Thursday, March 09, 2006

Find a better furniture commercial? I doubt it

Each region of the country has its own brand of annoying commercials. When NaturalBlog lived in Florida, it was used car salesman who screamed and pounded the hoods of the Econoline vans they wanted to sell you.

Here in New England, crappy ads for furniture companies are something of a cottage industry.

Bernie and Phyl's Discount Furniture features, of course, Bernie and Phyl. The only thing they have going for them is a celebrity endorsement from Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield. Without that, they're nothing. I have wondered for years who was who. Try figuring it out for yourself at left. Seeing the ads and hearing them talk doesn't help. Could they be the state's most famous gay couple?

There are the big boppers, Barry and Elliot Tatelmen, who shill for Jordan's. Why do the Tatelmens call themselves the Jordan brothers? Must be hiding something. Their ads are slick and expensive. They rip off other people's successful ideas. They probably overpay their ad execs. They're the New York Yankees of local furniture ads.

My pick for best in show has to be Bob Kaufman and Cathy Poulin of Bob's Discount Furniture. I love that he calls his competitors the "Big Boys." I love that he tells you with creepy pride that his name is on your mattress, the "Bob-o-pedic." And I love that Cathy tries to work her (limited) sex appeal on the recliner.



Anonymous Meredyth R. said...

Ah, but none of these have anything on R.I.'s (actually southeastern Mass, but nobody seems to notice) own Cardi's furniture, whose ads are so ubiquitous that owners Nick, Ron and Pete Cardi are known collectively as "NiRoPe." They have "NiRoPe pricing." They have different branches of their own ads running concurrently, some of which feature them in real life, some in silhouette, and many in cartoon form, which are fashioned after South Park. Really. They have even had costumes of themselves as the South Park characters made so their cartoons can do pubic appearances. If that concept is hard to follow, that's understandable. At the press night of Trinity's Christmas Carol this year, I actually saw Nick Cardi standing next to the guy (or woman, I think) inside the giant South Park Nick costume. Cardi's was an underwriter for the show, and NiRoPe, dressed in suits and coordinating scarves, actually took the stage before the curtain to tell us so. And brought the aforementioned character with them to harass patrons heading in. I tried to escape the dopey thing when it tried to shake my hand, and it chased me into the theater. I hate NiRoPe. They can keep their overpriced, ugly modern furniture.

They have replaced Furniture City as the subject of the greatest share of my ire for local furniture store ads. For many unpleasant years in the '80s and '90s, the owner ran ads of his kids screaming about "FURNITURE CITY'S PACKAGE PRICING!!!" They were so obnoxious and pervasive that I listed that phrase as my pet peeve in my high school yearbook my senior year.

Oh, NaturalBlog, you have struck a tender nerve.

March 09, 2006  
Anonymous Yer sister said...

There was a recreation warehouse in Minnesota (hot tubs, pool tables) which, for about five years, ran commercials featuring a bimbo--blonde, daisy dukes, shrill voice, always lolling around in her bikini, even while playing pool. But about a year ago, she dyed her hair brown, and started showing up in the commercials wearing a tasteful business suit. No shrieking, no jumping around--just talkin' about the deals she had. I didn't even think it was her at first, but it def. was. I'm wondering what happened to her. My fav. theory is that her asshole husband always forced her to whore out for the commercials, but then she murdered him and inherited the business, and was like, "We're gonna do things my way!"

March 10, 2006  
Anonymous Pn said...

And what actually happened to Dean from Dean's home furniture? The man who doubted it all? Did Bob buy him out and then steal his tag line? He may have, but looks like Dean took the Cherry Dinet set and Mahshmallow Comfatah with him.

March 10, 2006  
Anonymous seth said...

My most distinct carpet-related advertising memory revolves around the Empire Carpet chain, which has expanded across the country in recent years but started out as a local Chicago-area store. The Empire commercials, which revolved around a bespectled, mustachioed carpet installer, were quite bland, but they always ended with a memorable jingle: "Five-eight-eight, Two-three-hundred... Empiiire!" (I have great respect for jingles that trick you into memorizing a store's telephone number -- so practical). However, Empire was tripped up when the phone company started subdividing "Chicagoland" into new area codes. At first, they modified the jingle by rushing in the city's area code ("Three-one-two") at the beginning. Then, they signed up for the same number in the suburban area code and went back to the old jingle, but they'd print "312/708" on the TV screen to let you know you could dial in either area code. Later, when more area codes and "overlay" area codes were introduced it became too complex and they got a 1-800 number. At that point, they went back to saying the code ("Eight-hundred") at the front of the jingle, and that's what you hear today.

Listening to the familiar Empire jingle, once so simple and melodic, get butchered by the evil phone company and its area-code profligacy was an early lesson to me in the perils of technological innovation.

March 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

see, i agree with your opinions other than the fact that i JUST saw a bob's discount furnture commercial (while watching Dr. 90210) which was embaressingly out of was clearly a Thanksgiving-season commercial (bob featured as a turkey)...and it was accidentally shown in mid march...


March 13, 2006  
Blogger Advertising Center said...

Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a advertising sign
site/blog. It pretty much covers advertising sign
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Come and check it out if you get time :-)

April 23, 2006  
Blogger Kaitlyn said...

Four years late, but never misses the party.

I see your unhappy new england furniture sales folk, and I raise you one crazy mid-westerner.

You can keep the onion.

March 08, 2011  

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