Get ready for 5 minutes of belly laughing (and flashbacks if you’ve ever worked in retail or customer service). Scott Seiss is a writer and comedian who took to TikTok to make these grouchy retail meme videos. He is tired of your mess and is ready to tell you about yourself.
Living in the UK, I never got to see this controversial Folgers coffee commercial. But I found out about it through this oral history by GQ:
“Coming Home” opens with a taxi dropping a young man off outside a snow-covered house bedecked in Christmas decorations early one morning. A young woman excitedly opens the door and establishes that she’s his sister by pointing at herself and saying “sister!” He’s weary, having just returned from volunteering in “West Africa,” and the two share a cup of freshly-brewed Folgers coffee while their parents are still asleep. (In some versions he even says “ah, real coffee,” as if he didn’t just come from where some of the best coffee in the world is produced.) He hands her a small present, but instead of opening it, she peels off the red bow and sticks it on his shirt. “What are you doing?” he asks. “You’re my present this year,” she responds. The camera zooms in on her shy glance, then cuts to his furtive, flirty smile. Those three seconds sealed its fate forever.
When I first saw the ad, I thought: wait, are they fucking? (Then, every time after that: okay, they’re definitely fucking.) As I would come to learn, I was hardly alone. The reaction to the ad was an example of the internet at its most fun—the phenomenon of collectively realizing that the specific thing that you believed you’ve singularly noticed is actually a widely-held opinion. Memes, articles, and parody videos abounded. It even inspired a genre of vividly-rendered fan fiction known as “Folgerscest.”
It is weird and does give off incestuous vibes. But the people behind the commercial didn’t feel that way:
Jerry Boyle (SVP and executive producer at Saatchi & Saatchi): You kind of get sucked into the story, which is nice. It was all very, very innocent. Obviously what’s happened since then has been a real … something that nobody imagined happening. And our client is so wholesome. It was, we thought, emotional.
What people read into it—once that took off—was just insane.
This was my favourite reaction, and the first one to notice the strange vibe between the brother and sister:
Alexa Marinos (corporate communications manager): I’m a marketer by trade so I always pay attention to commercials and ads, particularly holiday ones because I’m always curious to see how brands flex and adapt their marketing for the holiday season. I used to do all my writing in front of the television. So when, I’ll call it, “Peter Comes Home for Christmas 2.0” aired I was sitting in front of my laptop. And I just remember immediately critiquing the spot in my head as a marketer. Particularly the casting, the casting seemed off to me. I was like “why is Peter’s little sister 22 instead of four? And why is Peter, like, vibing on his little sister?”
There’s a gated community of rich people in Argentina called Nordelta. It was founded in 1999 and lies in the north of Buenos Aires, home to luxury homes, sports facilities, even a shopping mall. However, Nordelta also encroaches upon the Paraná wetlands, which is already under pressure from overfarming, and the extraction of natural resources. And capybaras live in those areas.
So what happens when humans build on or around animal habitats? The animals fight back and a group of plucky capybaras (known as carpinchos in Argentina) has been tearing through Nordelta, destroyed lawns and infrastructure, causing traffic jams, and even attacking pets.
So what happens when animals try to reclaim their homes that humans built on? They fight back with guns. According to The Guardian, some residents have brought out their hunting rifles to defend themselves and their property.
[…] But many other Argentinians have taken to social media to defend the rodents – known locally as carpinchos.
In politically polarized Argentina, progressive Peronists see Nordelta as the enclave of an upper class eager to exclude common people – and with tongue only partly in cheek, some have portrayed the capybaras as a rodent vanguard of the class struggle.
“Wealthy real-estate developers with government backing have to destroy nature in order to sell clients the dream of living in the wild – because the people who buy those homes want nature, but without the mosquitoes, snakes or carpinchos,” he [Enrique Viale] said.
Here at Cultrface, we are in full support of the capybaras. Solidarity with the rodents!
The term “always online” describes the idea that we’re online all the time and never log off. This could be literally (sleep is for chumps anyway!) or figuratively (i.e. never logging off). In my experience, I’m more figuratively “always online” but during periods last year, my sleep patterns were messed up thanks to the allure of the internet.
The Little Green Dot is a leash. It is a surrogate for trust and thrives in low-trust environments.
The Little Green Dot is anxiety. It is there to remind us that we’re not working as hard or as long or as consistently as others. Presence favors those who can effectively sit in a chair all day, not those brave enough to step away for a walk and take some time to think.
But the reality is that The Little Green Dot also has real utility. When something important breaks, we need to see who is online to fix it. When we have a pressing question, we need to know who is available to answer it.
And so The Little Green Dot persists, despised, but understood.
Etzkorn’s final line asks whether humans should be “always-online” or whether a semi online existence would be more beneficial. I like the latter even though I’m closer to the former. I work in digital marketing so onlineness is important but I also blog and that requires research and Wikipedia rabbit holes. There’s no let-up unless I make it so. We should all learn to log off once in a while.
I’ve already shown my love for Steve Harvey memes but I’ve recently got into “Bully Maguire” memes, involving clips of Toby Maguire’s rendition of Peter Parker in Spider-Man 3. This one is expertly crafted, showing Parker trying to win a staff job with double the money. Look out for special guest star Harry Osborne.
It’s the DuckTales theme song but key phrases are replaced with the word “duck“. It’s still but it’s ducking hilarious and I’ll duck any excuse to listen to the DuckTales theme song because it ducks hard.
Work can be long, hard, and boring (heh!) but when you put your mind to it and you’ve been doing it for a while, you can do it quickly and efficiently. The video above demonstrates amazing craftsmanship and attention to detail from builders, mechanics, gardeners, and a sheep shearer.
As a way to feed my nostalgia habit (and an act of self-care because the world is always on fire in some way), I watch old adverts from the 90s. It reminds me of my childhood and I can revisit adverts or products I’ve not heard of for decades. They also act as mini time capsules for brands and products that are no longer with us.
The above videos show some of those defunct brands and products from the UK, ranging from one2one (originally Mercury One2One, then becoming one2one, then rebranding as T-Mobile UK, then merging with Orange as Everything Everywhere, and finally becoming EE. Phew!) to Dollond & Aitchison (the opticians), the Goldfish credit card (later bought by Barclaycard), and Tandy.
Found this on Pinterest while looking for a Simpsons title screen generator (it was a Hail Mary search). This one works really well: you type in your chosen text in the text box and click Generate Image. Here are some I made earlier: