Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Ad Campaigns Which Make Me Want to Gouge Out My Eyes #1 and #2

#1) Glade = Glah-day?
As a rule, I’m angered any time a commercial has only female characters. I am angry because I find myself unable to identify with any of the people on the television and, immediately, this makes me feel that the product is inferior and should therefore not have infringed on my television watching time. The glade scented oils commercial is one such advertisement. If you haven’t seen it, you must have been one of God’s elect, because the rest of us have been suffering through it for months.

I will summarize it presently. Some stupid, Associate’s degree earner from the Midwest (speculation, but I’d put money on it) lights a scented oil candle in her kitchen and then removes the “Glade” sticker from its carapace. When she tries to throw it away, though, it becomes stuck to her dress. Oh, what wacky high jinx awaits us! When she opens her front door to her suspiciously diverse group of friends, they immediately comment on the scent of the candle, which, I remind you, was lit about FOUR SECONDS AGO. One of the friends, whose scent receptors must be as keen as a bloodhound’s, recognizes immediately that the smell is the result of a lit Glade candle. The homeowner, however, claims that the candle is not glade, but “French…from France.” As opposed to French from Turkmenistan? Whatever. One of her friends notices the “Glade” sticker on our Associate’s degree friend and says “What, haven’t you all heard of Glad-ay?” The friends then break out into piercing, earth-shattering laughter. If you haven’t seen the commercial, let me try to paint a picture of this laughter for you: in Ireland, parents tell their children scary stories wherein Banshees will come to them in their sleep and laugh so shrilly and maniacally that it will kill them.

Glade hired Banshees to do this commercial.

Besides the obvious annoyingness of the “Oh We Girls Are Such Good Friends” motif this commercial employs, it infuriates me that people probably don’t recognize that Glade is advertising their candles by making it seem like even a stupid woman from the Midwest would be ashamed to have it in her home.

If I were running the ad campaign for Glade, here is what it would look like, roughly: A woman is in a grocery store and sees two candles: Glade and Other. She opts for other. When she lights the Other candle, a siren goes off and we hear shattering glass. Special Forces operatives shoot the woman and extinguish the candle. That night, when the police are talking to the family, the officer asks if they would like to press charges. The father says, “No, those special forces guys did what any of us would have. Feed her to the wolves.” As the wolves are feasting on her, one of them looks up and says: “Buy Glade Candles.” Short, to the point, effective.

#2) The 23 Flavors of Dr. Pepper
I would absolutely love to know how they came up with the number “23.” The only thing I can think of was that it was a tie-in to the Jim Carrey movie regarding that same number, because there is no way they can actually conceive of 23 discrete flavors in this beverage, which is nothing but a poor, poor substitute for root beer.

Yet they claim that the flavor is actually the product of a mixture of 23 different flavors. What’s the point of this? Are we supposed to appreciate its real flavor (ie “bad”) more because it has 23 constituent parts? What the hell do I care if they mixed 23 good things together if the emergent result is awful? Is it somehow exciting to think that if we were able to acquire all 23 flavors, we could brew it ourselves? What the hell kind of advertising is that? If I were advertising for a beverage, I would focus on the fact that the audience is too stupid to make it but should feel lucky that they are able to buy it in 12oz, 20oz, and 2L denominations.

Because Dr. Pepper won’t release his secret recipe and keeps the list of 23 flavors locked in a vault deep beneath the earth’s surface, I am going to present my speculations about the 23 flavors. Here is my list:

1. Pain
2. Suffering
3. Nausea
4. Alienation
5. Glade scented oil
6. Rejection
7. Anxiety
8. Trepidation
9. Fear
10. Hatred
11. Skateboarding
12. Loneliness
13. A1 Steak Sauce
14. Hemlock
15. Anger
16. Confusion
17. Depression
18. Unrequited love
19. Bad poetry
20. Nazism
21. Manhattanville protesters
22. Betrayal
23. Syrup of Ipecac

That actually all sounds pretty good. You could call the resultant beverage “American Angst-a-cola” and sell it at Kim’s (ironically) or Hot Topic (unironically).