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Disturbing, Depressing, Draining: "Not The Intended Message" Commercials


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#1

CantThinkUpName

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Posted Mar 17, 2006 @ 12:18 AM

I'm not talking about tear-jerkers, commercials made to make you upset and succeed. I'm talking about commercials where you end up adversely reading the ad. Where they try to make it happy or jolly and it just ends up upsetting you, striking some emotional core that it wasn't supposed to. Where you have to turn it off if you see it again or you end up shutting off your TV after watching it.

My latest one is for the new V-cast cellular phone. It's thin, it can get stuff like music videos, it's ... portable, I guess. Anyway, the newest commercial for this features a guy sitting at his cubical doing work and from the hell-box next to him a hand comes over the edge holding the phone. The guy is doing a silly voice talking as his phone about how great his phone is and how much the other guy's phone sucks and it goes on and on. Watching that commercial, all I can think about is being the phone-less guy, empathizing with him, thinking about his life. Knowing that this isn't a single occurance and how everyday he probably has to contend with that jackass next to him bothering him talking about how great his phone is in that annoying, stupid voice. And just imagining myself in that situation and wondering how long before I snap or just completely give up on life.

Similar things happen to me with commercials featuring personalized roaches, ants, viruses, weeds being killed by some pesticide. Where we're supposed to be happy they die just because they're doing what they're supposed to be doing. And it just depresses me to watch them.

So anyone else ever experience this? Getting emotionally whooped by a commercial that's not supposed to do that to you? Or completely getting the opposite point of what the commercial is supposed to be about?

And I know the topic title sucks, I just couldn't think of anything else.
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#2

indigo4

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Posted Mar 17, 2006 @ 12:56 AM

OK, I know this is silly, but I get upset over the Weinerschnitzel hotdog ads, where the personified hot dog is running for his life and screaming, afraid he'll be caught and eaten. Instead of having a laugh and rushing out to buy a hotdog, I get disturbed and unhappy and contemplate the merits of being a vegetarian.
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#3

SoImpossible414

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Posted Mar 17, 2006 @ 3:25 AM

I just mentioned this in another thread, but I get unreasonably depressed about the "Song for the Lonely" Weight Watchers commercials.

The commercial is obviously trying to show their program provides a supportive place to improve your body and feel better about yourself. However, it seems to me that it's screaming, "Nobody loves you because you're fat!"

It either makes me sad or makes me feel like I should be on the defensive: "Hey, overweight doesn't mean lonely! Fuck you!"

Um. Perhaps I project a bit.

Edited by SoImpossible414, Mar 17, 2006 @ 3:26 AM.

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#4

skeevo666

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Posted Mar 17, 2006 @ 5:19 AM

Well, the Southern Comfort ad where they incessantly call it "SoCo" makes me want to pull an Elvis and shoot the TV. As it is, I sometimes cause a sonic boom with the speed I reach for the remote with as it comes on . . .
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#5

Actinolite

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Posted Mar 17, 2006 @ 9:57 AM

I can't remember what gum/mint it is, but...
When we find bad breath, we kill it! I'm assuming that was intended to be funny, but...the poor damn onion! He knows he's going to die and it's just pathetic.

I don't want to buy their gum.
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#6

Figaro1

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Posted Mar 17, 2006 @ 1:23 PM

It's old (and probably 'scarred for life' fodder) but I still remember the day that "I wish I were an Oscar Meyer Weiner . . ." became sort-of literal to me.

EEK! I did NOT want to be eaten.

It was a very popular campaign, and fondly remembered by us oldies. The message I got was not the message I think they meant. Love, indeed.
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#7

ecaron

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Posted Mar 17, 2006 @ 1:55 PM

Um. Perhaps I project a bit.


Then I do too, because that's exactly what I think about it. 'Song for the Lonely'? For a weight loss company? It's transparent and horrible. I see red whenever that commercial comes on.
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#8

Ashforth

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Posted Mar 17, 2006 @ 2:13 PM

the poor damn onion! He knows he's going to die and it's just pathetic.

Oh, man, that one cracks me up! Particularly when he answers the phone and screams.

The commercial I saw recently that I think fits here is one for a cell phone that you "personalize." The cell phone owner in question is a Mafia member who is a snitch and has stupidly left his personalized cell phone behind. Using the info on his personalized cell phone, the other Mob members figure out who he is and they are going to kill him.

This is supposed to make you want one of those phones?
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#9

babycakes

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Posted Mar 17, 2006 @ 2:58 PM

The Chase credit card commerical with "A Hundrend Years" in the background, does not make me want to get a Chase credit card or think that Chase grows with you as you get older. It makes me sad that a template for our lives can be condensed in a 30 second commerical, and how short life is. Not something I want to think about during random parts of the day.

And on the vein of the "Song for the Lonely" commercials, I can't stand the one with Kirstie Alley talking about how gross she was when she was fat. When she was overweight, she was talking about how great it was, now she's dissing herself, which you should never do. Be glad your healthy, but never act like you were gross or something. Everytime I watch it, I think how she must have self esteem issues to have disliked herself so much.
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#10

FfrauleinN

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Posted Mar 17, 2006 @ 4:43 PM

The Chase credit card commerical with "A Hundrend Years" in the background, does not make me want to get a Chase credit card or think that Chase grows with you as you get older.

That ad is depressing as hell. Forget the fact that we're supposed to be watching someone's life flash before our eyes, think about all the credit card debt that man is in.
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#11

Eliot

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Posted Mar 17, 2006 @ 7:35 PM

get upset over the Weinerschnitzel hotdog ads, where the personified hot dog is running for his life and screaming, afraid he'll be caught and eaten. Instead of having a laugh and rushing out to buy a hotdog, I get disturbed and unhappy and contemplate the merits of being a vegetarian.


Oh, God, yes!

I can't stand ANY ad that personifies food:

The Goldfish ad - which I've commented on in the old commercial thread a couple of times - with all the animated Goldfish flying though the air having a race ("Look! The pretzel's winning!") when their only prize is going to be getting eaten!

The Tropicana orange juice ad, with a bunch of oranges swimming and playing around in a pool of...ORANGE JUICE.

The milk ad (I think it was milk) with the animal crackers all racing to get back into the box - the monkey falls behind and all the other animal crackers watch in horror crying, "She's gonna eat the monkey!"

The Teddy Grahams ad with the obnoxious little kid biting the heads off all the Teddy Grahams.

And the latest - the McDonald's ad with the woman walking through the aquarium eating a Filet O'Fish sandwich. At the end she looks right into the tank at all the fish (who have been surreptitiously watching her the entire time) and takes a HUGE bite out of her sandwich. What a bitch.
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#12

Sandman87

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Posted Mar 17, 2006 @ 11:00 PM

...and from the hell-box next to him a hand comes over the edge holding the phone. The guy is doing a silly voice talking as his phone about how great his phone is and how much the other guy's phone sucks and it goes on and on.

See now, that kind of crap just makes me angry. If that were me sitting there, Mr. Cellphone would be abruptly taken away and smashed. End of Mr. Cellphone. And if it happened again, the guy in the next cube would need surgery to remove the scissors from his arm.

Remember the ads for Goldfish? They were disturbing in a "that's horrible" kind of way. What were they thinking with that cheerful jingle containing the line "the happy snack that smiles back until you bite their heads off"?

Edited by Sandman87, Mar 17, 2006 @ 11:01 PM.

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#13

cal331

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Posted Mar 17, 2006 @ 11:35 PM

Aha, a thread in which to express my deep unhappiness at the raw deal received by the Trix Rabbit. Precisely why can't he partake of any of the processed sugary goodness? No one gives Toucan Sam crap about having Froot Loops.

Of course, it started to really bug me when I realized that if TR just quickly and silently poured a bowl of cereal and ate it, he would probably never get busted. But still, those kids were elitist and unfair to snatch his cereal away. Rabbit-haters.
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#14

sandoood

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Posted Mar 18, 2006 @ 12:08 AM

Along the same lines as the Trix Rabbit, I have major pity for Lucky of Lucky Charms fame. Why can't these poor guys ever get a break? Come on kids, you should share your favorite cereal with the talking rabbit and the leprechaun.
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#15

Rinaldo

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Posted Mar 18, 2006 @ 11:38 AM

Remember the ads for Goldfish? They were disturbing in a "that's horrible" kind of way. What were they thinking with that cheerful jingle containing the line "the happy snack that smiles back until you bite their heads off"?

Oh, I loved that one! It was disturbing in a funny, "that's exactly what they intended" way. To hear a cheery little jingle leading to a line about biting their heads off always made my day. Because of the very incongruity of it. Plus: no actual fish were harmed in the making of the commercial. They're crackers.

Edited by Rinaldo, Mar 18, 2006 @ 11:43 AM.

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#16

The 2nd Evil

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Posted Mar 18, 2006 @ 12:23 PM

Aha, a thread in which to express my deep unhappiness at the raw deal received by the Trix Rabbit. Precisely why can't he partake of any of the processed sugary goodness


I remember when i was about 6 or 7, they had a Trix commerical when there was a race, and the winner got a bowl of trix, and there was a controversial end to the race, and the kids had to vote as to weather or not the Rabbit got to have the Trix.

I was so estatic when it was announced that the kids of America sided with the Rabbit.
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#17

BlueOwl

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Posted Mar 18, 2006 @ 4:51 PM

I also hate that Razr cellphone ad with the Asshole In The Next Cubicle Reaching Over And Sticking His Goddammed Phone In The Poor Guy's Face. The message I get from that is that this must be the phone of choice for total douche bags who have a pathological need to obnoxiously flaunt their expensive toys, probably in order to compensate for certain "manhood" issues (in other words, pretty much the Hummer of cellphones). It certainly doesn't help that the annoying high pitched voice the guy gives to his phone sounds inexplicably like Miss Piggy (Frank Oz should sue).

...And yet, I can't help it, I still love that one last bit at the end when the other poor guy admits that his cellphone is at home, and the Asshole replies "BECAUSE IT'S LAAAAAAME!!!!????

Burger King has a really odd series of commercials running right now that seem tailor made for this thread. It features a bunch of people dressed up in giant Hamburger costumes playing a family of whoppers. In them, the father Whopper is upset at his son, an adolescent Whopper Jr., because the son has decided to "sell himself" for 99 cents and the son is rebellious that it's his life, he can do what he wants, ect. The commercials seem to be playing out a charming little mini-drama where the father slowly learns to accept his son's decision to make a life out of prostituting himself for less than even the most desperate crack whore would. Makes me wanna run right out & stick a Whopper Jr. in my mouth, with a side of penicillin, of course.
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#18

Eliot

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Posted Mar 18, 2006 @ 5:41 PM

I also hate that Razr cellphone ad with the Asshole In The Next Cubicle Reaching Over And Sticking His Goddammed Phone In The Poor Guy's Face.


[tiny voice] I really like that ad...probably because it seems like something I would do to torment a co-workers.[/tiny voice]
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#19

ecaron

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Posted Mar 18, 2006 @ 7:44 PM

I have a Razr, and I can assure you, I have neither a tiny penis nor a penis at all. [margesimpson] I just think they're neat! [/margesimpson]

Truth be told, when I first got it, everyone around me flipped out trying to grab it and fondle it all the time. Wait, maybe that means it is a penis thing, after all. Dammit.

The commercial is weird and annoying, but I do like the 'Because it's laame?!?' at the end.

The Burger King commercial is a whole 'nother kind of weird, though. The son gets all defensive and tells his dad to get his head out of his bun and...that's really not as funny as they thought it was going to be.
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#20

McKay

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Posted Mar 18, 2006 @ 9:40 PM

I was so estatic when it was announced that the kids of America sided with the Rabbit.

So did we get to see him get his Trix? I always felt sorry for him, too. And I always thought Trix was really gross shit and couldn't figure out why he wanted it so badly...
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#21

TudorQueen

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Posted Mar 18, 2006 @ 10:00 PM

Yes, he was given a bowl of Trix and he practically inhaled it and suddenly realized it was gone and... it all started again.

btw, I was one of those demented children who actually voted, because I cared - deeply - about whether or not a cartoon rabbit on a commercial got to eat a bowl of Trix.
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#22

No Touching

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Posted Mar 18, 2006 @ 10:09 PM

The Chase credit card commerical with "A Hundrend Years" in the background, does not make me want to get a Chase credit card or think that Chase grows with you as you get older. It makes me sad that a template for our lives can be condensed in a 30 second commerical, and how short life is. Not something I want to think about during random parts of the day.


THANK YOU! I actually make myself change the channel whenever it airs. Since I'm 22, and the song begins at "I'm 22 for a moment," I don't want to think that my life is suddenly about to blink by to me being retired. Give me my life back, Chase!
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#23

frenchtoast

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Posted Mar 19, 2006 @ 8:54 AM

There are so many threads, I had such a hard time figuring out where to put this commercial for Century 21. There's a couple in a semi-dark kitchen (turn the lights on!) and the woman says, "What? What!?" like such a bitch. And the guy is trying to formulate his thoughts and she keeps nagging him and then some woman, apparently the Century 21 agent, jumps in and adds her two cents. And then the guy, browbeaten and just wanting the women to shut the hell up, gives in.

First off, the wife is the ulitmate bitch. I'm a married woman and I would never, ever talk to my husband like that. At all. I don't care what we're discussing or arguing about it, she was disrespectful and downright nasty. Her tone and attitude were so off-putting. Secondly, why the fuck are you discussing purchasing a house with the real estate agent on speaker phone? Having gone through the process twice, it's not something you do standing in a darkened kitchen brattily whining, "What?!"

I hate the ad so much, I will never, ever choose Centure 21 to sell my home or to find one for me. I used to like some of their ads, but this one pisses me off so much. What a horrible depiction of marriage and buying a home.

I also hate that Razr ad, but I, too, laugh at the, "Is it because it's lame?" I still want to smack the guy.
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#24

jolly_roger

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Posted Mar 19, 2006 @ 10:21 AM

What a horrible depiction of marriage and buying a home.

Thank God for this thread. I had the same reaction to that ad and I was afraid it was just me. Honestly, the poor guy looks like he needs to go to a shelter for battered husbands.

There's a new candy bar ad that I find both weird and depressing. A man takes his date back to her house. She goes inside, leaving him standing on the porch. He trudges back to his car and sits glumly behind the wheel. He picks up a candy bar (I think it's a Milky Way) and rips the wrapper open. Instead of a candy bar inside the wrapper, it's a tiny, curvacious woman with a French accent. She asks him what's wrong. She calls him "Panda Bear." (Apparently they've had this conversation before.) She tells him she has a secret. He holds the candy bar/sexy lady up to his ear. She whispers, "You are a buffet of manliness." He agrees and they both laugh. Suddenly the beautiful woman is a candy bar again. The man bites into the candy bar.

So the message, losers, is sure, there's no way in hell you'll ever get laid. So eat lots of candy! It's a little like sex. If you squint at it. Or maybe the message is, "blue balls make you hallucinate."
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#25

espie

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Posted Mar 19, 2006 @ 10:33 AM

It certainly doesn't help that the annoying high pitched voice the guy gives to his phone sounds inexplicably like Miss Piggy (Frank Oz should sue).

I'm glad someone else thinks this. I thought it was just me.

The one that gets me where it doesn't mean to get me is the cell phone ad where the father tells his family that wherever they are, "you'll have the network". When his daughter goes to the mall, "you'll have the network". Then he turns to his Goth son and says "And when you go... wherever it is that you go..." I know it's supposed to be funny, but in this day and age coming right out and saying you have no idea where your children hang out isn't really all that funny. It leaves me with a real unsettled feeling.
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#26

Dilandau

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Posted Mar 19, 2006 @ 11:08 AM

And the latest - the McDonald's ad with the woman walking through the aquarium eating a Filet O'Fish sandwich. At the end she looks right into the tank at all the fish (who have been surreptitiously watching her the entire time) and takes a HUGE bite out of her sandwich. What a bitch.


Well, it wasn't just fish. It was sharks watching her, so I always thought the message of the commercial was "the fillet o' fish sandwich is so good that even sharks want to eat it."

I have to disagree about the Burger King ads. I LOVE those commercials! I crack up every time they're on. My friends and I have taken to screaming "What are you gonna do about it...spank my buns?!" at each other, often in busy areas. Yes...we get lots of stares.

Edited by Dilandau, Mar 19, 2006 @ 11:11 AM.

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#27

Eliot

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Posted Mar 19, 2006 @ 12:18 PM

Yes, he was given a bowl of Trix and he practically inhaled it and suddenly realized it was gone and... it all started again.


Somehow, that makes me feel even sorrier for the poor rabbit. Damn. I have to stop reading this thread.
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#28

Mimi10022

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Posted Mar 19, 2006 @ 3:48 PM

What a horrible depiction of marriage and buying a home.


Amen, frenchtoast. That commercial is so insulting and disturbing. Why are they in a dark kitchen? Where are the numbers and the calculator?
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#29

labprincess

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Posted Mar 20, 2006 @ 3:56 PM

the poor damn onion! He knows he's going to die and it's just pathetic.

There's also the one with the hot dog. It looks like he's on vacation in Mexico. He probably went there expecting to have a good time, never considering the fact that he might die. He's just sitting around, minding his own business, then he sees the sign and starts translating with his little English/Spanish dictionary. But the warning came too late. RIP, Mr. Hot Dog.
This does not make me want to buy whatever brand of mints they are advertising.

Has anyone else seen the commercials about the "fruit that never gets to go anywhere?" With the people dressed up as sad fruit? There's one with a woman talking to a huge peach (or something) saying things like "You'll go bad," and "I'll leave you in a drawer and forget about you, then you'll make a big mess."
I find these incredibly disturbing, especially the part where the giant fruit is watching mournfully from the window. Something about it just seems so wrong. Or maybe it just reminds me of the fruit in my fridge that I haven't eaten, and I feel guilty because it's probably going bad.
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#30

bluejaylove

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Posted Mar 20, 2006 @ 4:14 PM

WTF is up with that Burger King ad where the guy is riding a chicken like it's a bull or something. Talk about disturbing, especially with that country-type music in the background.
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