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Flint's TV commercials: they're cheesy but hilarious

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Joseph Auto Group. I notice that Joseph used to do commercials where a two-liter of Diet Pepsi or Diet Coke was in plain view. Nice little product placement

Richard's Ramblings


Flint's TV commercials: they're cheesy but hilarious


By Richard Zowie


 Growing up in South Texas inside the Lone Star State's Coastal Bend, I became very spoiled. That's because the local television stations we received out of the gorgeous Gulf Coast town of Corpus Christi.

 Of the many brilliant commercials down there, my favorite had to be the cheesy spots for Decorator's Gallery. On these commercials, Margot Shalhoub and her husband, Bargain Bernie, would talk about the wonderful furniture they had for sale. While I was visiting my oldest sister for the summer, my mother talked about a going-out-of-business sale DG had. The commercial consisted of Shalhoub crying and telling viewers that Bargain Bernie had emptied out their bank accounts and had left her, so in order to pay the creditors, EVERYTHING had to go. Great theatrics. Remember, in commercials, the less dignified you are, the better.

 I may be far from Texas, but with Flint's cheesy TV commercials, I feel right at home. Here are my favorites:

 Joseph Auto Group. I notice that Joseph used to do commercials where a two-liter of Diet Pepsi or Diet Coke was in plain view. Nice little product placement. The commercials look as though they don't cost much to make, but with the marketer Joe Hood, the "Joseph" behind the commercials, the commercials work. I especially like the one where he shows either a computer screen of info or a handwritten sales ad and says, "I'll give you this special deal, but only if you promise not to tell my competitors!"

 LegalHelpers.com. I enjoy watching these commercials to see the latest way that Erik Martin thwarts the wicked, twisted, evil Creditor the Clown (who looks sort of like a bald, mutated Ronald McDonald). It's hilarious to see Creditor take someone's car away, try to foreclose on a home and then lead an unenthusiastic class through the steps of collecting money. And then Erik Martin comes to the rescue, subdues Creditor with the clown's inflated bat and then tells you the viewer how you can avoid the evil clown's wrath. These commercials would be funnier if the actors, who seem pretty good, would ham things up.

 And then there's the commercial for auto loans for people with bad credit, 1-800-BAR NONE . It's so bizarre it reminds me a little of those infamous Santo Gold infomercials from the 1980s. A lady with no car waits at a bus stop. Suddenly, a dog-like puppet pops up and says, "You're pretty! Waiting here long?" I'm surprised he didn't offer that classically-bad pick-up line of "Come here often?". He then tells her and her friend about how 1-800 BAR NONE can help. Her friend then pulls out his cell phone and pushes a few buttons (11 would be required to dial the toll-free number) and immediately says, "1-800 BAR NONE? You can? I am? Really?!" It's amazing how a person can get financing that quick without giving their social security number, name, etc.

            Maybe he was too busy trying to keep an eye out for Creditor the Clown.




Flint Talk Writer: Richard Zowie

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Richard Zowie is a Michigan-based freelance writer. Send comments, hate mail and futile marriage proposals to richardzowie@gmail.com. His blog is at www.richardzowie.blogspot.com


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