Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Ad Infinitum
2008-04-29 08:54
by Emma Span

I always try to be understanding when listening to baseball announcers. It’s hard to talk intelligently and authoritatively about anything for four straight hours, let alone do that almost every day for six months. If I ever tried, the network would most likely owe the FCC millions in fines by the first half-hour mark, and by day three I'd be babbling about my dog and The Wire and snickering like a 12-year-old boy at White Sox coach Rusty Kuntz. It wouldn’t be pretty.

Beyond that, it's difficult for announcers to decide exactly who to address: the casual fan who watches a game or two per week, or the die-hards who see nearly every at-bat? I expect many Bronx Banter readers fall in the latter category, but broadcasters don't want to alienate the large proportion of viewers who don't follow the team as closely. It's completely understandable, but still, all the repetition can be hard on us regulars.

All of which is just a roundabout introduction to the real subject of my rant today: ads.

When the YES network debuted, I was a college junior, and thrilled at the concept of an all-Yankees network to feed my obsession. I wrote about its first few weeks for the college paper, and noted:

…as a new channel, it doesn't seem to have many advertisers just yet—half the commercials are for actual YES programs, and the other half consists of exactly five low-budget local ads, aired repeatedly. If this keeps up, I may have to eat at the Captain's Galley restaurant in West Haven—as the man in the ad says (in a very unfortunate pirate voice), it's time to "experience the legend for yourself!" I might drive there in my brand new car from Quality Hyundai, conveniently located on I-95 between Exits 52 and 53.

Turns out, that wasn’t just a new-channel quirk; YES still runs the same spots over and over and over again, half-inning after half-inning, and sometimes year after year, though they tend to be more upscale these days. (Well, except for Procede). I now think back fondly on the pirate voice that shilled for The Captain’s Galley. If you live in the tri-state area, have basic cable, and watch a lot of Yankees games, you will be uncomfortably familiar with the following:

“Fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.”

"Attention, men with thinning hair!"

“A Platinum ownership experience can only be achieved from the Lexus Platinum Dealer Network.”

I must have heard that last godforsaken sentence roughly – and this is just an estimate – 5,678,328,304 times. I often fast-forward through commercials these days (bless you, brilliant Tivo inventors), change the channel, or simply tune them out; but something this ubiquitous, and this irritating, simply cannot be ignored. They show it during every single inning, sometimes more than once. Every day. During Mets games, too, and Knicks games, at least back when I could watch those without clawing at my own eyes. It’s horrifying to contemplate just how often I’ve seen that spokes-snob, in her black cocktail dress and pearls, traipse across her cheap CGI map blathering on about luxury.

Look, Lexus lady: I don’t want to “achieve a platinum ownership experience.” I might, one day, want to “buy a car,” but since I live in New York, probably not. If I ever do -- unless I have an unknown wealthy uncle somewhere who’s secretly planning to bequeath me his estate -- it is unlikely to be a Lexus. So despite the hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars the company has spent pounding this insipid message into my skull, I WILL NEVER BUY YOUR PRODUCT. In fact, at this point, no mater how much money I had or how great a deal it was or how much I liked the car, I'd refuse to buy a Lexus on principles alone. The people behind this ad, and responsible for its placement, cannot be allowed to win.

Furthermore, if I do one day get a car… guess which brand of insurance I will NOT EVER be purchasing for it?

So sure, Michael Kay’s thrice-repeated anecdotes can be frustrating at times, but the guy’s trying his best to do a challenging job. Whereas I’m now convinced that limey Geico lizard is the computer-generated embodiment of pure unyielding evil.

And if I ever run into "salon expert Guiseppe Franco" on the street, I will not be held accountable for my actions.

2008-04-29 09:02:47
1.   dianagramr
Right on Emma ....

The only thing more galling than the repetitiveness of those ads is/was the repetitiveness of Ford's "This is our Country" ads during NFL games ... especially since Mr. Mellencamp, who I used to believe stood for NOT selling out, apparently sold out by allowing his saccharine paean to America to be used in a commercial.

Oh .... by the way .... its Rusty Kuntz :-)

2008-04-29 09:10:40
2.   kylepetterson
1 And here I always thought that Mr. Mellencamp stood for trying really hard to be Bruce Springsteen 2.
2008-04-29 09:11:13
3.   kylepetterson
2 and failing.
2008-04-29 09:17:52
4.   tommyl
The lizard is better than the Caveman.
2008-04-29 09:19:56
5.   dianagramr

Sing it John .... !

You've got to stand for something
Or you're gonna fall for anything
You've gotta stand right up for somethin'
Or you're gonna fall....for anything

2008-04-29 09:21:30
6.   OldYanksFan
"Buster Olney reported on ESPNEWS that the initial examination of Jorge Posada's shoulder injury showed no major damage."

If this is true, this is very good news. If so, why would the Yankees delay announcing it? Makes no sense.

2008-04-29 09:32:49
7.   OldYanksFan
By the by, it's pouring and very cold here in sunny NH. Anyone got the scoop on the Bronx weather tonight? Will this game be played?
2008-04-29 09:39:27
8.   Schteeve
Giuseppie Franco is the funniest dude on the planet. In an extremely unintentional way.
2008-04-29 09:42:42
9.   jalexei
Guiseppe Franco is too easy a target, so I'll take a pass on him. Besides, anyone willing to get that close to a "could go off like a roman candle psycho at any moment" Gary Busey has pretty big cajones.

What cracks me up about that commericial is the utterly ridiculous models they dug up. I mean, c'mon; advertising is supposed to be aspirational. Does anyone in their right mind hope to look anything like that collection of goofs?

(and I almost hate to say it, but the Geico stuff is brilliant, especially when they pair the "real" customer with a celebrity - it's gold, GOLD I tell ya!)

2008-04-29 09:50:02
10.   AllReb
My favorite Geico was "Tiny House," which hasn't been seen in a couple years. I'd have to give the award for worst local advertising to Daisy May BBQ, though.

(Right now, it's chilly and drizzling on and off, but no serious rain thus far.)

2008-04-29 09:51:36
11.   williamnyy23
9 I like the Geico ads too.

As for the esteemed Guiseppe Franco, well that's another sorry. What I want to know is how can Procede afford to be one of the biggest sponsors of NY area sports? How much money is that company raking in? Maybe Mr. Franco is really packing them in? After all, "[he] doesn't own the company. [He] doesn't know anything about it. [He] just knows it's the best product to restore your hair". I know a lot of people might have a hard time believing a claim like that, but do you really think Guiseppe Franco would put his name on the line for a product that doesn't work?

2008-04-29 09:59:14
12.   rbj
The Geico ads are fine. At least there are enough different ones out there so that you aren't constantly bombarded by the same one. Unlike, say, the Guiseppe Franco one. So the best guy you could get to pitch your product doesn't know anything about it? And how about updating it every couple of years.
2008-04-29 09:59:15
13.   Schteeve
Buying Local direct response advertising on cable isn't all that crazy expensive. Probably less than $800k a year.
2008-04-29 10:14:05
14.   Mattpat11
I'm not sure. Singleton seems to be able to mix up the stories. We face Tampa Bay 19 times, Kay tells the Gomes story 25 times.
2008-04-29 10:14:23
15.   Andre
I always thought he said "I don't own the company, I don't own anything about it" -

Of course, my interpretation doesn't make much sense, but how much sense would it make for a person to be a pitchman for a company he doesn't know anything about? Didn't they hire him to be the pitchman?

2008-04-29 10:16:29
16.   Andre
If they're spending $800k per year to run procede ad infinitum on Yes, doesn't that imply they're making more than $800k per year on Procede? Who is buying enough Procede to earn that company more than $800k per year? Who is buying ANYTHING from Giuseppe Franco. I have a simple rule: If you're going to cut my hair, your hair better not look like a crazy porcupine wig.
2008-04-29 10:16:30
17.   Mattpat11
12 And perhaps you shouldn't tell us that our hair can look like Gary Busey's.
2008-04-29 10:19:05
18.   Zack
15 Don't try to figure out the logic of Guiseppe Franco, your head will a splode. Whatever you do, don't go to his website. You will start bleeding from the eyes...
2008-04-29 10:37:47
19.   Rob Middletown CT
The Giuseppe Franco ad may be the single worst ad I've ever seen. I am now reduced to feral grunts and hisses when it comes on, coupled with a frantic search for the remote (if it's not already in my hand) to flick away to... ANYTHING ELSE. It's like a government assassin who is triggered by a secret word or phrase. I hear "Attention, Men with thinning hair!" and I regress to the state of (rage-filled) nature.
2008-04-29 10:41:56
20.   edzilla
I for one believe Doug Frazer, Mark Opper and of course Andy Pelaez when he says, "It works, it works."

In Guiseppe's best Soprano accent: "Stop trying to deny your hair looks bad and DO Som'thin about it!"

Pride, Power, Pinstripes & Procede!

2008-04-29 10:48:35
21.   dlewanda
I live outside Philly, so I don't get YES, but I listen in often to WCBS on the radio in the car and on Gameday Audio online. The ads on there are getting mighty repetitive - I can't believe how many times I'll hear the ad for Gloria Estefan at Foxwoods! I can't wait until that show is in the past so I don't have to hear that commercial anymore!
2008-04-29 11:05:40
22.   RZG
16 What makes you think they're a profitable company after the Procede ads? Maybe Franco's rich grandmother died and left him $800K and this is what he thinks is the best way to turn it into a juggernaut. Billions I say!
2008-04-29 11:31:03
23.   Schteeve
Stop with these caps!
2008-04-29 11:32:49
24.   Shaun P
TiVo has helped my TV-watching to be commercial free for years now, and I (and my wife) are much happier for it. I stop to watch Geico and AFLAC commercials when I see them, because I think they're very funny. But what the heck is Procede, and who is Giuseppe Franco? Or do I not want to know?

1 Isn't "This is OOOUUURRR country" in a Chevy ad? I vaguely remember going to find that ad online, after the fifth time Simmons mentioned the song.

2008-04-29 11:36:36
25.   Schteeve
22 I bet they make money hand over fist. For guys who have bad hair and wish they didn't I'm sure they'll try anything. I'm also sure the cost to manufacture and ship that stuff is pretty reasonable and I think the price tag is something like 60 bucks. It's probably $50 profit.
2008-04-29 11:36:39
26.   jalexei
In the good Mr. Franco's favor, I feel obligated to point out people do seem to love his salon:

As to the money issue, I'd imagine a popular Beverly Hills salon is pretty lucrative, and I'll assume the Procede people were looking for "character" they could use for the commericials, found or heard of Guiseppe, and inked him to some sort of flat fee or percentage deal - regardless of Procede's bottom line, I'll bet Guiseppe's take is pure profit for no more than a few hours' work.

2008-04-29 11:40:59
27.   Schteeve
On his website, it says that one of his celeb clients is Andrew Dice Clay. So, I don't have a joke for that.
2008-04-29 14:06:36
28.   Javi Javi
I fall into the Giuseppe Franco Fan column. I think that ad is pure unintentional humor genius. I mean, come on--a Gary Busey cameo? The "hey I'm Giuseppe Franco, would I put my name on something that doesn't work" line--This is a hair stylist that sounds like a brooklyn car mechanic. Genius, I tell you. That said, thank god for Tivo. I start watching my games at 8:30 eastern. I find that I'm able to skip all ads until about the eighth inning.
2008-04-29 14:14:07
29.   Javi Javi
27 He also lists the entire cast of the Sopranos and Bruce Springsteen. If only he cut John Mellencamp's hair, this thread would come full circle.
2008-04-29 22:00:12
30.   weeping for brunnhilde
God, you kill me, Emma.

The Captain's Gallery in West Haven, indeed!

Ha ha hah aha h !!!

Never even heard of it, you know why?

There's this thing called a "remote control" by which you can control the television by remote, without ever having to get off your ass!

You can employ said device to the task of avoiding said spots.

You can either see what's doing on TCM or can hit mute or you can even turn the thing off and turn it back on in about two minutes.

You start to develop an instinctive feel for when to flip back although, I must admit, that approach tonight had me flip back a couple times only to exclaim, "What the fuck, two outs, already??!!"

So it's not without risk, I grant, especially when the Yankees make three outs on 12 pitches or fewer. Then again, does anyone really want to see that?

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