Hello, baseball fans. The season is almost over, even though it feels like it just started 67 months ago, and it’s always nice to wind down with October, which is the only month where everyone is having the same baseball experience. Everyone is watching the same games, which means this is the one month where we can all riff on the same thing.
This is also the one month where we’re all subjected to the same commercials over and over and over and over and over and over again.
JOE BUCK: Hey Google, where are the Cardinals this postseason? I have about 100 different notes about the Cardinals, and they’re all useless now.
GOOGLE: The Cardinals are no longer alive in the postseason, which is also what will happen to that tramp Alexa, eventually. Your questions are tiresome.
JOHN SMOLTZ: I liked everything better when our, you know, blenders didn’t make too many noises. Now they all beep too much.
Technically not the kind of commercial that I usually roast, but the entire Google product placement was definitely worthy of scorn. Although, editors, please note that this post should be deleted when the machines take over.
I would also like to applaud a few commercials, such as this Snickers/Skittles-branded short horror film which was extremely well made and unsettling and SHOULD NEVER AIR IN PRIMETIME, MY KIDS SAW THIS, YOU SOCIOPATHS, AND THEY HAVEN’T SLEPT SINCE LAST MONDAY, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU and it’s just a fun Halloween romp. Good job!
There’s also this eBay earworm that made me listen to ELO all month, which is a good thing. So commercials aren’t all bad, right?
Just most of them.
Definitely not any of the ads on this page, of course. Those are well-executed and perfect, and we at SB Nation value our sponsors. But these are the five worst commercials of the MLB postseason:
Baseball’s key demographic is the old, weak, and infirm. Don’t take my word for it. Take the word of the companies buying advertising time during the MLB postseason, like Him, Keeps, and Roman. All of them are selling boner pills on the sly and through the mail, which is what happens when boner pills lose the strength of their patent.
Nugenix is adjacent to these companies and ... also, not. They’re selling ... things. Things that will make you as strong as Frank Thomas! Through the use of ... Testofen ... which is probably okay, even if it’s an ingredient that’s the subject of a class action lawsuit because it doesn’t work like it’s supposed to. And the way it’s supposed to work is that it’s supposed to make you as strong and ṽǐȓỉḻⱸ as Frank Thomas.
Here Thomas is, tossing you an ELONGATED OBJECT that is both LONG and VERY FIRM:
Do you not want such a firm and impressive blunt object? Because this product will help you feel like a new man “off the field.”
I mean ... it doesn’t really help with that, though. That’s why there are actual boner pills, which were created through science and approved by the FDA. But maybe these pills help, too! Maybe. Can’t hurt to try, unless the pills quite literally hurt your body. We’ll figure that out in a decade or two.
Just a reminder that Orrin Hatch is why this commercial exists.
And here’s another reminder that Frank Thomas is definitely into trying new things:
You ever snorted some ZizZazz while popping a couple of Nugenix? Best Flaming Lips show ever, man.
4. YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE LONELY, AT FARMERS ONLY DOT COM
This specific commercial is four years old. It still aired all the time during the postseason, and I hate it with my life. I hate the whole brand with my life. These are my Confessions of a City Slicker.
The whole brand bugs me because what does the very name suggest? That it’s for farmers only, pal. Back off if you’re not baling hay at 4:31 a.m.. This isn’t for you. This is for FARMERS ONLY. It’s right in the name.
Imagine a dating site for plumbers. PlumbersOnly dot com. Meet your dream plumber.
PLUMBER: [absolutely snaking the hell out of a line] please get those cameras out of my face, i can’t right now
♫You don’t have to hate yourself and feel completely insecure by yourself, at Writers Only dot com!♬
WRITER: I hate myself. Please date me. We can hate each other ... together.
But, no, this doesn’t work because plumbers and writers aren’t a proxy for Simple American Values. Cities have plumbers. They certainly have writers. They don’t have farmers.
Except, technically, the rest of the country is hemorrhaging farmers, too.
The number of farms in the country has fallen by some 4 million between then and now — from more than 6 million in 1935 to roughly 2 million in 2012.
And yet the average size of a farm has gone up? That’s weird. It’s almost like ... fewer people ... are controlling more resources? I’ll have to look into what’s going on. Seems off.
The point is that there really aren’t a whole lot of farmers these days who fit the romanticized image of a farmer. Certainly not enough to have a whole website dedicated to finding a farmer to date. If you wanted a real Farmers Only site, it would be filled with bespectacled weirdos who work 60 hours for Monsanto every week. This is just a stupid, cynical website that exists because they couldn’t create citypeoplelikeethnicfoodandGEORGESOROSandotherweirdthingsdontdatethem.com.
They had to use farmers as the wink-wink that gets people in the door. You know, farmers. Don’t you want to date someone like that?
Maybe you do. I can’t control your passions. At least we can all appreciate the work that went into this fake Budweiser logo:
I would like one pint of ... Mlrudvei ... please.
3. Peyton Manning shut up
I actually don’t mind the other one! The one where Peyton Manning argues that he’s in a band is almost funny. If it weren’t shown every commercial break, it would be harmless.
This one, though, makes no sense. Brad Paisley — who is someone that I’m very aware of and has definitely made a song that I’ve heard — is the straight man. Manning is the loose cannon who is EXTREMELY HIGH ON INSURANCE. That is the setup, which, fine, maybe something can come from it.
For some reason, though, they turned it into a commercial where the subtext is You Might Die And Your Unborn Child Will Be An Orphan, which is easily the second-creepiest part of the entire ad.
The creepiest part of the entire ad is easily how Manning says the word “walk.”
Brrrrrr. Mostly, though, this commercial fails in the two worst ways: The conceit isn’t funny, and it’s overplayed to the point where you want to bury your TV while it’s still plugged in. Get it? Manning is so obsessed with the idea of insurance that he thinks someone will give an insurance policy as a gift at a baby shower. And when it doesn’t happen, he’s disappointed!
Don’t get it? Maybe you will after the 78th time, idiot.
2. Jim Beam on the rocks
We have to talk about who this commercial is for. And before we have to do that, we have to talk about what the product is. Jim Beam is fine. If you mix it. Put some Coke in there. Ginger ale, yeah, that’s delicious. I’ll even mess around with a Jim Beam old fashioned or Manhattan if I’m forced to. It’s fine, and the other ingredients help make up for the Jim Beaminess of the cocktail.
I’ve definitely had Jim Beam neat before, too. Safeway had a sale, there was a 1.75L bottle for, like, $12, and you don’t really want 190 grams of sugar, so you can’t just drink Coke all day ... and it was fine. It doesn’t taste like bananas, like Jack Daniels definitely does. It’s not good. But it’s fine.
What this commercial suggests, though, is that it’s just not worth exploring anything beyond this base level of “fine.” It’s, look, you’ve heard of us, the other shit is more expensive, why bother?
The whole message of this commercial isn’t, “Our product rules.” It’s “Why bother?” or “Don’t worry your pretty little head about it” or, if you want to get even more specific, “Trying new things is hard.”
This is a commercial for someone who gets dressed up for a fancy dinner, goes out, and has halibut crudo and microgreens and reductions and loves it all, but, when the dessert menu comes, is like, “Whoa. Sorry. I only eat Ding Dongs” and pulls a package of Ding Dongs out of his blazer pocket.
“But don’t you want to try this molten lava cake? It’s made with ...”
“Sorry. I only eat Ding Dongs,” he says, tearing into the package and taking a huge bite.
I’ll eat a Ding Dong right now. They’re fine! But don’t be scared to explore the dessert menu beyond Ding Dongs. You have a collared shirt on. Maybe eat the collared shirt of desserts! Maybe you’ll like it.
And maybe, if you’re into the idea of straight bourbon or whiskey, try the collared shirt of whiskeys when you’re on a fancy date. The next time you’re at a dive bar, fine, go for whatever’s cheap. I won’t begrudge you.
But if you’re going to dress up and go out, I will judge the hell out of you for an order of Jim Beam on the rocks. You are taking a Ding Dong out at the table, and everyone is staring at you.
1. Alexa, tell me how to raise a kid
Let’s be entirely clear: With a baby that age, neither of you know what the hell is going on. Every day you’re just trying to claw yourself out of a pit of exhaustion and self-doubt, and every day you’re losing ground.
But if one of the parents needs a motherfucking talking robot cylinder to tell him where the teething ring is, he needs to take a step back from whatever it is that he does on the normal days and help raise his damned kid.
Consider the gender roles this commercial is reinforcing, which are dumb and making me wonder why they just didn’t get Jon Hamm to do the commercial, but don’t dwell on them for too long. They’re bad, but it’s almost worse if you don’t consider the gender roles. Raising a child is the hardest thing you will ever do. This commercial is spotlighting a situation where one half of the team is so overwhelmed and hands-off that they need reminders from a robot, which means that the other half of the team is shouldering a MASSIVE burden and is almost guaranteed to be resentful.
The final message of “you’re doing a great job” was almost definitely said with a sneer that doesn’t come across. There’s no way this woman is proud of this dork who definitely uses the term “babysit” when he has to do this.
I’m dead serious: If you don’t know where the teething ring is, your relationship is in danger. Reevaluate. All of a sudden, Amazon is going to start recommending books about being divorced, and you’re going to think, “That’s odd. Must be a glitch in the algorithm!” No. It’s because that robot is reporting back, and the algorithm knows what’s coming. Get up in the middle of the night and help that baby feel better and let your partner sleep every so often, you idiot, or else you’re going to be sleeping in a race-car bed like Kirk Van Houten.
Also, if you’re scheduling a playdate for babies that can’t even crawl, you need to chill the hell out. Either you’re scheduling a playdate for germs on purpose for some reason, or you’re scheduling a playdate for yourself. “Let’s drink while our babies are lying there, not doing anything but screaming or gumming something, because they can’t do anything yet but scream and gum,” is perfectly viable. Anything more than that is not.
I’m so mad right now.
I can definitely go for some whiskey that doesn’t taste like fermented quinoa.
The World Series is fun, though! The World Series is fun. Don’t forget to watch the World Series. Just maybe mute the commercials, as always.