We've had a lot of fun mocking Olive Garden's dumbass TV ads over the last few weeks, but simply making a stupid ad isn't a mortal sin; people do it all the time. What really drives me nuts is when not only an ad but an entire marketing pitch, or the gimmick an entire marketing campaign is based around, is an insult to my intelligence. Like, it's one thing for Olive Garden to annoy us all with a bunch of idiots sitting around yakking about how many combinations they can come up with for the never-ending pasta bowl, but if they started making a big deal about serving their pasta in SQUARE BOWLS! or claiming that their alfredo sauce could lower your cholesterol level by as much as three points, then I think we'd be justified in joining the Earth Liberation Front and burning down their restaurants. With that in mind, this week's +5 is the Five Dumbest Marketing Pitches/Gimmicks I've Seen Recently:
The mountains that turn blue on the side of Coors Light bottles
Not that I don't think those "press conference" Coors ads are funny, but in one of the recent spots, where they "debuted" the bottles with the mountains that turn blue when the beer gets cold, some dude actually asked the question "How do you know if the beer is cold without the mountains?" How do you know when the beer is cold? I'll tell you how to perform that test, Hawking: Reach into the cooler, grab the beer with your hand, and if the fuckin' bottle feels cold, congratulations, you've got cold beer. Never mind that all of this blue-mountain nonsense is just a way to cover up for the well-known fact that Coors Light tastes like goat piss. (How do I know what goat piss tastes like? That's an honest question that deserves an honest answer, and that answer is "I don't care to discuss it.")
The "Drinkability" of Bud Light
Man, beer companies are like the shaolin masters of meaningless gimmicks and pitches like these. Bud Light's latest attempt to get you to consume their swill is to tout its "drinkability," which allegedly means that their beer is "easy to drink." I don't know, though, do y'all really encounter beers that you would characterize as difficult to drink on a regular basis? Do the bottles have little fists that punch you in the face as you're trying to take a swig, or do they have little puzzles on the cap that you have to solve before you can drink? Are there razor blades floating in the beer that cut you as you're sipping? All of those things could conceivably make a beer less drinkable, but other than that, I've never viewed beer drinking as a particularly difficult exercise. If anything, it's a little too easy most of the time.
Touting the fuel economy of full-size SUVs
With gas prices fluctuating more wildly than Bill O'Reilly's moods at "that time" of the month, the Big Three auto manufacturers have finally discovered that fuel economy is important to a large segment of American drivers. Good job, geniuses, only took you 10 years after the Japanese figured that out. Unfortunately, after decades of foisting bloated Saracen-like SUVs on us, they got caught with their pants down and are now trying frantically to convince us that their existing products don't kill a dozen baby seals every time you nudge the gas pedal. So they tell us stuff like "The Chevrolet Tahoe has the best fuel economy in its class," which may or may not be true, but the "best" fuel economy in the full-size SUV class is still something like only 19 miles to the gallon. So that's kind of like saying "The McDonald's Big Mac has less saturated fat than any fast-food burger" or "The Boeing 767 fits into a typical two-car garage better than any wide-body airliner in its class." Stop trying to convince us we're not actually killing the planet, GM, and just build a damn electric car already.
Taco Bell's "Triple Steak Burrito"
Taco Bell is another company that's extremely well versed in this marketing bullshit -- they keep touting "carne asada steak" as a prime selling point, as if "carne asada" was some special premium beef that comes from cows who are fed beluga caviar and given hot-oil massages every night, when "carne asada" is actually just Spanish for "roasted meat." Well, now they have their "Triple Steak Burrito," where the ads have four douchebags sitting in a fancy restaurant and they're each ordering their steak a different way, and the fourth douchebag is like, "No, man, I'm going triple." What does "going triple" mean? Are they putting three different kinds of steak (porterhouse, filet, New York strip) in there? Of course not; all they're doing is giving you three times as much of the same crap to stuff into your fat, stupid face. This apparently comes from the same "just add more shit" school of thought that gave us the four-patty Burger King "stacker," the five-blade Gillette razor, and the Ford Excursion. All of which are killing our society. Yes, even the razor.
truTV's "Not Reality, Actuality" slogan
Don't get me wrong, truTV is a great place to turn to for an hour or so of turn-your-brain-off police-chase-watchin', crackhead-arrestin' entertainment. But "Not Reality, Actuality" has to be one of the dumber slogans anyone's come up with in the last 20 years. Not that I don't get what they're talking about -- instead of "Survivor"-type contrived-reality shows, they show "Cops"-type real-reality shows -- but still, in everyday usage, aren't "reality" and "actuality" pretty much interchangeable? I mean, Wiktionary describes the word "reality," in part, as "the state of being actual or real," so what the fuck, truTV? Come up with a better tag line so I don't have to feel quite so embarrassed about staying glued to the TV for those "Beach Patrol"/"Ocean Force" marathons. (I've got a thing for lifeguards, OK? Sue me.)
Ahh, catharsis. And now the Ten:
1. G. Love & Special Sauce, "Cold Beverage"
2. 3rd Bass, "Hoods"
3. Sigue Sigue Sputnik, "Love Missile F1-11"
4. Wu-Tang Clan, "Can It Be All So Simple"
5. The Dust Brothers, "Homework"
6. U2, "Running to Stand Still"
7. Dave Attell, "Fireworks"
8. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, "Stand Above Me"
9. The Jesus & Mary Chain, "Sugar Ray"
10. Underworld, "Holding the Moth"
Your turn -- put your own Random Tens and/or most despised marketing pitches in the comments.