Sunday, February 13, 2005


So, as I was saying, not all the blipverts aired during the Super Bowl had to have cosmic significance for Toobworld. Some of them helped expand the boundaries of the TV Universe simply by showing new aspects in its everyday life.

The two ads produced for Ameriquest, the mortgage people, would fall into this category. I already mentioned one in which the husband is caught by the wife holding a large knife and their white fluffy cat, and they're both splattered with tomato sauce. It's sick (but safe) guilty pleasure and the funniest ad in the bunch.

The other ad they showed had a guy in a convenience store whose cell phone conversation is mistaken for a stick-up announcement. The store owners go medieval on his ass, Kwikee-Mart style. (It would have been fun to see Apu ('The Simpsons') doing this ad, but hey! You can't have everything in Toobworld. Jack Lord knows I try!)

The ad touting tourism in Las Vegas continues the theme of their catch phrase "What happens here, stays here". A dazed boxer is checked out by his trainer and it's obvious the fighter is "Lights on, nobody's home". But with his negative reply to the trainer's most important question, ("Do you remember what I did last night?"), the trainer is overwhelmed with relief and is more than happy to let the press in to see the boxer in such a state.

Well, at least he didn't get his head completely ripped off in his last six fights like Mr. Gabriello's Champ! ('Monty Python's Flying Circus')

Where did the cops find the car with the steamed-up windows, only to discover that the occupants weren't lovebirds, but a couple of slackers eating hot Subway sandwiches? Was it New York?

If so, who's to say they weren't assigned to either the 15th Precinct ('NYPD Blue') or the 2-7 ('Law & Order')?

The ad for Bud Light, in which a pilot jumps out of a plane without a parachute in order to rescue the six-pack of brew seemed like the set-up for an episode of any one of the series in the 'CSI' franchise.

And the other Bud blipvert, in which the guy at the game saw on his cell phone that he lost his girl Sharon ("Oh, she's sharin' all right!")..... As I said, it's the type of ad that just expands that sitcom feel of the TV Universe to every aspect of Life. It was a situation that could have easily played out in the early years of 'Friends' - picture Ross and Chandler at the game, Joey back home with Rachel......

Considering the weird things I've seen for sale on eBay, (a bar of soap for fans of Phish, a Star Trek themed apartment, somebody's soul), I could easily buy into the concept of bidding for a French fry that looked like Abraham Lincoln. And McDonald's was able to avoid offending anybody's religious sensibilities since there was recently a grilled cheese sandwich that was sold in an online auction which had the image of the Virgin Mary on it. Yet in the space of that ad's thirty seconds, you didn't have time to be reminded of it.

Oh - and nice crossover with Yahoo!'s online auction service, rather than the overexposed eBay. This might have been chosen for the actual Crossover of the Week if an actual scripted series hadn't topped them. Oh well. Them's the commercial breaks.

Degree for Men helped to expand the TV Universe by introducing the new line of action figure toys - Mama's Boy. It's probably a toy that Niles Crane ('Frasier') and Ralph Drang ('Dear John') might have played with as little boys. Pretty disturbing use of magnets for both the Mama's Boy doll as well as for Mama herself, though.....

Hey guys! How about the girl in the Tabasco ad, wearing the Tabasco bathing suit? It moved a little too slowly and had a payoff that didn't really grab everybody's attention. (You know only the droolers had their eyes glued to the tube!)

But even so, what a payoff! Now there was a commercial that deserved to be pay-per-view so that we could see how much of her hot body had been sunburned underneath that Tabasco bathing suit! Aye caramba!

Finally, having summoned the image of the Talking Heads song "Life During Wartime" with my heading, there was the Anheuser-Busch salute to the troops. The ad showed soldiers either returning home or just heading out to Iraq and Afghanistan.

In a way, it could be argued that it was cynical, manipulative, and had nothing to do with the product. But there's no denying the troops deserve our appreciation and support, no matter where we stand on the reasons for their deployment. (In case you're interested, I was against the invasion of Iraq - at least it should have been held off until we captured/killed Bin Laden.)

Someday, future Tele-visiologists will collect all of the many TV episodes and tele-flicks which dealt with all aspects of the aftermath of 9/11 for the study of how our artistic community chose to depict the American experience. And hopefully, this blipvert will be included in that mix; perhaps even as its coda.


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