Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Halloween Story

HAPpY HALLOweEN!

Here's something I found in the Mary Maxim catalog. Perhaps not as creepy as the Freakcrow with happy hands, but weird nonetheless. Notice the expressing on this little boy's face:
There's a fine line between "cute" and hopelessly annoying. I think this Peter Billingsley lookalike has crossed that line.


Watch that pumpkin. You'll put your eye out, kid.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Scary Spuds

The other week I got a large package of Pringles for my kids to carry for their lunches, and the 18-pack came with this insert:
My son astutely observed that the packaging is a little misleading, that there's nothing really Halloween-inspired about the chips. The individual wrappings and labels are the same as those in their regular packages. The only thing that might be considered Halloweeny is the mask template on the back of the insert:
Is there really anyone out there who would use as their defining Halloween image this template of Julius Pringles, the product's mascot? That very thought is scary.

Candyland

This is from a flyer we recently received from a local car dealership.

Wow. Free candy. What an effective way to get me to visit their showroom.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Kreepy Klowning

What are you going as this Halloween? If you're stuck for ideas, visit the clown section of the Halloween Costume Ideas website. They can make all of your creepy dreams come true!



Let's take a closer look at the clowns on the packaging, shall we?
There. Now you can enjoy your day.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Snackrifices We Must Make

This was on the back of a box of Triscuits I recently bought. I now regret buying them. What marketing genius thought up this clever campaign? "Snackrifice"...give me a break.

And the really sad thing about this is that the marketing weenies who came up with the promotion probably make a lot more money than I, as an educator, do. What does this say about our society's priorities?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

School Violence

Last week I posted an ad sent out by my university's Human Resources office, one using violent images (with no context) to publicize a training session. Now I get another emailed advertisement with "action packed" visuals. This one is for our promotional day on campus. By itself, there's nothing really wrong with using this martial arts dude to advertise the event. But when you combine it with the panic button session and the active shooter training, you start to see a pattern forming. What is it with violence and A&M-Commerce? Is it because we're in Texas?

Much thanks to my keen-eyed colleague, Hunter Hayes, for pointing out the aggressive tactics of our public relations personnel.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Dim Bulbs

Here's an advertisement from another flyer I recently received in the mail. This one is for a local electric, cable, and Internet provider.
The thing that caught my attention was the weird little mascot they have adopted.

Interestingly enough, Li'l Geus has the same kind of lackadaisically bovine expression as this week's Annoying J. Crew Model:

Both look like dim bulbs to me.

Annoying J. Crew Model of the Week - 10/26/09


J. Crew model, or emaciated crack whore?

You decide.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Can You Hear Me Now?

Here's an advertisement from a flyer I received in the mail last month during the height of the back to school season:
Notice the blankly idiotic grin on the young woman's face. She's probably telling her friend that she had Jell-O today.

Looks like those electromagnetic fields are doing a real number on her brain. This image should sell a lot of cell phones.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

"Back" by Popular "Demand"

Here's a flyer we got in the mail the other day, something perfect for the Don't "Quote" Me on That special section:

I was particularly curious about the silhouettes they're advertising. Should we "visit" their store to see what they "have" on their shelves? I see that they are "open" on Saturdays, so perhaps I'll "check out" their merchandise today.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Finger Use

When she was in Austin, TX, last week, my wife found this display sign in the gift shop at the Museum of the Weird:
Notice the words of "caution" on the sign. Something must have gotten lost in translation.
I think avoiding "the sharp matter and point" could apply to many areas of life.

And don't forget, folks: the Eye Yo-Yo Ball is for finger use!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Spicing Up Your Muff

Here's another contribution to the Gallery from Nick Zachariasen. This one is a price label he found at his local Hy-Vee grocery store:

Spice apple muff. Didn't know it came in that flavor. I had always thought that it was more like......well, that joke would be too easy to make.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

This Way to the Horrors, Ladies and Gentlemen!

Today's Gallery entry is dedicated to Kathy Wirtes, someone who appreciates mother-in-laws and clowns:


Hoffman's Playland...its signs terrifying the citizens of Latham, NY, since 1952!


And be sure to check out other clown-infested goodies in the "Clowns Are Scary" specialty section.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wax On, Wax Off

I saw this at a hair salon inside of a Walmart. The thing that gets me about this sign is that the image of the woman and the textual message don't really match.

That is, unless the woman is feeling pensive over--or perhaps waxing nostalgic for--all of those wonderful times she's had this service.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Don't Panic!

My university has done it again. On Friday the HR office sent out an email about a training program for folks who want a "panic button" placed on their office computers. I'm assuming this is for any kind of emergency that might occur on campus.

The thing is, in the email--and in a follow up this morning, the day of the training--they merely included this advertisement and no other explanation or context. What would you think if you got an email with this image and nothing else? Junk mail? A message from some psycho following you around? God trying to tell you something?

I'm not sure those who work in the faculty/staff training office have a sense of what is or isn't appropriate--or professional--when it comes to campus-wide communications. This reminds me of the active shooter training program flyer they sent out last year. What are these people thinking?!

Annoying J. Crew Model of the Week - 10/19/09

The Annoying J. Crew Model for the week of October 19th:


There's something about this model and her pose that really bugs me. Maybe it's the way she's holding her humongous purse. Maybe it's the forced smile on her face. Maybe it's her thinness padded out by the layer of clothes. Or maybe this page from the catalog is just plain stupid.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Muscle Freak

Here's a sidebar advertisement I found on Yahoo Mail:
I'm not sure if there's any coincidence between the appearance of this ad and the approaching Halloween holiday, but damn, this guy sure is scary-looking.

Maybe it's all of those performance enhancement drugs he's hopped up on.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Chigger Fun

Earlier this month I posted a sign for the Chigger Festival that's held every fall in Cooper, TX. My kids and I went there this morning, and here are some of the signs and ads we saw:

As you might expect, food vendors were prominent, and I think they outnumbered the other sellers. Here's one that was peddling fried food. The little gnarled Gabby Hayes-type figure disturbed my daughter.
They're right. My momma always did feed us by cooking dinner on a stick over a campfire.

I like the name of this vendor. I never did find out which one was Pink.
Try saying that three times fast.

Someone from the Parks Department--Cooper Lake is a big tourist attraction in the area--gave my daughter a coloring book produced by the U.S. Coast Guard:
Doesn't he have his own show on PBS?

As you would expect in Texas, the Republican Party had one of the largest tables at the festival.
So I guess if the things in this list pertain to you, you must be a Republican. Rick Perry has decreed it.

And not to be outdone, the Democratic Party had their own table. In fact, a table is about all they had at the Chigger Festival.
I'm not sure who these two guys are sitting behind the "display," but this tells you a little something about the state of liberalism in the Lone Star State.

Welcome to Texas!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Expanding Hole Filler

For your Friday enjoyment, something I found in a home improvement advertisement:


"Expanding hole filler" and "touch 'n foam"...two amusingly pregnant phrases that go great together.

Go ahead, say it again: expanding hole filler....

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Cheap! Fun?

Michael, at the new blog, Adnoxious, was kind enough to share this with the Gallery of the Absurd:

I find this commercial disturbing on multiple levels, not all of them I completely understand.

Be sure to check out Adnoxious, a site devoted to showcasing the weirdness of contemporary advertising culture. Ah.....a kindred spirit!

Enjoy the journey.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The (Black)Face of the GOP

From the party that brought you Jesse Helms, Lee Atwater, the Willie Horton ads, and "Barack the Magic Negro," comes this latest contribution to American diversity:
The Republican National Committee is trying to revise--or is it "un-whitewash"?--its image with a new advertising campaign, "Republican Faces." If you visit the RNC website, you'll see that they are trying to include a variety of persons important to the Republican Party...including the tenuous appropriation of certain historical figures (many of them African American) who are probably spinning in their graves right now, knowing that they are being closely associated with such figures as Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and the various "journalists" at Fox News.

Try this: go to the RNC website and keep clicking the refresh button. That way, you'll come up with a new face each time. And you know one thing that you'll notice? Almost all of the faces you see aren't the kind you'd normally find at Republican rallies, town hall meetings, and on the Sunday morning talk shows...that is, doughy older angry white guys.

Yobie Benjamin, at the San Francisco Chronicle, has noticed that the backdrop of their website looks curiously like the flag of the People's Republic of China.

Thank you, Michael Steele, for helping us to laugh at you...again.

The Smell of Salvation

Are you tired of smelling like sin? Are you longing to bask in the glorious odor of the Lord? Are you willing to fall on your knees and turn your soul over to the aroma of Christ? Then, my child, give yourself up to the sweet scent of the Medo company.


The same people who bring you the Spongebob Squarepants air freshener.

Do you think the "Jesus Saves" freshener smells like wet wool?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Monkeying Around with Race

First it was Sean Delonas and his cartooned allusions to President Obama in the New York Post. Now it's something with the "Cuddle with Me" line of plush dolls.

Wasn't there at least one person at the company who thought that there might be something wrong with pairing an African American doll with a chimp and calling her "lil' monkey"?

Much thanks to Gallery watcher, Sarah Gibson, who alerted me to this lil' piece of American culture.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Moomau Moomau Moomau

"Moomau"...an interesting name for a business. Sounds like some cute word for someone's grandmother. Or you could say it three times fast and sound like a 1950s doo-wop backup singer.

Someone sent this to me several years ago, but I've since lost this person's contact information. There's a Moomau's Shoes in Norman, Oklahoma. I wonder if its the same store.

Annoying J. Crew Model of the Week - 10/12/09

Your Annoying J. Crew Model for the week of October 12th:

Clean your fingernails, dammit!

And while you're at it, next time resist the urge to to shop at the Salvation Army.

Isn't the zip code name for these jeans so cool?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Faire le pitre

Spanning cultures, spanning languages. Ladies and gentlemen...Bouchon le clown!
As you can see, fear knows no national boundaries, especially when "ballons" are involved. I'm not sure about the ambiguous "Now 11 years" part. Does that refer to how long he's been out of prison?

Be sure to check out Bouchon's commercial:

He can even walk on stilts!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Whatever You Do, Don't Bend Over

Every now and again I make it over to the "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotes, which is always good for a laugh. Today I found this:

This picture is perplexing on a number of levels. First, there is the quotation aspect. Is it indeed beef that is in this dish, or is it "beef"? And if the latter, then what exactly are people putting into their mouths? But perhaps even more disturbing is the very concoction itself. What exactly is a "hot beef sundae" (or "hot 'beef' sundae")? This kind of sundae sounds like something that a convict would "serve up" to you in prison. I don't even what to think about the whipped topping.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Viagra Yourself

We used to have those annoying "Viva Viagra" commercials, men sitting around singing about their erectile dysfunction. That was annoying enough, but now there's a new Viagra commercial on the air. This one features a man talking to his own reflection about his problem:

What an appropriate way to demonstrate what some see as the self-indulgent--or perhaps masturbatory?--nature of this product. And notice that about 32 seconds into this commercial, the man even touches himself.

Service with a SMILE

This is Customer Service Week at my university, and in great marketing fashion--underscored by that enlightened tendency to define higher education within certain business models--the powers that be have created a flyer that is supposed to "celebrate" and recognize the work of faculty and staff. I guess this is supposed to be a more desirable substitute for giving us merit pay raises.

You can really tell how much they care. It took a long time for someone to come up with those inane "SMILE" and "ROYAL" acronyms. I don't know whether to feel frightened or depressed about these efforts.

I'm not sure, but I think that is my friend Hunter in the center picture.

For more educational fun, check out my previous postings on the spelling challenged, active shooters, misguided diversity, and tobacco spitting.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Tolkien Porn, Part III

The Evony folks are still at it, and being more transparent all the time. I recently found a couple of other gratuitous advertisements for this online game:

This is a smaller image that appeared in an unobtrusive corner of some Web page--can't remember which one--but the visual target is pretty obvious. Hazzah!

Even more obvious is this ad:
Is there any question as to which demographic the Envoy people are targeting? And what's with playing "secretly"? Is this the Web equivalent of the dark booths found in the back of adult novelty stores? I hope your keyboards are Scotchgarded.

For more of the Envoy follies, check out my other postings from July and September.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Blowing the Worm

I know that there's a legitimate purpose behind this product, as many fishermen will tell you, but its name is just too good to pass up for the Gallery:
Apparently Magic puts out a mighty fine brand. You can tell because of the American flag prominently displayed. I bet Sarah Palin is an avid Magic Worm Blower.

Here's Lindy's version. It's made in Taiwan--little patriotism here--but notice the happy, satisfied face on the fish. Can you blame him?

Here in northeast Texas, it rained a lot last night, and this morning I noticed a lot of long worms out on the streets and sidewalks. But don't worry, I didn't get any ideas.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Kleening Kapers

We went out to a Chinese restaurant over the weekend, and my wife found this underneath the sink in the women's bathroom.
Both the kooky spelling of "clean" and the floating stars on the label suggest a double-whammy of pure, unadulterated excitement.

Annoying J. Crew Model of the Week - 10/5/09

Your Annoying J. Crew Model (or Models) for the week of October 5:


Why does the woman on the right have that particular look on her face? Is she "special" friends with the one on the left? Does she have a nail-biting problem? Why is the woman on the left smiling in that manner? Are these actually teenage models trying to look more mature? Why is that little girl there? Is she being ignored? And what the crap is she sitting on? Are these boxes from Austria, and if so, are they supposed to be exotic?

Questions to ponder this Monday morning...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Iron Sides

There's nothing really strange about a ceramic hair iron, I guess. I just wonder why they're using the entire side of an old railroad car to advertise it. Is it that big of a deal?

This is another in a series of "curious" signs found along I-30 between Dallas and Commerce. Its companions include billboards featuring the constipated Taco Boy, Texas beach grammar, Texas divorce lawyers, and Jesus's RV.

Come drive the wonderland that is rural northeast Texas!
Changing LINKS