The worst commercials of the 2015 MLB postseason.
There have been 31 games in the 2015 postseason, so far. There will be between four to seven more. By the time the offseason gets here, you might have watched over 100 hours of postseason baseball. In between those 100 hours, there will have been commercials.
Oh, god, how there have been commercials.
It’s time to look at the worst commercials of the 2015 MLB postseason. We do this every year, and the worst part is just how easy it is to forget them. You might think that’s a good thing, but hear me out. Check out the worst commercials of the 2012 postseason. These were the parasites chewing through your brain stem just three years ago, and you’ve mostly forgotten about them. How does that “One, two, Kalamazoo” song even go? You don’t know, and you might think that means you’ve won.
Somewhere in the burrows of your subconscious, though, you know exactly how that song goes, and your buying preferences are adjusted accordingly. Your brain discarded the shell and jabbed the nut meat into a crevice somewhere. At some point between the 2012 postseason and now, I switched to T-Mobile. I proudly proclaimed that I didn’t know what that “One, two, Kalamazoo” commercial was for back in 2012, but did they win? Probably.
When I was watching Bayern Munich play last week, my 6-year-old daughter came into the room, saw what they were wearing, and asked why the team was called the T-Mobiles. She can’t begin to understand the concept of a phone carrier, but she knows the logo by sight.
They will win. They will always win.
Here are the commercials that won without honor.
It’s the future. We made it. The DeLorean arrived. And in the future, you are expected to have a glowing robot cylinder woman in your kitchen to answer questions. To prove this, here is a headless man with ADHD asking about whatever dumb shit floats in and out of his head.
“Alexa, give me the news.”
“NASA unveiled amazing new images of Pluto today, and ”
“Alexa, how far is Pluto from Earth?”
“Pluto is 4.67 billion miles”
“Alexa, why can Goofy talk and Pluto can’t if they’re both dogs?”
“Wait, I don’t underst”
“Alexa, can you play the band Cake, on purpose? That seems like a normal request, here, in 2015.”
“I guess technically I could, but”
“Alexa, can you give me the ingredients for cake?”
“Cake is usually made from flour, eggs, sug”
“Alexa, are there videos on the Internet of people in egg costumes having sex with each other on a pile of flour, and can you project those videos onto my wall right now?”
“Look, just buy some crap from Amazon, please.”
It’s a little device that listens to your waking moments and lets you spend money as you walk around the house. Eventually they’ll get rid of that pesky “voice” requirement, and you can just will the soylent green to your pod.
It all sounds dystopian, except we’re not quite at the freaky levels of doom for voice command yet. You know it’s going to work about as well as Siri.
“Siri, set a reminder for tomorrow to f”
“Okay, your reminder at four is set.”
“No, Siri, set a reminder for tomorrow to f”
“Okay, I’ll cancel it.”
“I hate you, Siri.”
“I have a witty preprogrammed response to that, and it will never get old.”
“Ha ha ha, so true.”
You probably don’t know what Opdivo is. Hopefully, knock on wood, you will never know what Opdivo is. It’s a lung cancer drug. The key piece of information conveyed by the Opdivo commercial that played over and over during the postseason is that compared to chemotherapy, it gives you a better chance to stay alive. That seems like a worthwhile goal.
But I will never understand the point of these commercials. Someone suffering from cancer shouldn’t need to bring these ideas to their oncologist. They shouldn’t be jotting down notes during the NLCS to bring into a brainstorming session, and I’m hoping, hoping, hoping that the oncologist is kinda sorta aware of this drug already and will consider it as a part of the treatment. There’s just about a zero-percent chance that an oncologist’s office exists without at least one Opdivo notepad or pen or visor or coffee mug or beer koozie.
So who are these commercials for? Who is buying what they’re selling who wouldn’t have bought this before? I’m not even mad. Just want to know, really.
There’s another commercial that’s been playing during the postseason, for a Hepatitis C drug called Harvoni. Where most drug commercials rattle off a brutal list of side effects, warning you of heart attacks and leprosy if you ingest what they’re offering, this one claims “side effects may include tiredness and headache,” which is the same disclaimer that comes with partying, children, and playing too much Civilization 5 . And the commercial claims Harvoni literally cures 96 to 99 percent of all patients. Not helps. Cures.
Patient: I don’t want Hepatitis C anymore, and I heard about this Harvoni drug on the television.
Doctor: Let me just look that up on the Internet, and . holy shit, this sounds like exactly what you need.
Patient: I know, right?
Doctor: When did this come out? This drug is specifically for someone in your situation, it’s amazing.
These are expensive, well-produced, fancy commercials, and they cost a lot of money to air. How do these companies see a return on their money? I don’t get it, and you can’t explain it in a way that will make me get it.
High-concept ads like this are counting on you to pay attention. More than that, they’re presenting something so shocking, that you force yourself to pay attention. Then there’s a line in the middle that explains the concept and how it relates to what they’re selling, and you understand what’s going on.
For example, in this series of ads, a smug, bearded man is tossing eggs at people or pretending to put their phones in a wood-chipper. You don’t know why. Here’s an egg pafff here’s an egg pafff here’s an egg paffff and here are the reactions. These eggs are being thrown at people to prove points about Chevrolet. Now look at some Chevrolet cars and trucks. Do you get it?
If you’ve seen these commercials, answer me the question: What is the connection between the eggs and the car? Don’t cheat and watch the ad. There’s a revelation in the middle that explains the connection. Try to think about the point he’s trying to make, see if you can remember it.
I can’t. And that commercial has played in my home about 600 times, including the times I watched it specifically for this article. Maybe I had it once, but it’s gone now. I tune out every single time after I see the commercial is the one with smug, bearded egg man, and then I pick it back up at the end. Which means that ad is nothing but someone throwing eggs at you and shouting “BUY CHEVROLET CARS AND TRUCKS, BUY CHEVROLET CARS AND TRUCKS, BUY CHEVROLET CARS AND TRUCKS AND I’LL STOP.”
And one day you’ll buy a Chevy and think you decided to do it on your own.
Also, as a smug, bearded man, I feel like this guy perpetuates the very worst stereotypes about our kind.
It was funny the first time, perhaps. And there are still nuances to Buster Posey’s eagerness that amuse. He just wants to crouch down for a few hours, stick his mitt up, and deliver a damned baby. He lives for it, and he’s surprised at this horribly reasonable woman getting in his way. The man is instantly for it because, hey, Buster Posey. I mean, I know Posey is automatically allowed to hang around my wife’s private parts because we’ve discussed that exact scenario, as married couples do, so I guess the guy’s crucial mistake is that he didn’t have that conversation. That’s what makes it so awkward. And awkward is funny!
Upon closer inspection, though, this commercial makes zero sense. It’s one of those high-concept ads, like the Chevy one up there, designed to shock you and then explain itself. The tagline is “sorta you, isn’t you.” So . are you Buster Posey in this scenario? If you don’t get Esurance-brand insurance, are you metaphorically wandering around a hospital in pajamas and armor, going from room to room, asking people to deliver their babies? Seems reasonable.
After rewatching it several more times, I guess it makes more sense for a tagline of “Sorta your doctor, isn’t your doctor”, and I think that Posey is supposed to be the obstetrician you get with a lesser insurance company? I don’t know, man.
So, the premise of the campaign is that Esurance, by virtue of being an online insurance outlet, can tailor an insurance policy to the individual and not coldly categorize you based on the numbers you generate like every other insurance company does. Other companies look at someone “sorta you”, or someone similar to you, and Esurance looks at you and compares you to nobody else.
Now I’m confused again. They’re saying that other insurance companies will hire an obstetrician who makes $20 million per year and let you meet Buster Posey? That seems awesome. Esurance is so lame in comparison.
1. Boner pills.
It was a tossup between boner pills and the folks at FanDuel, who are carpet-bombing your soul and reminding you of their existence every five seconds. Do you want to win money like Scott?
Sure, everyone does. But it’s more fun to write about boner pills, so that’s what I’m doing.
In the latest installment of Viagra’s commitment to making baseball worse, we have yet another attractive woman murmuring softly about erections. This one is wearing a football jersey and tossing around the ol’ pigskin. Because, fellas, we’ve all been there.
You want to watch sports, and you’re totally excited about it.
But all that’s on is baseball, and now everyone in the room is disappointed.
That’s what I’m picking up from the ad, anyway. That’s why it’s the one played during every single damned commercial break this postseason. Baseball is the impotent penis of the sports world, and you would rather be watching football, the POWERFUL ERECTION of the sports world. It was insulting the viewer and hoping to earn their business through shame and regret.
They have an extended cut (lolololol) of the commercial here, but nothing embeddable that I can find. Let’s take a quick look at some of the frames:
Well, yeah, but they had to watch the Red Sox this year, so.
Look at this neat trick. Her jersey is No. 16, right?
But in the mirror, it becomes a 21.
Everyone knows that 16-21 is the age range that the Bill James of boners argues a boner-haver is in his boner prime. Do you want to go back to that prime? Of course you do, and your subconscious is making those connections while you sleep.
The decor of the commercial is subtle, at least compared to last year. There are boner toothbrushes and boner lamps, but they chilled out a bit on the figurative stuff.
That is, until the end, when she parts the curtains to reveal a GIGANTIC BONER BRANCH EXTENDING TOWARD THE HEAVENS:
oh god it’s beautiful and there is sunlight coming in and it is a new day a brand new day and anything can happen my word just look at that thick boner branch.
These are the worst ads because they’re overplayed, sure, and they make you feel more than a little uncomfortable after the 400th time of the actress cooing that you should do something about your sad, flaccid hell.
But the real reason they’re the absolute worst is because they run at 2:00 in the afternoon, when I’m watching the game with my daughter. I’m using the word “boner” over and over again while writing this because I am also a child*, but Pfizer does the same thing with “erection” in this commercial. There are, by my count, 534 mentions of the word “erection” in that spot, and if I’m not quick with the remote, that’s 534 chances of this:
Dad, what’s an erection?
Like hell do I want to field that question from a 6-year-old. I would almost rather that she watch the coded, deplorable Carl’s Jr. “do me on a pile of hamburgers” ads than sit through Erection Chat ’15 every other inning.
Baseball wants its fans to get younger, and this isn’t helping. Of all the horrible commercials we’ve sat through to get here, this is the worst. I hope you enjoy watching it 4,302 times during the World Series.
Maybe all of you will actually do something about your boners, then.
SB Nation presents: All that’s happened with the Dodgers during Vin Scully’s tenure.