These days, most of the commercials that clutter the airwaves do little more than irritate. On the odd occasion, however, a diamond might be found among the many lumps of coal! Our rating system is based on B.I.A.S.'S. (because we all have our biases). It stands for brilliant, irritating, awful, sanitized and somewhat sensible (somewhat sensible is our way of saying we like it).

Brilliant

Awful

Globe and Mail "Words"
Telus Communications -- "Fish"
"FlameThrower" Dairy Queen.

What a hilarious commercial this is. A great idea, coupled with great humour!

Zellers "Alphabet"

This is a totally ultra cool spot, only because it's so simple! It's got a really catchy jingle, really neat visuals and can't you just imagine every kid in Canada singing along -- learning the alphabet -- and learning that Zellers has a lot of neat stuff? Our guess is that a lot of adults are singing along too! This spot is absolutely marvellous and again falls under the Marshall McLuhan umbrella of commercials. Congratulations Zellers! You're getting your message across and here's hoping you can keep finding your niche against the major retail dinkle-dorks, like Walmart.

Apple I-Pod

Another brilliant adaptation of Mr. McC. This one is starring the music of Feist (another Canadian) who sings 1, 2, 3, 4. While she's singing, the visuals show all the different ways that an I-Pod can work. Ain't it something?

Knorr Soups -- "Eat in Colour"

Again, there's no talking heads, nobody telling you that Knorr soups are vitamin nutritious, none of that stuff. Just cool visuals and a snappy little jingle. There's no need to fill everybody's head with facts. Just make them remember the name.

Water Depot.

What exactly is the thinking here? To continually bombard us and over again with that innoccous, irritating jingle and to tell us over and over again that franchises are still available? The only thing that redeems Water Depot is that, at least, they do advertise instead of hiding, like a lot of companies (who are going under).

McCain's Pizza -- "Skin Tans" --

ed note: what earthly human being ever peered into an oven and got a skin burn?

Travelocity.

What's a gnome got to do with anything but gardening? The inside story is that he was a mascot for Northwestern University in the States. Hey. Great University. Great people. But, a gnome for a travel agency? What the?

Home Hardware.

Well, our best guess is that the writers on the Home Hardware account were doing some kind of illegal drug when they came up with Home Hardware's latest and most innocous jingle: "Homeowners helping Home Owners". Kinda boring, don't you think? But, maybe not. Hey, let's try a test. Can anyone put these words to music:"Read a dictionary. It's got a lot of stuff in it". Chances are you came up with the same boring rhythm and cadence as the Home Hardware jingle. But, hey, what can we say?

Russell Oliver, The Cashman --

Okay, Russell, we give up, just tell us the time and the place.We'd be happy to show up and eat a stack of razor blades before we have to watch another one of your enormously moronic TV commercials -- which always seems to hit the airwaves when we're finally convinced that we should be able to sit down for the rest of an evening and watch a little bit of TV without losing our supper.
Ed note: Okay, so the part about eating a stack of razor blades is a bit of a stretch. I must admit that our staff is a tad over zealous, and although their hearts are in the right place, they didn't really mean it (the part about eating razor blades, I mean. The part about losing their supper over Russell Oliver's idiotic TV commercials I entirely agree with -- because I've already done it). Unfortunately, money has replaced good taste.

Irritating

Sanitized

MDG Computers

Man, do these people ever have an absolute "death grip" on becoming lifetime members of the "Holy Smokes, is there anyone else on this planet who could possibly be more irritating?" Club. Watching an MDG commercial is like being locked in a small room with a telephone that never stops ringing -- and the callers are all telemarketers! Watching an MDG commercial is like combing your hair with a cheese grater -- or lighting your hair on fire and putting the flames out with a ballpein hammer -- or sitting down and having a deeply, thoughtful conversation with Celine Dionne. My gosh, we mean, sheeesh! STOP! OUR EARS ARE BLEEDING, ALREADY!

Pedigree - Healthy Vitality Dog Food

A dog sticks his head into a bag of feed and chomps away for a full thirty seconds. Wow! Isn't that fascinating? Isn't that irritating?

Whiskas.

This commercial casts a human being (a male) as a cat. The actor is required to sit on a roof, look proud, purr and cat-wash himself, (we can only thank God that he doesn't cough up a hair ball). Okay, the idea is unique, but, hey, listen, when you're just a regular guy who sits down to watch a little bit of TV and another male comes on the tube who pretends to be a cat and starts licking his fists, lifts his butt into the air and pretends to be "uppity", well, it sort of, makes you wonder if, perhaps, women (or gays) have indeed taken over the advertising world. It's frightening and sort of sends shivers up our collective spines.

Leon's

Well, if you're looking for corn, there's no need to travel all the way to Iowa, folks. Yep, it's right here in your own backyard-- in the form of Leon's commercials (and we might as well throw in all the other retail outlets such as the Brick et al.) In those Leon's commercials, they take the latest happnin' craze and do a takeoff -- all announced by the dolcet tones of Harvey Atken (geez, you know, for the number of years this guy's been doing this gig, he's gotta be somebody's brother in law). Then again, perhaps we already know about the people who are in the retail business and have an inkling as to why he's a "favoured" son, so to speak. Anyway, Leon's -- Mazeltov!).

Sleep Country Canada

In her delightful radio and television spots, Christine McGee, with those delightful little chuckles in her voice, makes herself sound like a happy, wonderful person who cares about everybody -- and really cares about the world she lives in -- and wants to sell you a mattress because, gosh darn it, you need to sleep, right, and goodness gracious you really do need something to sleep on, something that you can brag about to your friends -- something that's made with Sealy PosturePerfect Springs. Okay. She's probably right. We're human beings. We don't have any other option.(giggle). We've gotta sleep (giggle again). But, wait a second? As a nauseating bile starts to swamp through your nasal cavaties and the attendant fetid aroma permeates the air, you might begin to regret that all the regular bed sales people (who would normally be all over you like a cheap suit) have fled the building -- and standing only a few feet away is none other than Christine McGee, a.k.a. Mary Poppins. All joking aside, we suspect that Christine McGee has another plan. We suspect that she's creating these incredibly boring TV commercials just to get you to fall asleep.

Tim Horton

This company has had a long and checkered career in advertising. However, all along this lonely, mostly skin-crawlingly innocuous highway, there have been a few flashes of light, like the Tea Promotion, but overall this company just keeps sinking back into the same-old, same old. Oh heck, why don't we just admit it? They stick to "working class" stuff". The "Wheel of Donuts"? C'mon. In terms of marketing, that's probably a good thing, though. This company sells coffee, probably the smartest thing anybody could ever do for a living (legally, that is) -- and basically they make a barrelful of money every day -- and they're laughing all the way to the bank. But hey, what kind of fun is there in life when you can sit back and know exactly where your next meal is coming from?

Brand Power

We've seen their commercials for years -- but we have no idea who or what the heck Brand Power is! Gotta admit, though, the spokeswoman is rad (and, er, a rather busty, woman at that -- and we wonder if her bustiness is one of the main reasons how she got the job -- because they sure do show a lot of profiles of her, don't they?) Otherwise, the message is the same. Buy this. Save your family from self destruction.

Alarm Force

This is another example of another commercial with a talking head -- this time, it's Joel Matlin, the president of Alarm Force. He talks about your fear of a home invasion -- and believe us, his sales force is out there knocking on doors every time there's a home invasion. Scary stuff, yes, but the only thing scarier is Joel Matlin himself.

Bad Boy

Isn't this N0-OO-BO-DY crap getting to anybody?

Somewhat Sensible


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