[video] Dumbest Commercial Of 2012 Finalist: TireRack.com “The Talk” – Advertising Expert Tim Burt Critiques

First, please watch the commercial of our nominee:

So let me get this straight…the dad finishes reading “The Birds And The Bees” to the son.

The son then claims to have a question. We presume about said book.

The son then asks “does the asymmetrical tread pattern of the tire have anything to do with stopping distance?”

Clearly, this kid is some kind of savant who already knows everything about “The Birds And The Bees”.

During his dad’s monotone narration, his mind somehow wandered into physics, trigonometry, and vulcanized rubber.

The son is also apparently doing the tire-buying for the family vehicle(s), and mistakes his father for a tire salesman. Clearly, he needs such information to make an informed buying decision.


Just exactly how is this commercial supposed to drive me (the potential targeted audience) to TireRack.com to “research, buy, deliver, install” a new set of tires?

Please name for me one (not five, not three, one) reason for the public to even think about going to tirerack.com.

You didn’t mention one. Yet, your slogan is “Revolutionizing Tire Buying Since 1979”.


I’m sorry, but enough information wasn’t given for me to remotely consider going to your website.

The Math Doesn’t Work, Either

The “setup” of the father-son lasts 19 seconds out of this 30-second commercial.

That is 63% of your purchased airtime wasted on a ridiculous setup which in absolutely no way relates to the product being sold.

Thus, only 11 seconds remain to tell us about why anyone should even consider TireRack.com.


I’m all for it in advertising – when it is a part of the commercial that cannot be detached and replaced with anything else.

In this case, the “unexpectedness” line comes from the son. Clearly, the “father” is as dumbfounded as I was – and I bet you were, too.


If you want to use a setup that is out of the ordinary, that’s fine. But the ends must justify the means.

The son could have asked the father any question about any product or service, and the result would have been the same.

What I Would Have Written Instead:

How about a well-dressed, upper-income woman in her early 50’s carrying a dog in her purse going to the service desk at a “big box” store, and asking the same (or a similar) question as the son?

The employee behind the counter could have that same puzzled look as the father.

This would highlight the “research” portion of TireRack.com.

It would also establish their Unique Selling Proposition as experts in the field of tires.

Oh, what am I talking about….that doesn’t “entertain” anyone…all it would do is emulate a real-life example that happens countless times a day to hundreds if not thousands of people.

Silly me. I’m actually trying to bring business back into the client.

Sorry about that…

Final Thought:

I’ll bet the Advertising Agency “creative” types really got a laugh out of this one.

Let’s see if TireRack.com is laughing when they write the check to the agency – with no measurable return on their investment.



About timburtmedia

30,000+ ads globally. Commercial Advertising Marketing - world-wide audio producer, voice-over talent, copywriter.
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1 Response to [video] Dumbest Commercial Of 2012 Finalist: TireRack.com “The Talk” – Advertising Expert Tim Burt Critiques

  1. Codie Whitaker says:

    people who make these commercials arent as worried anymore about getting a point across or selling their product as they are getting the viewer/ consumer to remember the commercial they put out there and thus their company. this is especially hard to do considering there are so many other companies out there trying to do the same thing. thus among these companies the commercial competition rises and the commercials get stupider and stupider. which is fitting considering the IQ of the average american comsumer is seeming to reduce dramatically as well.

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