conan's Just Not That India

This is an amazing commercial from last year. It's super long for an ad (two whole minutes), but the shots are gorgeous, and there's a delightful little punch at the end.
Much more delightful than a regular punch.

Plus what's funnier than a 6-foot tall redhead in India?

Amazing what a huge budget can do for you.

Monday, 17 September 2012

The LG GX200 - More Battery, More Talk

This next series of ads is for the LG GX200, which I'm assuming is some kind of non-Iphone phone. This campaign won Gold in the 2011 Clios, probably taking on the spin that it surpasses the Iphone in battery life, which lasts about as long as it takes to read this post.

 I like the visuals in this campaign, but all the "books" pictured seem to be for conversations that you don't want to be having for a really long time. I get that they imply that the battery will last forever, but there's nothing more painful than having a one-sided, super long conversation with, say, an old person. 

I remember once this summer I was taking a bus from Toronto to Montreal and there was this little Snooki on the back of the bus that talked in her outside voice for 2 hours straight about her life and all of her problems. It was horrible, everyone on the bus was looking at each other and doing the exasperated face, but nobody said anything.

When the ride was over, we felt like we had endured some sort of traumatic bonding experience from living through this horrible woman who made our bus ride just that much shittyer. 

Basically I remember praying the whole way for her phone battery to die, as it was my only means of salvation, but alas, it never did. I guess in a way that whole thing was good for her, and terrible for everyone else.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Good Ad (Obvously): Star Wars Identities

This is a wonderful ad campaign that I saw during my internship in Montreal this summer (it's also running in Edmonton). They clearly had a decently large budget for this exhibit, with billboards, bus and subway ads all over town.

 These beautiful works of art (yeah, I said works of art!) allude to the different pieces that shape the timeless, beloved characters that George Lucas brought to life in his first three-and-a-half movies.. and then totally didn't give a shit about in the last two-and-a-half. 

Many people have come to very strongly identify with the characters of the film, even going so far as to adopt Jedi as their religion. I think there are very prominent messages that can be learned from watching these movies. That being said, I don't know who would ever choose to identify as C3PO. Where's R2 in all of this? Or Chewie? 

The Queen Amidala design was definitely the most prominent one around town, and it's arguably the most eye-catching.

Me being the idiot that I am, didn't save enough time to go and check it out, but to be fair it was mostly sold out when I had the time to go.

If these stunning photos weren't enough candy for your hungry, jaded eyes, take a look at the teaser for the commercials that ran before the exhibition opened, it's equally amazing.


Monday, 10 September 2012

Bad Ad: Urban Eatery.. More like Urban Defeatery

So this ad is for a potentially hipstery restaurant, but ironically it's full of copy that directly insults their potentially target audience.

The copy reads: 

ATTENTION HIPSTER DOOFUSES: Sorry about that, but it’s not easy getting the attention of people who reject mainstream consumerism like billionaires reject tax overhaul. Here’s the thing: Do you ever wake up in your designer platform bed in your urban loft, shuffle over to your espresso machine and wonder: Is this all there is? Day after day of wearing ironic vintage tee shirts and searching the Internet for nu rave techno rap bands from Uzbekistan? Don’t you wish you could let your androgynously cut hair down, wear some not-quite-so-painfully-skinny jeans and kick back and watch the (legal in all 50 states version of) grass grow? Not to get all marketingy, but at Urban Eatery you can take a break from looking vaguely disinterested in everything while wearing your favorite organic fedora. We use fresh ingredients from local farms and offer free valet parking—and free is nice if you have one of those hipster liberal arts degrees. So why not take some time out of your busy schedule of wrestling with existential angst and drop by Urban Eatery. After a hard week of conforming to nonconformity, you’ve earned it.

I don't get it. Was their purpose to get customers so angry that they order from this restaurant? Or are we supposed to chuckle at it and assume that they're talking about the hipster in line in front of us? Or were they planning on alienating the hipster audience altogether?