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by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 10th 2008 5:06PM
DirecTVLet's talk (again) about commercials we hate.

Or maybe I should say commercials I hate, though I think you'll agree with me on some of these. They run the gamut from silly to ineffective, from dumb to just plain jaw-dropping. Let's start with jaw-dropping.

1. DirecTV's Poltergeist ad. This is...creepy and tasteless. Do the makers of this ad really not know that young Poltergeist star Heather O'Rourke died at a really young age? Even if they didn't (I'm kidding, of course they did), the star of the ad, Craig T. Nelson, is aware of it. So why use footage of her in the ad? It's just bizarre to me. Then again I'm not a DirecTV exec. They must know that what they're doing by using footage of a deceased child star (and a stand-in) to sell satellite TV service.

2. Maria Sharapova and the PowerShot. This commercial has airs mostly during tennis tournaments like The U.S. Open. It's not that I find the fact that people want to take pictures of Sharapova's dog more than take pictures of her odd (though it is), it's that I don't believe that she would ever be in any of the situations they show her in. Dropping off her own bags at the hotel? All alone on the tennis court after practicing? Sorry, I'd believe the ad if it was set on the moon before I believed any of those scenarios.


3. Any commercial for an erection-helping pill. Especially if they defile an old Elvis Presley and/or show a couple sitting in bathtubs.

4. Amica Insurance. As I get older, I have a real problem with commercials that show really bizarre things happening and the people in the commercials don't seem too shocked by them. For example, the Amica spot where the cars are actually angry with their owners so they decide to take matters into their own hands (or wheels) and push a guy's key out of the ignition, make a woman's tires deflate, and even lock another guy out of his car completely. These people seem a little perturbed, but you and I would be running for our lives (or at least taking a pic with out cell phones and calling the Ghost Hunters gang). The worst part of the ad though is the end, when the guy calls Amica, and when the car hears the guy calling Amica it unlocks the door. The guy smiles. How the hell did he know that calling Amica would make the car unlock the doors? Why would anyone want to get into that car?

5. Election ads. No explanation is necessary here, but I particularly hate the Obama ad that says John McCain doesn't know how to use e-mail and the McCain ad comparing Obama to Paris Hilton. Just think of how happy we'll be on November 5, knowing we won't have to see political ads for four years.


OK, there must be other commercials that drive you batty, right?

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Kurtis

The Arby's commercial about marrying a goat - I'm thinking I just vomited in my mouth.

October 13 2008 at 9:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Todd

I agree about the Poltergeist commercial. Just too creepy.

October 12 2008 at 8:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
YouFaceTheTick

Poltergeist ad = big freaking deal. So I guess they can't use any shots of Zelda Rubenstein either... In fact, never show any movie on TV that involves a person who died. Good grief, have a pop tart and chill.

BTW, men sitting around singing a song together about ED is a little...what's the word...not erotic...the opposite of that? It's a little Joan Rivers.

October 12 2008 at 12:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BC McKinney

I get the willies whenever I see Dr. Stein, creepy "founder" of the "Stein Medical Institute", explain how he has PERSONALLY tested the effectiveness of his herbal "male enhancement" product. I can only hope he means he's tested it solo, and no animals were harmed.

October 10 2008 at 10:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Steve

Those boner ads really do creep me out. All these old guys praising the fact that they can get it up again through song and/or getting it on with grandma is cringe-inducing. Of course I might change my tune twenty or thirty years from now if erectile dysfunction strikes me down. At that point maybe I'll have to bow down at the altar of the little blue pill known as Viagra.

October 10 2008 at 10:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dave

Not sure why you felt the need to highlight those political ads; the McCain "Obama is Britney" ad hasn't been on TV since July, and the Obama "McCain Can't Use Email" ad barely even aired--it was little more than a "video press release" (I live in swing state NH and never once caught it on air).

If you're using them as stand-in for political ads in general, that's one thing, but neither of these ads are really burning up the tubes right now, so I don't really see how they could be driving anyone "batty."

October 10 2008 at 7:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1iPete

I kinda like the Poltergeist ad and I think people are overreacting a little. Yes, Heather O'Rourke's death was tragic, but it has been 20 years now and that scene and her line is one of the most memorable movie moments of the 80s.

I don't think it's fair to make the clip and it's use taboo due to the backstory of her subsequent death 6 years later. She was a child actress who died way too early but at least can still be remembered for an iconic moment (even if it's in a mediocre tv ad/spoof).

October 10 2008 at 6:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
segsig

I totally think it's disgusting that they use Heather O'Rourke! I don't watch commercials thanks to tivo, but that was so noticable as I fast forwarded.

October 10 2008 at 5:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jack

I agree with all on the Directv Poltergeist commercial. And Craig T. Nelson, you skip the third movie and it sucked with your absence. Why make a commercial referencing the series now? Tough times much?

Two of the three kids in the movie are dead. The older sister was murdered by an ex-boyfriend.

October 10 2008 at 5:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joel

I had forgotten that the little girl from Poltergeist died... you're right, that is horrible! But they had to have gotten the parents to sign off on the use of her image though, right? Seems like kind of a sell out thing to pimp out your kid like that. But then I suppose most parents who push their kids into Hollywood typically are lacking in sound judgment.

October 10 2008 at 5:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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