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May 5, 2003 7:04 PM   Subscribe

Yes, we all HATE Carrot Top... but AT&T has the last laugh.
posted by adrober (49 comments total)

 
I've long been a proponent of stupid advertising that doesn't make sense. It gets a hell of a lot more attention and gets talked about a ton. Although these ads are not necessarily a case in point, the situation is fairly similar.
posted by banished at 7:16 PM on May 5, 2003


I just want to make a comment.
posted by swift at 7:18 PM on May 5, 2003


It's just proof that ads need to be either really good or really bad. Either way you remember them, and like the article says, you CALLATT...

The ads I hate are the ones made by frustrated movie directors, the ones so clever you can't work out what they're selling until the very end. Then afterwards you forget what they were selling anyway.
posted by chrisgregory at 7:21 PM on May 5, 2003


Have you seen the ad where the kid comes home from school, and his mom asks him how his day was? We enter a flashback, in which we see an empty hallway in a school. A thundering is heard. Closeup of a head of a goat, which is moving very quickly down the hall. Pull back to show a capucin monkey riding the goat. Wide shot of a herd of goats racing through the school, each with a little monkey jockey. End flashback - the kid sees some candy bar and takes a bite. "Oh, it was OK," he says. End of commercial.

FUCKING MONKEYS RIDING GOATS. It was the coolest image I've ever seen. Damned if I could tell you what the commercial was for.
posted by UKnowForKids at 7:25 PM on May 5, 2003


Carrot Top Sucks Ass.

Take out your aggressions here.
posted by thatweirdguy2 at 7:37 PM on May 5, 2003


What in the fuck happened to carrot top anyway??!!!
I remember when he was a skinny freckled Gallagher fils. Well, in these commercials there aren't any props and thankfully no watermelons or stupid hats, but more to the point Carrot top is starting to buff out and get the really angular cheekbones and jawline that i associate lith lunatics in mini-trucks and these steroid-using cypriot neighbors I used to have. Is losing all your freckles a side effect of working out? When is carrottop going to turn into pumpkin head? Its not just that the freckles are gone, he just has this plasticene quality to him that is definitely caused by more than make-up. these commercials aren't thriller, but Carrottop is definitely becoming michael jackson freaky and I can foresee the day when he too starts hanging out with monkeys, culkins, and Liz and Liza. So the question is: where did the freckles go? Clearly Carrottop made a deal with Satan: you can have my soul if you get rid of the freckles, make me buff and better looking, and put me on tv everyday for the rest of my life. A deal that Satan could not possibly have refused because it has the added benefit of making life on earth just a little more like life in hell.
posted by mokujin at 7:42 PM on May 5, 2003


*holds up a toilet seat that has a passenger side car mirror attached*

This is for when y'all wanna pass gas!! Ha ha ha ha!

[/Mr-Blueberry-Head]
posted by turaho at 7:44 PM on May 5, 2003


The present day work of Carrot Top has hastened the death of humor to coincide exactly with the death of irony; paradoxically, by being ironically humorous, both humor and irony live in perpetuity, singularly, in his presence. Neils Bohr once said "There are trivial truths and there are great truths. The opposite of a trivial truth is plainly false. The opposite of a great truth is also true." If Carrot Top is not the one great truth of modern existence, then how can both humor and irony be simultaneously alive and dead? And yet, this is not plainly false, leading me to conclude that it is, indeed, a Great Truth.
posted by eddydamascene at 7:51 PM on May 5, 2003


I can't feel my legs.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 7:54 PM on May 5, 2003


eddy - I believe this is the first time in the history of world that the names Carrot Top and Neils Bohr have been used in the same breath.
posted by notme at 8:02 PM on May 5, 2003


Forget Carrot-Top -- what I want to know is, WHO THE HELL IS MAKING SO FREAKIN' MANY COLLECT CALLS? Is the market for collect-calling that big? I'm stunned. I can't remember the last time I made a collect phone call -- maybe the early 80s - before the advent of super-cheep rates, cell-phones (w/ free long distance) for all, etc.
posted by davidmsc at 8:11 PM on May 5, 2003


Mokujin, I glad someone else noticed the buff thing ... before you would only see action stars in that sort of shape but now you're seeing more comedians too, I think Ben Stiller started the trend. Weird.
posted by bobo123 at 9:30 PM on May 5, 2003


I'm not ashamed to admit I dig Carrot Top - and my sense of humor is skewed heavily in a Bill Hicksian direction. It's playful nonsense but I see a winking intelligence at the core. Sue me.
posted by davebush at 9:33 PM on May 5, 2003


These text ads are getting ridiculous. So intrusive!
posted by UrbanFigaro at 9:40 PM on May 5, 2003


Bobo, eveybody is trying to be buff, not just stars. and davebush I too think carrottop is funny.
posted by philcliff at 9:44 PM on May 5, 2003


MONKEYS RIDING GOATS....Damned if I could tell you what the commercial was for.

It's for new Pop Tarts that break into three pieces. They're pretty good, but not better than monkeys riding goats.
posted by dogwalker at 10:26 PM on May 5, 2003


It's really a very old advertising philosophy in place here, one I'm surprised the Slate article didn't reference: vex the hell out of your customer base and they'll remember the ad. Just as you all cringe when you hear a really annoying jingle on the radio or encounter one of those heinous Levi's karaoke ads on teevee, you remember the advertisement in question.

AT&T is really laughing their way to the bank here. Because they've scored some serious free publicity with the Slate piece. Not only does everyone remember these ads, but they associate them with Carrot Top. Thus, the product sticks subconsciously in the mind and college age demographic buys the product.

Of course, only AT&T has the figures that explain just how effective the commercials are doing. I would imagine, given 20 appearances, that the response has been encouraging.
posted by ed at 10:41 PM on May 5, 2003


That was a great article until the end. The writer's disarming pie-in-his-own-face disclaimer that irritation sticks nonetheless doesn't account for people like me, who may remember the ad but will die cold, hungry and alone before dialing down the middle. I consider surrendering to assaultive advertising insurance that kids will grow up alienated. Just say no.
posted by squirrel at 10:43 PM on May 5, 2003


Who is Carrot Top?

Or, is that something I would need a television to know? ;-P
posted by mischief at 11:20 PM on May 5, 2003


I couldn't help but notice that no one has posted a link to the Homepage of this minstrel of mirth, this paragon of puns, yea, the very peak of peculiarity.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:54 AM on May 6, 2003


i'm gonna have nightmares tonight

WHO THE HELL IS MAKING SO FREAKIN' MANY COLLECT CALLS?
well, we got 2 mil prisoners locked in the prisons, I bet they make lots of collect calls
posted by bureaustyle at 1:05 AM on May 6, 2003


i'm gonna have nightmares tonight

boo
posted by eddydamascene at 1:36 AM on May 6, 2003


Of course, this "carrot top" has always been a misnomer, otherwise his hair would have to be green, not red, right?
posted by wendell at 1:46 AM on May 6, 2003


No misnomer. His name is carrot top...his 'top' is like a carrot. The body of a carrot. The red part. His 'top' is not like the top of a carrot. The green part. If is name was Carrot top top maybe.
posted by darkpony at 3:42 AM on May 6, 2003


He lives in Orlando, FL and makes a lot of guest appearances on local talk shows. Everyone here hates him too.

Unoriginal bastard, at least Gallagher had a real routine to fall back on when the prop thing ran dry
posted by shadow45 at 4:22 AM on May 6, 2003


I LOVE Carrot Top.

I catch him on tv occasionally-one prop I remember was a diaper with a parachute attatched. For Michael Jackson's baby.

I don't understand the Carrot Top hate. Herd mentality perhaps?
posted by konolia at 4:39 AM on May 6, 2003


I take it back. just went to the website.
posted by konolia at 4:51 AM on May 6, 2003


Here's what I don't understand... why would a company deliberately make really bad advertising? Sure, I'll remember it, but, like squirrel, I'll be damned if I buy their product or support their business. I'll make a point of avoiding them like the plague. Isn't this the opposite effect they want their advertising to have?
posted by MsVader at 6:13 AM on May 6, 2003


You know, about 20 years ago a guy in a silver jumpsuit mysteriously appeared before me and said:
"One day you will long for the subtlety of Rip Taylor."
Then he vanished. With the advent of Carrot Top I finally knew what he was talking about.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:21 AM on May 6, 2003


"One day you will long for the subtlety of Rip Taylor."

Now where did I leave that bucket of confetti....?
posted by grabbingsand at 6:59 AM on May 6, 2003


vex the hell out of your customer base and they'll remember the ad.

It worked for Wisk. Studies showed that women* absolutely HATED the "ring around the collar" ads, but they sold a lot of Wisk over the years.

*accurate, consider when these ran
posted by pmurray63 at 7:23 AM on May 6, 2003


I repeat - MONKEYS ON GOATS. WHAT THE HELL?
posted by UKnowForKids at 7:27 AM on May 6, 2003


Speaking of Monkeys on Goats...
posted by blue_beetle at 7:49 AM on May 6, 2003


Just revel in the sheer simian goodness of it all, UKnow.

and quite possibly, check out The Site That Dares Not Speak Its Name....if you can find it.
posted by Vidiot at 7:50 AM on May 6, 2003


Carrot Top / Jocelyn Wildenstein.
posted by Su at 7:52 AM on May 6, 2003


Carrot Top is an irritating choice as a spokesman, but Alf... Alf is just downright bizarre. Their supposed target market is 18-24 year olds. How many of them are going to remember Alf?

And I wonder where they kept Alf since his show was cancelled? In some box somewhere? And what kind of dark rituals did they have to perform to rouse him from his slumber?
posted by picea at 8:15 AM on May 6, 2003


boo
posted by eddydamascene at 1:36 AM PST on May 6


Heh, thanks eddydamascene, you just reminded me of when Courtney Thorne-Smith and Norm MacDonald were on the Conan O'Brien show:

Conan: [To Courtney.] What's the movie going to be called?

Norm: [Interrupting.] I know what it's going to be called! [Laughter.]

Conan: Yeah? What's that?

Norm: If it's got Carrot Top in it, you know what a good name for it would be?

Conan: What's that, Norm?

Norm: "BOX OFFICE POISON!" [Applause.]
posted by DakotaPaul at 9:01 AM on May 6, 2003


One day, one beautiful day, Carrot Top, Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, Teri Hatcher, Alf, Mike Piazza, and the guy from the DiTech.com commericals will be on a reality show.

It will be called "Alive?" and in the first episode their passenger jet will crash in the Andes, leaving them to struggle for life in a bleak landscape surrounded by snow. Their injuries are shocking and allow only a few of them to forage for food. The audience will be able to call in and vote for who goes in the pot first.

----------

Also, I think Davidmsc was on to something when he yelped: "WHO THE HELL IS MAKING SO FREAKIN' MANY COLLECT CALLS?"

The answer must be "the same people who like Carrot Top." Konolia, would you concur?

Also also, Carrot Top just flat out gives me the creeps. He looks like he was horribly disfigured and had to be facially reconstructed from Space Age Polymers.
posted by Kafkaesque at 9:03 AM on May 6, 2003


i just have one thing to say: 5 8 8 - 2 3 0 0 .... [finish the sentence]

i haven't seen one of those commercials in at least 17 years, but I still remember the number.

annoying commercials work
posted by probablysteve at 10:23 AM on May 6, 2003


Emmmpiiiiiiire
posted by ssmith at 10:46 AM on May 6, 2003


vex the hell out of your customer base and they'll remember the ad.

Also, a truism from the music business: expose someone to a song enough times and they'll quite often start to like it, even if they hated it at first. There are plenty of commercials "so bad they're good" that people are genuinely sad to see go.
posted by kindall at 11:01 AM on May 6, 2003


True story...for a first date, a potential suitor took me to see a Carrot Top show. The only redeeming feature of the show was that it wasn't Gallager, and as such, I didn't get watermelon goo on me.
posted by dejah420 at 11:38 AM on May 6, 2003


There's an auto dealer in the Twin Cities market that regularly runs radio ads with a HYPERACTIVE NARRATOR. These ads are so annoying that I wouldn't shop there even if they were *giving away* Mitsubishis. I recognize the beginning syllables of their ad and turn the volume all the way down until the ad is over.

Yes, name recognition is well and good'n'all, but as several posters have pointed out, if you recognize it AND associate it with vehement hatred and loathing, it's probably not going to result in the desired outcome.

Oh, and several friends and I were hanging out one night when Carrot Top was on "Who Wants to Be A Millionaire" or a similar question-based game show. His hair was pulled back, he was wearing geeky glasses, and the exaggerated comedic mannerisms were kept fairly minimal. We had a fun moment when somebody started us all comparing notes and we realized we all thought he was generally repulsive in commercials but found him very attractive in the changed context.
posted by clever sheep at 11:45 AM on May 6, 2003


i used to think i hated carrot top, until i, just for kicks, watched Rules of Attraction with his commentary (why they would choose carrot top of all people to do commentary on an unrelated movie makes no sense to me either)... it was HILARIOUS.

"ew, get away from me. i'm not fucking you, you're from dawson's creek!"
posted by lotsofno at 11:45 AM on May 6, 2003


I think it depends on the market. If they can subconsciously plant a number like 1-800-CALL-ATT in your mind, regardless of the means (in this case highly irritating) then in an extreme situation, when you don't have the luxury of dwelling on a collect call service, and your cell phone is lost, and a 900 lb gorilla is about to rape your hamster, those digits will resurface by themselves and AT&T will get your dinero.

However, if that means endorsing Carrot Top, I'll probably let my hamster get raped.
posted by adrober at 3:39 PM on May 6, 2003


Am I the only one that has picked up on the near completion of the Poison Ivy actress 1800collect commercial trifecta? Drew Barrymore will never do a commercial though.
posted by john at 9:21 PM on May 6, 2003


Some analogies should never see the light of day.
posted by konolia at 5:24 AM on May 7, 2003


I just now watched a commerical for Bar None loan services that featured the sockdog from Pets.Com -- does anyone remember him?

According to sock dog, "Everyone deserves a second chance". Are we to see these sudden ad resurgences of people we thought/wished were long gone as a form of Has-Been Charity?
posted by dryad at 8:09 AM on May 8, 2003


I contacted Kellogg's regarding the commercials to see if I could download them anywhere. I can't. Janice, however, seems very nice.


John,

Thank you for contacting Kellogg Company regarding our advertising for
KELLOGG'S(R) POP-TARTS(R). We sincerely appreciate your interest.

Since Kellogg Company's beginning in 1906, our goal has been to provide
consumers with wholesome, high-quality products, and our advertising is
designed to communicate this goal. We strive to develop informative and
entertaining advertisements for all of our products. Unfortunately, the
commercials are not available on-line.

John, your compliment on our advertising is appreciated. Comments like
yours are an inspiration to all of our people who are engaged in the
manufacturing of our products. Therefore, we have forwarded your comments
to the appropriate company officials.

Again, thank you for sharing your views. Consumers like you, who will take
time to pass along their comments, are important to our company.

Janice
Consumer Affairs Department

005502095A

posted by charlesv at 1:23 PM on May 9, 2003


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