Party at my place when they phase out the Chevy guy

I hate the Chevy guy. The one with the insufferable whiney voice who just keeps surprising “real people” with different models, stats, awards and incredible towing capabilities.

I’ve been laid up at my parents’ house with a back injury, so let’s just say I’ve been watching a lot of TV. Let’s just say Chevy is on at least once an hour on channels like CBS and Food Network. Let’s just say I am haunted by the woman in this most recent spot.

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What in the wild hell is she so happy about?

I shouldn’t hate the Chevy guy as much as I do. He’s probably just a regular dude who took a steady spokesperson gig after doing small parts in shows like New Girl, The Middle and Justified. Yes, of course I googled and IMDBed him. His name is Potsch Boyd, which kind of sounds like a dude who drives a Prius and drinks Kombucha. No judgement, there’s just no way in hell he’s driving a Chevy.

I should really be directing my anger towards Chevy. They’ve been running these “real people” ads since 2016. Boyd is tagged in 138 spots according to iSpot.tv.

THAT’S TOO MANY. I think 3-12 spots would have sufficed for a campaign. Three years later, it should be illegal to say these people aren’t actors. In a court of law, Americans wouldn’t be able to testify against Chevy because they are just too closely associated with their commercials, advertising tactics, and our pal Potsch. (That’s how jury selection works, right?)

Chevy, honey, is it working? Are your sales going up? Is it worth it?

I am genuinely ready for your next phase of advertising. I will celebrate when I see something new. Who keeps approving this??

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I am but a mere Advertising grad student with an unwanted opinion just like everyone else, so I will spare you my thoughts on all the Superbowl ads; but I do want to give a shoutout to this one:

These are real people with real obstacles (that brought on real tears). And that big macho dad breaking down? How do I make the tears stop?

Owen is an inspiration and a natural in front of the camera. Owen [last name redacted for privacy] 2040!! I approve!

Um, who are these holiday car commercials actually targeting?

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Happy Honda Days my fellow friends, family and followers. It’s that time of year when the airwaves are abundant with holiday car commercials as if that is a normal, human gift average Americans buy each other!

Has anyone actually received a new car for Christmas (or your holiday of choice)? ANYONE? If this were a real conversation, I would expect to hear crickets, or that sound after a big snow storm where it’s just silence and wind but somehow it kind of makes your ears ring? (Just me?)

I was essentially scorned for asking for $80 L.L. Bean slippers for Christmas this year (looking at you, MOM!) so I’m just wondering who exactly can afford a car during the holidays? I know our economy is “better than it has been in many decades” (Sure, Jan) but, people who buy cars as gifts seem like a very niche group, right? I can’t be the only one bewildered by this.

Here are a few spots I’ve seen this month that brought out my inner Grinch:

Climate change is very real, why are you wasting all this electricity? *Shudders*


Ok, I did giggle when Cheer Bear popped into the rearview camera, BUT THEIR VOICES. UGH.


Homegirl noticed that mileage REAL QUICK. I imagine their marriage is quite rocky and they have deeper issues.

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Now THIS is a beautiful advert. That’s British for advertisement, folks! I love how it tells Elton John’s story without being overly Christmas-y. It narrates in reverse and shows fashion, time and memories well spent. John Lewis & Partners created something heart-warming and truly meaningful compared to the over-the-top car ads we see too often. I approve!

I never thought I’d be defending Jennifer Aniston, but here I am.

I begin this post by exclaiming Leave Jennifer Aniston Alone a la Chris Crocker circa 2007. And I say it with 100% seriousness. I will admit I previously questioned her sponsorship choices because of this horrendous and unrelatable Emirates Airlines commercial, but Jennifer Aniston — as a woman in 2018 — deserves more respect.

give jen aniston a break, people
Give Jen Aniston a break, people

I saw this print ad in a magazine while waiting for an appointment this week and my Who Approved This!? radars went off aggressively. To me, it seems like Jen is always defined by her relationships (with Brad, Vince, John and more recently, Justin) and this ad makes it seem like she don’t need no man, she has smartwater! No, she don’t need no man because it’s 2018, and she’s one of Hollywood’s highest-paid actresses. Also, it’s really weird that she’d be walking down a red carpet with a giant bottle of water. Have you seen those bad boys? They’re huge!

The “power couple” copy irked me because it implies that Jen can’t succeed on her own. It seems tone-deaf in a time when women are fighting hard to get the same respect as their male counterparts, and we are finally starting to get somewhere with the Women’s Movement. This ad takes Jen, and women, a step back.

Jen deserves recognition for things other than her boyfriends, breakups and children she doesn’t have. Who Approved This!? (Jen, say it wasn’t you??)

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If you follow Meghan Mullally and Nick Offerman on any social media, you know they’re just two freaks who absolutely adore each other. They’re so open about how much they love each other that it is almost refreshing to see. This Sling TV ad plays up their… sexual chemistry… (omg, ew, sorry) and ~desire~ to watch TV with another couple. I just love how the maître d’ has to interject. Twice! Meghan and Nick are the perfect pair (or dare I say power couple???) to pull off double entendre. I approve!

Bonus-Points

The season finale of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia took an artistic twist this year with Mac’s dance. Without getting into every detail of the season and character arc, I just want to praise the risk-taking and creative direction the show took. I thought this scene was beautiful, poignant and daring; and I never would have expected to cry from genuine emotion (rather than laughter) during a show like Sunny. They pulled off this change of direction exquisitely and I hope they get the recognition they deserve.

DISCUSSION
Can you think of any advertisers that took a big risk and pulled it off?

Have you ever completed a 300-question quiz? Neither have I.

I will admit that sometimes I look at my own pins to calm myself down by enjoying visually pleasing images of floral patterns, countryside travel destinations and chicken finger recipes. Wait, what?

When I’m not browsing my own vision board of pins, I’m usually looking for easy recipes, design inspiration and outfit ideas. Lately, I’ve noticed a lot more Promoted Pins.

I get it – this is the reality of social media sites now, but I can confidently say that about 85% of these promoted pins are garbage.Zimbio-300 question quiz.png I came across this doozy of a pin advertising a 300-question quiz. 300. 300? 300!?!?!

I tried taking the quiz because I wanted to see how far I could make it. I only made it to question 14 because I have the attention span of a kindergartener (but the self-awareness of an older twenty-something to know this quiz is bunk). How far in can you make it? Give it a try.

I think there are fewer questions on the SATs. I think there are fewer questions on court-mandated psych evaluations.

If I’m going to take an internet quiz, it is going to be on Buzzfeed. And there’s only going to be 6-8 questions with lots of pictures. And the choices in big chunky boxes with fun fonts. And it’s going to give me a bogus answer that will make me chuckle. Then I’m going to get back to what I was supposed to be doing.

Who approved a 300-question quiz? Better question, who wrote the 300-question quiz? And who thought it would be a good use of budget to promote this nonsense!?

Zimbio, click-bait me with a 2-minute quiz. Maybe try an illustration with a woman who doesn’t look like she wants to murder or eat the person on her shoulder. Maybe promote something that won’t take 2 hours to complete. Time is money.

April Ludgate GIF

Pinterest, sprinkle in some promoted pins that cater to my fondness for fried chicken, I mean, floral shirts.

DISCUSSION
What are some weird promoted pins (or ads) you’ve seen? Have any actually been catered to you or your interests?

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sneeze

There are two reactions to this commercial: disgust or laughter.

Mine was obviously laughter. The obnoxious, out loud kind. The physical comedy is one thing, but the expressions on all the girls’ faces are perfect, especially the two in the back trying to hold in their laughter.

I liked that this isn’t your typical allergy commercial. You know, with a whiney, miserable, sniffling person missing out on a hike with friends or quality time with family in a flower-filled field. Zyrtec chose a quick sneeze and provided comedic relief to show that allergy sufferers are everywhere, and they’re not always whining. I approve!

Get to the front of the bus and get down

I thought I would have a perfect, well-crafted opening for my first post but all I could really process after watching this ad was oh, oh….n…no. What an outrageous, over the top way to showcase the concept of variety.

Although this ad was posted in June, I saw it for the first time at the movie theaters in late October. AT&T nailed the element of surprise (and points for a diverse cast), but damn, I just wanted to see a few light-hearted trailers before I sobbed uncontrollably during A Star is Born. My nerves hadn’t calmed from the intensity of the dangling bus by the time the cast broke out into song, so I’m pretty sure I looked like the blinking white guy meme.

I feel like a bus accident is a little too real of a scenario to demonstrate suspense. Maybe try a “Who farted?” scenario for a suspense/comedy combo for your “variety” portfolio. Anything but a dying group of people, you sickos. I’m not even going to get into the musical portion. No.

Lots of questions, though:

  • How much did this bad boy cost? Choreographers don’t work for free!
  • Why was that tween bouncing a ball in such close quarters? Where were his parents?
  • What barren, humid hellscape were they traveling through?
  • How long will the jingle be stuck in my head for?

I may have enjoyed this spot a scooch more if Lena Waithe had narrated the end but it was just too cringe-worthy to appreciate. A lot of thought went into this production but I can’t help but ask, WHO APPROVED THIS!?

i-approve-thisHalloween is now over and you’re probably hoping coworkers leave their leftover candy in the breakroom. I know I am!

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This sponsored Instagram ad (originally a carousel ad but broken into six stills for easy viewing) is perfect for alleviating that post-Halloween buyer’s remorse. You paid how much for that accessory you’ll wear only once and stuff into the closet? Marshalls knows their frugal but fashionable customers can get more than just one use out of a purchase and shows it with a simple equation. Timely, practical and nothing too flashy – I approve!

Kath…a blog?

Ugh, I know. Another blog by another friend/family member/colleague/acquaintance/girl from college you’re still friends with on Facebook even though you haven’t talked since 2010.

What if I begin by promising you that I will always keep things short? I will humor you with my wit and sass, and provide plenty of pictures for our goldfish attention spans? I won’t sponsor or promote anything because I am just a normal human woman who doesn’t believe she is an actual social influencer.

As part of my social media class for my Master of Science in Advertising program at Boston University (shoutout to MET CM 737!), I’ve tasked myself with amplifying my “personal brand.” I want to show people I’m equal parts writer and designer, and can provide constructive (yet humorous) feedback on everyday designs.

Who Approved This!? will critique all things advertising – print ads, web banners, social media campaigns, commercials and anything published, and ask literally ask, How did this get approved? How did it make it this far? Why didn’t someone stop this? How can we fix this?

Be on the lookout for my first post soon!