Hi, Rabid Consumers!
So I don't know whether it's because of the recent Mad Men finale, my bizarre addiction to the actually-kinda-boring reality show The Pitch, or the fact that the NBA Playoffs have forced me to watch live ads for the first time since, like, 1999, but I've been thinking about commercials a lot lately.
And because it's hard for me to think about anything in this world without immediately resorting to arbitrary rankings (My favorite toe? The "This little piggy stayed home" toe. My fourth-favorite kind of horse? A miniature horse.), I have decided to use this space to list my 20 favorite commercials ever.
Let's do this. Where's the beef? HERE'S THE BEEF.
Honorable Mentions: Gator Golf(inept dad + asshole kid = classic ad pairing), Graaand Champions(my first-favorite kinds of horses), Chia Pet (would be higher if I weren't still scarred from "Chia Pet" being my junior high nickname), Muzzy("Yes, that's French they're speaking..."), anything involving cereal/candy/toys being produced in a wacky lab/factory, Marvin's Magic Drawing Board,that Google ad that makes everyone cry, that Santa Barbara-area-only ad where the Lompoc car dealer guy says, "End Zone Dance!"
20. OOZINATOR - "Disgusting!"
Number one rule of advertising: sex sells.
19. CHICKEN LIMBO - "Chicken Limbo's de one, Biiiiig Fun!"
My love for the Chicken Limbo spot makes clear my heavy bias towards board game commercials, weirdly sexual crap, and ads that end with a little white boy thrusting his hands in the air and shouting, "I win!"
(Important societal note: as far as 90's board game commercials are concerned, the civil rights era and women's liberation movement never happened. Little white boys always get to be the ones to say, "I win!" It's like this Chicken Limbo ad was directed by Strom Thurmond.)
18. UNDEROOS - "E.T.'s lots of fun, in my world he's number one!"
I, um, don't think this would make it on the air today.
17. SOCKER BOPPERS - "More fun than a pillow fight!"
Were Socker Boppers even cool? They kinda just seem like Moon Shoes for kids who weren't loved by their parents.
16. NICK MAGAZINE - "...Please."
I don't know if I love this commercial so much as I was Stockholm syndromed into loving it by Nickelodeon after they showed it roughly 80,000,000 times during the summer of 1997. One day, the powers that be at Nick are going to use this commercial as a brainwashing trigger to get me to assassinate a world leader or something.
15. M&M's - "OOOOPEN YOUR HAAAANDS!"
Suck it, Mentos! M&M's are clearly the best candy for people who want to open their mouths really wide and forget life's worries.
14. EDGE SHAVING GEL - "The roses are out, Timmy, not the daisies!"
San Antonio Spurs Tim Duncan and David Robinson have a "best friends" sleepover in which they debate how to get the smoothest skin.
I think I'm in love. The best part is, judging by this commercial, I'm pretty sure both of these guys would love me back.
13. SNICKERS - "Get dunked on by Patrick Chewing!"
I don't only love 1990s NBA All-Star big men when they're homoerotically sharing lemonade, I'm also obsessed with them when they're grunting like large mammals and hurting people. I'm convinced that this commercial is the funniest 17 seconds that the universe has ever produced.
12. KSWISS - "I wear my KSwiss"
"I. Wear. My KSwiss. I wear my KSwiss. When I'm only wearing a bra and a hoodie and a little hat. When I'm crouching underneath a roller coaster. When I'm posing on a life-size chess board. With my differently-ethnic life partner. With my Walkman on. In my generic athletic jersey. In my Nick Carter haircut. I wear my KSwiss."
11. CAPRI SUN- cool Alex Mack skater kids
This commercial is exactly the aesthetic I'm going for with this blog. When you finish reading any given post, I want you to feel like you just morphed into silver goo and ollied into a billboard, only to reemerge wearing super-safe knee and elbow pads. That, to me, is the human ideal.
10. EVERY COMMERCIAL THAT MICHAEL JORDAN WAS EVER IN
Oh, Lordy. The one where MJ gives Lil' Bow Wow the idea for a great movie. The one where he talks about being a big loser. The one where he rocks a Hitler mustache on a plane. You can't choose just one of these ads. You must love them all.
9. NIKE - BASKETBALL FREESTYLE
Okay, everyone who reads this site. I know that you're either a young adult author/blogger or a twelve-year-old who I once counseled at drama camp. I know that that means you're tired of all of these basketball commercials from a decade ago. But give me like two seconds to enjoy Rasheed Wallace and Jason "White Chocolate" Williams while they do sweet dribbling moves. Just give me that, non-sports fans. I'll be with you in just a second.
8. SKIP-IT - "But the very best thing of all...There's a counter on this ball..."
This was somehow the most incredibly violent toy. I recommend Skip-Its for murder and nothing else.
7. CROSSFIRE - "Yoooou get caught up in the..."
Probably the most awesomely misleading commercial in the countdown. Using lightning effects, flames, close-up shots of "having fun!" faces, and, for whatever reason, floaty skateboard thingies, the makers of the ad are able to make Crossfire seem like Mad Max meets Tron Legacy meets A NIGHT OF SEX, when it's really more like, I don't know, Hungry Hungry Hippos.
6. MOUSETRAP - "It's a zany action, a crazy contraption..."
Mousetrap is the Vietnam War of board games. Extremely difficult to set up, impossible to execute successfully, and no one comes out the same way they went in. And sheeet, I'll be damned if this commercial isn't the greatest wartime propaganda I've ever seen. ("The Big Cheese" = "The Gulf of Tonkin")
5. GOT MILK? - TIE - "Trix are for kids" and "Ewin Buhh"
Both of these commercials, the one in which the Trix Rabbit disguises himself as a human in order to finally obtain his beloved cereal and the one (directed by a young Michael Bay!) in which a history buff attempts to answer a radio trivia question about Aaron Burr despite the fact that his mouth is filled with peanut butter, have the same basic premise: dudes getting effed over due to their lack of milk.
The lesson, as always -- milk is a fickle bitch.
3. McDONALD'S - "Iss for the champeenship, Coach"
Some vitally important questions here: why is Kobe randomly drinking water next to this court? Since when does Kobe enjoy interacting with other humans? Why is Kobe allowed to play in this league for 6 year-olds who can't talk? Why would Kobe play in this game that he would just dominate? Why wouldn't Kobe play in this game that he would just dominate?
2. SEARS - "I'll call today." You'll call now." "...I'll call now"
A potentially marriage-ruining argument turns into a kinky banter sesh and a fun excuse to eat strawberries and wear a denim vest! Anybody who doesn't have this commercial memorized isn't my friend.
1. DISNEYLAND - "We're too excited to sleep..."
That little boy who rolls around on the bed and explains that Disneyland is the cause of his insomnia is everything I want to be. He is my role model. He is my muse. He is my patronus. Between this commercial and the one where the husband seduces his sad wife with a Donald Duck voice, Disneyland clearly understands advertising, and, by extension, happiness, better than anyone else in the world. This commercial is a worthy number one and there can be no debate about this. Right? Right??? Right?!?!?
Oh, fine. Fine. Okay. Be that way. Fine. You win.
Oozinator gets to be number one.