Wednesday, September 15, 2010

This State Farm® Commercial is the bane of my existence

Every once in a while there is a commercial that simply gets under my skin. And this State Farm® commercial is one.

And I guess falling into their trap, I am going to show you a commercial on my blog.

This commercial is shown CONSTANTLY on MLB Network... the channel that if my home was a Nielsen Family, you would think was the most popular network on TV.

I am not a State Farm® customer, and who knows? They might have a great insurance plan. But this ad is like a sesame seed stuck between my teeth, and I can't look away when it is on.

So the least I can do is have you feel MY pain as well.

OK, let's review all the things I hate about this commercial.

:00 - They are trying the "long tracking shot starting with a simple close up action" as if they are doing the Copacabana sequence in Goodfellas. Stop trying to impress us, Scorsese. You are selling car insurance. Besides, I don't believe Squinty Tom Cruise looking guy is buying a hot dog... and you'll see why later.

:03 - Squinty Tom Cruise looking guy says "Our real national pastime? Saving money." Um REALLY? Is that what got us into this financial mess? A lot of people saving money and using their money wisely? Oh wait. The exact OPPOSITE is true.

:05 - "Baseball people love their stats." First of all, don't condescend to me Squinty Tom Cruise looking guy! You are AT a baseball game. You are being seen on a baseball network. Don't be that douchey "observing from a far... I'm not like these other people... I'm here ironically" a--hole. Also this line has no connection to the first line. He might as well say "Hot Dogs tend to come in buns. My aunt is named Martha."

But it isn't Squinty Tom Cruise looking guy's fault. He's just saying lines that some poor schmuck copy writer had to write. I am sure some client thought they were being super clever tying in "national pastime" and "stats" to the commercial.

Creative stuff should be left to creative people.

:07 - Squinty Tom Cruise looking guy is now the creepy guy eavesdropping onto a conversation... and rather smugly if I might add.

:09 - "I started bringing my lunch to work... $50 in my pocket." Tell you what... I'll put ANOTHER $50 in your pocket if you show me any conversation at a ballpark that sounds remotely like that. Two guys going to a day game aren't talking about lunch or work. They are talking about the game or whether or not they have the nerve to talk to the hot girl sitting in the row in front of them.

Also, if these guys were so sensible about what they spend on lunch, then why the hell are they buying ball park concessions? Last time I checked, if you got your proverbial peanuts and Cracker Jack, you'll be out that $50 you just saved on your lunches.

:11 - "Here's a good one..." Squinty Tom Cruise looking guy starts doing his hard sell for State Farm. "Oooo we're so much better than Progressive and Geico" blah blah blah. Meanwhile he starts walking down to his section towards his seat.

Did you notice what he DIDN'T do? He didn't get any condiments for his hot dog. No relish? No mustard? No ketchup? No onions?

"Nah, I just take my hot dog with NOTHING on it!"
Bull sh*t! NOBODY eats a hot dog like that! Which goes to my original point that Squinty Tom Cruise looking guy was just buying a hot dog to try to fit in with us "baseball people" while in reality he is, in his mind, spitting on us.

:15 - Woman fan with fake generic hat interrupts his talk into the camera, which in a way disrupts the whole "Greek Chorus" universe that we have set up.

Squinty Tom Cruise looking guy talks to us but nobody else sees that he is talking to us... but somehow woman fan with fake generic hat can also KIND OF talk to us.

Then she says... something. I honestly don't have a clue what she said. I've seen this commerical 4,392,113 times in the last 2 months. And for all I know she is speaking the Basque language spoken only in regions of Northeastern Spain.

I just watched it again... nope. No clue. Maybe she is speaking in tongues.

:23 - Check out the guy just behind Squinty Tom Cruise looking guy on screen left. The guy who also has a fakey "B" hat on and sipping a drink and pause it at 0:23.

He is staring RIGHT INTO THE CAMERA. And his eyes are wide open. Which means one of two things:

1) He is a ham of a background actor and is calling attention to himself... and besides his staring into the camera, it was the best overall take and they decided to use it anyway.


2) Only characters wearing the fake "B" hat can penetrate the 4th wall and join Squinty Tom Cruise looking guy in communicating with us.

:25 - So Squinty Tom Cruise looking guy stops in the middle of the aisle to tell us how awesome State Farm is. And guess what? Fake "B" hat guy, his girlfriend and everyone else trying to get to their seat are stuck waiting for Squinty Tom Cruise looking guy to wrap up his sales pitch.

Seriously, if you ever have been to a ball park, the guy who stops in the middle of a busy aisle is universally hated. People behind have all sorts of concessions and chances are they missed an inning waiting in line to get some lousy food. The last thing they want to do is have to wait while some condescending prick tells us about car insurance while holding a hot dog with no condiments.

OK, was this post excessive?
Perhaps, but I will admit it feels good to get this off of my chest. I can't be the only person annoyed by this ad.

And let the record show, I have nothing personal against Squinty Tom Cruise looking guy. I'm sure you are a nice guy and a talented working actor. It drives me bonkers that you were cast essentially because someone said "You know, if you squint, he LOOKS like Tom Cruise."

OK, back to baseball.

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  1. YES. I hate these commercials and I hate the Tom Cruise-wannabe. This is your best work since the All-Homegrown Teams!

  2. good one, Paul....!...Persuaded me to watch it.
    I'd like to weigh in with,
    "I save because I'm accident free." as the Dorothy Gale in a cap line.

  3. I forgot that you spoke Basque

  4. I know you say you have nothing personal against the guy, but calling him a Squinty TOM CRUISE looking guy is a knew to the groin, man.

  5. Yeah... saying you look like a great looking movie star is such an insult.

    I wish someone would insult ME like that

  6. Katie Holmes10:23 AM

    so unfair of you! what do you have against this poor guy! What did he ever do to you! me thinketh Sully is just jealouseth.

  7. "I save because I get iMacs for free". Nice deal.

    That's the first time I've seen a hot dog come wrapped in tin foil. Also, it looks about a foot long.

  8. When I first saw this commercial, it was during a White Sox game. It took about a half second to realize that Carlos Quentin wasn't trying to sell me car insurance.

  9. Mad Dog12:55 PM

    Might I suggest "Tom Cruz"?

    And yeah, these ads are a pox.

  10. Hey Sully, I just noticed it but you kinda look like the love child that would be created if the love child of Cary Grant and Phyllis Diller hooked up with the love child of Ernest Borgnine and Audrey Hepburn. The resemblance is uncanny.

    I don't have MLB Network but I've been assaulted with the AT&T Christo ad 14 billion times this summer so I feel your pain.

  11. Anonymous4:48 AM

    I think the guy looks like a pale Johnny Damon.
    I love how our pseudo-money-saving-baseball-fans are portrayed as a couple of yokels. Our hero is at the game in his crisp, pristine, very white shirt, these clowns look like they've been sleeping on their couch, in their clothes, for a month. Fat Jesus and Jim Levenstein. Subversive anti-baseball propaganda.

  12. "I saycaw Ilackaden free."

    May I add that's really hard to look straight ahead while going downhill at a ball park on those tiny steps.


    Also, what with the mountain man who's being told about bringing his lunch to work? That dude either doesn't have a job or hunts and traps his own. (or he's the sound guy who worked on the commercial)

    Hilarious Sully.

  13. Anonymous9:09 AM

    And immediately after having discovered that his buddy's financial prowess rivals that of Warren Buffet, Fat Jesus says "Dude! Do you know how much pudding we can buy with fifty bucks?"

  14. Anonymous3:28 PM

    I'd say the entire premise of the commercial makes NO sense... National pasttime being saving; while we're spending money on sports? C'mon, that's just stupid.

    By the way, I love sports, but don't say "save money" and "sports" in the same sentence.

  15. Anonymous11:42 PM

    I think his eyes look positivly evil, like he has no soul.

  16. Anonymous1:08 PM

    Oh My God. Thank you to the person who translated mushmouth generic hat lady. I could not for the life of me decipher what in the hell she was saying and it was driving me up the wall.

    Now I can just ignore it.

    Thank you ever so much!

  17. Anonymous11:01 AM

    RE: State Farm Guy.

    Where is a hard line drive into the stands when we need one?

  18. Anonymous7:32 PM

    "I save because I axe a free."

  19. dburns19:38 AM

    does anyone notice who the $50 bucks a week guy is hanging with? That guy has to hang around a guy who eats $50 lunches and has over the top facial expressions

  20. Anonymous1:16 PM

    I'd like to squirt some Super Glue™ in his dimples and give him a permanent duck face.

  21. "I save because IMAX is free."

    Actually, IMAX runs me about $14 these days, which is far from free.

  22. Anonymous10:52 PM

    I just found this blog while trying to find someone who could tell me what the annoying woman in the annoying Statefarm ad says. This post sums up the whole horribly annoying mess nicely.

  23. Anonymous11:39 AM

    I couldn't agree with you more.

    My hatred of this guy/commercial led me here, and I'm so relieved to find someone else who hates this contrived shit as much as I do. I thank you, sir.

  24. Anonymous7:51 PM

    I've never seen a commercial torn apart so thoroughly--and so well. Many Kudos to Sully. A brilliant job--not to mention the way he landed that plane in the Hudson. (Just kidding, Sully.) Excellent job, and well needed. Since when did anyone save money going to any major sports event? Either his wife is going to kill him when he gets home, or, more likely, the TSA who felt him up as he left the plane to go to the game is going to buy him dinner. Maybe that's how he's going to save (or make) the $50.

  25. Anonymous5:26 AM

    We live in a diversity obsessed society. State Farm capitalizes on this by casting a person of Hispanic descent in this commercial. It's sickening. This commercial is run constantly. By 2050 the population will swell by 150,000,000,50% of which will be of Latino origin. Wake up people!!!

  26. Why are all the stupid comments listed as "Anonymous"?

    Oh yeah, because even they know not to sign their name to such crap.

    Thanks for using my blog to post your insane racial ideas.

    Usually posts like that are written in feces on the wall

  27. Deann9:13 AM

    the guy looks NOTHING like tom cruise. he is much better looking and he is not a nobody he is an actor that has come out on daytime tv as well as night. bunch of jealous fools.

  28. Wow, wonderful. I hate that commercial (and that guy) just as much as you (ok, maybe not that much), but I've stopped paying attention to it. I missed a lot of it.

    Like, for example, the B guy. I wouldn't put money on it, but I'm pretty sure I know who that guy is. If you've watched Big Bang Theory lately, Penny has a tall boyfriend who is an absolutely dolt. I think that's him (he's not a good actor on the show, either). There's also another commercial that the Penny-boyfriend guy is in. I think it's one of the stupid Miller Lite bartender commercials... he's at a beach bar in some orange(?) board shorts, asking something stupid...

    Whatever. It's a terrible commercial. Nice work.

  29. Anonymous7:39 AM

    She says, "I save because I'm accident free." I must be shallow--I just like these commercials because of the friendly feeling, no pushing, no shoving. And he's so good looking.

    It takes a special kind of talent to notice all the tiny details you notice, Sully. So, what do you think about the Geiko commercials?

  30. I'm glad you enjoy them

    For me, he comes across as condescending and this ad just doesn't make sense.

    As for the Geiko, they are harmless. And a few of them have been clever

  31. STC kinda looks Peter Facinelli who, at least in the movie SUPERNOVA, kinda looks like Tom Cruise.

    Dozens of posts about obscure players, the evolution of the game and memorable moments, but what gets the COMMENTS Machine going? A commercial we all can hate, as a nation, as a people.


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