Friday, May 23, 2008

They might be sellouts

When I first found out that They Might Be Giants had done the terrible song for the Dunkin' Donuts "Fritalian" ad, I was disappointed. I'm not some huge TMBG fan or anything, but I like some of their stuff, and the song was, to put it bluntly, idiotic. But it's "Stairway to Heaven" compared to their follow-up work for Patriotic Donuts Ltd.

Fun fact: They Might Be Giants only wrote the music for this ad. The words were written by Mrs. Henderson's fourth-grade class. Look, I know they only had about 15 seconds to write for, but why even bother? These aren't even songs, they're just sentences that are sung in the hopes that they'll get stuck in people's heads. I know that's the entire point of advertising, but I always find ads like this annoying. If you're making up your own song to sing in your ads, you need more justification than this, I think. Also: this song blows ass. Do you think They Might Be Giants were even trying? If you told me that every song in this ad campaign had been written in the car on the way to the pitch meeting, I would not be even remotely surprised.

Also, you are not going to convince me that Dunkin' Donuts iced coffee is the go-to pick-me-up for 21-year-old sorority girls, or whatever and however old the women in this ad are supposed to be. You might as well show them eating bowls of Grape Nuts, that delicious breakfast treat beloved by all college kids.

Let's get back to those "songs" for a minute, though. They really are awful. Here are the lyrics for this one:

Last night was very fun
This morning, less so
Whose left shoe is this?
Does anybody know?
Cleaning up after an all-night blowout

Shockingly bad. "Last night was very fun?" I'm not kidding. Fourth-graders. Maybe not even. It kind of sounds like that choppy, stilted writing you see in a six-year-old's journal about going to the circus. "Yesterday was very fun. We went to the circus. I saw clowns and bears. I got to have cotton candy. It was a fun thing to do."

This is hardly the only ad to brutally misuse the talents that I would otherwise have told you They Might Be Giants possess. There's also this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one.

Dear God. This series has evidently been running since 2006, and guess what? It just keeps getting worse. My favorite part is how in each ad the voice-over has to repeat what the song just said, in case you're blind and also have a certain type of brain damage where you can't understand any words if they're sung to a tune. "Wait, what's been going on for the last 20 seconds? Oh, cleaning up after an all-night blowout. Thanks, announcer dude!"

When I think iced coffee, I think 30-something cubicle-dwelling types, though maybe I'm crazy. With that demo in mind, however, I've come up with a few little jingles that I think might make some more sense for this series.

I hate my job so much
Think I'll go smoke a cigarette
And then maybe I'll get an iced coffee
And hide from my boss until five
Killing... time... till the weekend...

"Delicious Dunkin' Donuts iced coffee! Grab one, and kill time till the weekend."

I thought I'd get that promotion
But they gave it to Johnson instead
Time to drown my sorrows in booze
But if I mix it well enough they won't notice
Drinking at work... again

"Secretly drink at work by emptying your flask into a delicious Dunkin' Donuts iced coffee, and forget all about that promotion you didn't get."

My wife's a frigid bitch
My kids are annoying as hell
For a couple hundred bucks I can forget about all that
Nailing a hooker... at the airport motel

"Fuel up with delicious Dunkin' Donuts iced coffee, and really get your money's worth from that prostitute at the airport motel. America runs on Dunkin'."

1 comment:

Quivering P. Landmass said...

There are some campaigns that are so heinous that I will make a point never to patronize a company just because of the quality of their advertising. Dunkin Donuts is absolutely on that list for me.