Between Geico and Liberty Mutual, I’m about ready to damn the entire insurance industry.
Geico’s ads are annoying at best, but the recent cluster that has celebrity “interpreters” for Ordinary Folk are a record low for a company that introduced me to the Legendary Shack Shakers just a couple years ago. (The lizard being given an East London accent was a major step backward. Interestingly, his accent has changed. The original Received Pronunciation accent — what some would call a “proper” British accent — was done by Kelsey Grammer.)
The interpreters themselves are not the problem specifically; I just loathe the idea generally, mostly because the interpreters are among the most irritating celebs on the planet.
The one I have specific problems with has Charo interpreting for some old doofus who begins by saying “I love my car like I love my wife.”
I’ve never made it past that line.
That anyone can ever say anything like that — without the slightest trace of irony — is sick beyond simple description. It’s hard to imagine the pathology involved in being romantically, erotically and emotionally so involved with a fucking hunk of metal and glass, but there it is.*
And imagne how his wife must feel. Is she the Other Woman, or is the car? Or is she so incensed at the idea of being reduced in status to chattel, to property, that she — like the car — doesn’t speak to him and is cold in the mornings?
There is no way to sympathize with this male creature, and any demo group that gave this specific ad a positive rating has got to be comprised mainly of creeps.
As for Liberty Mutual — recently they’ve been showing homeowners doing “responsible” things such as changing smoke detector batteries. (Good idea, too.)
They’re running an ad now featuring a man who’s trying to work the burglar alarm. He asks his wife if she’s changed the code. She tells him it’s set to the date of their anniversary, and you can guess the rest already.
What’s the problem there? Well, let’s turn this ad on its head and see if it’s still so goddamned clever.
WIFE: [Working the burglar alarm panel] Honey, did you change the alarm code?
HUSBAND: It’s the circumference of a ten-inch diameter circle to the fourth decimal place.
WIFE: [Frets and struggles and taps in some numbers]
ALARM: BLAAAT! BLAAAT! BLAAAT!
Ha ha, get it? Women suck at math, just like men suck at remembering important dates in their relationships with their lifelong partners! Isn’t that just pants-pissingly funny?
Liberty Mutual’s ad is working a stereotype, and it’s offensive to men, or it damn well should be. Neither they nor Geico are likely to get any of my respect — or any of my dollars — any time soon.
* On the plus side, at last we have a plausible explanation for My Mother, the Car.
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