May 2007 Archives

American Advertisements - JitB

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Let's counter Italian advertisements with some American advertisements.

By and large, American commercial spots are so bad they're practically painful to watch. When I forget to triple-fast-forward on TiVo and accidentally watch a commercial (while in a sofa+beer+TV induced trance), I'm just in awe that what I'm seeing is the best that a team of advertising majors could come up with. It's like every company thinks their target demographic is Nascar-watching hillbilly trailer-trash (and honestly, how much money can the trailer-trash possibly have to spend on your product?). The least they could do is throw in some hot Italian women.

There are a few exceptions to the trend of aghastly* bad commercials. Jack in the Box consistently has brilliant commercials. Their current ad campaign is right on par. They're promoting their new sirloin burger and simultaneously poking fun at other fast food chains that advertise burgers made from 100% pure Angus beef.

Of course, the competitors, unable to compete with their advertising departments, are trying to level the playing field with their legal departments. How American of them. CKE, the parent company of Hardees and Carl's Jr, is arguing in their lawsuit that Jack in the Box has gone too far.

"They're not being funny," CKE chief executive Andrew F. Puzder said Friday. "They need to stop misleading people about what Angus beef is."

Well that should go both ways. CKE also needs to stop misleading people about what Angus beef is. Angus is just a black-colored breed of cow, and I assure you that you can't tell the difference (try age, cut, and what the cow was fed for the difference). It's as if beef coming from a black cow is somehow better than beef coming from other colored cows. Not to mention, it's totally not PC--I think we will all agree that bovine racism is the worst kind of racism.

So what is the meat of the lawsuit ? Check it out for yourself. Really, it's worth 30 seconds of your life. Here is one of the new Jack in the Box commercials in the series:

Jack in the Box - Angus (click for video on YouTube)

And since we're watching JitB commercials, here's one of my personal favorites from the past. I can't believe someone didn't sue them for that one.

* If the President can make up words, so can I.

Italian Advertisements

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When in Italy, I get barraged with a whole new set of paid advertisements when playing on the Internet.

A good lot of them are ads from companies offering to help you get your green card, for the price of either your first born or a bottle of olive oil (they really like their olive oil). Some are more on the level than others--they also run the scam of trying to trick unsuspecting viewers into thinking they have won something. I especially like the one that says "Congratulations, you have won a chance to fulfill your dream of working in the US for a year! Click here!" har har.

Otherwise, the advertisements are generally about the same as you see in the US, except they're in Italian and feature gratuitous scantily-clad Italian women.

Oh, and they tend to push the bar a bit too. I just logged out of MySpace, and here is the advertisement I'm left with (I kind of like the True ads in the US better):


Sorry for the huge animated GIF.

The text is mostly unimportant, but since you're curious, it says "What will you do next summer ? Discover the world with EF. For a free brochure click here." (I didn't copy the hyperlink, so if you really want to discover the world with EF, you're on your own).

Has it been enough time ? Does this graphic really depict a plane crashing into a building, or is the plane just nudging the building, causing the world to rotate ? Is this just another failure of Italian iconology ? I'm so confused.

Someone should be offended by this. But I don't feel up to it. Any takers ?

On My Way Again

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I woke up yesterday thinking I would be spending Memorial Day in my backyard grilling. For that matter, sleeping in my own bed tonight.

Right now I'm in the airport, waiting to get on another plane to Italy. A last minute business trip, an expensive ticket, another adventure begins...

The Size of Our World

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This is just mind-boggling to me. This website shows the size of our Earth in relation to other planets and stars in the known universe.

It's a big world, but we're tiny compared to the Sun. And our Sun is tiny compared to many other stars--a fact it turns out I'm thankful for. It's hot enough out already with our sun, without having to orbit around a star like Antares. You couldn't even go outside without applying SPF 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.

Size of the World

It really goes to show me that I have no sense of proportion. And that's a good thing. If the Hitchhiker's Guide has tought me anything, it's that I can't afford to have a sense of proportion. That, and to always bring a towel.

Those Italy Pictures

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I put some pictures of my trip to Italy in the Photo Gallery.

It took me so long because I really wanted to caption all of them, and I knew that would take some time. Well, I did add captions, but I didn't spend as much time on it as I could have.

I welcome you to take a look.

My Struggling Democrat

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I'm still following crazy old Uncle Gravel and his presidential bid, but things aren't looking good because the media shuns him at every opportunity. We have the likes of the Washington Post, suggesting that if you're not already a big name with lots of money, you should get out: "Voters trying to sort out their presidential choices aren't helped by debates cluttered with the likes of Mike Gravel and Ron Paul." Unbelievable.

Then Yahoo news no longer even lists Mike "you can't legislate morality" Gravel or Ron Paul as presidential candidates.

I'm not writing the guy off yet, though. Not many people have heard of him, but he continues to make noise. And I'm reassured by the fact that even Jimmy Carter had only 2% name recognition in the beginning of the 1976 elections--and was the first choice of only 4% of Democratic voters.

When Carter entered the Democratic Party presidential primaries in 1976, he was considered to have little chance against nationally better-known politicians. He had a name recognition of only 2 percent. When he told his family of his intention to run for President, he was asked by his mother, "President of what?"

That's some reassurance.

UPDATE 11-May-2007: They're back on Yahoo !

I can't get enough of this guy. I'm always rooting for the underdog in elections, and this time is no different. Check out Mike Gravel, the former Senator of Alaska. The man tells it like it is, isn't afraid to be aggressive, is tired of all the bullcrap of politics, and has reform written all over him.

And get this ... He's a Democrat. And I like what he's saying. Not everything, but enough that if, by some miracle he got to the primaries, I would vote for him. Please check out his campaign website.

See him here at the Democratic Presidential Debates. Listen for such gems as “Tell me, Barack, who do you want to nuke?� and “It's like going into the Senate... The first time you get there, you're all excited, my God how did I get here--and six months later you say, how the hell did the rest of them get here?�

That's pure gold. Plenty more videos of him on YouTube.

Some highlights of his campaign :

Responding to a caller on a CSPAN program asking about marijuana and the drug war, Gravel stated “That one is real simple, I would legalize marijuana. You should be able to buy that at a liquor store.� I don't use marijuana or any other recreational drugs (unless you count alcohol and caffeine), but I support other peoples' right to do so.

He also supports the Fair Tax, which would eliminate the Internal Revenue Service and corporate and individual income taxes, replacing them with a 23 percent national sales tax on all new goods and services. Each month, qualified taxpayers would receive a check to offset the tax on basic items such as food and medicine.

  • The War in Iraq
    Immediate and orderly withdrawal of troops followed by aggressive diplomacy.
  • A Fair Tax
    Eliminate the income tax and replace it with a progressive national sales tax.
  • National Initiative for Democracy
    Empower Americans and turn every citizen into a lawmaker by enacting a national initiative.
  • America's System of Education
    Education should be our nation's priority. We need to foster competition and rethink the system.
  • Social Security
    Put real money in the Social Security Trust Fund and invest it properly so Americans can leave surplus to heirs.
  • Veterans Affairs
    Fully finance the VA and end the war on our nation’s vets.
  • National Healthcare
    Enact a national, universal, single-payer, not-for-profit U.S. healthcare system.

It's an ambitious list. Even a few of these would make a world of difference--or at least a country of difference. That didn't make sense, did it ? Regardless, you can stop pretending you don't know what I meant.

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