The dancing hamsters need to go away

Derrick Knutson

Derrick Knutson

Someone needs to stop feeding those dancing hamsters in the Kia Soul commercials so they die and I can have some peace.

I don’t even watch that much television, but it seems like that commercial is played every time I start flipping through the channels. It’s gotten to the point where I’ll rush for the remote if I see the start of that commercial so I can change the channel or hit the mute button.

If I’m too late, I’ll be lying in bed later, unable to sleep because images of break dancing hamsters are scrawled on the underside of my eyelids and the “In My Mind” song that plays in the commercial is on an incessant loop in my head.

And I think to myself, “I’m never going to buy one of their vehicles just because of that irritating commercial.”

I know the job of advertising gurus, especially in the broadcast realms, is to come up with ads that stick in the minds of consumers. The good ones, in my opinion, utilize humor to achieve that goal.

A first-rate one that comes to my mind is the Direct TV commercial where the dentist sneezes into a patient’s open mouth while he’s cleaning the guy’s teeth.

Before that happens a voice-over guy says, “Cable’s more annoying than …” (insert sneeze into mouth here). That commercial made me laugh and go “eww” at the same time.

It did not make me want to gouge my eardrums out with a Q-Tip like the Kia commercial does.

It seems to me, commercials like the Direct TV one are a rarity. There is an abundance that grate on the nerves of viewers, but very few are memorable because they’re genuinely funny or witty.

All a person has to do to find loads of terrible commercials created over the course of decades is conduct a simple Internet search. I did this and I probably shouldn’t have because now I’m remembering commercials that should have stayed dead.

I found the little Lamisil monsters, which made me shudder.

For those who might have forgotten this ad, Lamisil— a company that makes a toe fungus medication—concocted a commercial a few years ago that stars animated versions of toe fungus. They look like yellow, hairless gophers that have been suffering from sort of yet-to-be-named skin ailment.

In the commercials, they lift up an unsuspecting person’s toenail and have a rockin’ fungus party under it.

The thought of this makes me green at the gills, as I’m sure is the case for most other people who remember this ad.

Granted, some might think the Direct TV ad I find funny is gross and that it’s along the same lines as the Lamisil ad, but at least there’s a humor element to it.

The Lamisil ad just tries to scare people into stockpiling tubes of medicated cream for the impending toenail fungus apocalypse.

I could list more irritating/disgusting commercials I came across, but I don’t want lose more sleep thinking about things like those cartoon Charmin bears with the toilet paper refuse stuck to their rears.

Perhaps the only way to avoid irritating commercials is to stop watching television altogether, or perhaps buy one of those DVR devices so I can skip through the commercials.

But then I’d miss gems like the Direct TV sneezing commercial.

Oh, what a dilemma.

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