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December 30, 2009 12:45 PM   Subscribe

The 30 Freakiest Commercials and PSAs of 2009.
posted by Weebot (55 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
AAAAAAUGH! MAKE THE SINGING PEPPERONIS STOP!




What is the plural of pepperoni, anyway? Pepperonis? Pepperonies? Pepperonum?
posted by zarq at 12:57 PM on December 30, 2009


Well. Nobody can complain that it is US centric.

The Palm cell phone girl gives me the creeps too. She is so sterile and washed looking. Falls into animated corpse territory because it looks like she was just snatched from the morgue.
posted by Babblesort at 12:57 PM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


#13 is pretty horrifying. A fisherman clubs a stripper to death and then guts her for her internal organs. Sounds like something PETA might come up with. :P
posted by zarq at 1:03 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


#2. Seriously. Why the hell did I watch that. AGGHGHGH!!!
posted by WinnipegDragon at 1:07 PM on December 30, 2009


#3 sets up its premise by describing the 9/11 attacks as "One of the worst tragedies in the history of humanity".

How's that for US centric?
posted by Joe Beese at 1:09 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hah! Number one has got to be up there for most misleading ads of all time.

Rat poison: don't buy cheaper drugs than ours or they may contain it*

*of course, the world's most commonly used anticoagulant IS rat poison, and that's what you'd be getting in our pills... but try to ignore that.
posted by Silentgoldfish at 1:10 PM on December 30, 2009 [14 favorites]


What is the plural of pepperoni, anyway?

Pepperonii. It's the Latin nominative plural of "spicy meat tube".
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 1:20 PM on December 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


It just goes to show what makeup and lighting, use of an industrial fan, and directorial instructions to stare fixedly at the camera and sing can do. This is what Adina Fohlin normally looks like (second link may be NSFW, fashion nudity).

"Eyes" is a silly idea but a neat visual effect. Makes me wonder how the next steps go ... "Ello, 'ello, 'ello, wot's all this then? Drivin' in a hobbit-like state of faerie bein', are we? Out the car, Tinkerbell, we got a magic bottle down the station just for you. An' don't you be givin' me any lip neither, or Constable Freddie here will tell you wot he don't believe in."

(Later) "Your honour, we have before the court today one Michael Boggins of the Realm of Chav, charged with use of a motor vehicle while under improper enchantment. He pleads guilty and asks leave to pay his fine in moonbeams."
posted by aeschenkarnos at 1:30 PM on December 30, 2009 [10 favorites]


All of these ads and psas pale before the majesty of BABIES EVERYWHERE.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:30 PM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


As I previously note here...
Related to the "Dark Arts" of Advertising, 20 out of the 30 Freakiest Commercials of 2009 at "AdFreak" are for either charitable organizations or governmental entities. Probably because McDonalds doesn't (usually) make a goal of its spots to scare the schmidt out of its customers.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:33 PM on December 30, 2009


Wouldn’t ‘pepperoni’ be the plural, and ‘pepperono’ the singular? I don’t know Italian, but that seems to be a pattern of the language.

(Overlooking the fact that ‘pepperoni’ apparently means something entirely separate in Italy.)
posted by stilist at 1:35 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's rare, but once in awhile I'm actually glad for US conservatism (small 'c'). I don't want to see snuff films during commercial breaks!

I also doubt that scare and gore tactics like these are that effective.
posted by kanewai at 1:49 PM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


I didn't watch any of them. My nightmares are already well populated. Even reading an article about NJ Transit is enough to make my dreams weird. Last night, it was a train station full of lost, insane children, who maintained a museum inside said station of all the artwork they created as they toiled to figure out how to get home. Eventually, NeoNazis take over the museum, and I have to help them wash off all the swastikas.

As for what that dream was a PSA for... maybe NO ON PROP 1A?
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:55 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


That "Child is a mirror" one is pretty damned devastating.
posted by jbickers at 2:00 PM on December 30, 2009


I also doubt that scare and gore tactics like these are that effective.

Yes. A number of studies (including this one,) and informal surveys have shown that advertisements that use scare tactics ("shockvertising") often do not trigger the desired psychological effect on their viewers. In fact, they can dilute a powerful message by repelling their audience.

Ad agencies still create such campaigns, most likely because even an outraged, negative response will increase public awareness. Also, political fearmongering ads often do work, for a variety of reasons.
posted by zarq at 2:04 PM on December 30, 2009


#6 : in this harrowing road-safety PSA, a man goes through life haunted by a boy he killed while speeding. Depressing to the max!

Wasn't this basically the plot of The Machinist?
posted by mannequito at 2:13 PM on December 30, 2009


Here's one from NZ that scared the crap out of me, and everyone else in a lively room.

Needless to say, nobody who was in the room will be drinking and driving...or drinking, or driving anytime soon.
posted by hal_c_on at 2:26 PM on December 30, 2009


I don't think I even want to click on the main link. PSAs are entirely too effective on me. And by "effective" I mean "capable of reducing me to tears and haunting me for months afterwards." The little girl haunted by a flesh tentacle sexual abuse awareness PSA made me learn my lesson for good.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:28 PM on December 30, 2009


#22 Was shot in Vancouver BC (my office is on that street). So - a UK advert highlighting the impact of too much air travel was shot half way around the world. Even taking into consideration that there are film crews already in Vancouver, surely there must have been a fair amount of travel between Vancouver and London for some of the higher ups. I point this out not to undermine the message of the PSA, but to highlight the fact that even the best intentions get a little cloudy in the real world.
posted by helmutdog at 2:29 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Back in my day, we didn't need violence and gore to drive home the horrors of drugs. All we needed was a teenaged boy shouting at his father, "It was you! I learned by watching you!"

And we wore onions on our belts. Which was the style at the time...
posted by Joe Beese at 2:34 PM on December 30, 2009 [13 favorites]


I also doubt that scare and gore tactics like these are that effective.

Theory via papers and informal surveys vs. practice.

I'm as surprised as you are, that they work.
posted by hal_c_on at 2:34 PM on December 30, 2009


Pepperoni is a word like 'water' or 'sand'. For more then one slice of pepperoni, you say 'pepperoni slices'. But you can get away with "Pepperonis", IMO.

Also, the helmet ad #27, was hilarious.
posted by delmoi at 2:39 PM on December 30, 2009


You seriously have to wonder what some of these commercials are meant to convey.

Like that Lay's one. "Eat Lay's Potato Chips! They'll turn you into a wavy inflatable-tube man!"

Or I guess if you want to be a bit more abstract, maybe it's saying eating Lay's Potato Chips will make you just like everybody else.

Either way, not exactly making me want potato chips.
posted by Target Practice at 2:44 PM on December 30, 2009


[Quique's head] is also full of dreams.

"My dream is to have a body."


Awesome.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:50 PM on December 30, 2009


Does this one include the one where the lady chef is like "I am getting married and I am so happy but I forgot to clean up and OH MY GOD AM COVERED IN BOILING LIQUID" because I started cleaning up after myself when I saw that one.
posted by GilloD at 2:52 PM on December 30, 2009


Does this one include the one where the lady chef is like "I am getting married and I am so happy but I forgot to clean up and OH MY GOD AM COVERED IN BOILING LIQUID" because I started cleaning up after myself when I saw that one.

Just ones from this year.
posted by delmoi at 2:55 PM on December 30, 2009


No, that was last year. *shudder*
posted by maudlin at 2:55 PM on December 30, 2009


I also like how the message of the WWF commercial (#3) is evidently "Save the Earth or it'll fucking kill you motherfucker!"
posted by Target Practice at 2:55 PM on December 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


Mother Earth is cold, man. You don't cross her. Gaia theory 101.
posted by mccarty.tim at 2:59 PM on December 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


What's she going to do, send five teenagers with magic rings after me?
posted by Target Practice at 3:04 PM on December 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


"By your powers combined, I will rain polar bears down upon you!"
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:08 PM on December 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


Marisa Stole the Precious Thing: ""By your powers combined, I will rain polar bears down upon you!""

The Book of Exodus, directed by J.J. Abrams.
posted by brundlefly at 3:28 PM on December 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


Couldn't even make it past page 2. PSAs induce a sort of screaming mindless terror in me that's surprisingly difficult to beat back. If it's not the chef pouring boiling oil all over herself and screaming, it's the cartoon child being thrown down the stairs that turns into a real kid, or some other horrific, nightmarish vision of humanity, encapsulated neatly in 30 seconds of television.
posted by chrominance at 4:13 PM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Man, I'm not even READING the article anymore, and I'm getting freaked out by random noises already. I HATE YOU PSAS.
posted by chrominance at 4:30 PM on December 30, 2009


Number 20 really got to me. (As did hal c on's link above, 17, number 16 and number 5.) Number 2 was more like an appalling mini documentary.

High on my plain old "yuck" list: eating singing pepperoni heads (23), falling smashed polar bears -- isn't dying from starvation and habitat loss enough? (22)
posted by bearwife at 4:34 PM on December 30, 2009


#20 was definitely eerie.
posted by thomas j wise at 5:46 PM on December 30, 2009


The McDonalds spot needed an intro by Rod Serling.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:56 PM on December 30, 2009


#13 is pretty horrifying. A fisherman clubs a stripper to death and then guts her for her internal organs.

On the plus side, nice to see Dave Attell getting work.
posted by Greg Nog at 6:01 PM on December 30, 2009


I can't watch any any any of the ones with kids, especially dead kids or almost dead kids. All I want to do now is never drive again, especially with my baby in the car... and I'm a careful driver. But damn if there aren't a lot of drunks and high teens on the road, ready to make us dead. THANKS, PSAs!
posted by Never teh Bride at 6:01 PM on December 30, 2009


#4 is also awesome because i kind of assume that that's just how things are at any given moment in leicester
posted by Greg Nog at 6:05 PM on December 30, 2009


aeschenkarnos: It just goes to show what makeup and lighting, use of an industrial fan, and directorial instructions to stare fixedly at the camera and sing can do. This is what Adina Fohlin normally looks like (second link may be NSFW, fashion nudity).

Yeah, I wasn't scared by that commercial at all. But then, I tend to assume the best of people and Swedes are weird.
posted by Kattullus at 6:14 PM on December 30, 2009


#2 doesn't let up for a second, man that's a rough video to watch. I kinda wanted to know what happens next. There must be a movie out there somewhere that starts like that, as an accident procedural, but I've never seen one or heard of one.
posted by Kattullus at 6:36 PM on December 30, 2009


That guy should be glad that the pill he took killed the rat inside of him. I mean, I'd rather extract a dead rat than have a living one run around in my G-I tract.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:31 PM on December 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm glad I read the comments first: I'm not warching any of these!
posted by humannaire at 10:08 PM on December 30, 2009


I can't believe I watched the whole thing.


The rat takes the prize f'sure. Totally gross.

I wonder how teens react to the one with the violent birth in the school yard -- it packs a pretty terse, pointed message.
posted by Surfurrus at 11:12 PM on December 30, 2009


From Wikipedia: "The term pepperoni is a corruption of peperoni, the Italian plural of peperone. While in Italian peperoni refers to bell peppers, in Italian-American cuisine the word 'pepperoni' evolved to indicate a kind of spicy sausage that actually originated in Turkey, but it goes by another name in Turkish."
posted by joshuaconner at 12:40 AM on December 31, 2009


Despite the violent inclinations and the grossness, most of the PSAs seem to have a generally spot on message. Still, the one where the driver who gets killed after figuring out he should let his wife drive instead somewhat missed the point, didn't it? Or, as Target Practice mentioned, the WWF ad.

Also, apparently a devilishly-smiling Hitler is the best way to represent AIDS. I mean, creepy but, damn...
posted by wet-raspberry at 1:26 AM on December 31, 2009


It's early and I haven't finished my coffee, so it took me a moment to remember that wrestling is now WWE, not WWF.

I had visions of a PSA with Macho Man Randy Savage laying the smackdown on anyone caught not respecting the Earth.
posted by anthom at 3:18 AM on December 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


The PSA where the guy gets out of the car so he can do the responsible thing and let his wife drive and IMMEDIATELY GETS CLOBBERED BY AN ONCOMING CAR i mean what the fuck

it's like they're trying to tell you that getting behind the wheel at all while high is a mortal sin and god will strike you down for your transgression
posted by tehloki at 4:58 AM on December 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


>
Amusingly, "Don't mess with Texas" was originally coined for a PSA against litter, featuring all manner of tough guy Texans.

And it worked. As for why WWE isn't fighting for the Earth, I'll never know. If anything, I would have watched that cartoon when I was a kid.
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:18 AM on December 31, 2009


Quique, the head without a body, is my favorite thing ever. Dude's got a penis on his tongue and a testicle next to his ear drum!

Also:

Metafilter: the Latin nominative plural of "spicy meat tube".
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 6:47 AM on December 31, 2009


Also, apparently a devilishly-smiling Hitler is the best way to represent AIDS. I mean, creepy but, damn...

I dunno, it seemed like a pretty reasonable way to warn people: "Don't sleep with Hitler because he has AIDS."
posted by Greg Nog at 7:17 AM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


If they are going for really strange can't stop thinking about it ads then marketing was successful. If they were going to for really cool, everyone loves them ads then it's an epic fail.

Bonus: Honestly the white castle dancing pig does not make me hungry at all.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 7:24 AM on December 31, 2009


#2 was terrifying in its veracity. Quique's head was just hilarious, and I kind of hoped for an ongoing series after watching.
posted by cobain_angel at 1:51 PM on January 1, 2010


Quique (from Ad 27 on the list) has a website, which includes a second hilarious video where Quique asks for your help re: his body transplant (the video goes for a while...it's not over when you first think it is). Anyway, here's the website.
posted by mingodingo at 11:36 PM on January 1, 2010


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