Hey, Must Bee The Misogyny!

The Cheerios Bee is back with a new look. He’s trying to get all the young hip-hop kids to choose Cheerios.

Upon reflection, it seems he’s trying to get that average white couple to ditch their milquetoast brunch and eat cereal instead.

Singing a cute, sanitized version of Nelly’s “Ride Wit Me” from 2000, the blinged-out bee encourages viewers to “take something tasty and healthy.” Apparently there is a “party going on in your cereal bowl, aaaalllzzz can have lower cholesterol.”

I’m going to interpret “aaalllzzz” to mean either, “y’allls” (which means seriously plural y’all), or “allz” (which means something like “all so” [you]). Either version leads naturally into “can have lower cholesterol,” so it’s hard to be sure. In any case, the reason for these health benefits “must be the honey.” Because that makes sense.

About as much sense as it makes to use a song and attendant cultural references from 2000 to market your product in 2014. How did that original song go anyway? (explicit)

Don’t worry, you need not read too far. Within the first few lines (thanks AZ Lyrics), you get:

If you wanna go and take a ride wit me
We three-wheelin in the fo’ with the gold D’s
Oh why do I live this way? (Hey, must be the money!)

If you wanna go and get high wit me
Smoke a L in the back of the Benz-y
Oh why must I feel this way? (Hey, must be the money!)

In the club on the late night, feelin right
Lookin tryin to spot somethin real nice
Lookin for a little shorty hot and horny so that I can take home
(I can take home)
She can be 18 (18) wit an attitude
or 19 kinda snotty actin real rude
Boo, as long as you a thicky thicky thick girl you know that it’s on
(Know that it’s on)
I peep something comin towards me up the dance floor
Sexy and real slow (hey)
Sayin she was peepin and I dig the last video
So when Nelly, can we go; how could I tell her no?
Her measurements were 36-25-34
Yellin I like the way you brush your hair
And I like those stylish clothes you wear
I like the way the light hit the ice and glare
And I can see you moving way over there

It gets better, later. If by better you mean more misogynistic and riddled with sex. And N-words aplenty. All the kinds of things you want people to fondly remember when you try to sell a product today. One might similarly consider re-purposing Jimmy Buffett’s “Why Don’t We Get Drunk and Screw” as “Why Don’t We Build Stuff With Screws” in a hardware commercial. Drinking, more drinking, sex. All the things you’d want people to remember when designing a new deck.

But wait, there’s more. It’s a complete series of commercials, all featuring slightly different lyrics. “So much crunch, can you handle this?”

And…

And, of course, the remix.

The Bee does look a bit sheepish in a few sections. Maybe he hasn’t quite mastered the dance moves, or perhaps he’s is peering into the audience for his mother’s reassuring smile. You can hear his internal dialogue if you try. “There, was that good enough?” or “Did I do OK?” But really, he’s got to be thinking, “I really hope they don’t remember.”

(explicit)

 

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Canada’s part of America, right?

Wal*Mart has a new campaign highlighting a new focus on a “pledge” to buy American products while “honoring” the (ostensibly) American workers who make them. Whatever “honoring” means, it must not include encouraging unionization. But hey, classic rock and some vaguely Monday Night Football-esque scenes of hardscrabble steel workers screams AMERICA!

The problem is this: the person and band screaming AMERICA! in the classic rock anthem “Working Man” selected for this “Made in the USA” jingole (that’s a jingoistic jingle) is Geddy Lee and Rush. Rush, the band from CANADA. See: Wikipedia even covers Canadian Bands.

But Canada is part of America, right?

Too Sexy (Obese) for My Shirt

W. K. Kellogg, founder of the Kellogg Company, would be quite proud of the latest round of advertising for Pop Tarts. After all, he pioneered both nutrition labeling and inclusion of toys for kids in his packaging. Pop Tarts are a natural culmination of his work: food with less nutritional content than the packaging, marketed as toys!

The ad is amazingly straightforward and honest.

Colorless tubby blobs wander aimlessly through a monochrome world. Parents, these are your children. Yes, this ad is directed at you, because “I’m too Sexy” by Right Said Fred was released 21 years ago.

Boom! Bright colors and patterns! Bright things must be foods, so eat them! Woooo, look, when I eat all of those artificial colors, my pasty self turns colors too! Just like inside me really does! And I get a sugar buzz – naturally – ’cause there is at least 16 – 18 grams of sugar in these things. It’s listed on the label as High Fructose Corn Syrup, but I know it’s really just Corn Sugar.

“Pop Tarts. How good does your favorite flavor make you feel?” (Implication: pretty f’n great!)

“Introducing new wild fruit fusion.” (No actual wild fruit or fusion ingredients)

“Try on the latest must-have flavor.” (Prediction: obesity awaits)

“Pop Tarts. Joylicious.”

Pretty soon you’ll be too “sexy” for your shirt too. It will no longer fit.

Absolut Tron Dogs

Brrrp   Brrrp.       Brrrp   Brrrp.

Allo?

Laaahwrence! Dress for success mate, it’s an Absolut Grapefruit Techno Tron-dog race!

Killer!

Rally up those Clockwork blokes and the extras from Eyes Wide Shut – you know, the whole Kubrick lot of ’em.

Right on – ‘ou else?

Dunno – oh yeah – get Gaga ‘an her crew up ‘ere too. Make sure she wears that mirror ball bicycle helmet. We’re meeting at the salt flats. Everyone should find the least appropriate vehicle possible, pick a flag and fly it high!

Same spot as last time then?

Yeah.

You know that means-

I knows it too well, mate. Some ‘those Thunderdomers are bound to show. No worries – Wait, wait, wait! How’d I forget. We need those new odd ducks from Hunger Games – but NO TAYLOR SWIFT.

C’mon she’s not so ba…

Really Larry?

Sorry, you’re right.

‘Sides, I’ve got some thumpin’ Swedish House Mafia all lined up. And grapefruit. I’ve got to remember the grapefruit. Oh – tell everyone they best either wear a mask or continuously bite their bottom lips. It’s the salt flats, you know – safety first.

Safety first, right. See you there!

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?

Brand Power

You’ve seen these ads.

You’ve wondered if they were Saturday Night Live sketches.

Nope. They’re for real.

But wait. There’s more.

This company has successfully convinced various manufacturers that their 1950s schtick will actually attract customers. But everything about these ads is bad. The awful supermarket set, the plastic Stepford wife spokesmodel and the small-market TV news graphics package combine to make for 30 miserable seconds of viewing.

But if you listen closely, you’ll hear what makes these ads transcend mere weak fluff. While informative “facts” are written across the screen, hear the attending video game machine gun typewriter sounds. This is an action-adventure movie trick usually used to provide small details of the setting of a scene. It’s most frequently employed when the director is too lazy to provide contextual details sufficient to inform the viewer of the setting. You’ve seen it – a computer-y sounding printout at the bottom of the screen: “08:00 GMT Scotland Yard” or “Moon Base Delta – 3 Days Before Impact.”

You’ve been trained to hear that noise and make sure you don’t miss what’s being written on the screen. So you perk up, and find out that Brand Power is dropping some of their sausage “Facts and Value” on you. What facts can be learned about sausage? Well, did we mention that Johnsonville Chicken Sausage (which one can rightly assume is made by Johnsonville Sausage Company) has 100% Johnsonville taste. Whoa. Profound. So glad I tuned in.

Fortunately, Brand Power has been lampooned properly all around the world. Here’s my favorite, from Australia.

Broderick, Broderick…

Ferris Bueller, you’re my hero.

Except, not really anymore.

Here is the whole, uncut, extendo-version.

It’s amusing. It’s an homage. It’s a clever remake.

It’s pretty much a complete sellout, and delivers a heartbreaking message: Even if you were as cool as Ferris Bueller, when you get old, you have no friends and have to drive a Honda CR-V instead of a Ferrari.

Broderick goes to the museum. Alone.

To the Amusement Park. Alone.

To the Racetrack. Alone.

To the Beach. Alone.

To Dinner. Alone.

Whatever – even without Cameron or Sloane, it’s fun. “The Hangover” and “Old School” director Todd Philips packs the two and a half minute Ferris-fest with many, many, many little pieces of the original film. Cameron’s Detroit Red Wings sweater makes an appearance. The CR-V boasts a “SO CHOICE” license plate. But the ad wouldn’t have been complete without the iconic Ferris Bueller vest. It’s there. Did you catch it?

Nostalgia aside, however, the message is somewhat better than the current Honda “Leap List” spots. Although the people composing such lists do at least seem to have companions in their lives…

Maybe Broderick should have actually called in sick on this one?