As both baseball and the Halloween season come to a close, a post-mortem to a commercial that has broken my brain
I pay GEICO a lot of money each year because it would be illegal if I didn’t. It would be incredibly irresponsible for me to drive a car if I did not pay GEICO for my car insurance. I suppose I could pay somebody else, but GEICO is doing a fine job at it right now, and I don’t think about my car insurance any more than I think I should have to.
Right now, though Xfinity, one can have access to 260+ channels for the low rate of $74.99 per month. At any given moment, there’s a car insurance commercial playing on at least 220 of them. Liberty Mutual has the Ostrich thing, there’s the Allstate guy, the whole State Farm extended universe with Chris Paul and Oscar Nuñez and Aaron Rodgers and like a thousand other guys they keep introducing and then there’s the fucking Progressive ads? Like Progressive insurance has a cast of 10+ named characters, one of which is an anthropomorphic box with arms. This is all for a service that, I must stress, is vastly irresponsible not to have if you drive a car.
But GEICO. GEICO’s the worst offender. In the past decade and a half, GEICO has developed from a car insurance company into a thirty-second short film production house. They ran a series of ads last year which were just reruns of their old ads. They had fucking commercial reruns! And I remembered all of them! The caveman, the gecko, the camel, the stack of money with eyes, the pig, they’re all imprinted in the back of my brain! I literally could not forget those GEICO ads no matter how hard I tried to do so.
This year they’ve gone in hard on the Halloween ads (and, by the way, it seems like everybody’s gone in hard on the Halloween ads this year? Like every break between innings in the MLB Playoffs met me with like eight different ads about trick or treating and a witches brew or something). They had one with Casper the Friendly Ghost, and one with like a guy in an attic, and… oh god they’re gonna have like five Thanksgiving ads and five more Christmas ads and five more Valentine’s Day ads and oh god, the cycle’s gonna continue forever, it’s GEICO ads all the way up and all the way down oh god oh god oh god oh god
The one which makes me feel like I’m having an aneurysm is this one, where a child trick or treats at a Mets fan’s house
The premise of this commercial is this:
- Man who is a New York Mets fan answers his door on Halloween for children desiring candy
- Child who is a New York Yankees fan, dressed up as a New York Yankees player, is questioned by the man
- Man’s significant other tells child that she secretly also loves the New York Yankees
- Man is hurt by this
I cannot tell what it is about this premise that viscerally upsets my understanding of the basic foundation of the world, but something about this feels off. So, here are the logical inconsistencies that my currently disintegrating neural network is finding fault with here –
ONE – THE BASEBALL MAN WOULDN’T ACT LIKE THAT
Why’s the guy trying to convince the child to be a Mets fan? Why would anybody do that? There’s an earnestness to his request for the child to change allegiances that makes little to no sense to me. The actor seems like he’s trying to play a genuine sense of hurt at the idea that this little kid likes the Yankees. Who would act like that? I’m no stranger to dressing as an athlete myself, but I never interacted with a Dad who tried to switch my allegiance. K-State and Mizzou parents were just like, “aw, that’s cute” and moved on.
TWO – THE WIFE’S REVELATION THAT SHE SECRETLY LOVES THE YANKEES IS A SITUATION THAT I CANNOT IMAGINE ACTUALLY HAPPENS IN THIS CONTEXT
So… Am I supposed to believe that this woman just, like, kept it a secret that she’s a fan of the Yankees? Like she’s been hiding it from her spouse (I say spouse, I suppose they could just be roommates or something) all this time? He seems like a big Mets fan – He’s wearing a Mets jersey on Halloween, for example, and he’s trying to convince a small child to support the Mets. Did this never come up? Did he take her to Mets games and did she pretend to support the Mets but secretly hold a hatred deep within her heart for the Mets during the game? Why would somebody do this? Why doesn’t she feel comfortable disclosing this to her spouse at any point? Certainly, some mention of the Yankees would have to come up if her husband/boyfriend is that big of a fan of the New York Mets, right? Why does she all of a sudden feel comfortable disclosing her Yankees fandom to a small child right in front of her husband?
THREE – FANDOM IN ROMANCE DOESN’T WORK LIKE THIS
So… I’m not a guy who would care if a potential date was a fan of a different sports team, even a rival sports team. I do not care, personally. Unless you’re a fan of, like, Liberty University’s sports teams or the Ku Klux Klan’s intermural softball club, I genuinely do not think that the revelation that somebody’s a fan of a team that isn’t one I like would have an issue with. If me and a date were discussing sports, and I brought up that I’m a fan of the Dallas Mavericks of professional basketball, and they said “I’m a fan of the San Antonio Spurs, actually”, I think I’d react like a normal person would? Like, “Oh that’s cool! Well, hey, we both got one over on LeBron James’ Heat teams, didn’t we?” And then I assume we’d move on?? That’s actually probably what’s breaking my brain about this, in what world is a normal man who isn’t some stereotype of a guy from Queens getting upset about this? And how hasn’t this come up before with them? Why is it getting disclosed to this stranger child that they’ll probably never interact with again????
FOUR – THIS MAN IS WEARING A METS JERSEY IN LATE OCTOBER
Most Met fans I know feel a deep disgust with the Mets by the middle of July and try to separate themselves from the franchise by the end of the season. Perhaps the fact that he’s still riding and dying with the Mets months after the season was declared lost is what shows a deep unhingedness in his soul. Perhaps that’s what’s hitting me, there’s a sadness that might be poking through this man’s heart in this ad.
This man has stuck with the Mets through the thick and the thin. He’s gotten up for a disappointing team every year of his life since infancy, (I’m guessing he’s like 32 here, so he was probably born right after the ’86 series). Maybe this is the one thing in his life that’s consistent, and it’s disappointment. But now, he’s met this woman, this wonderful lady who wears sweaters and shares secrets with children, and she’s made him happier than the Mets ever could. Maybe she understands him. But now she shares that she’s actually seen multiple World Series championships and secretly has felt the general state of euphoria that he assumes Yankees people have for the most of their lives. Suddenly… Things have changed. Right here, because of this damnable Yankees child, he learns that his wife actually isn’t the person he thought she was. Perhaps now, he thinks, he’ll have to start again. If she could keep this from him, what else would she keep from him and then disclose to a random child who hangs out with other children, one of whom is dressed as a scarecrow and the other dressed as a queen, I think, what else would she disclose to random children? Suddenly, something he thought was true is now false. The groundwork has fallen to pieces. Life is forever changed.
Also somehow this relates to car insurance, which, I must reiterate, is a necessity if you’re a member of the millions of people in this country who drive cars.