We are 4 weeks into the season, which means the ad campaigns that all those companies have elected to run for the year have sufficiently lost any charm they might have still retained in week 2. Our current batch of ads sucks just as much as ever, and here is my post to bitch and complain, as well as open the floor for all of you to do the same. It’s become a tradition around here.

State Farm is at this point arguably the most consistent offender of giving us garbage ad campaigns. They found gold when they hired Rodgers and came up with the discount double check and it feels like they’ve been chasing that high ever since, and every year it gets worse. Basing a decade of ads around Rodgers as the main actor was a horrible mistake. Rodgers is terrible on camera. His guarded, dry personality just does not work on what are supposed to be charming little asides. You’d think being engaged to an actress would give the man some pointers, but nope, he’s an absolute void of charisma.

Of course, State Farm does him no favors. Whatever marketing agency they hired to do these ads just sucks. The writing is bad. The direction is flat. The comedy concepts are frankly pathetic. Know what wasn’t charming or funny the first time? The concept of having Rodgers be best friends with a state farm agent and getting a “friend discount” called the Rodgers rate. They’ve been going with this angle for two years now and if it was bad at the start it’s awful now. The one with Rodgers as a coffee house hipster just highlights the absolute worst of it all. It gives Rodgers a character to play, and he can’t do it, not even for a 15 second ad. The actors stand around aimlessly. The lines are just terrible. I hate it. State Farm, please find a new ad agency.

Patrick Mahomes has his own version of the ad campaign, and it is slightly better, due simply to the fact that Patrick Mahomes has more charisma on camera. That’s the only advantage those ads have. Patrick can hold his own in an ad. Rodgers cannot. But the material they give Mahomes is just as garbage.

Moving on to Progressive, who actually has gotten pretty decent. They’ve largely pushed Flo to the side, which has been a great idea. Flo ran her course and any ad that still features her is as horribly unfunny as any State Farm turd. However, the “new homeowners becoming their parents” ads are kinda charming and they are still wringing gold out of Baker Mayfield at home. Baker is still fantastic on camera and the gimmick just keeps delivering. I thought I’d be tired of them by now, but I’m not, and I’m curious how much more they can do with it. Take Flo out behind the shed and Progressive is easily the best commercial producer right now. A low bar to be sure, but considering basically every ad is poison after seeing it 20 times, Progressive still amuses me far longer than the others do.

The Subway ads are…weird but I’m okay with them. It’s weird seeing Tom Brady in so many commercials now considering how quiet he was in New England, and I hate his crypto bullshit ad, but the Subway one where he acts like a perfume ad is alright. It sets up the Steph Curry version where they deliberately break the 4th wall and have Charles Barkley say “you clearly haven’t seen the other ad” when Curry complains. A good joke. I liked it. Not after the 10th time, but that’s how these things go.

I feel like there is the usual boring slate of car commercials but nothing has stood out to me as particularly terrible this year.

But the real absolute worst ad campaign of the season so far, to me, is the Rob Gronkowski USAA ads. Not only are they not funny, but they also aren’t sensical, and they advertise the product in a counter-productive way that doesn’t make sense. I hate them.

Gronk is good. He’s good on camera. He’s funny and charming. The USAA ads feel like they managed to grab Gronk and figured that was good enough. “We got Gronk! That’s all we needed, was Gronk. Wait, you mean we have to actually use him? Well shit”. They give Gronk the most absolutely awkward dialogue lines to deliver and not even his puppy-dog enthusiasm can save that crap-ass writing. But that’s not the baffling part of the ad. USAA is an insurance provider for military veterans. They’ve decided that their best angle to advertise this, is to highlight how their product is specifically restricted from most of the people who are watching the commercial. It’s the Trix ad campaign but for insurance. The Rabbit wants Trix, but they are for Kids. Gronk wants USAA, but they are for Vets. They hired Gronk to be the Trix Rabbit (which sounds…smart when I type it out like that) but it doesn’t work at all. Here’s a fun guy who wants good insurance! NOPE, NOT FOR YOU, GRONK. OR YOU, MOST PEOPLE WATCHING THIS. What galaxy brain thought it was a good idea to make the angle of the advertisement about how your product is explicitly only for a select group of people? Slap that man. Even if Vets like to watch the NFL (I assume they do) it’s just such a bonkers angle to take. I hate these ads and I’m nominating it for the worst one of the season so far.

What do you hate the most?

EDIT: I FORGOT TO MENTION THE DAMN UBER EATS ADS WITH THE RANDOM CELEBRITIES TELLING YOU THEIR ORDER. Tired of that shit. Except the new Marshawn Lynch one, which subverts the formula. Marshawn is a treasure.