Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
July 7, 2008
Two odd commercials I just saw

Lots of posts these past few days, eh?

So the first of the two commercials mentioned in the title was for some new kind of eyedrops. It was a testimonial advertisement featuring an eye doctor who, apparently as a sufferer of some common form of dry eyes, was thrilled to discover this new product because it can help users to "make more of their own tears." Now, I know what it means -- tears moisten eyes, so the product will ostensibly prevent sufferers from having to endure dry, itchy, red eyes -- but I found the phrasing odd. It can help you to produce more of your own tears. But given that we typically associate tears with pain and/or sadness, I found myself thinking that I could probably accomplish the same thing by beating the hell out of an individual and murdering his/her loved ones. And I giggled to myself.

Yes, my sense of humor is strange.

The second commercial was for Toaster Strudels, and its explicitly and repeated contention was that "Pop-Tarts can't compare to the taste of Toaster Strudels." (According to the Wiki, this is a pretty common line of argument for Toaster Strudels... though this is the first time I can remember seeing it. Weird.) This amused me as well, but for different reasons. First of all, this is a matter of personal preference -- and while you could say that with respect to almost anything, it's especially true here. Why? This is directly related to my second point: that comparing Pop-Tarts and Toaster Strudels is like comparing apples to oranges (in the sense that you legitimately can, as they're both kind of similar -- both breakfast pastries, both fruits -- yet also different). But an even better analogue is potato chips to french fries. Imagine an Ore-Ida commercial that boasted, "Potato chips can't compare to the taste of french fries!" Maybe not -- depending upon the person -- but since that's not their freaking goal, who cares?!

If you're into Pop-Tarts, no amount of argument is going to convince you that Pillsbury's wares are somehow better... unless, that is, Pillsbury releases a product that is directly comparable to Pop-Tarts. I mean, I like them both (though not enough to buy either on a regular basis) -- and while I would prefer Toaster Strudels in a head-to-head comparison, Pop-Tarts do have several advantages over Toaster Strudels. They don't need to be kept in the freezer, so you can take them almost anywhere. (I used to bring a packet to work with me for lunch, and I recall us having them with us on a high school camping trip. In fact, one of the sexier -- and definitely bustier -- girls on the trip noted that they were her favorite food, which at the very least ensured that I will associate Pop-Tarts with pleasant thoughts for as long as that memory endures. Every time I buy Pop-Tarts, Kellogg's should send her a commission fee.) Admittedly, most of their other advantages are related to this point -- their versatile nature means that you don't need a toaster to enjoy them, whereas even if you want to eat Toaster Strudels frozen (which you can do; they are quite good) you'll still have to find some way to unfreeze the frosting -- but still.

Instead of trying to raise their product above Kellogg's, Pillsbury needs to make ads featuring unfortunate cartoon Toaster Strudels that poorly-drawn children go out of their way to trap and devour. 😐

-posted by Wes | 4:02 pm | Comments (5)
  • Jersey Girl says:

    I guess my sense of humor is strange then, too. I was thinking similar thoughts when I saw this commercial as well, although mine involved a swift kick to the family jewels, as it were.

    I also saw Michael Ian Black on that VH-1 show about loving the new millenium or something. They were talking about Botox. He said something along the lines of Botox making your face look paralized. He said, and I paraphrase, "Why not have a stroke? It's cheaper." That just cracked me up.

    Toaster Strudel is good, sure, but I prefer brown sugar cinnamon Pop-Tarts. It's as you said, simply a personal preference.

  • De says:

    The big advantage for me with Pop-Tarts is that they need not be fruit based. Toaster Strudel depends (at least the last time I checked) on fruit being part of the equation. I don't eat fruit as a rule; therefore, I do not eat Toaster Strudel.

    Definitely have to echo Jersey Girl's brown sugar/cinnamon Pop-Tart preference. Add a cup of good, black coffee and it's a king's breakfast in my cubicle.

  • Wes says:

    JG: In fairness, torture and murder are probably a little more severe than a kick to the nads... but then again, maybe not. I also find that Michael Ian Black comment to be amusing, though the medical bills that follow a stroke would probably be far more expensive than Botox.

    Personally, I can't really condone Botox because -- in addition to my general dislike of cosmetic procedures -- "Botox" sounds too much like "buttocks" and thus makes me think of people injecting funky ass juice into their faces. Gross.

    De: A king's breakfast in your cubicle -- which, I presume, is not equipped with a toaster! I'd like to see Toaster Strudels match that.

    Also, does this aversion to fruits include strawberries and bananas? 'Cause if it does, you're totally missing out. 😉

  • Becky says:

    I don't really eat Pop Tarts or Toaster Strudels, so I can't really chime in here except that you're right, it does seem to be a subjective point so I'm surprised Pop-Tarts hasn't challenged that on legal grounds.

    As for the eyes, I'm a dry eye sufferer myself, and I k now this is no where near as funny as what you talked about, but there's a tear film every time we blink that kind of refreshes our eyes and keeps them moist. but that's probably too much to explain in a commercial.

  • De says:

    My fruit aversion does indeed extend to strawberries and bananas. I'm mildly allergic to strawberries (it's the seeds) so I just stay away when possible. The smell of bananas makes me ill; not sure why.

    Today's plan is to inject the phrase "funky ass juice" into as many conversations as possible.

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