NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- We don't want to write about these earworm commercials that drill their way into the fans' consciousness for more than 10 hours every NFL Sunday, but these companies just keep pushing us.
It's time for fans to shove back. NFL fans are punished enough by a brutal season schedule that featured an Oakland Raiders-St. Louis Rams matchup so pitiful that it turned Oakland's fearsome "Black Hole" home-field advantage into a blackout in its local market. Nobody wins on a Sunday that features a poor 2-0 team from Kansas City eking out a two-point win over the lowly Cleveland Browns and the worst 2-0 team in the NFL, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, beating up on the winless Carolina Panthers.
The NFL and its advertisers aren't making mediocre football Sundays seem any shorter, with the league touting its Fantasy League video highlights as if they were a quantum leap from similar offerings by ESPN and
sponsors hammering away at old tropes that were already annoying by Week 1. Yesterday, three more commercials drilled their way into the fan subconscious and didn't inspire the purchase of their featured items as much as tempt fans to buy said products just to throw (or drive) them through the screen:
3. Burger King's "Breakfast March"
sadism knows no bounds, as evidenced by the metamorphosis of this commercial leftover from last year. First off, the parade song these gentlemen sing as they clog the major traffic arteries of the generic suburban neighborhood would defy Geneva Convention tenets if played during terrorist interrogations. The insidious single beat coupled with a shrill flute is enough to induce madness by halftime of the NFL's night game. In terms of actual content, not only do women not eat breakfast -- or fall into Burger King's key demo of college students and yuppies who secretly wonder if they're too old to still be playing
series -- but the men who consume BK's most important meal of the day eat it like dogs. Newer iterations of this series focus on one item in particular -- the Breakfast Bowl -- that looks as if it was scooped from a Ralston-Purina can and bears an uncanny resemblance to
KFC's Famous Bowls. That comedian Patton Oswalt cemented his career by mocking the ungodly consistency and chemistry of the latter casts doubt on the wisdom of shoveling the former down your gullet first thing in the morning. Ladies, consider this the first time Sunday afternoon sexism has worked in your favor.
2. Apple's "iPad is Delicious"
and its iPod commercials have given America a love-hate relationship with a stable of artists including Jet, U2, Feist, CSS, The Ting Tings and The Fratellis. America loves to download that artist's song from the commercial as soon as it hits, but absolutely hates hearing it on television months later. Apple's latest find/victim is Canadian artist Gonzales -- a contemporary of Feist whose tinny piano-based "Never Stop" provides the melody for the latest piece of iPad propaganda. Its clicks, claps and looping piano chords may be perfectly lovely in an extended version but, in 30-second commercial form, sound like something a snowed-in madman would play after composing a 800-page novel consisting of one word typed repeatedly without spacing. We give this commercial until Halloween to plant that song in someone's nightmares.
3. Dodge's "Cars and Freedom"
Two issues here: 1. Michael C. Hall's voiceovers are what's wrong with America. What began as narrative insight into the psyche of a serial killer in the first season of
has morphed into a device used by writers to insert bad puns into scripts and for the audience to clamor for Dexter to
get to the next killing already
each time he prattles on about his murderer's "code" or how stressed family life is making him. His monotone descended from tolerable to grating during a Dodge Super Bowl commercial last year in which men were told that reluctance to place clothing in a hamper should justify buying an underpowered '70s retread such as the Charger. Now, months after it first appeared before the U.S. World Cup kickoff match with England, a commercial featuring a now-out-of-context George Washington and company running down British Redcoats in a a Dodge vehicle that's been M.I.A. since 1983 has been exposed to a high-testosterone American football audience. Which leads us to 2. The point of this exercise, according to Hall, is that "America got two things right: Cars and freedom." Really, Chrysler? Was declaring bankruptcy last year your version of "getting it right"? Was taking $12 billion in bailout money really your example of America gittin' 'er done? Was not producing an automobile anybody wants since K-cars and the Dodge Caravan your way of lulling the competition into a false sense of security? Oh, and by the way, didn't you have to merge with Fiat and start offering Americans smaller options such as the Fiat 500 just so you could produce the mock muscle cars you're advertising today? Italy, apparently, also got two things right: The Renaissance and fooling jingoistic, inadequate American men into buying their cars.
--Written by Jason Notte in Boston.
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Jason Notte is a reporter for TheStreet.com. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Esquire.com, Time Out New York, the Boston Herald, The Boston Phoenix, Metro newspaper and the Colorado Springs Independent.