Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Just What I Needed

In another sign o' the economic times, the number 2 consumer electronics retailer in the country, Circuit City, filed for bankruptcy protection just the other day. Objectively this bit of economic news appears to be another depressing example of the financial crisis gripping this country as we head towards what will most likely be an exceptionally dour Christmas season (think Merle Haggard's "If We Make It Through December"). However, let it be said that there is always a silver lining in the most pessimistic of situations. A possible dissolution of the Circuit City corporation would essentially guarantee that they will never again air those commercials featuring "Just What I Needed" by the Cars.

I know that it has been a few years since those once ubiquitous ads terrorized the nation. In fact, there has been such a movement in the past years to forget that dark chapter in the history of advertising that I couldn't even find a single historical copy of the ad (the closest approximation I could locate was this amateur parody). However for those of us who lived through those unspeakable horrors, the nightmare lingers. Even today, what should be the Cars' finest moment and a pinnocle example of late 70s American New Wave, is forever tainted in my mind by the lasting legacy of those ads. When that distinctive guitar chord kicks off the song, I still for a split second expect some goober to be enthusatically talking about the wide selection of HP Compaq laptops available. While time has done its best to nurse the wounds, the scars will always remain.

So as this recession continues on and the number of corporations start falling like the leaves of autumn, you can atleast take some solice in the almost divine retribution being delivered on many of the guilty companies for their past sins of ineffective, irritating, overplayed, advertising that forever ruined our favorite pop songs. For example, with the current state of the ailing American automtive industry, I think we're in the clear against anymore "Our Country" ads. Unfortunately foreign automakers like Toyota are still posting relatively positive gains.

Are there any other offending companies that you think are really asking for a bitch slap from the invisible hand?

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