Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Prudential “Ribbons”

Link 01C Logo 02D

Synopsis: On behalf of the Prudential corporation and the big fat check it stuffed into his pocket, sellout social psychologist Daniel Gilbert smugly strolls through a sun-splashed public park to remind everyone not named Daniel Gilbert that they haven’t saved nearly enough money to avoid dying in abject poverty.

Looks like a perfect day to depress the hell out of struggling middle-class wage earners in Savannah, Georgia


Giant retirement savings calculator is going to ruin ambiance of Civil War re-enactment scheduled for later this afternoon


Participants in commercial demonstration were told not to bring any guns, Confederate flags, or common sense


“We asked people a question: ‘How much money do you think you’ll need when you retire?’”


“Then we asked them, ‘Are you gullible enough to take financial advice from a softly patronizing psychologist with no background or qualifications in economics whatsoever?’”


“Prudential gave me a boatload of cash to spend a couple of hours pretending to care what happens to you people.”


“I was paid more for this commercial than you make in an entire year of actually contributing something to society – just think about that.”


It’s a trick question if you were born after 1960, because you’re never going to retire


“How much money do you think you’ll need to buy a new camera after I shove that one up your ass?”


“ISIS offers a pretty good pension plan, so I think I’m all set.”


“When I close my eyes I’m a billionaire surrounded by many beautiful ladies and I can’t hear you la-la-la …”


Retirement planning is a serious, complicated matter that can only be understood using brightly-colored ribbons


Half the residents of Savannah regularly wear navy blue sweatshirts


Alisha’s employment agreement with Walmart requires her to work until she turns 97, drop dead in the break room, and reimburse the company for her corpse’s trip to the morgue


To save money, ad producer used recycled crime scene tape from Ferguson, Missouri


This is almost as much fun as having no real hope of doing better than your parents


“I’m more worried about stuff that directly affects me, like Ebola, al-Qaeda, and Benghazi.”


“Thank you, Barack Hussein Obama.”


Festive plastic strip indicates that last two or three decades of your life will be an unrelenting nightmare


Tammy comes face-to-face with realization that, like most Americans, she’ll have to spend the majority of her adult life sharing income and expenses with someone she slowly grows to despise


If you kill the person next to you, you get to tack their ribbon onto yours


“Who are you to judge me, you son of a bitch?”


Brian is dismayed to learn that his dog has saved more for retirement than he has


“Sorry – I just came to stalk teenage girls.”


Judy might as well dig her own grave right there


Jasper’s ribbon only stretched to age 75 – but he’s 78


Guess that explains why he lives in the park


“I said, you stepped on my goddamn ribbon!”


“I’m sorry … I just found out that I’m probably gonna starve to death in six months.”


“It’s only human nature to be a fucking moron when planning for the future.”


“Prudential has built an entire business model upon that very idea.”


It’s funny because roughly a quarter of them will perish long before they reach retirement age


30-year-old dude confidently standing on “85” is going to get run over by a bus on his way home from the park


Turns out that the solution is changing the color of your ribbon


Prudential guarantees a .003% return per ribbon foot, excluding commissions and fees


Display resembles exculpatory asterisk that follows every written representation made by Prudential to its investors


Observing the scene from heaven, God decides to amuse Himself by summoning a tornado


You provide the income, we provide the legal disclaimers of liability


Because the best kind of corporate financial partner is one that assumes no risk and charges you for gambling with your money

Loathsomeness: 8.9


  1. Want to get REALLY depressed? Spend an hour every Saturday night watching Suze Orman telling 30-year olds with $600,000 in retirement and $80,000 liquid who own their homes outright and bring home $6000 a month after taxes that they can't afford that $3500 bus tour of the UK because they "don't have enough money." If that doesn't have you longing for that quick hit-by-a-bus death, nothing will.

    1. Suze Orman scares me more than the prospect of an impoverished retirement.

  2. I can think of some people who can look forward to a cozy retirement: the CEO of Prudential, this hireling, the head of the ad agency.....

    1. No doubt their ribbons could stretch to the moon.

  3. I'm not sure why I love this site so much. Every time I finish reading it, I'm filled with an odd mixture of revulsion, existential ennui, worry about my own health or finances, and hopelessness at the direction our society is headed.

    Of course, I get the same thing from watching TV, but without the funny and insightful commentary, so there's that.

    1. You've perfectly described my baseline emotional state.

  4. You have GOT to do the new Buick Enclave "Looks like the Garcias got a new car" ad which is so filled with suburban prince and princess envy the loathsomeness just bursts from the screen. It's way too double-stuffed with crud for my little blog.

    1. You are so right about that one; I just saw it again this morning.

  5. Comedy is sadly best when the truth is so sad, that we must simply laugh in lieu of tears.
    First time here and first article read, I am digging it.

  6. As someone whose 65-year-old mother moved in with my sister and me after my father died, there's never enough money. All this talk of buying vineyards and yachting across the Pacific Ocean is just BS. If you're working class, in your early sixties and live in anything more than a rowhouse, your house isn't paid off (especially if you helped put kids through college), you still have car payments, you're taking some incredibly expensive meds for arthritis, heart disease, etc. and you can barely food shop. I'm 45, have cheated death, was denied disability while on a respirator, and will probably die at a temp job somewhere. Retirement? Puhleeze. Stop peddling this imaginary shit.

    1. You mean seeing brightly colored ribbons stretched to the length of arbitrary lifespans didn't magically solve all your financial problems? Maybe you need to watch Dr. Gilbert's follow-up Prudential ad, featuring giant dominoes.

    2. Oh God I thought you were joking about the giant domino commercial, then I saw it today on tv. Dr. Gilbert must be some kind of quack, everybody knows the largest dominoes squash those silly peasanty small dominoes. Idiot.

  7. This is the best site ever...

    1. I don't want to sound self-serving, but that is objectively true.

  8. http://www.thecommercialcurmudgeon.com/2014/11/ameriprise-and-tommy-lee-jones-arent.html

    Similar message from another loathsome "give us your money or die in poverty" company: "You have tons of money, and you are wasting it by not giving it to us to play with." What does this have to do with the vast majority of us who live paycheck to paycheck? Where is this "investment" money supposed to come from? Oh yeah, delivering pizzas on the weekend- that might have been an option before I had to sell my car.

  9. Being in my early 30s (that "lost generation" between gen-x and gen-y) I'm old enough to know better than to trust these oligarchs with my earnings but am unfortunately not young enough to be able to fully recover from the havoc these kinds of fuckers did to our economy. Cheers.

    1. Your choice is between stocks that gain 10% one week and lose 15% the next, or savings accounts that earn a steady .01% for years.

  10. I love you. I hate this commercial so much too. And the korean air one...marry me.

    1. Just hope that Daniel Gilbert doesn't show up at our wedding.

      Trying to post more frequently, so feel free to send suggestions to editor@pointlessplanet.com


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