Advertising. It makes us laugh... It forces us to order dishes using words we'd never actually say outside of an antihistamine-induced coma ("Rooty-Tooty Fresh and Fruity" anyone?)... And because it needs writers, it pays my bills.
End-zone dances for that.
But bad advertising can also be like a too-short toenail...
It won't kill you. But it sure throbs when you bang it on the Coffeetable of Critical Thinking.
And two ads-- both of them local-- consistently make that big toe go "boing."
Let's start with the newest. It's for The Good Feet Store, a chain that offers the kind of foot-zen podiatric gizmos you'd imagine Doctor Scholl displays in his wood paneled rec-room, lecturing on their physics when he's had one too many Rob Roys.
It's The Good Feet Store's rock-song jingle that gets my metaphorical marketing toe a-throbbing.
"I'm back to doing what I love-- and more--
Thanks to the Good Feet Store
I've got my freedom back-- and that's for sure--
Thanks to the Good Feet Store."
It's bad enough that the second stanza implies, just for the sake of rhyme, that we doubt the truth of her Good Feet Store praise.
Look, lady, it's your feet. If you say you're Fred Astaire-ing your way through the frozen foods section, who are we to deny?
But it's the first line of the first couplet that gets me.
"I'm back to doing what I love-- and more."
So... also what you don't love? Then why are you singing about it with such a peppy, up-beat tune?
Shouldn't it be more some Cure-like, world-weary, miserable dirge?:
"Now that my feet feel fine I guess,But then, as much as those Good Feet lyrics bug me, I also find myself feeling sorry for the poor singer.
I have to do all this dreadful stuff I never used to do
And think of you
Yes, I think of you...
The fallen arch of my life"
I mean, think about it: there she is, wailing her little heart out for this gig. She may have imagined getting a regional commercial on the main stations would be the one thing that would get her really noticed as an artiste...
The one song that would have people demanding her to headline their up-and-coming band...
Or that would get her on American Idol.
So she goes into the studio and finds out... it's a song about feet.
Well, feet and freedom, anyway. (Hey, Feet and Freedom might just work as a band name!... No, really! You never know. That's a freebie from me to you, Musician readers out there! Feet and Freedom. Think about it.)
(Or maybe it's just that antihistamine-induced coma again.)
Anyway, my second advertising peeve is also foot-related (notice the nifty theme we've got going?). And this peeve has been grating on me since college.
It's for a small local shoe store, and it's their slogan. The commercial shows pairs of bare, tapping feet.
"What do feet have to do with shoes?" asks the narrator, like Alex Trebek for a super-important Double Jeopardy question.Then we see more tapping feet. Irritated feet. Nervous feet. Petulant feet.
"What do feet have to do with shoes?" the narrator asks us again, mysteriously.
We're confronted with even more feet. A conga line of feet. Rockettes feet. A Feet Fiesta!
"What do feet have to do with shoes?" the narrator intones a whole third time.
And you get the feeling she's really building up to something. Some important revelation or a terrific riddle that we'll all get giant belly-laughs over and will relay to our friends over after-work nachos because of the funny feetliness of it all.
And here it comes... the answer... the pedal punchline to end all punchlines....
Everything?! "What do feet have to do with shoes: Everything"?!!
Well, what do feet have to do with socks? What does ham have to do with cheese? What does Abbott have to do with the little scared fat guy who follows him around? What does pimento have to do with donkeys?!
(Nevermind about that last one.)
But "What do feet have to do with shoes: everything"?!
And for the love of Nike, not a single shoe in the ad!
Anyway, those are my big ad peeves right now. I'd love to hear from you about what sets your metaphorical big toe a-throbbing. Tell me about an ad you've realized just doesn't make any sense. And, hey, it doesn't even have to involve feet!
(Bonus points to anyone who can tell me why one toe above is labeled "Sgt. Hulka"!)
This post has been sponsored by Humorbloggers Feet Day. It has also been sponsored by the letter F, the bunion on Mike WJ's left foot, and that toe-nail clipper you got too overzealous with last week.