Andrew McCutchen: Pittsburgh Pirate, Lox Thief

It’s Opening Day! Yay! One of baseball’s rising superstars over the last few years has been Andrew McCutchen. Last season, Cutch won the National League MVP and led the Pittsburgh Pirates to their first winning year and playoff berth since 1992. It really was good to see the Pirates win, although as a Reds fan, it wasn’t fun to see them knock us out of the playoffs. Anyway, Andrew McCutchen stars in this new commercial from the long-running and well-loved “This Is SportsCenter” campaign. McCutchen, the Pirate Parrot, and a host of other lesser known pirate mascots (East Carolina’s Pee Dee, Seton Hall’s Pirate and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Captain Fear) raid the spread at a SportsCenter breakfast meeting. Cutch’s “The lox. Plunder the lox” line is fantastic.

Ford Takes A Shot At Cadillac With This Environmentally Conscious Commercial

Earlier this year, Cadillac debuted a very polarizing ad for its new ELR. I didn’t cover it on this blog, but here it is.

Many found the rambling monologue of the rich middle-aged guy (played by Neal McDonough) to be insufferable. I tend to agree with that assessment. His speech plays into stereotypes of Americans as aspirational, Type A personalities who spend all their time working, and then die. Of course, people who liked the commercial note that much of the copy points to the reason why America has been so successful economically over the years, and why many people have been able to buy luxury items such as Cadillacs. But would the blustery blowhard in the spot really be interested in an ELR, a plug-in hybrid? I kind of doubt it.

So Ford created a direct response.

I like Ford’s a lot better. Sure it’s a bit smug, but it’s got a few things going for it. First, it has a real person as the protagonist instead of a fictional character. The speaker is Pashon Murray, founder of Detroit Dirt. Pashon explains why she does what she does, and that it’s for the betterment of the country and the world as a whole. And the last line “that’s the upside of giving a damn” is an absolute killer. I think this one has to go to Ford.

 

Dudes Named Ronald McDonald Love Taco Bell’s New Breakfast

Today, Taco Bell launched its new breakfast, featuring items such as the AM Crunchwrap and the much hyped Waffle Taco. Since my personal experiences with Taco Bell are mostly a soupy mixture of disappointment, poor life decisions, and indigestion, I’m pretty wary of their food (except the Cinnabon Delights, those are amazing). Indeed, many early reviews coming in are ranging from mediocre to quite bad. But their new commercials, directed by Errol Morris, and created by Deutsch L.A. are pretty brilliant and funny. They feature random guys with the unfortunate name of Ronald McDonald finally putting their names to good use. And they’re big fans of Taco Bell’s new breakfast.

3/30 update: Some critics note that this idea was also funny when Jack in the Box did it 12 years ago.

Tuesday Throwback: These Beautiful Valspar Paint Commercials

I remember these Valspar ads being on from around 2006-09. They’re incredibly beautiful, with the colors of Valspar paint being compared to the colors of nature. I really like the relaxing, slightly mysterious, new-agey music of these spots. Unfortunately, the music, created by Jonathan Elias, was made specifically for the commercials, so no downloading. But yeah, if I had any painting-related plans (which I don’t), I would consider getting Valspar paint. So the advertising is a success!

 

 

The E*Trade Baby Quits In This Commercial With A Cat

After 6 years, the E*Trade baby is finally calling it quits. I say it’s about damn time. Talking babies creep me out. It might have been a little funny at first, but it wore so thin. Glad to see this campaign be over.

Tuesday Throwback: Bacardi Mojitos With Matt & Kim

Love, love, love this Bacardi mojito ad from Spring 2009. Puts a huge smile on my face. The idea of going to a party and having each room represent a different era is pretty killer. Great style and dancing too. The awesome, energetic song playing is “Daylight” by Matt & Kim. And something you may or may not know about alcohol commercials is that they are not allowed to actually show people drinking. Take note of that the next time you watch alchy advertising.

Chevy’s Emotional Dog Commercial

This Chevrolet ad was one of the finalists for the company’s film competition, where the winner would be shown during the Oscars. It didn’t win, but has become quite popular on YouTube. It’s not hard to see why it’s a sentimental favorite. The tale of Maddie the Golden Retriever is beautifully filmed and has obviously struck a chord with many. Told in reverse flashback, we first see a young woman saying goodbye to Maddie, and then we see all her important life experiences with Maddie accompanying, all the way back to when Maddie is a puppy and her owner is a young girl. And it’s all tied into Chevy…the car is also “a best friend for life’s journey.” Some have appreciated the artistic value of the ad, while decrying the Chevy-centric message as manipulative and cloying. But isn’t all advertising manipulative? What do you think?

 

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