February 03, 2008

More Commercials

Before we get tonight’s round of new ‘Super’ commercials, I thought I’d talk a little about another commercial series that is stuck in my brain. The FREECREDITREPORT.com commercials.

Specifically, the ones with the guy singing about all the problems he has that could have been solved if he had gone to FREECREDITREPORT.com earlier.

They are (in the order that I saw them, not necessarily the order they were broadcast) The New Car, The Girlfriend, and the Pirate Restaurant.

The New Car.
(Summary – the main character wants to buy a car, has bad credit and get’s stuck with a junker.)

The Girlfriend.
(Summary – the main character marries his sweetheart but since she has bad credit, they can’t get a mortgage and have to live in her parent’s basement.)

The Pirate Restaurant.
(Summary – the main character has his identity stolen and therefore has to take a job dressed as a pirate in a restaurant.)

They do have one thing going for them. They’re all written with a catchy tune that stays with you forever… and ever, and ever. If you’re a commercial, and at the end, you’ve got your product’s name echoing over and over in potential customer’s heads. You’re doing something right.

And in that respect, these are pretty good adds. Catchy tune. Easy to remember product name.

The problem I have with them is that the commercials are of the ‘try to convince you to use the product’ variety. Not content with sticking an ear-worm song into my head, the lyrics try to tell me why I should use the product. And if you’re going to do that, you better use real logic.

The New Car: Ok. You don’t have good credit, so you can’t get a good car loan to buy that ‘phat’ ride you wanted. Instead, you end up with a used sub-compact. Fine. How does knowing your credit rating ahead of time change that? Sure, if you know about it far enough in advance, you could do something to change it. (ie. Build good credit, a long term process. But one worth doing.) But just knowing that you’ve got bad credit when you go to the car dealer isn’t going to get you a better loan.

And even if you do have bad credit, You don’t HAVE TO buy a car. If you can’t afford the car you want, you don’t have to buy a cheaper one. You can just not buy a car at all!

So while yes, you can get your credit report for free from the website, just knowing it doesn’t really help you that much. Unless all you want to know is why you got turned down for a loan.

The Girlfriend: Ok. You didn’t know your girlfriend had bad credit when you married her, so now you can’t buy a house. If you’d known she had bad credit, you’d never have married her? And even though, on your own you’d be able to afford a mortgage payment, with your combined incomes, you can’t afford rent? This commercial doesn’t make any sense on so many levels.

Aside from the confusion on how he’d pay a mortgage when they can’t pay rent, there is the questionable legality of looking up SOMEONE ELSE’S credit report without their knowledge or permission.

The Pirate Restaurant: I’m not really sure how having your identity stolen could make you wind up as a pirate in a restaurant, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. (The only thing I could think of is that when his identity was stolen, so was his bank account, so he didn’t have the money for college and ended up in a dead-end job…) Having someone monitor your credit for identity theft would be useful in preventing something like that from happening. Good. We’ve finally got a commercial that makes some sense in what it’s pitching.

Except… the credit monitoring is a paid subscription program. (It’s mentioned at the very end in the disclaimer) Hardly FREEcreditreport.com there is it?

OK. That’s my 2¢ on that.

Maybe next, I’ll talk about some of the new commercials from the Super Bowl…

Posted by GEBIV at 02:06 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 28, 2008

I like commercials

I watch a lot of TV (at least whenever I get the chance) so while I’m perhaps not qualified to make commercials, I am a bit of a connoisseur of them.

I like clever. I like witty. I like silly and whimsy. But only to a certain extent. And the clever, silliness should really only be used to get you to remember the product’s name. If it’s being used to try to convince you to buy the product over something else, the result is usually less than appealing.

Case in point:

The Original Budweiser Clydesdale Football commercial. The one where the Clydesdales all line up to play football and kick a field goal. (Which, sadly, I cannot find on youtube. So here’s the one with the streaking sheep.)

Now in this series of commercials, Budweiser isn’t saying, “Buy our beer because these horses like it.” They’re basically saying “Here’s something funny to watch for 30 seconds. Please remember our name. BUDWEISER!”

And that is perfectly acceptable to me.

The other end of the spectrum can be summed up with this. Miller Lite’s ad about the Dalmation ‘jumping ship’ from Budweiser to the Miller Lite truck.

Here, Miller Lite is saying, “Look this dog can read that Miller Lite is tastier and has half the carbs of Bud Light. And now he’s switching to Miller by jumping into the Miller Lite truck! Drink Miller Lite because this dog thinks it tastes better!”

Ohhhh kaaaay… I’m supposed to let a species that habitually drinks from the toilet, and has been documented to choose to eat ‘tootsie rolls’ from the cat’s box over dog-food (which is theoretically formulated to appeal to a dog’s taste buds) tell me what tastes the best?

Personally, I like to think that the whole commercial was based off the story of a Miller Lite driver who, while eating a bratwurst sandwich in his truck, was attacked by a hungry Dalmatian off of a fire truck.

So, what I’m saying is. I don’t mind a stupid commercial. As long as it’s just trying to make me laugh and remember a brand name. It’s when they try to tell me why to buy their product that I require a bit of intelligence.

(Next time… the Freecreditreport.com commercials)

Posted by GEBIV at 08:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 13, 2007

This made me smile.

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December 06, 2006


I think I mentioned the Trans-Siberian Orchestra last year. And I seem to remember someone (Harvey) asking for an example of their music to see what my explanation of "Queen playing Christmas music" really meant.

Well, better late than never, I guess.

Here's a couple of their songs I found over on YouTube.


and my favorite

I'd like to think that this is the kind of music that Beethoven and Bach and the rest of those guys would have written if they had electric guitars. :D

Posted by GEBIV at 05:15 PM | Comments (51) | TrackBack

February 02, 2006

Oh man is this funny!

Brokeback to the Future!

(Hat tip to Sondrak at Knowledge is Possible.)

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October 22, 2005

DOOM - The Review

I just got home from the theater. And I have to say that I have some mixed feelings about DOOM. The action scenes were really good, and the first-person point-of-view section was well done... but I can't say that this was one of my favorite movies.

To begin with, it starts a little slow. Kind of like the video game in that respect. Then, you get to spend much of the first half of the movie playing the "who's going to die first" game. Or if you like - the "who's going to live to the end" or "how is each going to die" games.

I think part of the problem is that they tried to make the first half of the movie a horror movie. DOOM the game has lot's of horror in it, but it's primarily a game about a lone-man fighting against impossible odds. The movie eventually gets around to that, but it seemed to take a bit too long to do so.

About the first-person part. That was cool! It was a lot like watching a really good game of DOOM. I don't want to see a whole movie done that way, but as a way to do a fight scene/action sequence, it was great. Before the movie I was a little worried that this section of the movie (which was highly featured in all the pre-views) could be nausea inducing. But they did it well, and I suffered no ill effects.

All in all, I will say that if you liked DOOM the game, you will probably like DOOM the movie. It wasn't a waste of $8.50, but I probably won't be going back to see it again in the theater. Maybe if I have a coupon...

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Posted by GEBIV at 10:07 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 21, 2005

Thud! Review

Thud!, by Terry Pratchett, is a good book. It's also the traditional sound that a Troll club makes when it hits a Dwarf on the head. Which is one of the headaches that Commander Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch has been saddled with.

Commander Vimes and all of the old favorites from the City Watch are trying to find out who killed a Dwarf holy-man...er dwarf. And at the same time are trying to prevent the latest re-incarnation of the Battle of Koom Valley - the formal beginning of the animosity between Dwarf and Troll, now coming up on its 1000th anniversary. (A battle in which both sides claim to have been ambushed by the other.)

All of this is happening in Ankh-Morpork - melting pot of the Disk. A flat world resting upon four giant elephants who stand atop Atuin, the great space-swimming turtle. (And this is no local myth. It has been scientifically proven by brave adventurers who have gone to the edge of the Disk and looked down.)

Thud! is a fun who-dunnit set in a world of sarcastic fantasy. The Diskworld is a place where dwarfs, wizards, men and trolls all exist within the same city. Albeit not necessarily peacefully. And there be dragons as well. Watch out for them, because if they eat the wrong thing, the next sound you hear is very loud hiss followed by an even louder pop.

So read Thud and follow Commander Vimes as he digs down to find the dwarf-murderer and learns what really happened at the Battle of Koom Valley one thousand years ago...

Rating: 5 out of 5

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October 17, 2005


I just got the latest book by Terry Pratchett. Thud. If you've never read any of Pratchett's Diskworld series, you've been missing out on something good.

Personally, I'd recommend reading them in the order they were written. Because while most of them stand on their own very well, there are a lot of inside character relationship jokes that don't stand out too well without knowledge of the character's pasts.

If everyone's really good, I'll give a review of Thud when I finish.

Posted by GEBIV at 09:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 27, 2005

Serenity Review

Well, I just got back from the sneak preview of Serenity! Great movie. And I'm not just saying that so I get more free stuff (My email is vze3jcj8-at-verizon-dot-net.) It really was an enjoyable movie.

Now I'm not going to give any spoilers here. The movie doesn't officially open til Friday. So nothing on the plot, who lives or dies (if any), or who ends up with whom at the end.

But I will say that I liked the dialogue. The plot was pretty good. The movie started out a little confusing, but that was just a plot device, and not bad directing or writing. I liked the feel of the old-west set in space. The dialect of most of the characters gave it just enough of a different feel. But not so much that you couldn't understand them all the time. There was an unknown language that they spoke once in a while, but while it was unexplained, it did not take anything away from the movie.

I especially liked the space flight portions for finally getting one thing right that is usually done wrong. The space-ships didn't act like fighter planes. Just because one of them turned to the left didn't mean it moved left. In space, inertia is everything. (Of course, you could still hear the explosions, but without them, what would the sound-effect guys get to do?)

All in all, I'd say that it was a movie worth actually buying a ticket for. It may be one of the few movies this fall that is. You never know...

(P.S. They showed a preview for one movie before show time. DOOM. Looks pretty cool, but I'm not entirely sure I'm ready for a first person shooter movie. But it could be interesting.)

(P.P.S. I was a little dissapointed about one thing though. They said you couldn't bring camera phones, or recording devices into the theater. I left my phone in the car, but no one frisked me or anything. They didn't even ask if I had one or not! I was really looking foreward to the frisking... but on second thought, I bet it wouldn't have been that cute girl collecting the passes who'd have done it. So I guess I was better off the way things actually happened. Or didn't as the case was.)

Posted by GEBIV at 10:04 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack