December 03, 2004

The Ever Expanding List of Commercials I Hate…

I’m not someone who hates commercials. I’m someone who understands and even appreciates the more mercenary side of art. That being said, there are some commercials that are so egregiously bad that I have to comment. This might be a recurring theme here, haven’t decided.

Corporate cousins The Gap and Old Navy are both pretty high on the annoying scale right now. The Gap’s current ad campaign is built around Sarah Jessica Parker, which is a mistake. I have nothing against Sarah Jessica, in fact I find her very attractive and I even enjoyed Sex and the City when they were not all naked and stuff. The problem lies in the rather obvious age-difference between her and the two-dozen models who act as human wallpaper in the backgrounds of the ads. While still a young-looking 40, Parker is still a good 15 years older than anyone else in the ads. It’s jarring, and does not make her or the company look good.

Still, the Gap is light-years less annoying than the current Old Navy ads. Now, I shop at Old Navy, but if I didn’t, their awful new Christmas ad campaign would be enough for me to never start. For those who haven’t seen them, these ads feature models doing normal things like going to lunch or the bakery, only to be interrupted by several more models, all diverse ethnicities (but nobody over 21) singing personalized Christmas carols. These carols make it damned clear that the true meaning of the season is making sure everyone in the family have plenty of inexpensive sweatshirts.

Finally, we have the current America Online commercials, which feature AOL members showing up at the corporate office to voice opinions and suggestions. This is fine, and it is obvious that AOL wants to portray themselves as a company open to improvement. God knows they have plenty to improve on. It is questionable at best; whether it is a good idea to imply that EVERY member of AOL has something to gripe about is not. It’s moronic, made even worse by the follow up ad featuring a presumably normal member bursting in on a board meeting in order to list her complaints. Is this really the best idea AOL could come up with? People so dislike AOL they invade the company headquarters to complain about it?

I do have to thank my lovely wife for pointing out just how old Sarah Jessica Parker looks in the Gap commercials.

Posted by Frinklin at December 3, 2004 06:15 PM

I share your revulsion at all of the above commercials, but especially the Old Navy ones. I'm about two more showings of that commercial away from pulling an Elvis and shooting out the screen.

Posted by: Mediocre Fred at December 3, 2004 06:32 PM

The only good things about those AOL ads are the Netzero ads that bag on AOL using their own technique. The actors hired look identical to the ones in the AOL commercials. How can you not love those? I didn't even realize it was a different commercial until I'd seen it several times.

Posted by: ensie at December 3, 2004 06:48 PM
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