Tag Archives: advertising

Non Sequitur: Identity Theft and Elite Radio

I thought I’d take a moment to comment on a couple of television commercials that have been in regular rotation recently. As I normally time-shift my viewing thanks to the magic of TiVo, I generally don’t watch a lot of commercials. There are exceptions; every once in a while something catches my eye while I’m fast-forwarding through an ad block and I’ll rewind to give it a look. Then there are occasions when I actually watch live television ((For example, I spent much of Independence Day watching the Dirty Jobs marathon on the Discovery Channel with Laura and my parents. Take that, King George!)) and cannot avoid the commercials in my customary fashion.

One series of commercials that I like is Citi Identity Theft Solutions, which feature people speaking with voices that clearly do not belong to them, recounting all the fantastic stuff they purchased with ill-gotten credit cards. As a victim of identity theft myself, I can relate to their plight; the idea of someone running around Columbus, Ohio using my identity to run up $20k+ worth of store-credit purchases at CompUSA, Service Merchandise and Helzberg Diamonds chars my biscuit to this day. The aftermath is not at all fun; in fact clearing everything off your credit report is nothing less than a huge, drawn-out pain in the ass.

As serious as the problem is, the commercials are hilarious, especially the most recent installment, in which two elderly women talk about the motorcycles “they” purchased with their stolen credit cards. “Them bikes was, like, waaaaaaah!” one woman says. “No,” the other interjects. “They was, like, brubba-brubba-brubba!” The first woman then declares that the bikes “sound good ’cause they free.”

The juxtaposition of the visual and the voices is simply brilliant, moreso than any of the other ads in the series (all of which are pretty good). I can’t not laugh when I see it, and I will go out of my way for the opportunity to do so.

On the flip side of the coin is an advertisement for a luxury car that begins with a tight shot of the driver tuning the radio. I think it’s a Mercedes ad but I can’t say for certain; probably because my brain shuts down when the radio is tuned to 112.7. Apparently along with seat warmers and luxuriously-appointed leather interior, this particular vehicle comes with the ability to receive radio stations beyond 107.9MHz, the top end of the FM dial in every car I’ve ever owned.

No doubt there are secret, commercial-free radio stations owned by the nouveau riche and run by illegal immigrants. ((I’d call it Mexican Radio, but Wall of Voodoo has a Wall of Lawyers on retainer for just such a violation of their intellectual propery rights.)) These stations broadcast on frequencies that Joe Middle Class believes to be reserved for aeronautical navigation but are instead filled with an uninterrupted stream of hard trance, ambient techno and classical music. It’s elite radio, just a few megahertz beyond the capabilities of the MVoD. Visit your Mercedes dealership for a complete denial of its existence. ((The first rule of Elite Radio: Do not talk about Elite Radio.))

Doctor Angus: 1; Gastrointestinal Fortitude: 0

Shortly after Kyle and I got back from the coffeeshop last night, Laura called from Burger King; she was on her way home and asked if I’d like her to bring some dinner.

“Bring me one of those Angus burgers,” I said. “A big one, with no tomato. And some onion rings.”

Kyle had already eaten.

Of course, my choice was directly affected by my purely platonic love for Doctor Angus, ((I also love the Burger King himself: the plastic-headed, grinning mascot that many people find extremely creepy. He just seems so darn fun-loving to me, and there’s a glint in his eye that suggests his idea of fun may include tossing kittens in an incinerator or pushing your grandmother’s wheelchair onto a busy interstate highway. I should point out that I do not enjoy or condone such activities. Really.)) fictional pitchman for Burger King’s line of gourmet hamburgers. “I’m Doctor Angus,” chimed the voice in the back of my head, “and I’ve got a PhD in cheesy.”

Minutes later, dinner arrived and I attacked it with vigor. The burger was pretty darn tasty, and the onion rings were still warm enough that they hadn’t been rendered inedible. Add a monster-sized raspberry iced tea to wash it down and I was a pretty happy camper.

Until about three hours later. I won’t go into the gruesome details, but my night involved three trips to the bathroom and a cleansing ritual that likely changed weather patterns in the Swiss Alps. ((To be fair to Doctor Angus, it is not at all uncommon for Burger King to have that effect on me. And to be fair to Burger King, Laura suffered no ill-effects whatsoever from her Whopper meal. Whenever I eat the food from Burger King, I do so with the full knowledge that it may turn my digestive system into an expressway. It doesn’t happen every time, but often enough that I am aware of the cause-and-effect relationship.))

You might be surprised to learn that my feelings toward Doctor Angus have not been altered by the assault his cap leaf lettuce, freshly toasted corn-dusted bun and signature steak sauce made on my innards. He has won this round, but he is a formidable opponent and I still admire his cheesiness.

Next week: I know he’s singing “big buckin’ chicken,” but it sure as hell sounds like something else. It’s the new Tendercrisp Cheesy Bacon. Buckin’ chicken.

Effective Marketing?

I have a secret shame and his name is Doctor Angus (AKA Harry Enfield). I enjoy every one of the Burger King commercials featuring the faux motivational speaker, especially the most recent one in which Doc Angus declares, “It’s that easy; it’s that cheesy!” What the hell is wrong with me?

Despite the fact that I will rewind the TiVo to watch Doctor Angus commercials, I’ve never tried the Angus burgers at BK. Oh, I’ve been tempted to, but I almost never think about Doctor Angus while I’m actually at the drive-thru. Weird.

I also enjoy the new VW ads featuring my favorite pancake lover, Peter Stormare. Stormare, dressed in white and speaking with a thick German accent, “unpimps” a series of rides by flinging them with a trebuchet (“Oh, snap!”), flattening them with a shipping container, or otherwise demolishing them. Yes, I rewind these ones, too. No, I don’t plan to purchase a Volkswagen anytime soon. Snap, indeed.

Oh, and did I mention that the upgrade to WordPress 2.0.2 is complete and comment screening is deactivated? The upgrade to WordPress 2.0.2 is complete and comment screening is deactivated.