Monday, November 4, 2013

Commercials are Assholes: Part 1

If you know me, you know I talk.  A lot.  Like, probably too much.  Rambling on and on about nothing, filling up useful time with a waste of breath and words constantly going and going and going...

Wait, what was I saying?  Oh, right.  Anyway, if you don't know me, I tend to talk.  A lot.  And one of the biggest things always on my mind and in my mouth (shame on you, dirty minds) is how weird advertising and commercials are getting these days.  Sure, some of them are quite funny and weird in their own ways, but others just have the strangest, most derivative messages that really do more harm than good.  I just don't get it.  Don't believe me?  Well put down that sudoku puzzle, shut up, and pay attention to this Geico "When Pigs Fly" commercial:

Okay, I'm not even going to get into the whole anthropomorphic pig thing that Geico is doing here (I'm sure much better sites have analyzed that extensively).  What really bothers me most is the way the characters treat each other within the small 30 seconds of air this horrible ad has.

Let's start with the condescending  flight attendants and the way they treat the pig, who happens to be a passenger.  I can totally relate to the fact that, when I'm on an airplane flying in coach as my new 300 lb. best friend sits on me as well as the seat next to me, I need to turn my phone off so every deity I pray to can clearly hear my begging for a safe landing.  And its part of a flight attendant's job to remind us all that we need to turn off our electronics for the sake of the flight.  But I'm not a big fan of the idea of two of these people walking up to me, big, shit-eating grins on their faces and talking down to me about turning off my "little word game."  I'm pretty sure I'm an adult, or at least I look like one.  So talking down to me is not a great way to show off customer service.  A simple "sir, turn the phone off, please" will always do wonders.  Hell, grabbing the phone  out of my hand and tossing it while doing a Tarzan roar would be even better.

Enough with the fucking mobile porn, sir!

And as the for the "little word game" comment.  Oh, I get it, Geico.  You've heard of Words with Friends, good for you.  It's that game that all your friends and Grandma are playing!  How very "in the now" you were with this commercial, good job.  I'm surprised they didn't come at him about his "little birds who aren't happy game," though that might've been more racist towards him (I'll get to that later).

The flight attendants aren't the only ones who baffle me in this situation, though.  The pig's reaction to them asking him to turn off his phone, an essential part of their job (though they still went about it horribly)? "Oh, it's actually my Geico app."  Now, yes I know what you're thinking: this is a commercial, Dre! They have to advertise their product!! This is how they work!!1one!


I get it.  Still, this doesn't excuse the pig; turn off your phone, you talking bacon factory.  His Geico app isn't so important that he can't turn it off and he doesn't need to explain what he's doing to the bitchy flight ladies who, again, are doing their job.  His actions, however, try to prove otherwise.  He didn't have to pay his Geico bill right as he was boarding a fucking plane.  He could've just said "sorry, was paying some billz lol" and they could've continued from there.  Instead, he justifies not following the rules because his Geico app is the tits, and therefore we in the world can find this as reason to not listen to the poor people who exhaust themselves getting people comfy and organized into a flying shell for the next five horrible hours.

Finally, the "when pigs fly" comment just blew me away.  It's a pretty common phrase, right?  People have been saying it since Isaac Newton threw one over London Tower to prove gravity or whatever, so we can relate it to our reality.  What you need to understand, however, is that this is not our true reality.  How so?  Well, we don't have talking pigs, that's for fucking sure.  Yet, in the Geico universe, it's apparent that walking, talking, thinking swine are pretty normal, or at least well-accepted.  So in that sense... wouldn't the "pigs fly" comment be kinda racist, or, in the least, a bit of bigotry?  It implies that it's not okay or standard for pigs to fly, and yet, here in front of this horrible flight attendant is a pig on a plane, and it hasn't freaked her out at all.

Get down, you son of a bitch! That ain't right!

She's so casual about it, as is everyone else, until the pig finally turns to a black man, of all people, and simply says "can you believe she just said that?"  No, I can't fucking believe she just said that, and I can't believe that you're not up in arms about this.  Where the hell is the follow-up commercial, where the pig files a complaint against the airline about the racism he incurred while paying good money to be on one of their flights?  While he tells them his horrible story on the local news channel, he could even break mid-story and tell them how his Geico app allows him to pay his bill anywhere and all the other bullshit he'd rather do than be doing what he's supposed to be doing right that moment.

So, what do I take away from this commercial?  I see that talking down to people is alright as long as I smile at them.  I understand that some things are more important, like randomly paying my bills that I can pay at other times over safely setting up a flight.  And I see that bigotry and prejudice are pretty much accepted as long as funny phrases come around and "we can all relate to it."  Thanks, Geico; now I know, and knowing is half the time that I pay my insurance bills with my super app that lets me do it wherever and whenever I want, even in a fucking tsunami while I'm the one operating the boat saving everyone else.

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