Occupy Wall Street? How ’bout Occupy Madison Avenue? Those folks would sell Kryptonite to Superman. Here we are in the midst of this unrelenting economic downturn, yet best I can tell, they’re still trying to extract our money and make it their money, which, I’ll grant you, is pretty much the foundation of these United States of America.
Anyway, as America’s Viewer and, thus, America’s Commercial Viewer and America’s Slogan Buster, Couch Slouch is here again to present our annual fall survey of the vast wasteland of ads littering televised sports:
Red Lobster: “Sea Food Differently.” I’m a bigger proponent of “Sea Food I Want to Eat.”
Olive Garden: “When you’re here, you’re family.” Family? If my mother cooked like this, I would’ve run away from home years earlier than I did.
Subway: “Feast, Drink and Be Melty!” I can feast and drink, I can feast and be melty, I can drink and be melty, but I can’t feast, drink and be melty.
State Farm: “Get to a Better State.” Well, if you live in Washington — my oft-beleaguered home town — anywhere you go is a better state. The residents of the nation’s capital are still without voting representation in Congress, but they can buy guns and get life insurance!
CDW: “People Who Get It.” Do those people who get it even know what CDW is? I don’t.
ITT Tech: “Education For The Future.” I hate to be an academic snob — hard to do when you’re University of Maryland, Class of ’81 — but “education for the future” sounds a bit redundant to me.
The North Face: “Never Stop Exploring.” Ah, but as most of you know, I never even started exploring.
Walmart: “Save money. Live better.” Actually, if you’re an employee of the world’s largest retailer, it’s more like, “Work lots. Earn little.”
Target: “Expect more. Pay less.” Hmm. I’m torn between saving money and living better or expecting more and paying less.
Lexus: “Pursuing perfection.” Perfection might be out of my price range.
Cadillac: “The New Standard of the World.” I hope it doesn’t cost as much as perfection.
Chevron: “Human Energy.” At $3.50 a gallon, it feels more like high-priced energy.
IBM: “Let’s Build a Smarter Planet.” Who’s smarter than us, Jupiter? Uranus? Seems to me this planet has sustained life for a pretty long time with a pretty good return on our money, so who needs a bunch of computer geeks assembling a whole new world?
eTrade: “Investing Unleashed.” To be honest, I prefer to keep my investing on a leash.
Charles Schwab: “Talk to Chuck.” Sure, talk is cheap, but I have found that talking to myself is even cheaper.
T. Rowe Price: “Invest With Confidence.” I just read a New York Times article about commodities firm MF Global’s bankruptcy, and it appears that $1.2 billion of clients’ money is missing — customers may never see their cash, though it supposedly was protected — so excuse me if I just invest in a better mattress to put my nickels and dimes under.
Capital One: “What’s in your wallet?” Curiously, Alec Baldwin. Interesting chap — on Mondays, he’s outspoken about corporate America’s greed; on Tuesdays, he’s a commercial spokesperson for corporate America.
GE: “Imagination at Work.” These people know of what they speak — GE’s tax lawyers are so ingenious, they imagined a corporation that paid no federal taxes in 2010 on $14.2 billion in profit.
Prudential: “Bring Your Challenges.” Okay, here’s one — I can’t dance a lick, but I’d love to join the Bolshoi Ballet. Can you folks help?
Southwest: “Bags Fly Free.” Yeah, but passengers don’t. And I’ve noticed that my longtime favorite airline has jacked up ticket prices — essentially, the baggage fees are now rolled into higher fares — and changed its frequent-flier program drastically to the worse.
5-Hour Energy: “Have a Great Morning.” Alas, Couch Slouch doesn’t rise until early afternoon.
Q. While watching NFL games, I’ve noticed that Bill Walsh was a genius, Bill Belichick is a genius, all the Ryans are defensive geniuses, etc. My question is: Should the NFL cement its position as the intellectual center of the universe by acquiring the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton or take less financial risk via a merger of equals with the Mensa club? (Stan Kaplan; Bethesda)
A. I have forwarded your inquiry to Tony Siragusa.
Q. Considering your poor track record, is your current marriage a “must-win” situation? (Mark Burack; Silver Spring)
A. Yes, it is — and even though I’m ahead at the moment, I have blown leads before.
Q. If a member of the Cleveland Browns offense got hurt during a game, could they claim it as a non-football related injury? (Brian Driscoll; Middleburg Heights, Ohio)
A. Pay the man, Shirley.
Q. How many billable hours is Ed Hochuli hitting the NFL with when he grossly over-explains a false start? (John Bradley; Frankfort, Ky.)
A. Pay this wise soul, too.
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