NBA Playoff Commercials Are Trying to Kill Us

The NBA playoffs go on too long. It’s an oft-noted phenomenon It’s eternal, it’s ridiculous. I don’t even feel like I’m watching the playoffs anymore. It’s like the regular season now all over again, only it’s the same damn teams every night, the same dudes, the same uniforms. I find myself wishing the Grizzlies were playing, or the Sonics. I think “God I’ve had enough of the Lakers already, don’t the Warriors have a game?” and then I’m like, oh yeah, it’s the playoffs.

The worst thing for me is the ads. I try to mute them, but inevitably I forget, and look, there’s no escaping the ads. It’s like trying to escape death or taxes or bad breath if you’re a smoker. It’s futile to even try. The fate of any sports fan during playoff-time is to be subjected to the same bloody ads over and over again until they begin to appear in your dreams, until you’re constantly thinking about cheap beer and fast food and pickup trucks all the livelong day.

There are two ads that are just killing me this year – I really think one more time for either of them and I could end up going all Gary Gilmore. The first, and by far the worst, is that Heineken ad where weird people hand each other a Heineken and then hand them to other weird people, etc., like they’re, you know, paying it forward, sharing the joy. If I remember correctly, the lumberjack hands off to the ballerina, or the other way around, yes yes, the ballerina to the lumberjack to the Indian wedding to the ... ah you’ve seen it a hundred times, you know what I’m talking about:
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The thing about this ad that kills me is the song. It’s so relentlessly annoying, one of those songs that’s like bedbugs for the brain – once you got it in there, there’s no getting rid of it. “I need you, I need you every single day and I want you ...” I have dreams with that song in it. I wake up to pee and I’m walking to the bathroom and I’m humming it. That song is trying to kill me.

Then there’s the song in this other commercial, although I can’t say for certain what it’s actually advertising, though if I had to venture a guess, I’d say Sprite. The song is either by The Cure or one of these new bands that recently discovered the existence of The Cure. The ad itself is cool enough – it’s all hot in the summertime, dudes sitting by the basketball court, so sweaty, so hot, and then one shirtless hot dude goes and jumps onto the court but ... wait a minute here, wait just a cotton-pickin minute! That’s not a basketball court! IT’S A POOL FOR CHRISSAKE!

But whatever, I’m down with the court-pool thing. It’s the song I really can’t stand, all emo, all Cure up in my face every timeout. “I’m falling away ... with you ... falling away ...” Suddenly it’s 1986 and I’m wondering if I can get away with wearing eye makeup to the arcade. I’m pretty much inventing goth and I don’t even know it. It’s always the same you’re jumping someone else’s train.

Amidst this veritable torture chamber that is the NBA commercial break, I’m happy to announce that there recently has appeared an ad campaign that actually has me reaching for the remote to unmute the TV. It’s the Dos Equis “The Most Interesting Man in the World” line of ads, featuring a Hemingwayish bon vivant with penetrating eyes and a thick beard. “He’s a lover not a fighter,” the VO informs us, “but he’s also a fighter, so don’t get any ideas.” Oh man, that’s such a great line. I wish I’d written that. I hope they keep going with this bit for a while because it seems to me like the kind of gag that can only get funnier the harder you hammer it. Unlike, well, all of the other ads.
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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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