For years we had the Time Warner Cable home phone/internet/cable bundle and that was great. Except for the insanely high monthly bill. And the spotty cable reception coupled the shotty internet connection. And let us not forget the craptacular customer service offered through TWC. I put up with it for years for two simple reasons: 1) The DVR boxes with fast forward capabilities and 2) I was willing to suffer so I could watch my beloved cable series shows. (True Blood, Weeds, Camelot, The Bourgeois) As they say, all good things must come to an end, and eventually, so did my relationship with Time Warner Cable. When it was over, I paid a tearful farewell to my DVR box, the cable guy practically ripping it from my broken-hearted clutches. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that dramatic. I’m sure it was just dust in my eyes or something. At any rate, it was gone and I was left all alone. Left all alone WITH FREAKING COMMERCIALS. God, I hated commercials. If I’m really enthralled with something, I can’t stand to be interrupted and commercials interrupt entirely too much. I made it a habit of cleaning during every commercial break. Seems like a win-win, right? I don’t have to suffer through adverts and when my show is over, my living room is clean! (BTW, this really works! You should try it sometime, it doesn’t feel like cleaning at all.) But my motivation to clean for 2 minutes and 30 seconds at a time eventually dwindled down to, “Screw it, I’m not getting up anymore. This couch is way too cozy.” I’m sure some people just channel surf during commercials and that’s fine if that works for you. Me? Not so much. I have a memory equivalent to Dora’s from Finding Nemo when it comes to television. I can get immediately sucked in and wrapped up in something on a different channel in 15 seconds flat. Then, by the time a commercial comes on for that channel, I remember… “Oh yeah! I was watching ‘Shark Week’ on Discovery!” Now I’m torn between that and VH1’s Top 100 Rock Artists Of All Time. (Thanks, VH1. It’s not like I had anything planned for the next 5 freakin’ hours or anything! …and I swear to God, if Beatles are #1, I’m gonna throw this flip-flop right through the screen at you!”) *Ahem* Sorry, back off track again. It’s that Dory thing kicking in.
So there it is. Basically, I’m too lazy to get up during commercials and I’m too unfocused to remember to come back to my channel after a couple of minutes, so I just sit there, the couch potato that I am, and suffer through the ridiculous advertisements that some “genius” has come up with where they have exploited the Misfits to sell rum or Depeche Mode to sell fabric softener. (That’s a blog for another day.) But occasionally, there really is some “genius” out there and that Dory thing kicks in. I find myself completely absorbed in the commercial. Especially insurance commercials. These guy have nailed it.
The Farmers Insurance University featuring Professor Nathaniel Burke (AKA JK Simmons) are hilarious and leave me wondering what the student will learn in the next commercial. How about the Progressive Insurance commercials featuring everybody’s favorite ‘bump-it’ haired girl, Flo? Those are amusing, too. I wanted to be Flo for Halloween one year, but the kids talked me out of it. Something about that being lame, I can’t quite remember the teenage lingo used, but I’m pretty sure it would’ve embarrassed them. Then there is my absolute favorite: The Allstate ‘Mayhem” commercials are fantastic! Not only is Dean Winter an eyeful of candy, but the premise to these are brilliant! (Especially when he is a teenage girl.) Last, but not least, there is GEICO. Good God Almighty, what the hell are these people thinking? We put up with cavemen, googly-eyed money stacks, a gecko lizard and some of the weirdest shit to come out of television advertising. Nobody really knows where you guys are headed and for the most part, we really don’t care. You suck, GEICO.
In the end though, does it really even matter? I mean, have you ever actually purchased insurance because you saw a commercial? (Buying insurance from ‘The General’ doesn’t count. Any company that offers $39/month car insurance to “anyone with a pulse” can’t afford a big marketing campaign.”) The only thing I remember buying because I saw it advertised on tv is pretzel m&ms. When they first came out with those, we had to have them. The kids had me stop at every grocery/convenience/drug store in New Braunfels until we found them (seven stops later) at the new Walgreens on 725.
One more thing… GEICO, I do kinda dig your Maxwell the piggy campaign.