Ad Nausea/Talkin’ Nerdy: Staples Back-To-School Commercial 1996

Goldstar’s recent entry on a fairly recent Staples back-to-school ad caused me to remember this earlier Staples spot from 1996:


I get the obvious joke here, and it is a funny one, so no need to delve into that. As amusing as this spot is, there’s always been one thing about it which has always puzzled me…


“Oompa-Loompa-Dumpity-Dut, I’ve got a can of What-The-What!”

…Namely, why is the parent in this spot a dad and not a mom?

If we’re to have wholeheartedly swallowed the gender myths of our culture, it’s generally assumed that the fathers are the ones who go to work during the day, while the mothers are generally the ones who stay home watching the kids. That being the (presumably) default case, why would a dad be all super-stoked about the kids going back to school when generally speaking, the dads are typically at their jobs during the day and consequently wouldn’t notice the difference between the little brats being home or being at school?

Role Reversal 5

Of course it’s possible that it could be a Mr. Mom/role reversal situation, but if that were the case, then they should have specified that at the start of the commercial. It’s just always struck me as odd. The way Staples did it is fine, it just seems to me that the other way would have been more expected and would have made more sense. It just comes off to me like they used a father here because TV gives everything to fathers, following the archaic and outdated belief that “women can’t be funny”, which I know not to be true.

Of course, it could also be that I’d rather have seen a hot mom dancing and frollicking around smugly in front of her kids instead of some goofy guy, that could also be a factor.

You Don't Say

Yeah, shocker, I know!

Ad Nausea/Talkin’ Nerdy: Staples Shopping Cart Breakdown

Because I’ve got nothing better to do, I’m going to give my thoughts (aka, pointless ramblings) about a Staples commercial that aired about a year ago. This is one of the ads from their “Shopping Cart Dance” campaign:

When I first saw this, my initial thought was…


How in the nine worlds is this a back-to-school sale commercial? Most of the kids in that clip of the dads were toddlers! Why would preschoolers be excited about a back-to-school sale when they don’t even go to school? Also, why did only the dads have kids with them and not the moms? Just because fathers watch their kids these days doesn’t mean that mothers don’t do it anymore. Actually,  I know why; it’s because the director of this spot just took 2 unrelated clips from previous Staples commercials and randomly put them together trying to pass the people in them off as moms and dads. There’s a word for this practice: “Lazy”.

Then there’s the line “Definitely the dads!”

Larry Wilmore

Why? Why is it definitely the dads? No reason whatsoever was given for that conclusion! That line was so random! It’s like they’re giving a punch line to a joke that wasn’t told. Is this supposed to be a private joke of some kind? I don’t get it. And like I said before, those were 2 completely unrelated clips, neither of which had anything to do with back-to-school!

Film Brain

“Sense no make. Sense no make.”

This is a Staples commercial, sure, but it’s not a back-to-school commercial by any stretch of the imagination. I give it a 2 out of 5. The idea behind it wasn’t bad, but the execution was sloppy and the clips were thrown together hastily, resulting in the whole thing looking like confused mess of a commercial. This could have been handled a lot better. Next time, Staples, why not make an actual back-to-school sale commercial instead of mashing together a couple of random clips in less than a day and trying to pass said mash-up off as one?

Well, anyway, just to end this on a positive note…those dancing MILFs had some pretty sweet moves, didn’t they?

Johnny Bravo

“Whoa, mama!! I’m joinin’ the PTA!”