5 Ads That Encourage You to Act Like a DouchebagBy Dan Seitz
As I am not a stupid person, I don’t believe people mindlessly imitate TV. Most people have enough understanding that video games, movies, TV commercials and so on are fantasy and not to be imitated. True, some people don’t understand this, but that’s because they escaped from the home and are off their meds.
But I do think ads reflect where we are as a culture. Unlike any other kind of media, ads are completely inescapable, and the Internet has just made them moreso. Every single Super Bowl ad went immediately to YouTube, attached in front of any video getting eyeballs. Ads are in banners, all over Hulu, and once the technology is perfected, will probably be tattooed on your penis against your will.
Furthermore, ads are designed to kiss up to us: they’re about who we want to be. They’re free of any artistic influence whatsoever, so they can just reflect America’s cultural id, as determined by careful focus grouping and analysis.
And, lately, advertising has decided that being a douchenozzle is just totally awesome. For example:
5) Doritos Hates Small Animals
Take this ad. Nobody on two legs in this ad doesn’t deserve to be punched into oblivion.
First, there’s the guy who instigates the action, by telling his girlfriend “Hey, watch this!”, then closes a glass door and starts goading a dog to run into it. So, Doritos, what you’re saying is, consumers of your product like to hurt animals? That’s really the message you want to send? There’s a term for people who do that: “people to practice your ball-kicking on repeatedly.”
But his girlfriend, who owns the damn dog, is even worse. She sees her jerk boyfriend closing the door and encouraging her dog to ram into a sheet of glass as full speed, and she does…nothing. OK, she whines at him, but she just sits on the couch.
Speaking as a puppy owner, the reaction is more along the lines of screaming profanity as you rush to keep the dog from hurting themselves if you actually have any bond with the dog.
So, in summary, douchebags who hurt small dogs and the whiny, ineffectual women who date them eat Doritos. Great ad, guys.
4)Toyota Highlanders are for Douchebags In Training
This is one of those ads that you’re baffled got past the pitch stage. “Hey, you know hipsters? And how everybody hates them except other hipsters? Let’s do an entire ad centered around how an eight-year-old hipster thinks Toyotas are awesome!”
One problem with this concept: an eight-year-old hipster is a great argument for child abuse. “Beat your kids or they’ll turn into this annoying little bastard.”
There are three or four of these ads, and I feel bad for the child actor, who is obviously talented because if he were really that obnoxious in real life, his parents would have sold him for organs a long time ago. This ad is going to haunt him for the rest of his life, even if he quits acting. He could discover the cure for cancer, go up to the podium to accept his Nobel prize, and the announcer would say “And now, accepting the Nobel Prize: Douchebag Toyota Kid!”
What’s really baffling is who the target market is. It can’t be hipsters, because hipsters are only into cars you’ve probably never heard of. It can’t be parents, because any sane parent hates obnoxious children. Maybe Toyota just hates us all and wants us to bleed, and those broken throttles just weren’t doing the job fast enough.
3 ) Is Wendy Going to Have to Slap a Bitch?
Credit to Wendy’s for not dicking around: they just straight up make with the violence, as if talking about your chicken sandwich wasn’t idle lunch conversation, but rather a sadistic knock-knock joke.
Beyond that, though, you kind of have to wonder why Wendy’s wants people to associate their chicken sandwich with getting slapped in the face. Or, even worse, why they think somebody asking what their sandwich tastes like is an excuse to slap somebody in the face.
Does this apply to all Wendy’s products? As long as I’m eating a Baconator, can I drop-kick people? Is a Frostee the equivalent of slamming somebody’s head in a car door? If I get the super-spicy version, can I just whale on a motherfucker until he cries?
Give me a conversion chart, Wendy’s. I’ve got some asses to kick down at the food court.
2) Toyota Sienna is for Idiot Parents
Dear Toyota: Yes, “Modern Family” is very, very funny. Trying to imitate it for an entire ad campaign is just deeply, deeply sad.
Yes, we’ve got two douchebag parents here, two self-involved, clueless dipshits who apparently go through life wreaking a course of emotional chaos and two-faced lying with no regard for those around them. Kind of like Nickelback, if Nickelback could suck a little less.
And you’ve kind of got to wonder what the target market for this is. This isn’t just some random family they selected: somebody wrote this, it was cast, shot, performed, and edited, with no one, at any point, looking at anybody else and saying “You know this ad makes it look like the Sienna is only driven by the cartoon characters you find in dramas about the suburbs and how they suck, right?”
1) Sprint Gives You Unlimited License To Be a Prick
Sprint has an entire series of ads that want to emphasize that you get unlimited web, email, and texting for a low, low price. Which apparently comes with unlimited ability to be a passive-aggressive dickhole.
These ads all follow the same formula: a person, standing right in front of another person, sends them various texts and emails breaking up with them, insulting them, or otherwise giving them bad news, via their cell phone, and when confronted about it, says, “Don’t worry! I’ve got unlimited web, text and email from Sprint!”
First of all, what kind of wuss does this right in front of somebody? Secondly, what kind of person, upon receiving news like this, doesn’t react with world-shattering rage? Thirdly, how thick do you have to be, to even do this in the first place, let alone take it?
One thing I want to emphasize here: none of these ads were just spontaneously generated. They’re heavily researched, designed to appeal to a specific market as much as humanly possible. Somebody sat down with a swath of the American public and asked them what they wanted most out of a product.
Apparently, that’s permission to hit people, be oblivious to the emotions of others, and insult people to their face.
Yeah, sounds about right.