Tag Archives: advertising

It’s March, and the Mets Are Losing

I saw the second to last game ever at Shea Stadium, where Johan Santana pitched a complete game in the drizzle.  Thanks to that ticket purchase, which had everything to do with Shea Stadium and nothing to do with my affinity for the Mets, this weekend I received a glossy flier advertising the 2010 Mets season.  The slogan?

It's only March, but the Mets are already losing, apparently.

I’m not one to judge, rooting as I do for a team whose motto last season sounded like the slogan of a losing political candidate (“A New Day, A New Way” – Seattle Mariners 2009).  But as my housemate pointed out, “Boy, the Mets seem to be admitting that they’re already losing.”

Should be a great season.

Pulling a George Armstrong Custer

We’ve got a new writeup at Liquid Courage.  I encourage you to check it out.  I’m quite pleased with this one, for two reasons.

  1. This is the most direct mapping of military history onto drinking culture we’ve done yet.  Rather than a drink, “Pulling a Custer” is a situation you, or someone you know, has likely done recently at a bar or a party.
  2. The write up is two-fold.  We’ve got the regular one on the front page, but we’ve also got the story of Custer’s Last Stand, as told by Rudyard Kipling.  The full title: “Custer’s Last Stand, or The Battle of the (Great Grey-Green) Greasy Grass Creek.”  Kipling’s Just-So Stories, which you may have forgotten you heard as a child, can be found here.

Lastly, something I learned in the course of researching Custer:  Budweiser, who apparently were a hot new microbrewry in 1876, commissioned a lithograph of his final moments and they put it up as an advert for Bud in saloons all around the country.

Custer Stood His Ground. So Should You. Drink Bud.

Today if you go into a dive bar, you’ll probably see a wall calendar featuring biki-clad bimbos straddling a Harley Davidson.  Back in the 1870s, they had commissioned lithographs of the 7th Cavalry fighting Indians.  This is so, so, so much cooler.

Insurance Smackdown

The new Nationwide ads got me thinking about a martial arts-style smackdown between the spokespeople for these major insurance carriers.  What would their strengths and weaknesses be?  Is there something better I should be doing with my time?  So here we go. 

The Ten-Levelled Temple of National Insurance Agency Spokesperson Death Challenge of the Dragon

The Aflac Duck



  • While not impervious to pain, virtually unstoppable by physical violence.
  • Relentless sense of curiosity and play make it immune to fear.


  • Very small and light.
  • Accident prone.
  • Probably delicious.

Fighting style most similar to: Jackie Chan. 

Nationwide World's Greatest Spokesperson In The World



  • Good with an axe, blue phone, can of SpaghettiOs, presumably other props.
  • Extremely persuasive.


  • Spent twenty years out of the game in a cabin in the woods.
  • Much less impressive and interesting once he shaves.

Fighting style most similar to: Anthony Hopkins 

Geico tag-team of Caveman, money, gecko



  • Tag team approach.  Charming and persuasive Martin the Gecko distracts opponent while Caveman wields tennis racket.
  • Money can teleport to any location, and its spontaneously generated theme music is catchy.
  • Gecko can crawl up your shirt and slither around with (presumably) cold little feet.


  • Once the Money is spotted, it never moves.
  • Gecko is even lighter than Aflac Duck, less capable of exerting force on opponent.
  • Caveman prone to abandoning fight if he sees Geico sign or otherwise feels his merits to be in question.

Fighting style most similar to: Ottoman Empire Janissaries (three of them) 

Progressive Flo, The Woman In White



  • Unflappable good cheer.
  • Strangely seductive (right?  Anyone else pick up on that?).
  • Master of her domain.


  • Bound to white, Purgatory-like dominion by ancient rituals of terrible power for the time of a thousand thousand suns.
  • Attention to customers may distract from death match.

Fighting style most similar to: Bugs Bunny 

Allstate's Dennis Haysbert



  • Trustworthy; “good hands” feint.
  • 6′, 4″ tall, and has spent extensive time watching (and presumably learning from) Jack Bauer. 
  • Can slow time, particularly in order to witness car accidents and firefighter rescues.


  • Frequently requires Jack Bauer to save his Presidency.

Fighting Style Most Similar To: Dennis Haysbert

The Progressive Woman

Selling insurance in purgatory

I’ve been impressed with Progressive for sticking with the ad campaign featuring Flo the Progressive Sales Woman in White.  The first few ads felt forced, but I guess long-running campaigns featuring central characters (see: Geico) is the name of the game in today’s insurance business.  They have unapologetically stuck with the campaign, and it has grown on me.

I do wonder about that actress, though.  I wonder if she has to avoid wearing red lipstick and white clothing or risk being identified everywhere.  Also, that Progressive store reminds me of a store in heaven.  Or perhaps purgatory.  White everywhere, vague empty boxes containing concepts rather than objects.  No identifiable walls, floor, ceiling or exits.  It’s a surreal place, Flo’s domain.

Lastly, has anyone noticed how switching to All State/Progressive/Geico could save you money?  And that people who do switch save, on average, $xxx per year?  I’ve never shopped for insurance, but I imagine that the reason a person switches carriers is to save money, and that it is a largely voluntary action.  Thus, people don’t switch insurance companies in order to pay more money.  Just sayin’.

Best Picture Nominees

They announced the nominees for Best Picture this morning.  They’re expanding the list to 10 movies, so that they can further dilute the notion of “Nominated For Best Picture” in the service of marketing campaigns.  I’m glad to see Pixar’s Up getting on the list, although I don’t think it is Pixar’s best movie.  And I hate to stereotype a movie I haven’t seen, but… 


A Lifetime Original Movie, right?

The Blind Side?  Seriously?  Isn’t that a Lifetime Channel exclusive?  And Sandra Bullock is nominated for Best Actress? 

Sitting in a doctor’s office waiting room, I overheard an Entertainment Tonight-type television show talk about Bullock as taking the title of “America’s sweetheart” from Julia Roberts, who “held it for ten years.”  Besides speaking as if describing a title belt (a funny idea already), I like the idea of Sandra Bullock taking the title of “Julia Roberts” from Julia Roberts.  

At the risk of sounding elitist, I’m going to go all in on The Hurt Locker (which I have seen) being a vastly superior movie in every possible way to The Blind Side.  And I’d say the same about Star Trek.  And probably The Emperor’s New Groove 2: Kronk’s New Groove, which I assume does not contain paternalistic depictions of racial empowerment that make you feel rather queasy.  Which is the impression I got of The Blind Side from watching its trailers. 

Has anybody actually seen The Blind Side?  Can anybody tell me if it’s as bad as I assume it is?  Mostly I wrote this post so I can try this wordpress poll feature. 

Bad Beer Diary 1

You may be familiar with the image below.  It is from a recent Miller Lite ad campaign featuring men whose love of Miller Lite is the dominant motivating force in their lives.  The underlying logic, I suspect, is that guys relate to this feeling.  So let us take a peek into the life of this Everyman and how his love of Miller Lite affects his life off camera.

Dear My Diary,

I got in trouble at work again for drinking Miller Lite at lunch.  I tried to explain to the shift manager that it was the perfect compliment to a five dollar footlong (five!  five!  five dollar foot long! haha), but he said if I drank on the job again I’d be fired.  Why don’t people understand?

I thought of another way ML can be awesome.  If you had a hangover, you could put two cold, refreshing bottles against each of your eyes and I bet it would make you feel better.

Tiffany is mad at me again.  She keeps asking really hard hypo hypath those make-believe questions.  She says she wants us to be honest in our relationship, but then she gets all mad and won’t feel better until I buy her flowers.  And the flowers need to be bigger than last time, so it’s getting pretty expensive.  Fortunately after she left Kyle and Dwayne came by the bar and we drank more delicious ML.  I love my buds.

Oh, sorry, I was just reading over what I wrote, and that first part makes it sound like my idea is to put two bottles against each of your eyes.  That wouldn’t work.  I mean one bottle per eye.

Okay, it’s bed time.  Gotta go break the seal.  I wonder how much ML you’d have to drink for your piss to taste like ML?  That’d be crazy.