OK. Here’s the deal. I find the latest KIA Flashdance-inspired car commercial very funny. I laugh (or at least smile) every time I watch it. However, there is such thing as overkill and this commercial is about to meet its demise (at least in my heart).
Why? Well I’ll tell you why.
Here’s the KIA Flashdance Commercial in Question
Now Here’s Why It’s Falling Out of Favor with Me
I was eating a nice meal at a local Orange County Pho restaurant with a friend of mine and we were having a nice time. On the TV was the end of the Patriots game and the typical post-game discussion. Of course there were a number of commercials within the 30 minutes that was the post-game coverage. One of the first commercials was the KIA Flashdance commercial. At this point, I was still very much in favor of this commercial. In fact, it spawned a conversation about it and praise from both my friend and I. The discussion quickly moved on to other less KIA-focused talk but then about 5 minutes later, the KIA Flashdance commercial was back on the TV. I laughed and thought to myself “Oh goodie! It’s on again. Finally a commercial I enjoy watching. Let’s watch again!”. So we watched the commercial again, chuckled, and continued our meal. But then things started to get a bit abnormal. Right as I was about to take a bite of a delicious shrimp spring roll, the KIA Flashdance commercial came on AGAIN! Now this is only about one minute after it played previously. I laughed again, however I was laughing at the absurdity of the media buying agency/company who purchased time during the Patriots post-game coverage. They must have had some extra money to spend and decided to dump a portion of it during the game. Oh well, it’s their money.
NOW This is Where Advertising Gets Absurd
If the story was to end here, I wouldn’t have much to say about this KIA TV commercial. I would have seen it here and there as I randomly surf my TV channels looking for entertaining programs and would still laugh when I watch it. However, this story doesn’t end here. Actually, it doesn’t end until the KIA Flashdance commercial runs an additional 4 MORE TIMES!!!!!!! I’m serious. This commercial ran a total of 7 TIMES in about 35- 40 minutes. Each time it popped on the screen, I laughed; not at the commercial, but at how many times it continued to play. My friend and I eventually stopped eating completely just to watch for the next appearance of the ad. By the 6th time it had shown, we were amazed and bewildered as to why anyone would approve running any TV commercial 6 times in such a sort period of time. Now I’m no media buyer so I don’t know if this is a proven method of getting a brand stuck in ones head (I think they call it “frequency” in the media buying world), but by the 7th time it showed, I had had enough of it. I hope I don’t see it for a very long time.
Although this absurd observation of the KIA Flashdance TV commercial with 35 minutes may not make the front page of the Los Angeles Times, it’s something I found hilarious, bewildering, intriguing, and laughable. So I guess in the end, I’m glad I saw it 7 times in one sitting. It makes for a semi-funny story.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m 29 years old, which means my preteen years were entrenched in the mid to late 1980s. Although most of my childhood memories are limited, I’ll always remember watching a select assortment of recorded-off-tv-years-before Christmas TV specials (and we’re not talking about Frosty the Snowman or A Charlie Brown Christmas). To this day, these Christmas TV specials are near and dear to me. And although many of these are widely known and have become cult classics, it’s always fun to reminisce and take a look back at the vintage TV specials that have helped create the special feeling I get around Christmas. So if you have kids or just want a nice assortment of Christmas videos to get for the holidays, here are my Top 5 Recommended Christmas TV specials from my childhood.
(NOTE: We’re starting with 5 and working down to my favorite Christmas special. Read on!)
5) A Muppet Family Christmas (1987)
Synopsis: Kermit, Fozzie Bear, and the gang unexpectedly drop in on Fozzie’s mother for Christmas right before she’s about to leave for a winter vacation. A snow storm blows in and strands everyone at the house, aside from Miss Piggy, who is desperately trying to make it to Fozzie’s mom’s house to be with her Kermie for the Holidays. Of course she arrives just in time and everyone has a very, merry Christmas. This special highlights various Jim Henson creations including some of the Sesame Street gang and even the Fraggles from Fraggle Rock.
Fondest Memory: The Swedish chef is in charge of killing and cooking the Christmas turkey. Of course the turkey talks and is trying to convince the chef not to cook him. Of course in the end they become best of friends and the chef serves cereal for dinner (I think).
4) A Claymation Christmas Celebration (1987)
Synopsis: Two claymation dinosaurs, Herb and Rex, host this animated Christmas special and guide viewers through several claymation sketches featuring the Three Wise Men, singing camels, ice-skating penguins, and more. This Christmas TV special ends with the California Raisins doing a rendition of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.
Fondest Memory: There’s one funny skit that I remember always made me smile. It’s about a chorus of bells that hit themselves in the head to play the tune Carol of the Bells. The funniest part is the chorus is led by the Hunchback of Notre Dame and there’s one dorky bell who keeps messing up and is oblivious to what he’s suppose to play. Definitely a fond memory.
3) A Garfield Christmas Special (1987)
Synopsis: Garfield wants to have a nice Christmas at home; one filled with presents, toys, and of course lasagna. Instead, he ends up going to Jon’s parents house in the country with Odie in tow and dreading the initial experience. Of course in the end he learns the value of being with your family during the holidays and everything works out perfect.
Fondest Memory: Although it is just an animated show, the picture of Jon’s parents snow covered farm house in the country always made me want to experience that type of Christmas at least once (I’m a Southern California boy so I’ve never experienced a true white Christmas). It’s not necessarily a memory, but rather a desire I now have that I would still like to experience.
2) Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas (1977)
Synopsis: A young otter named Emmet desperately wants to buy her mother a necklace for Christmas be he’s very, very poor (as is his mother – father died years ago). So, in an attempt to make some money, Emmet and his buddies form a jug band and enter a holiday battle of the bands. What they don’t know is that his mother also enters the battle of the bands (as a solo vocalist) because she also wants to buy Emmet something nice for Christmas. In the end neither Emmet nor her mother win, but there is a very, happy ending.
Fondest Memory: For those of you who don’t know about the Jim Henson production, Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas highlights quite possibly the best puppet rock band performance ever! The band consists of a group of tough biker animals including a snake, frog, weasel, and a bear. And the band they have is called “The River Bottom Nightmare Band.” It’s amazing! One additional scene that has made me laugh years later is at the very end the mayor (who is a frog) is hopping along on the road and the puppetry is so crude in this scene that his legs actually bend backwards a couple times. It literally made me roll of the floor laughing when I watched it.
1) Pee-Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special (1988)
Synopsis: Pee-wee Herman celebrates Christmas at his playhouse and has a ton of celebrity guests such as Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, Little Richard, Magic Johnson, and even Oprah Winfrey. They all decorate the playhouse, make Christmas cards, and sing songs. In the end Santa stops by to spread some joy but tells Pee-wee that his list was way too big and none of the other children will have any toys. So Pee-wee out of the kindness of his heart tells Santa he was just too greedy and the he doesn’t want anything. Santa rewards his kindness by letting him help him deliver all the toys that night.
Fondest Memory: As were most individuals my age, I was a huge fan of Pee-wee’s playhouse when I was a kid. It was so animated and colorful and just grabbed you by the horns and shook you until you were happy. I will always remember watching this Christmas TV Special with a huge smile on my face because it was just so awesome! But the one memory that will always stick in my head is wondering whether or not K.D. Lang was a guy or a girl (I didn’t know who the hell she was then and honestly didn’t know which gender she was). It makes me laugh thinking back now because I was genuinely confused, but I truly didn’t care (I was too busy being entertained.