Hyundai: Deal or Duel?

I just saw a Hyundai commercial on TV. In it, a car was being followed around by a gas tanker truck, for their new promotion of a full year’s gas at $1.49 a gallon — co-promoted with PriceLock. I don’t think Hyundai will like what my first feelings were : Fear!

When I saw the truck, it took me back to a 1970s TV movie, Duel. In it, Dennis Weaver was being chased through the desert by an evil gasoline tanker. It was in the thick of the ’70s gas crisis, so we were all getting a little of that feeling in real life. And, it was Steven Spielberg, at the top of his game. All in all, a TV terror classic, complete with Weaver’s facial expressions each time the truck renewed its attack — by themselves, worth it.

I wonder if the ad men for this ad are old enough to remember that one…. and how many others got that same creepy feeling. (A far cry from Volvo’s “Safe and Sound” ads, to be sure!)

Blueberry’s Razzberries

Some for whom nose-ick is too kind a descriptive :

(1) Ever and always, Ann Coulter. The Coultergeist. I heard she’s got a new book out this week. That means we can expect a series of super-outrageous comments that will get this group or that group annoyed, angry, or afraid. She’s got talent — a talent for saying just the thing that most reflects hatred of somebody or some group. Usually, when some right-wing pundit says something, there’s someone among those I know who will echo that sentiment; you can’t get much further out there than these few. But when she made her comments about the 9/11 widows, even they couldn’t stand it. She makes Laura Ingraham and Rush Limbaugh seem like Strawberry Shortcake and the Care Bears. I finally found the book in a store, right below Colbert’s new book. Colbert, of course, lampoons the right by making stupidly extremist comments in character. But when someone writes in a tone that actually trumps the lampoon, what do you do? That’s Coulter. So you’ll buy the book, and reward the hate-talk? Not me.

(2) It’s back — the commercial with the guy whining “waaaaaa-ha-haaa…I maxed out my credit cards, so I can’t get the new car I wanted….waaaaa!” And radio listeners all over the NY Metro are saying, “MAN UP! Stop spending on trivia and stick to the real needs, will ya?” “Waaaa… but my credit is bad…waaa!” And the listeners cry, “So you’re the one who’s been getting those loans that never should’ve been granted, ruining the credit picture for the rest of us!!! I’ll sue the pants off you!!!”

(3) The *&%$#!@*! ticket scalping companies that sucked up all the Hannah Montana tickets. The punishment should be to throw them unprotected into an auditorium with tens of thousands of screaming, angry little kids who couldn’t afford the tickets at the outrageous prices they’re charging. I know — that’s inhuman, but as they suffer, the next set of would-be pro scalpers might think twice. Why, it would be far better and far more real that Kid Nation!

TV execs dreams could become nightmare

When the baseball playoffs started a week or so ago, the TV channels who were covering them were licking their lips and preparing for a feast. The Yankees made it, so did the Red Sox, and the Cubs. Just think : a New York-Boston AL championship (guaranteed to go all seven games, all long and tense), followed by a possible New York-Chicago or Boston-Chicago superstar World Series, with one of the two mega-ratings national-drawing teams plus all of Chicago panting for an historic miracle.

Well, now the dream has turned bleak. Three of the first round series were minimum-game sweeps, mostly with uneventful wins. (Try getting the full load of ad dollars from that.) Both the Yanks and the Cubs are out of it. So much for the mega-market matchup.

But it could get worse : if Colorado blows through Arizona (quite possible), and Cleveland defeats the Red Sox (a very remote possibility), the television nets/cable channels could have a series where the only people watching will be from two medium-market cities. I’ll still be watching it, like any real fan of the game itself. But for the most part, the East, West, and South Coasts won’t be. Then, what kind of money can they ask for next time, what with this latest example of the risk side of sports advertising? I can picture TV execs squirming and sweating in bed at night, watching their dream payday convert into a horror movie nightmare. And how they suddenly get religious enough to pray that Papi and Manny can send Cleveland back home.