Saturday, March 27, 2010

You'll watch YouTube on a horse when you use it.

Let's talk about this new Verizon commercial:

I have frequently lamented the disappearance of the commercial jingle. So I enjoy this commercial but only to a point. While funny on its own, it really requires that at some point you saw this commercial:

It is really specific to the above video. I mean, maybe you had seen this commercial:

or this one:

or maybe this one:

or perhaps this one from two years ago that I somehow missed completely:

Please note that I watched many more Big Red commercials. There are many variations with the same jingle. It seems that in the 90s, they attempted to jazz up the jingle a bit as you can see. But the Verizon commercial is very specific to that one Big Red commercial from the late 80s.

Verizon is counting on your previous knowledge of that Big Red commercial or even your knowledge of any Big Red gum commercial, but a Big Red gum commercial from the 80s nonetheless. Big Red used this jingle in their commercials from 1979 to 1998. A lot of people know this jingle. And then, I imagine that some people don't especially teenagers who would have missed the Big Red commercials completely but I guess Verizon doesn't really care about that demographic. I would love to know how many people were unaware of the Big Red gum commercials when they saw the Verizon commercial and what they thought of it.

Like I said, I enjoy the commercial. I really want advertisers to get back to using jingles. Especially since many companies have jingles that are already associated with them (I'm looking at you Toys R Us: why not actually get those same people from the commercials you had 20 years ago and have them sing about how they're still Toys R Us Kids? I mean, people would probably recognize Jenny Lewis but what is she even doing these days? And everyone loves Jaleel White).

This Verizon commercial is an acknowledgment that advertisers are aware that we will recall commercials and their jingles that are 20 years old. But why not create your own jingle? If people walk around singing it, most other people will think: "I want a piece of cinnamon gum now" not "I'm going to switch to Verizon now." It seems like lazy advertising to me. At least they're done telling me why other phone companies suck so that's good.

I leave you with these final thoughts:


which leads me to:

which in turn leads me to this:

I bet you thought I'd link to the wedding entrance video too but you're on your own for that one.

Moral of the story: Advertisers need to stop being lazy or maybe need to get even lazier and dust off old jingles and actually use them. We remember them. We love them. We will sing them. They're catchy, we can't help it. But you need to remind us.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Because My Lists Go To 11: 11 Reasons I (Secretly) Like "Tik Tok"

Every once in a while, there is a song that seems like it is everywhere. I pretend to not know the song. Well, usually it takes about two months of the song being everywhere before I even hear the song. I live under a rock apparently. And I don't listen to the radio. Anyway, I pretend not to like the song because it is everywhere and everyone sings it, but frequently, I do like the song. So, I'll admit it: I like "Tik Tok." It's just so catchy. I like the music video too. I feel that it provides lots for discussion and analysis. Here's why I like the song and the music video:

11. K-E-dollar sign-H-A

While not directly related to "Tik Tok," I enjoy the fact that she spells her name with a dollar sign. Apparently, this is ironic because she does not care about money or didn't have money when she came up with the idea or something. It's ironic. It also has inspired the stage spelling of my name: &@r~a# (the tilde is silent).

10. A boombox

You just don't see enough boomboxes anywhere anymore. Maybe I'm just not looking in the right places. I think there might be a boombox in my garage. Anywho. Good job, Ke$ha, for using a piece of music history in your video.

9. A Bad Message

I doubt Ke$ha really wants to be a role model for anyone but the message she is sending to young, impressionable girls is that they need to ignore all other responsibilities, trade their bike for a boombox, party all night and then wake up the next day and do it again. I don't think young girls have enough bikes to do that. Also, I think she stole that bike. That is not nice.

But I'm a grown adult so I can enjoy a bad message every now and then.

8. "Wake up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy"

I definitely over-analyze song lyrics. Every time I hear this, I can't help but wonder "what does P.Diddy feel like in the morning?" I get it. P. Diddy parties a lot. But do you really know how he feels in the morning?

7. "The party don't start til I walk in."

I know Ke$ha is not the first person to express this sentiment but this is the first time I started thinking about it existentially. It's like if a tree falls in the forest but no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Is there a party before I walk in? We may never know.

6. Why is she being arrested?

You can't just throw something into your story that doesn't make any sense. This video definitely has a plot. She wakes up, goes out, gets into a car with a creepy guy and then is pulled over and a policeman begins to handcuff her. Is it plot exposition to explain why she is wearing handcuffs later? As far as I can tell, she isn't doing anything wrong. She is even wearing her seat belt.

...or at least she was wearing her seat belt.

5. "Ain't got a care in the world but got plenty of beer"

It amazes me that Ke$ha is able to describe the college experience of most Americans even though she has not gone to college. I guess this also describe the life of the average Irish person. Before you know it, this will be the motto for St. Patrick's Day.

4. Forget grammar

Ke$ha doesn't even bother with correct spelling. I've pointed out that Britney Spears waited until her third album with "I'm a Slave 4 U" before substituting numbers and letters for words and Christina Aguilera waited until her second album with "Dirrty" before misspelling. Ke$ha breaks those rules proving once and for all that good grammar is for pussies. Her first single off of her debut album misspells the only two words in the title. Those C's weren't doing anything anyway.

3. "Before I leave, brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack cause when I leave for the night, I ain't coming back."

To me, this sounds like she is taking alcoholism to a whole new level. Also, how are these two thoughts connected? Okay, brushing your teeth before you leave for the night. I can follow that. But with a bottle of Jack? I don't see how this is a cause and effect thing. You're leaving for the night and not coming back so you must brush your teeth with a bottle of Jack? Is this supposed to be ironic? Is this something that Lindsay Lohan does? Is a "Lindsay Lohan as an alcoholic" reference too dated? Is she sober now? I stopped caring after I saw Georgia Rule. God, that was such a bad movie.

2. Ke$ha is bringing back the furry vest.

You know, if the furry vest was ever really in style. I've been critical of Britney Spears for copying Cher's style, but I've got to respect someone who is copying Sonny Bono by wearing a furry vest.

Also, I just really like this picture:Side note: Do you even know how excited I am that my hair is long enough to do the Cher hair flip?

1. "But we kick em to the curb unless they look like Mick Jagger."

Did Mick Jagger wear fanny packs in the 80s... or ever? He may have worn a sweat band. I really don't know or care. I don't think Mick Jagger was ever really attractive. Ke$ha is just the one to admit it. See. She uses irony. At least I hope she is using irony.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Bad Romance

I hate Romeo and Juliet. I always have. I read it for the first time in my freshman English class in high school. I hated. I saw it that year at Chicago Shakespeare. I wanted to punch Juliet in the face. I've tried to sit though Romeo (plus sign) Juliet with Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes. It makes me so angry. I don't know why they think it's a good idea to use this play to introduce Shakespeare to high school students. I guess it's because it's a pretty straight forward story and a very recognizable story. But still. It's horrible. Maybe that was just high school me. Not older, cultured, theatre major me. Well, I've read it again in college. I still hate it.

I hate that people point to Romeo and Juliet as being a great love story (Taylor Swift, I'm looking at you). Today, in my Shakespeare class, someone brought up Romeo and Juliet in discussion of Othello. They said that Othello and Desdemona did not have a strong love like Romeo and Juliet. Are you kidding? Romeo and Juliet met one night. Decided to get married the next. Got married. He was banished later that day. She faked her death the next day. He came back, thought she was dead, killed himself. She wakes up, sees he is dead and kills herself. Yeah. That's a strong love. They spent about fifteen minutes together. Three days ago, he was head over heels for Rosaline.

It's not romantic. It's not really tragic. If anything, it's melodrama. Their love is so simplified. They just love each other. They see each other and just are in love. The only conversations they ever had were about how they loved each other. I don't buy it. This may be because I have a heart made of pure ice, but I'd like to believe that it's what Shakespeare intended. Friar Lawrence is the only one who has any sense. In Act 2 when Romeo is all like "Friar Lawrence, marry me and Juliet. We are totally in love and need to be married like now" (I may be paraphrasing slightly). Friar Lawrence tells Romeo, "Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast." If I considered this a tragedy, that would be the tragic flaw. Haste. Everything is about doing it now. I mean, if Romeo just waited twenty seconds before killing himself, everything would have been fine.

Okay, I'm going on a full fledged love tirade.

I've already complained about the Romeo and Juliet-like romance between Padme and Anakin. But can I ever really complain enough about that? Again, two people look at each other and are in love. Their romance doesn't move as quick as Romeo and Juliet's does but that doesn't matter because Anakin is a psychopath. Padme does not come off as a strong woman for standing by her man, she comes off as an idiot. Oh wait, I guess I'm forgetting that famous saying, "When the going gets tough, the tough lose the will to live."

Once upon a time, soap operas used to spend time to build up a supercouple. Really show them falling in love. Now, they throw two characters together and expect me to care about them. I don't. You really need to work to make me care. You know, like have two people actually go on more than one date. Or maybe wait a year before having them get married. For instance, on Days of Our Lives, Phillip and Melanie just got married on Valentine's Day (don't even get me started on that one). The thing about that is Phillip and Melanie dated for like a month before deciding to get married and then got married a couple months later. Also Phillip had been engaged to Stephanie like six months earlier. Also, Stephanie was the maid of honor at Melanie and Phillip's wedding. None of this is realistic at all. Also note that I watched Passions for six years and Charity being possessed by the devil never bothered me but this does.

I believe that love can be portrayed in a way that doesn't make me want to vomit. When Harry Met Sally... is probably the greatest romantic comedy. Why could that be? Maybe because we can see Harry and Sally fall in love. They have conversations that have more depth than "I'm only beautiful because I love you."

I guess since I complain about Padme and Anakin, I should say that I adore the Han and Leia relationship. If my ice heart ever melts and I say to someone, "I love you" and they reply with "I know," I would marry them right then and there. Padme and Anakin are like Romeo and Juliet and therefore are also kinda like Claudio and Hero from Much Ado About Nothing. Claudio and Hero are the horrible romance in Much Ado. The good romance is Beatrice and Benedick. Han and Leia are like Beatrice and Benedick who appear to hate each other and snark back and forth at each other until they realize that they are in love. These romances work for me.

Okay, I think this tirade is over. And yes, I will be alone forever. I'm not really a cat person.

So, Alone by Heart just came on the radio as I finished writing that last sentence. It makes me wonder if there is hope for me yet. Probably not.