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Category Archives: advertising

Mad Men Forever

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TV’s “Mad Men” returns on Sunday, and I, for one, am psyched. So much so, that I’m envisioning what it would be like to see these characters continue into the 1970s, and beyond.

1970: DON DUSTS OFF HIS OLD, “I’D LIKE TO BUY THE WORLD A SMOKE” CAMPAIGN, REWORKS IT, AND SELLS IT TO COCA-COLA

1971: JOAN BURNS HER BRA AT A PROTEST IN TIMES SQUARE; ROGER TAKES THE DAY OFF TO ATTEND

1973: BERT RESIGNS HIS PARTNERSHIP TO TAKE A POST AS IMAGE CONSULTANT TO RICHARD NIXON AS THE WATERGATE SCANDAL UNFOLDS; HE ADVISES NIXON TO “ACT LIKE AN ADULT”

1974: ROGER ROBS A BANK WITH PATTY HEARST

1977: HARRY BUYS A LEISURE SUIT; JOAN FIRES HIM ON THE SPOT

1981: PETE LANDS THE DELOREAN MOTORS ACCOUNT

1983: PEGGY PERSUADES BILL GATES TO REBRAND HIS “INDIVIDUAL COMPUTING DEVICES” AS “PERSONAL COMPUTERS”

1984: BETTY DIVORCES HENRY FRANCIS AND MARRIES GLEN, WHO NOW OWNS A CHAIN OF WATERBED DEALERSHIPS

1988: ROGER RETIRES AND SAILS AROUND THE WORLD ON HIS YACHT, THE REGINA

1993: KENNY WRITES A BEST-SELLING MEMOIR, “IMPERFECT PITCH”

1998: DON’S FINAL CAMPAIGN, FOR VIAGRA, WINS NATIONAL AWARDS

2000: PETE LANDS THE ENRON ACCOUNT

2001: JOAN ACCEPTS A JOB AS SENIOR ADVISOR TO U.S. SEN. HILLARY CLINTON

2005: SALLY, A SUCCESSFUL VENTURE CAPITALIST, STARTS A FUND FOR RETURNING IRAQ WAR VETERANS; SHE CALLS IT THE “DICK WHITMAN FOUNDATION”

2009: PETE LANDS THE BRITISH PETROLEUM ACCOUNT

2013: DON IS VOTED SEXIEST OCTOGENARIAN OF CORAL VISTA ESTATES

How do you see it playing out?

10 Terrific Tigers

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I’m hearing some great things about the special effects tiger in the film version of “Life of Pi.” This has me intrigued. Tigers just may be the most beautiful creatures on the planet, and if this pixelated critter is as wondrous as advertised, he’ll join an illustrious roster of pop culture tigers.

SHERE KHAN

I’m going with my favorite tiger first. Yes, he’s the villain from “Jungle Book,” but he’s undeniably great. He’s droll, he’s cunning, he’s merciless. He also has the voice, heavy-lidded eyes and lantern jaw of the urbane British actor, George Sanders.

TONY THE TIGER

On the other end of the spectrum, you have Frosted Flakes icon Tony the Tiger. He’s no villain – he’s more like that gregarious uncle who let you stay up past your bedtime and showed you wrestling moves like the Backbreaker and the Spinning Toe Hold. He’s not PC, but he’s ggggrrreat!

DETROIT TIGERS

Can’t say this is one of my favorite teams, since I’m a National League guy. But still, props to a Major League franchise that’s been around since 1894, boasts four World Series titles and has had players such as Ty Cobb, Hank Greenberg and Al Kaline in the lineup. Best of all, the Tigers stayed in one city all these years.

TIGGER

Dear lord, what a great creation Tigger is! Anyone with little kids (or grandkids) knows that Tigger is a welcome infusion of energy, action and humor in all situations. He’s dangerous and tame, simultaneously. Thank you, A.A. Milne and Paul Winchell.

CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON

Ang Lee’s 2000 film classic is the cinematic equivalent to a tiger: it’s powerful, graceful, violent and visually arresting. You want tragic heroes and villains? You want epic history and scope? You want some kick-ass swordplay and wire walking? Your search is over. Also, it’s only fitting to include Mr. Lee in a List inspired by “Life of Pi.”

DIEGO

Dennis Leary is the voice of Diego the prehistoric tiger in the “Ice Age” movies. Although he curbs his normally robust language as Diego, Leary does a nice job of lending a soulful quality to the proceedings.

DANIEL STRIPED TIGER

Of course, there is no pop culture tiger with more soul than Daniel Striped Tiger from “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” This little gent had the voice of Fred Rogers, which explained why he was so darned nice. Another thing in his favor? Sporty wristwatch.

TIGER WOODS

No, he is not a model citizen. He’s a tremendous golfer, though. For years, he absolutely commanded the attention of his competitors and sports fans in general. Very tiger-like.

HOBBES

This guy – how could you not like him? Half of cartoonist Bill Watterson’s brilliant comic strip, “Calvin and Hobbes,” tiger Hobbes is the savagely sophisticated counterpoint to incorrigible little boy Calvin. Young Calvin believes Hobbes is an actual tiger and not a stuffed animal. I’m inclined to agree.

EYE OF THE TIGER

There are several tiger songs I could have chosen, such as “Hold That Tiger” and “I’ve Got a Tiger By the Tail,” but instead I have selected Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” from 1982. Why? Because it’s in “Rocky III,” fool.

And now I’m off to see “Life of Pi.”

Bad Product Names

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Cleverness is usually a good thing when it comes to naming a product – but not always. Here are some (fictitious) products that aren’t likely to be on anybody’s shopping list.

LEGO WAFFLES

DEPOSITION IN A DRUM

THE POCKET PROCTOLOGIST

iFORK

WART WHACKER

I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S NOT REFLUX

CHOCK FULL O’ NITRATES

MISTER BRIS

LA-Z-BOY HOME FITNESS CENTER

BEERIOS

KENTUCKY FRIED PIGEON

Have any thoughts on some other bad products? Add to The List!

He Is … The Least Interesting Man in the World

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Thanks to Dos Equis beer, we all have a good handle on what it’s like to be The Most Interesting Man in the World. But what about his polar opposite? How about some testimonials to tediosity? In that spirit, The Jimbo List humbly offers some insight into The Least Interesting Man in the World.

HIS BREATH CAN DULL A GINSU KNIFE

PAINT LIKES TO WATCH HIM DRY

HIS MOTHER HAS NO MEMORY OF HIS BIRTH

HIS FACEBOOK STATUS IS: COMATOSE

ON DOUBLE DATES, HIS ACCOUNTANT BUDDY ALWAYS GETS THE HOT CHICK

ZOOKEEPERS USE HIS VOICE MAIL MESSAGE TO CALM ANGRY RHINOS

HIS LIFE STORY IS HALF A PAGE, DOUBLE-SPACED

HE ONCE BEAT MOUNT RUSHMORE IN A STARING CONTEST

HIS BODY TEMPERATURE IS ABSOLUTE ZERO

You get the idea. Feel free to add to The List!

6 Things That Are Creeping Me Out

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Here we are in this season of caring and kindness, yet if I’m being honest, some things are creeping me out. Not big things, thankfully. But they keep popping up, like irritating people at a wedding reception. Here are the ones currently causing me to gnash my teeth.

THE ABILIFY BATHROBE

Sweet mother of all that’s holy, please, someone, toss this ratty bathrobe onto the advertising scrapheap. I understand the symbolism. I get it – depression can be this smothering outer layer we take off with the help of medication. I also get the notion that depression may never completely go away, which is why the bathrobe hangs around, floating, in the background. But does it need to have eyes? Does it need to sit in the next chair at the doctor’s office and take notes?! In terms of basic creepitude, the Abilify Bathrobe is off-the-charts yucky.

BOBBY VALENTINE’S VOICE

I’ve become convinced that Valentine’s larynx is tucked somehow inside his nasal cavity. That’s the only explanation for a warble that sounds like Kermit the Frog on sodium pentathol, after a session in a sensory deprivation tank. Now that he’s the manager of the Boston Red Sox, we’ll all be hearing a lot more of him.

CHRIS COOPER’S RAP SONG IN ‘THE MUPPETS’

I happen to have a ton of respect for Chris Cooper, going all the way back to TV’s “Lonesome Dove,” but this just doesn’t work. The only reason the Muppet characters in this scene don’t have their eyebrows raised to the top of their foreheads is because a handler is physically preventing it.

PEOPLE WHO WEAR PAJAMAS IN PUBLIC

Have we NO shame, whatsoever? When did it become OK to swing by the Post Office, do the grocery shopping and grab a cup of coffee in our pajamas? As a society, I think we need to seriously consider the implications of saying to the world at large, “My desire for a Mountain Dew right now outweighs the common decency to pull on a pair of actual pants.”

BREAD PUDDING FRENCH TOAST AT DENNY’S

As a fan of both bread pudding and french toast, I feel I’m qualified to say (while letting out a sigh) this is just too much. It’s too much. For pity’s sake, look at that plate of food! Unless you’re an Appalachian Trail hiker, those slices of french toast are going to adhere to your midsection like a shopping mall sandwich board.

TARGET COMMERCIALS LADY

That maniacal grin, those twitchy eyes – why, it must be the holiday season! It’s a matter of personal taste, certainly, but I find these ads grating. This is a style of comic acting that works much better on “The Office” or “SNL” than it does in a commercial being shown again and again.

And now it’s your turn. What stuff is creeping you out?

Two-By-Two: A List of Twins

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Adam Sandler’s new movie, “Jack and Jill,” has me thinking about famous twins. It’s amazing how many there are. This List could easily have been doubled.

LUKE SKYWALKER & PRINCESS LEIA

Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher are fictional twin royalty. Their family ties were at the heart of the “Star Wars” mythos, first providing a nice plot twist and then fueling the emotional arc of the main characters.

THE WINKLEVOSS TWINS

You have to give Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss credit for tenacity. First they were (at the very least) outmaneuvered by Mark Zuckerberg for control of Facebook. Then their various lawsuits went nowhere. Then they came off looking less than sympathetic in “The Social Network.” Yet they still held their heads high and got a pistachio commercial.

“THE PARENT TRAP” TWINS

No offense to Lindsay Lohan’s legion of fans, but I prefer the 1961 version of “The Parent Trap,” with Hayley Mills. The craziness of this movie slaps you in the face when you sit there and realize how screwed up the parents are. They each take a twin in the divorce and NEVER TELL THEM. Wow.

THE MINNESOTA TWINS

Named after the Twin Cities, baseball’s Twins began playing in Minneapolis in 1961. This may sound odd, but the thing I kind of loved about them was that their home field for many years had a right field extension wall made of plastic. Everyone called it the “Baggie.”

THE BUSH TWINS

Barbara and Jenna, the daughters of former President George W. Bush, turn 30 later this month, on Nov 25. I think they, like all presidential children, deserve a lifetime of peace, quiet and dignity.

EVIL TWINS

Evil twins are just plain fun. There’s no pretense; it’s simply a group of creative people telling an audience: “We’re taking one of our boring, nice characters and letting her raise some hell. Possibly while wearing a dark wig.” My favorite was Serena, Elizabeth Montgomery’s evil twin on TV’s “Bewitched.”

DOMINICK AND THOMAS BIRDSEY

Connecticut’s own Wally Lamb put twins at the center of his novel, “I Know This Much Is True.” I won’t ruin the plot here for people who want to read this masterful work, but I will say it put the lie to any notion that New Englanders lead boring lives.

THE WONDER TWINS

Let’s see. You’ve got a group of superheroes called the Super Friends, with Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman. What’s missing? Bingo! A twin brother and sister who can only activate their powers when they touch hands. Thanks, Zan and Jayna. Problem solved.

TIKI & RONDE BARBER

The Barbers were highly enjoyable players to watch, even if Tiki did get a little mouthy about his former teammates after he left the New York Giants. Seeing him and Ronde in opposing uniforms had a way of looking like a promo for a sci-fi movie about cloned athletes.

THE OLSEN TWINS

They make the List for two reasons. One, they were hugely popular from the time they were TV toddlers on “Full House.” And two, their success always baffled me.

ROMULUS & REMUS

Fittingly, the story of Romulus and Remus is like two myths in one. First is the miracle of their survival. They were left to die as infants, only to be nursed by a she-wolf and then adopted by a shepherd. As adults, they discovered they were royalty. So they retake their land in ancient Italy – only to fight over where to build a new city. Remus is killed; Romulus builds the new city and calls it Rome. That’s harsh, man.

THE BOBBSEY TWINS

One set of twins wasn’t enough for this long-running series of children’s books. There were two duos: Nan and Bert, and Freddie and Flossie. They had adventures and solved mysteries, all very mild, in such ripping yarns as “The Bobbsey Twins at the Seashore,” and “The Bobbsey Twins at School.” Call me when “The Bobbsey Twins Change Their Smartphone Plan” is published.

THE DOUBLEMINT TWINS

The folks at the Wrigley Company have kept twins gainfully employed as spokeswomen for years. Their ranks include future TV stars Tia and Tamera Mowry and Jean and Elizabeth Sagal, sisters of the terrific actress Katey Sagal.

THE TWIN TOWERS

Ten years on, I still experience very strong, very complicated emotions when I see a photo or film clip of the towers. You do, too.

Peace out.

Unsettling Facts about Burger King’s King

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Now that Burger King has finally decided to sack its “King” character, a few unsavory facts about the King can be revealed.

HIS HEAD ISN’T MADE OF PLASTIC OR WOOD – IT’S ALL BOTOX

OFTEN HIRED ESCORT SERVICES, USING THE NAME “RON BURGUNDY”

IF YOU RAISE HIS CHIN, A PEZ CANDY COMES OUT OF HIS NECK

HIS FATHER IS FORMER CNN HOST LARRY KING

ORIGINALLY WON THE JOB IN A STARING CONTEST

STILL NOT AS CREEPY AS JACK IN THE BOX

ALREADY HAS APPLICATIONS IN AT KING KOIL, CHESS KING AND WHITE CASTLE

USES A BUTT DOUBLE

QUEEN LATIFAH FILED A RESTRAINING ORDER AGAINST HIM IN 2004

HAS TAKEN TO CALLING HIMSELF “THE WHOPPER”

So long, King!