Talk About a Battle for the Ages: It’s the Throat Cancer Guy vs. the “Saved By Zero” Moron

The throat cancer guy may have finally met his match. For those of you not familiar with him, the throat cancer guy is easily the most irritating presence on TV.

He stars in commercials that feature his robotic-sounding voice and implore viewers not to smoke cigarettes and end up like him, an obnoxious, in your face guy who's had his larynx removed (but, still somehow speaks with a Spanish accent). That last part continues to befuddle me.

Anyway, the throat cancer guy appears to have some solid competition on the airwaves: Toyota's "Saved By Zero" campaign.

Like the throat cancer guy, Toyota's campaign has apparently pissed off a large number of people, yet, at the same time, appears to be working. It's been linked to a definite uptick in car sales. I guess people are able to get past the nausea and somehow focus on savings (it just shows how tough the times really are).

Since the throat cancer guy and Toyota's Saved By Zero moron both air repeatedly during sporting events, I think it's safe to say Thanksgiving Day will be a mini Super Bowl of sorts. Who will succeed in pissing off more viewers: the obnoxious throatToyota
cancer guy who walks around a swimming pool lamenting his inability to dive in (someone should really push him) or the monotone Saved By Zero moron imploring people to lease or buy Toyotas? Actually, it's not a level playing field since Toyota can track car sales on a daily basis while I would think the CDC or anti-tobacco groups track trends over months, if not, years.

Still, there is one recourse for dealing with both advertising fiends: the mute button. And, it's somehow comforting to know that thousands, if not millions, of fellow football fans will be hitting the same mute button as me as we down our turkeys and dodge the throat cancer guy and Toyota moron one more time.

Thanks to Andrew Stein for the idea.

5 thoughts on “Talk About a Battle for the Ages: It’s the Throat Cancer Guy vs. the “Saved By Zero” Moron

  1. I wish I could give you one or two to consider, but there are so many. But yes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. That’s why Ed began to wear sandals to work after this guy.

  2. Here’s something interesting for you to chew on, Lunchboy. I incorporated the throat cancer guy into my stand-up comedy routine about a month ago. I actually have him singing all-time Rock classics as well as Christmas songs. Anyway, a club owner called me today to tell me how much he enjoyed my act, etc., but to also pass along the news that some woman comic did the exact same act a few nights later at a different club. He was wondering who copied whom. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, no? I guess it’s time for me to find a new, more annoying commercial to criticize.

  3. Thanks for the post, deservedly beleaguered softball coach. Ad people are many things, but naive isn’t one of them. I think they purposely devised a tune that would break through the clutter precisely because it is annoying. Talk about diabolical. That’s the kind of thinking that wins softball games, btw.

  4. I don’t know what you are talking about Rep. From all the commercials I have seen; this is going to be THE Toyotathon of all Toyotathons! It’s gonna be great!!!
    Seriously, the deal ends 12/1, so maybe by then there will be a less annoying commercial to talk about Toyotas. I doubt it, though.

  5. With the likelihood of seeing these two commercials a combined total of 17 times prior to my Thanksgiving dinner, I’m expecting my head to explode sometime around the third quarter of game two.
    Anyway, it’s hard to believe that a commercial with such an irritating jingle such as “Saved by Zero” can have a positive impact on sales, but that’s exactly what seems to have happened. For people like me that have no interest in buying a car and could care less about 0% APR financing, the commercial is the devil and the ad firm should be given the Gitmo treatment. However, there are people out there that would love to buy a new car and paying no interest is pretty enticing. The point of the jingle is to get stuck in people’s heads. “Saved by Zero” has certainly accomplished this, as well as the end goal of getting people into the showroom.
    I’m guessing the haters will forget about the commercial shortly after it is retired and there won’t be any prolonged hatred for Toyota as a result. It’s hard for me to admit, but I think it is actually pretty effective advertising. My only question would be did the ad firm make this commercial knowing it would drive me insane every time I saw it, or did they actually think they had something creative and catchy?