You know the ones we’re talking about: those ads with Rod Blagojevich and Levi Johnston, talking about how they crack their pistachios. (We’ll refer you to the clip below if you don’t know them.) Anyway, we’d seen these ads before and kind of not thought about them, but as we were watching the Jets get shellacked last night we reached our saturation point, as one stupid pistachio ad after another ran and ran and ran. There are so many of them! And we are utterly baffled by their existence!
Here’s a partial list of “celebrities” who have appeared in the ads (aside from Blago and Levi): Chad Ocho Cinco, Lewis Black, Wee-Man, the guy who played the drill sergeant in Full Metal Jacket, the Keyboard Cat, Snooki, Charlie Brown. What are we supposed to make of this, pistachio growers? Is it some kind of commentary on the lameness of celebrity endorsements? If so, then why aren’t they all ironic, Dancing With the Stars–caliber has-beens? WHY ARE YOU SULLYING CHARLIE BROWN WITH THIS?! (Also: Their cartoon is called Peanuts, right? Not Pistachios?)
But these ads — which come from Paramount Farms, north of Los Angeles — don’t just annoy us. They also remind us that growers’ associations have, with the exception of Got Milk?, always run terrible campaigns like this. Why is it so hard to advertise these kinds of commodities as products? There were these vomitous “beefscapes” from the Cattlemen’s Beef Board. The National Peanut Board gave us Buddy McNutty. And the less said about this insane new Baby Carrots campaign, the better. (Okay, one thing: The ads command us to “Eat ‘em like junk food.” Do they mean they want us to eat a whole bag of them alone on the sofa and then feel a crushing sense of self-loathing?)
So, seriously, what’s going on? Pistachios are delicious! We like them a lot! But these ads make us like them far, far less. Is there no good way to advertise this kind of thing? Are we right to hate these ads so much? Or are we just really upset that the Jets got destroyed and we’re displacing our frustration?