Ad Nausea: A Universal Reach

So, recently I came across this commercial for Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida:

Basically, the message that Universal Studios seems to be touting here is: “Walt Disney World is for babies! Come to Universal Studios, where things are more grown-up!”

Here’s my initial reaction to that statement:


“More grown-up”, huh? Really. So, Universal is trying to steer people away from Disney’s theme park with it’s rides, shows and costumed mascots and have them go to their “more mature” theme park with their rides, shows and costumed mascots.

Do you see the questionable content here?

Universal is saying: “Disney has that babyfied Star Wars franchise…



…but we’ve got Harry Potter!”

Harry Potter poster

Yeah, one’s a fairy tale set in space while the other is a story about a school where kids learn how to become magical wizards. I’m not seeing how one is any more mature or edgier than the other.

Universal says: “Forget the Marvel Universe, with it’s kiddie friendly super heroes…


Optimus Prime

…WE’VE got magical, transforming alien robots, bee-yotch!”

Again, I’m not seeing the difference in maturity levels here.

Listen, Universal; I get that competition is cutthroat. I get that you have to do whatever you need to do in order to attract people to your theme parks. If you want to claim that Universal Studios is better than Walt Disney World, then fine. Say that, but don’t try to play the “we’re more grown up than them” card and then immediately afterwards cut to a kid posing with Optimus Prime and tourists hanging out with people in Minions costumes! Of all the adjectives that I would use to describe the Minions, mature isn’t one of them.

Fire Emoji

Feel the burn!


Ad Nausea: Lexus Xmas “Forgery” Commercial

This holiday season, Lexus has produced a series of ‘December to Remember’ spots depicting parents using their children as pawns to get Santa Claus to send them Lexuses (or is it Lexi?) for Christmas. The following ad, “Forgery”, is easily the weakest entry in the series, for reasons I’ll go into below.

“…And a puppy?



OK, two things. First, a white boy with a dog. Never saw that before. Not before noon!


“That’s right. I went there.”

Second, geez, way to drop the ball, kid. You could’ve asked for literally anything, and the only thing you demanded is a puppy? As Gomez Addams once said…


“Don’t you know all that’s gonna grow up to be is a dog??”

Like the spot says, if you’re gonna wish,wish BIG. If this kid’s going to use this here situation as leverage to get a pet, why not ask for something cool?


Like a dragon?


Or a tiger? Now, that’s worth blackmailing your parents for.

And before someone hits me with…


“That’s not realistic!”

Let me remind you that we’re talking about a universe in which Santa Claus exists and everyone knows that he exists. So if St. Nick exists in this world, it can be further conjectured that everything attached to his mythos, such as elves and flying reindeer, also exist. Therefore, it’s not far-fetched to assume that dragons also exist in this world. If you can have Santy Claus magically dropping luxury cars in front of people’s houses, then kids can keep tigers and dragons as pets.

-Oh, and one more thing:



Ad Nausea/Talkin’ Nerdy: Jose Cuervo Commercial

The following is a commercial that I like. It’s an ad for Jose Cuervo about the The Rolling Stones bringing Jose Cuervo with them on their 1972 tour.

Just one question, though: If this ad is supposed to be taking place in 1972, why is the song that’s being played here “Miss You” which debuted in 1978?

Man, the Stones were truly ahead of their time. They were rocking out to a song that they wouldn’t write for another six years!

2 Funny/Ad Nausea: Kalaka PSA

This is a PSA from 1974. A brief history lesson: back in the 70’s, the US was in the midst of an energy crisis, and saving gasoline was a priority, thus this spot promoting carpooling. Did you know that this spot was loosely based on Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner’s 2000 Year Old Man comedy routine? Now you do.


“Talk to your parents.”


If PSAs had scents, then this spot would reek of the 1970’s. The crooning skunk at the end is the icing on the cake.

Videots/Ad Nausea: Gone in a Blur

Behold this ad for Blur, the badass racing video game that tried to make a name for itself by taking a thinly veiled swipe at the “lame” Super Mario Kart series by proclaiming “Race Like a Big Boy”, as if to say, “We’re the mature alternative to Mario Kart”, meant to appeal to the type that think being “edgy” and “X-TREME!!!” equal being mature. Basically, an insecure juvenile’s idea of maturity.


Fast-forward to now, where the Mario Kart titles continue to sell millions of copies, whereas most people have completely forgotten about Blur. The irony here is obvious: many people who viewed this spot said they’d rather play the cutesy, squeaky-clean parody game in this spot than the actual game it was advertising, plus the ad managed to tick off a lot of Mario Kart fans, not a good idea if you want them to try your game. (BTW, anybody who thinks that Mario Kart is “about making friends” has clearly never played the game; one well-placed blue tortoise shell or lightning bolt could cause a severe rift between players, if anything Mario Kart could end a friendship as easily as it could perpetuate one.)

The same fate befell game mascots Croc…

Croc 1



…And Ty the Tasmanian Tiger…

Ty Ad

…Both of whom attacked other, more popular game mascots in their ads, only to promptly vanish into obscurity.


“Man, I, like, y’know, never heard of those cats!”

What’s the lesson to be learned here? If you want your potential video game franchise to be long running and successful, then don’t attempt to slam other games in your ads. That only worked for Sonic the Hedgehog, and look at him now. Better yet, look at him 15 years ago.

If you try to put yourself over other games, you’ll end up harder to find than this guy:


“FTR, I’ve never played Blur either!”