Truffula Tree Certified (and a note on standards)

I’ve been getting emails about this one, so it must be a doozy. Just watched it. Wow.

Truth be told, for an ad to make it onto my radar, I must either witness it myself while watching live TV (very infrequent occurrence) or catch wind of it from a friend. Occasionally, I’ll watch commercials interrupting a show I’ve got in the DVR queue, but not very often. I make a note of these, and attempt to locate them online. Unfortunately for the blog, many of the especially terrible ads I find are not uploaded to YouTube (or they’re uploaded as sloppily edited camera phone videos of a TV). If I can’t find the ad, there is little use sharing it here. However, if there is an ad you find to be wicked bad, feel free to send me a link. Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

If you grew up or raised a child in the United States, you almost certainly became acquainted with the work of Dr. Seuss. There’s The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, Yertle the Turtle, and, of course, The Lorax.

Published in 1971, The Lorax presented a fairly straightforward gloomy cautionary tale of the over-consumption of natural resources. The title character, claiming to “speak for the trees,” is an early-’70s environmentalist. That was 40 years ago, just before the oil embargo and long gas lines. Naturally, now that the Lorax is looking ahead to the end of his career, it’s time to bank some cash. Time to sell out.

How better to sell out than to start certifying things as Truffula Tree friendly? Or touting the environmental friendliness of an SUV. Maybe it’s time to make up some words too, and make them sound impressive and important without bothering to define them – Skyactiv – that sounds crunchy-friendly. Now, let’s tie all this in to a new movie to make sure lots of people get lots of money and none of it goes to any environmental causes. Sweet. Lorax retirement planning complete.

This ad is horrendous. It’s sure to alienate every. single. human. person. who would otherwise consider purchasing an “environmentally friendlier” SUV. Nary a soul will be soothed by Skyactiv technology with Truffula Tree Certification.

Imagine when the vehicle is 12 years old, sitting on a secondary market lot for $5999. Hopefully some used car salesperson in 2024 will have the good humor to mark “Lorax Approved” on the windshield. Maybe a child watching the movie today will by then be sufficiently jaded and invested in irony to make an offer. “One Truffula seed, not a penny more.”

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Education Rejection

Mmmmmm. Corn Dogs.

Alas, not an ad for corn dogs.

Education Connection sells… something. It’s not clear. But they apparently will connect you to “the right” online college so that you can take classes “on your own time.” The imaginative lyrics, rhyming “bye” and “bye” at the end of the first two lines, really makes a statement about the quality of the education to which you’re going to soon be connected. Not a very good statement. The song is awful.

One wonders what demographic population would be attracted to the popular ’80s look of the singer and unpopular early ’90s sound of her song. From the video, it is safe to assume that those targeted include owners of comfortable metal-tube futons who alternate between ergonomic greek revival column standing desks and said futons when doing homework.

Oddly, our tour guide songstress seems change careers from corn dog hawker to website shill to professional singer during the ad. This is the logical path to fame for an American Idol contestant, but not really the normal (or abnormal, or even outlier) road to becoming a college student. It’s a shame, because she’s got some sweet herky-jerky dance moves that would really benefit her in class.

Do tell, what does Education Connection offer? “They matched me with the right college for me, for free!” (note: a little introspection and a web search will also work) But, now I’m forced to wonder (because you’ve just said you’ll do it for free) – does… getting matched up… with the right college for me… usually… cost money? If so, this Education Connection sounds like a value! Whoa! If I “log on” now, I’ll get a free “Success Kit” which is worth $100!!!

Yep, it’s worth $100 to the for-profit colleges and universities that will soon receive their own success kit: the names, addresses and emails of lots of people who have identified themselves as interested in taking online classes. Such a deal. Almost like they planned it that way. Good thing they don’t have a celebrity spokesperson; I might have not seen through their slick scheme.

Oh, wait.

Both ladies seem to think that “Logged On To Education Connection” means “Walked On To Education Connection.” Perhaps that’s why they are still seeking that elusive degree?