Is it just me, or does the new year not feel very new? Maybe it’s because after an excruciatingly long campaign season, we have the same president, the same congress and the same Washington bickering and gridlock. I grew so weary of the same old same old that I took time off from watching the news. Sadly, when I lifted my self-imposed boycott, nothing had changed. Not even the commercials.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t begrudge companies and their ad agencies for trying to make a buck in these tough economic times. I don’t even mind people like Fred Thompson, Henry Winkler or Robert Wagner pimping reverse mortgages, whatever those are. But there are some commercials that I feel have run their course. It’s time for some fresh ideas. It’s time to move forward.
So as a public service, I submit to advertisers, in the interest of the public welfare, my top ten list of commercial celebrities that need to find a new gig.
10. Joe Theismann for Super-Beta Prostate
I grew up in a household of die-hard Washington Redskin fans. Mention the name Joe Theismann and what comes to mind?
His famous passing stance?
Maybe the infamous sack by Lawerence Taylor that ended his career?
That used to be the case. Now, when I form a mental picture of the legendary quarterback, it’s of him waking up in the middle of the night to pee. Thanks, Super-Beta Prostate!
And speaking of men made famous by the game of football…
9. Jimmy Johnson for ExtenZe
How much money is enough? Can you amass enough by coaching two high profile college teams? What about if you coach for two high profile professional teams? One would assume having a weekly gig as a commentator for Fox Sports would keep you living high on the hog, but apparently not. Why else would Jimmy Johnson agree to be the pitchman for ExtenZe natural male enhancement?
Yikes. Double yikes.
8. Jimmy Fallon for Capital One
You know…we get it. The baby is cute. She just doesn’t want to receive 50% more cash, no matter how many times you rehash that tired old premise. Of course, Fallon may have made the list for the simple reason that I just don’t think he’s funny. Am I missing something?
7. Sarah McLachlan for the ASPCA
I don’t dislike Sarah McLachlan. I’m actually a big fan of her music. I’m also not against preventing cruelty to animals. What I am against are PSAs created to guilt people into supporting a non-profit organization which was given an “F” grade for money mismanagement by Charity Watch. I’m also not a proponent of giving money to an organization which, in 2012, a CNN investigation found had raised almost $27 million but spent nearly all of that money on fundraising expenses paid to a direct mail company. Of the $14 million that SPCA raised in 2010, the organization spent only $60,000 in cash grants to animal shelters across the United States. How cruel is that?
6. That annoying local guy who makes his own furniture commercials
This isn’t just a Houston phenomenon is it? Oh, and extra points if you manage to get your kids in the commercial to pimp your cheap furniture.
5. Mesothelioma Families Spokesman Doug
Finish this sentence: “Hi, my name is Doug…” In case you’re one of the 5 people in the United States who haven’t seen this commercial, the rest of that sentence is, “and I have mesothelioma.” By all accounts, Doug Karr is a fine man. A veteran who served his country with honor. I don’t begrudge him any compensation he has received due to exposure to asbestos. But mesothelioma is an extremely rare form of cancer. What’s with the deluge of commercials urging potential victims to come forward? The answer: A big, fat pile of government money–thirty Billon with a “B” dollars– set aside to compensate those exposed to it, and a bunch of lawyers chomping at the bit to get their cut.
4. William Devane for Rosland Capital
Thus far, William Devane has invited us to invest in gold while fly fishing, sky diving, riding horses, driving around in a yacht and other activities rich, old white guys participate in. We get it, Bill–you’re rich. We’re all happy for you.
3. The Charmain Bears
Yes, I know they’re cartoon bears, but still. Who’s your target audience here? Is there anyone who thinks big, furry cartoon bear butts with toilet paper dingleberries hanging off of them is cute? Bears, keep your s**t in the woods where it belongs.
2. The Geico Gecko
This guy was only moderately cute and amusing about a million commercials ago, and I have to wonder how a company can save me money on car insurance when I consider what they must spend constantly bombarding the airwaves with commercials. The gecko is just one in a long line of characters: the caveman, the pig, the googly-eyed stack of money, the Joe Friday guy, and the rage-aholic therapist (Loved that guy, but they fired him.) Apparently in advertising, less is not more. More and more is more.
1. The Burger King King
This guy is, in a word,
Please make it stop.
So what say you? What other celebrity endorsers need to find a new gig?