Lauren Rabaino

I was recently watching “Will & Grace,” dah, I mean, “Mythbusters,” dah, I mean, “World’s Most Extreme Videos” on the television the other day and managed to catch the latest commercial by The Pita Pit.

The advertisement is effective in that it utilizes the only form of humor that Americans know how to grasp: talking animals. For those of you who have lives and don’t watch daytime television, allow me to summarize the commercial for you.

In the first scene, a dog speaks longingly of The Pita Pit, using a voice reminiscent of Donald Sutherland after smoking an entire yoke of weed (not having done drugs, I have no idea if ‘yoke’ is an actual measurement, but I assure you that’s a lot of weed).

The second scene shows montages of young collegiate hands preparing the pita wraps. Namely, throwing deli meat and some old veggies on a vast, greasy skillet. The final scene features the dog announcing his plans to eat at The Pita Pit, probably after he goes out back to deposit last night’s Pita Pit meal atop his hippie owners’ compost pile.

HILARIOUS! I liked the part when the dog talked! How can a dog speak!? He can’t! He’s a dog! THAT’S FUNNY! Talking animals are grand, Homeward Bound was my favorite childhood movie, Hannah Montana. I’m sorry, I don’t know what happened to me just then. New York Times, films by the Coen brothers, Ricky Gervais, phew! I’m feeling much better now.

I have yet to see a decent local television advertisement here in the Central Coast. This Pita Pit commercial is just the most recent in a long line of poorly-produced ads that grate against my classy sensibilities.

There was one I saw that spent 25 seconds filming a 65-year-old woman in a towel while disembodied hands menacingly applied moisturizer to her skin. The last 5 minutes somehow tied this scene into a promotion for a new water softener system. I think the message of this advertisement was “Install our water softener, and we’ll stop airing this commercial.”

The advertisements for are the most depressing of the bunch. They feature large italicized block text and neon pastel backgrounds ripped straight from low-budget early ’90s hip-hop music videos along with interviews of local employers that use the Web site. The interview segments feature sad-looking individuals that read the cue cards with the emotional range of a sunlight-deprived 8th grader who thinks plain yogurt is too sweet.

After seeing their confessions, I’m totally motivated to use to find new employees for my, uh, gentleman’s club. I mean, it obviously did wonders to that employer on that commercial I just saw! Granted, he looked like a deer staring into the headlights of an oncoming car, but look at his booming business!

Honestly, I know I’m asking too much from our local retailers and business owners. Or not enough. What was I asking for in the first place? I can’t remember. I guess I’ll ask for some professionalism. Yeah, professionalism. Pita Pit, you’re selling food that’s highly regarded for its freshness and healthfulness. You are not, I repeat, not selling flee-ridden animals. I don’t care that the dog belongs to the owner of The Pita Pit and that he probably chose the dog to appear in the commercial over his own children; it’s a stupid, albeit adorable, animal. Here’s the new, improved Pita Pit commercial:

A series of colorful shots of pita sandwiches and the restaurant are displayed while a young, confident, female voice narrates: “Here at The Pita Pit, we create cheap, yummerlicious sandwiches out of our warm, freshly baked pitas. Try some of our vegan options if you’re one of those vegans that won’t shut up about being vegan. Or call in and we’ll deliver your sandwich to you if you’re a reclusive hermit that reviles social interaction. We always use fresh veggies, and we’re no longer a cover for multiple local marijuana dealers! Come in and eat something!”

Now wasn’t that much nicer than the actual commercial? If you’re not a funny person, don’t try to be funny on television. Sell your product, not a gimmick. Unless your product is a gimmick, like the Microsoft Zune (har!).

And for the people, you’re beyond repair. Maybe you could add a five second intro to your commercial that states “Warning, a advertisement is about to air.” That way, I can leave the room and go do something productive, like compose a sonnet or shamelessly plug my blog (

Oh, and I claim intellectual ownership to the word yummerlicious, so make up your own fake adjective, Pita Pit!

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