Childhood Flashback: Commercials

Tonight I am going to talk about inaccuracies in commercials. I’ll probably add more to this on a later
date, so keep checking. Here it goes.

Chicken and Stove Top: Remember those commercials from when we were kids and there was this kid doing homework, or something entirely unrealistic like that, and the kid asks his mother “Mom, what’s for dinner tonight?” and the mom was like “why honey, it’s chicken and stove top.” This really excited the kid, and he gives us one of those Macaully Culkin fist pumps and screamed “Yes!” Then this scheming kid decides to tell his best friend “Billy” (I will protect Billy’s real name for copyright infringement regulations) about it. While talking about pre-teen hormones and such, the kid casually asks “Billy” what his family is having for dinner. Sure enough, “Billy” comes back at the kid with “Chicken and Stove Top of course.” Well, it doesn’t take much for this enterprising kid to catch on and he says “What time are you eating?” “Billy” responds with “6:30”. So, this pudgy pre-teen Zack Morris wannabe gets an idea in his little cluttered head that he should eat dinner at both “Billy’s” and his own house, that way he could get TWICE the Chicken and Stove Top that he could normally get!!! WooHoo!! This kid is a genius! Go to two different houses and get TWICE the STOVE TOP!! Did it ever occur to this chubby kid that he could just have seconds? I mean, I’m sure his family could afford to give him a second helping of yummy goodness! He could save himself 3 minute round trip walk to “Billy’s” house and spend that valuable time playing Legos!

Toaster Strudel: Another commercial franchise that pissed me off as a kid. You know the drill, the kid’s mom gives him a *Gasp* POP TART every day before school. Seriously, this mom should be reported to child services for giving her child a *Gasp* POP TART every day before school. I only WISH that Fran would have given me a *Gasp* POP TART every day before school, I would have been the coolest kid in school. Ok, let’s get back to how ungrateful this kid is. Everyday he puts on this phony face and tells his mom how much he loves the *Gasp* POP TART. I mean, if you don’t like the *Gasp* POP TART, just tell your mom, I’m sure she’d buy your spoiled butt a pony if you asked her. But NO, this kid has to continue the *Gasp* POP TART charade for what had to have been years. So this kid goes to his Junior High and meets up with his friend “Billy” (you ever notice how every sidekick friend is named Billy in commercials?). Now “Billy” is a real piece of work. This kid is scamming 2 toaster strudels a day and giving one to his beloved best friend. What a guy! Then, in a sudden battle with his conscience, “Billy” decides to ask his best buddy what he does with all of those *Gasp* POP TARTS. As if in their entire relationship as friends it never occurred to “Billy” to ask his friend what he did with the pop tarts. So the kid decides to show Billy exactly what he does with them, and opens his locker. Sure enough, what seems like an endless flow of *Gasp* POP TARTS comes tumbling out of his locker, and “Billy” just stands there, dumbfounded. End of Commercial.

Ok, let me point out a few inaccuracies with this commercial. First off, how many pop tarts can the kid fit into a locker without them falling over sooner? Is this kid just a master of balance? Does he go home every night and make card houses? Where the does he put his books? I really dislike this kid. Secondly, what is wrong with Billy? Why did he choose this particular day to ask his friend where he puts the pop tarts? It’s a strange coincidence that on the same day Billy asked the kid what he did with all the pop tarts, and then all the pop tarts just came flying out of the locker. Finally, I still am dumbfounded that this kid could fit all of these pop tarts into his locker without them falling over, or without having to go down to the principals office or something. There’s an 68% chance that the presence of around 50 pop tarts would arise some suspicion somewhere. I mean, there’s gotta be mice or something!

Corn Pops: “GOTTA HAVE MY POPS!!!” If you grew up around the same time as me, you probably knew all about these commercials. Usually the situation involves either
1) Younger sibling wants corn pops, but older sibling steals the last of the corn pops and laughs at their puny younger sibling.
2) They go to the store/school and are about to get their hands on some tasty Pops and then some jerk of a kid steals the last box. In both of these situations, the hunger pangs of these kids are forcing them to hallucinate themselves into an alternate reality where the only thing they can think about is Corn Pops. This causes them to over react to the little things, and turns the kids into loose cannons and have them at the alert level of Defcon 3. Then, all the sudden, an adult supplies them with Corn Pops!!! Alert level goes back down to Defcon 1, kids rid themselves of hunger pangs. Now don’t get me wrong, I loved these commercials when I was a kid, but I found a few suggestions/comments would be necessary here.

1) The commercials profiling starving kids that really needed food would be much more accurate if they used actual starving kids from Somalia rather than semi-overweight suburban white kids.
2) Kix was a much better cereal than Corn Pops. No debate is allowed, this is a fact. Kix didn’t need any marketing scheme, it sold itself with it’s no-nonsense orange box that read:

No artificial colors
No artifical flavors
No artificial breast augmentations

Ok, I made that last one up, but you get my point. In summation, Kix Kix ass!! and if you don’t agree, I’m going to kix you in the ear.

Pringles: Did you ever notice that every Pringles commercial was like watching the group “Stomp”? Maybe it’s me, but I’ve never really popped open a can of Pringles and suddenly had the urge to play percussion. But I do give the Pringles folks credit for their slogan “Once you pop, you can’t stop” I mean, I have been known to pop open a package of pringles and eat and eat until they were gone. They are that good!

Apple Jacks: I’ve never eaten this cereal. Fran didn’t allow that tainted crap in her house. She had us on a straight diet of Kix, and we didn’t stray from it too often. But anyway, Apple Jacks commercials were always the sentimental, sappy commercials where kids would play in their tree house and stuff. Then, at the end of the commercial, their parents would come in with a polaroid camera and take a picture of all the kids. When the picture was developed, the kids would write something like “Apple Jacks ’89” on the photo. This commercial was obviously made by a woman. There is no other explanation for the sentimental photo at the end. It’s just cheesy.

Next on my agenda is the commercials for “Crossfire”. Let’s set the scene here. A kid gets an awesome new game called cross fire and he calls up his sidekick “Billy” to come over and play with him. What is crossfire you ask? Well, it was this piece of crap game where you shoot steel marbles at a spinning thing and try to knock it into your opponents goal. Ok, so these two kids start playing crossfire, and all the sudden they are in what looks to be Vietnam, with full camoflauge, red headbans, and face paint. This is an intense game of Crossfire! So the kids start playing the game, and just start dripping sweat, I mean, these kids must have overactive sweat glands or something, because it is unnatural for someone to pour out this much sweat. I’m about 74% sure these kids had to be hooked up to an IV in between takes to avoid dehydration. So anyway, the kids are playing each other and “Billy” finally wins. He gives the ol Macauly Culkin fist pump and declares his greatness to the rest of the world. When I was a kid, this game was something that I really wanted! I would ask Fran all the time if I could get crossfire, but Franny had an anti-violence policy that prevented me from getting GI Joes, BeeBee Guns, and Crossfire. So I really had no idea what I was missing with crossfire until I went over to my friend Aaron Decker’s place in 8th grade and I played against his brother Mitch in their basement. Mitch kicked the living crap out of me. Not because I was bad, just because this game is a poorly crafted ripoff of “Hungry Hungry Hippos”, and I couldn’t get over it.

About Jeff Sauer

I started blogging in the year 2000, and go in spurts of inspiration followed by long dormancy. I love writing, and your comments keep me going, so comment!

Check out my Google Profile.