#2. Using Puns as if They're Truly Clever
Puns are the lowest form of humor -- no debate, no discussion. They're easy and cheap, which is why they're one of the first types of comedy you learn as a child. And for that reason, it's why they're used in pretty much every single cereal ad ever created. Because kids are stupid.
The only time puns are ever funny is if they're so purposefully bad that the use of one is actually making fun of the very idea of puns. Or if you happen to be so incredibly dumb that you're genuinely impressed and think of them as clever plays on words. In which case, just stop reading this article now and enjoy the pretty pictures and videos. Like this one of George Takei, doing an ad for the Milwaukee public transportation system, in which he ends the PSA with, "It's out of this world!"
Get it? Because if he's in space, he's not physically in this world in which you and I currently reside! And it is also a phrase meaning "spectacular," that hasn't been spoken by a normal person outside of a commercial since the 1950s. But advertisers still can't stop themselves from using it because to them, it's still clever and still something that people can relate to.
Halloween is probably the worst time of year for it, though. Every local commercial is some dumbass auto dealership owner stuttering out monotone puns like "ghouls and boys." Or a furniture store with idiots in generic costumes, dancing around while the narrator tells you about their "spooktacular" savings:
If it only lasted through October, I could handle it, but it just keeps going and going. It's not only accepted in the world of marketing, but it's encouraged. Do they really not know? Do they not feel the heat generated by the hatred venting from the head holes of its collective audience when we see that horrible fucking "taste bros" commercial?
#1. Using the Word "Premium" to Describe Pretty Much Anything
The next time you're at the grocery store, keep your eyes open for the word "premium." It won't be hard to find -- it'll be on pretty much everything in the entire store, from condoms to pork chops to fucking dog food. My favorite is when they slap that word on sausage packages.
Oh, these must be the really high-end sausages, made from expensive loin roasts.
The thing is, sausage by its very definition is the shittiest scraps of meat left over after the butcher has cut all the good stuff off of the animal. In the U.S., they're typically 30 percent to 50 percent fat. Now, don't get me wrong; I love sausage and cook with it quite often. But I don't bullshit myself into thinking that what I have in the pan is anything more than shredded pig strips that were so nasty that no sane person would buy them unless they were ground up past the point of recognition and reshaped into curved dicks.
But even worse is when they do it to hotdogs. Come on. It's become a full-on cliche to say, "If you knew how hotdogs were made, you'd never eat them again." So how can you possibly take a food with that sort of reputation and claim that it's "made from premium cuts of pork, beef and chicken"? The goddamn things are made from three different animals that are ground into a paste, and ... well, here, just watch this:
Now, that's some premium shit right there, baby. It's literally one step up from pet food. But don't think it's just food that does it. Take a look at the retail versions of Windows 7:
Notice the title of the one on the far left? The cheapest, most bare bones version they're offering? That's right, that's the "premium" version. The very basic, bottom of the barrel version of Windows 7 is called "premium" because the advertising industry has used it so much, they've stripped all meaning from the word until it's become an entry point for all products. It's gotten so bad that when I see it printed on a package, I just automatically put that product on the same quality standards as a bucket of ground up pig dicks.
For more Cheese, check out 5 Terrifying Online Trends (Invented By the News Media) and 5 Ways Television Went Crazy Since I Quit Watching in 2003.