Last week, the unidentified rotting corpse of a 50-foot-long corpulent creature washed up on a beach in Indonesia. Confused locals took photographs with their smartphones that went around the world of the immense blob of slimy, smelly flesh. Noxious decomposition gases bloated the body and seeped out, causing the inquisitive nearby to retch and vomit.
Then just the other day at least part of the mystery was unraveled: 21st Century Fox announced the death of retired/ousted Fox News head Roger Ailes. After a necropsy of the beast revealed the remains of what appeared to be several blond interns in its belly, authorities concluded the body was that of Ailes.
How he floated from his home in Palm Beach all the way to the Indian Ocean after falling and striking his head on May 10 remains unsolved.
Thumbtack’s Subliminal Message
The Wall Street Journal reports on a new surge in home improvement business driven in large part by homeowners’ choosing to fix up the places they live rather than go through the hassle of moving to better digs. Concurrent with this trend comes the growth of companies like Angie’s List and Thumbtack that can match homeowners seeking services with independent handymen ready to bid for odd jobs.
In a recent ad, Thumbtack explains how their free service delivered via an easy-to-use app can help busy homeowners work down their to-do lists by hiring pros for whom no job is too small.
Near the end of the ad, Thumbtack illustrates how the app offers choices of bidders along with prices and ratings.
And then how the homeowner can then select the better choice.
It’s funny though how Thumbtack shows the user picking the white guy over the black guy, even though the two have the same rating and the black guy is 20 percent cheaper.
Could it be that Thumbtack thinks its user base is racist? More likely the ad agency employs blinkered millenials in their “creative” department who have never set foot outside their suburban neighborhoods or their bucolic campus safe spaces.
More TV Ads Humiliating Men
Speaking of TV ads…
Three years ago, we penned a blog titled “Mad Men Showcase Stupid White Men” – the gist of which was how Madison Avenue ad agencies produce TV spots that attempt humor at the expense of white males. We highlighted several examples of how the white male is portrayed as the buffoon – an approach that would cause unfettered uproar if the subject was a woman or a minority.
Apparently, no one in the industry read our blog, because the assault continues to this day. Here are some recent examples:
Common on TV today is the ad for yet another drug to cure or control a malady that people used to ignore or never knew they had. The usual approach is to show the soon-to-be-healthy sufferer going through the routine motions of life, pursuing happiness thanks to the subject drug. One such ad is for Toujeo, a drug designed to control blood sugar. In this spot, a dumpy middle aged man struggles with his defiant dog, cluelessly pours olive oil on the floor while he reads a recipe, and clumsily stumbles on a treadmill (next to a hot black chick who no doubt considers her fellow exerciser unworthy of human status). And then the ad really gets annoying; dumpy-boy starts jiving uncontrollably to Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Let’s Groove.” Unqualified to be on “Dancing with the Stars – Leprosy Colony Edition,” the guy is shown jerking about in the kitchen, the office, while mowing the lawn.
Jesus, if shooting up Toujeo turned me into an uncoordinated disco dancer lacking the self-control not to perform in public, I’d rather take a blood sugar level of 400 any day.
Kayak is one of many so-called fare aggregators that roots around the web looking for the best prices on things like airfares, hotels and consumer goods. Others include Trivago, Expedia and Priceline. To make a point that Kayak is more efficient in winnowing down the options, their ads show people trying to find the best suited product in a fashion that is inferior to the power of the Kayak algorithm. In this weird TV spot, a woman searching for the best fitting jeans surveys several women modeling jeans. Suddenly an overweight bearded dude with hefty man-boobs pops out of a fitting room wearing a pair of mom-jeans that are a couple dozen sizes too small. Along with all the women, he is summarily dismissed by the prospective buyer. Proof that this type of shopping can’t measure up to the wonders of Kayak. But why add the goofy guy into the mix? Because the ad wouldn’t have been as “clever” without the humiliation of a white dude.
I can attest from experience that La Quinta is a crappy hotel chain. The front desk is staffed by what appear to be meth addicts, the rooms smell bad and come with outdated furnishings, and the highlight of the free breakfast are the Froot Loops. In a TV ad that comports with the quality of the hotels, La Quinta showcases a total asshole who apparently can dominate a business meeting by arrogantly pointing with his eyeglasses. To make things worse, it seems the others in the meeting fall for the histrionics of this jerk.
Later, Mr. Glass Pointer – who also sports a horrible beard and a paunch – surveys a La Quinta room and judges it worthy. Anyone in business for a few years has probably encountered one or more such douche bags bloviating in meetings, acting like the king of all knowledge.
Why La Quinta would choose such an asshole to be the one to declare their rooms worthy remains a mystery.