Geico has had one of the best ad campaigns on TV over the past couple years -- not just the "I've got some good news" ones, but also the great one with the cavemen ("I'll have the roast duck with the mango salsa") -- but they've really slipped from good to annoying with their latest series involving the Geico gekko.
The most recent ones, with the gekko on a talk show, as opposed to discoursing with other CGI amphibians and reptiles, are less aggravating than the early ones, which were exemplified by the one where the Cockney- or British- or whatever-accented lizard is talking about "pie and chips" -- "It's pie. And chips. Who doesn't want pie and chips?" (Answer: Me, cockbrain.) What, we have to watch a Guy Richie movine now in order to hear about saving 15 percent or more on our car insurance?
As for Pizza Hut, does it get any more pathetic than the Jessica Simpson "These bites are made for poppin'" ad that debuted during the Super Bowl? First of all, what a lame and crass adaptation of her own "hit single," which was itself a cover.
People make fun of Nick Lachey for being a former boy band has-been who will disappear into oblivion now that he and Simpson are split, but what exactly has Jessica Simpson done? The only reason she's a household name now is "Newlyweds," for which Lachey shares the credit. Simpson's inane comments wouldn't have been half as funny if it weren't for the murderous glances that Lachey, standing in for the audience, would bestow upon her.
And the music that she specializes in, sappy white-girl R&B, is not the kind of thing that blows up the pop charts. The only two singles of hers that I'm aware of were both (unnecessary) covers -- "Take my breath away" and the aforementioned "Boots."
One of the things I liked about Simpson back during the "Newlyweds" days was that she wasn't a total slut, like Christian Aguilera and Britney Spears, and didn't use her mostly naked body to sell herself. No more. The cross-promoting "Boots" video with her washing a car in her Daisy Dukes was the beginning, I'm sure, of a long slide into Slatternsville for her, as she'll be expected now to up the sexuality ante every time she puts out a new record.
It's official: I'm in the Lachey camp. Jessica is dead to me.
Another ad that debuted in the Super Bowl was the one where the young little Clydesdale ponies try to hitch themselves up to the carriage and pull it. Why would a horse aspire to be blinkered and strapped to a carriage so it can slave for its human masters and dump in the street? It's a perfect encapsulation of Budweiser and its consumers: aspiring to mediocrity, desiring unfreedom.
Lastly, how about McDonald's latest ad? It's about time they decided to sell premium coffee instead of the swill they've been serving for years. They're about 10 years behind the curve. But the TV ad is basically this: a half-retarded man drinks McDonald's premium coffee along with his 1,000-calorie Colon Obliterator breakfast sandwich, awakes from the torpor of his somnambulant existence, and now, pardon my French, he's banging his wife again. That's the message, right? Drink McDonald's coffee, have sex with your wife? What will those geniuses at McDonald's come up with next? "McDonald's -- I'm hatin' it."