October 8th, 2010

little blue dog

small bike warning

Netflix removed the first four seasons of Lost from "Instant View" availability, which means I've been watching on Hulu for the past couple weeks. Which means commercials. Which means I'm reminded of one of my Very Highly Specific Pet Peeves:

Commercials of the "Manufactured Problem" Genre That Invoke the "Math Is Hard!" Trope.

Pizza Hut is currently airing one in which befuddled, hungry customers are helplessly trying to decode various coupons, which apparently bear indescribably complex number puzzles. One young man, slowly and with great difficulty, reads aloud "FIVE dollars off of any TWO pizzas with up to THREE toppings ... ", while shaking his head under the massive weight of deciphering these concepts. Another, whose obviously otherwise profound intellect is nevertheless easily thwarted by the numerological hieroglyphics of an Internet redemption code, blinks back tears as she gasps "X ... TWO ... R ... J ... ???"

Thankfully, a chipper young lady explains that Pizza Hut's new lower prices put a stop to this torture and suffering. "No more confusing deals or math problems!" A happy male employee sums it all up for us: "People love pizza, but they don't love math!"

My heavy-handed sarcasm aside, there are just too many insulting things about this commercial. Just to pick one, the "new pricing" advertised is "any large pizza with up to three toppings is just ten bucks." Well, that's as many variables as there were in the first dude's coupon, wasn't it? Also, why ridicule a perceived problem when it would be better PR to maybe help solve it? How about launch a campaign to support education instead?

Heh. Just found that there are currently at least two Facebook groups calling for a boycott on Pizza Hut and demanding an apology.

That's it. I feel better now.