Monday, November 27, 2006

Mutating Commercials

Are you an avid TV watcher?
Do you watch the same commercial over and over (especially on the Discovery, History and National Geographic channels)?
Do you have a choice?
And when you have these delectable morsels of art and culture memorized, do you notice slight differences in the retelling?
Are you slowly going nuts? Is TV really the brainwasher we've all been brainwashed to believe?
Well, fret no more, my televisual freund, you are not going crazy. The commercials have been edited.
Want some examples? I thought you would...

The AXA Equitable commercial

This is the commerical starring a couple in their 50's and a 500 pound silverback alpha male mountain gorilla with the power of speech and an uncanny knowledge of retirement investment options. In these spots (and there are two of them) the couple pretends to ignore the gorilla while, with the help of his trusty laptop, which does nothing more than show the AXA logo, he chastises the couple for not using AXA to get their retirement annuities started. Then he closes with "But what do I know? I'm just the 500 pound gorilla in the room."
In the first spot, the couple is having breakfast. In the second one, they are trying to sleep for the evening. In the first spot I remember the gorilla saying this "I couldn't sleep at night knowing that you didn't save, heck, invest in an AXA mutual fund or annuity." Now he says the same thing, but replaces 'heck' with 'even'. Why? Did heck offend somebody? Was it too lowbrow for the highbrows? They then add a line while the gorilla is off-camera: "Give AXA a call." I can understand this addition as AXA probably felt they weren't making it clear that it would be AXA and not the gorilla that would help people invest.
In the second spot, he finishes his spiel and leaves the bedroom. He used to say, "Good night." and then he turns off the lightswitch. But in the new edited version the gorilla concludes with "Give them a call... for me." So, if you noticed any differences in the new spots, you're not crazy, you're just attentive...maybe too much so (myself included, obviously).

The Tractor Supply commercial
Talk about cheap-ass! No actors. No suits. No animation. No computer graphics. Just a bunch of stationary, motionless, handpainted wooden dolls. I suppose someone thought that this would appeal to the rural crowd, (what farmer or hunter can say no to crafted wood?) but I think it's a stretch. Anyway, in their Christmas spot, the two wives of the two farmer protagonists are decorating a Christmas tree in one of their homes. The camera flashes back and forth between the two female dolls so we know who is talking because with motionless dolls we have to have that. The short-haired one comments on how she had the boys help out at the mall for Christmas. Then we are shown the two men in a nativity scene dressed as shepherds. On a close up of one of them (presumably the husband of the short-haired doll), he says, "Sweet Molly in a manger." Fin.
I didn't think it was funny, but then again, I don't find any of the Tractor Supply commercials very funny. But the edited version is strangely brief. In the first version, after the short-haired wife makes her comment, the camera shows the other wife (a blonde I think) who says, "Well, that was nice of them to do that." The new version cuts that retort out completely. And instead of "Sweet Molly in a manger" he get "Hmmmm..."
Same lack of humor. Different package.
Why did they even bother? What was the point of this edit? Again, someone probably found "Sweet Molly in a manger" discomforting or even sacriligious, after all, it was Sweet Mary that was in the manger. And why should she be Sweet? Was the sedentary, wooden farmer lusting after her? I dunno. This whole commercial is a waste of time. Almost as bad any Verizon commercial. If I see that Buddy Holly lookin' asshole and his cadre of Verizon employees one more time on TV, I'm gonna vomit! But there was one good one: the one where the company is having a meeting about using their laptops anwhere in the US, and each of the members mentions a place and the salesman/IT guy says "No problem". The look on the blonde guy while he is going through his "Vegas, baby! Yeah!" and discovers that his boss is right behind him is priceless humor. But that's me.

The Travelocity commercials

What is it with immobile, wooden dolls? It's cheap-ass, that's what!
But I must admit that I kinda liked their commercials. I mean, seeing the gnome get run over by a clothes rack, knock over people's drinks while floating on a lawnchair with helium balloons and finally getting electrocuted in the klieglights of a football stadium. I got a chuckle.
But the latest one, about the Bermuda Triangle, was simple ho-hum fare. Except recently...
I was watching NGC (that's National Geographic Channel, not New Galactic Catalogue for those astronomers out there), and noticed that the gnome was replaced! They now have a dumb-looking fat guy wearing a pointy red hat and liederhosen mouthing the same words, verbatim, that the garden gnome used to say. It was the same commercial -- just a different gnome. I kept waiting for a follow-up commercial to explain it, but nothing. That was weird...
Eventually, an explanatory commercial did show. Some dumb bitch named Mary O'Hara posing as an investigative reporter is on the trail for the roaming gnome. Her lame report is on Please do not visit this website despite my link. It's like your kid going to so he can find Twister McGee for the Cheetos Cheetah. I mean, I went there and got retarded by exposure.
And why is Mary O'Hara latino??
On the other hand why is Brian Perez whiter than Wonder Bread?
The World May Never Know...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's nice to know someone other than me notices these edited commercials. To date I think the one fastest to be edited was the one for VW Passat. The scenario was people with expensive cars explaining in one-liners why they had the car they did. One had a guy with a Corvette saying "because mine's only this big" while holding up his hand with thumb and forefinger about an inch apart. I saw this once and roared. The next time I saw the commercial the same guy was saying "because I compensating for my shortcomings". Well you could come to the same conclusions for both but the first one spelled it out in no uncertain terms. I guess a bit too clearly for someone. Probably someone at the helm of VW or some group of self-appointed church group of censors. Keep up the good work.

6:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought that I was the only one that noticed the edit in that commercial. I figured that "molly in the manger" was an anatomical slogan akin to "man in the boat"

5:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's good to see people are on the ball and catching this crap. I for one make it a point to bycott stupid advertisers. How about the mutating Head On, Head On, Head On commercial? I figured that one couldn't last that long in it's original form, now some moron, who ADMITS it's an annoying commercial interrupts...that means the company KNOWS they are irritating me into a headache, kinda like if Band Aid could reach through the tube and slash my wrists so I'd have to reach for their product.
I don't buy products from these type of assholes.

5:51 AM  
Blogger Brian Perez said...

Out of all my blog entries this one really hit a nerve.
I guess advertisers think we're stupid or just not attentive.
Lately, I'm having a real issue with the SAP commercials. They're not edited or anything (not yet) but they are sure freakin' lame.
I hate commericials that rely on this bland, milquetoast humor that just isn't funny by any stretch of the imagination. Watch an SAP spot and see what I mean. Oh, btw, they travel in twos.

9:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"--"Sweet Molly in a manger" discomforting or even sacriligious, after all, it was Sweet Mary that was in the manger. And why should she be Sweet?--"

-It was Jesus in the manger, goof nut.

3:57 AM  
Blogger Brian Perez said...

Oh I see, Jesus and ONLY JESUS was in the manger. Oh yes, what a total goof-nut I am. I am sure that any nativity scene will bear me out in saying that there was Mary and Joseph, baby Jesus, three magi, an ox and an ASS. Oh! Looks like you were in the manger, too!

9:24 AM  

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