Saturday, September 8, 2012

Mensa membership guaranteed!

I really wish I could find the longer version of this commercial, which is AGGRESSIVELY TERRIBLE while this one is merely stupid and annoying.  But you work with what you have.

So.  The reason I would rather have shown you the longer version is that in that one, I think it's pretty clear that both of these people are insufferable, rather than basically just the dude.

[Guy is sitting looking at a statue]
Woman: "Are you a fan of DeMoissier?"
Guy's Internal Monologue: "DeMoissi-who?  Okay, you know you're smart.  You just ordered a premium roast coffee and a savory Sausage McMuffin for only a dollar each off McDonald's Dollar Menu at breakfast, so..."

Please note: if it takes you this many seconds to come up with what is at best a halfway coherent response, everyone will know you're full of shit.  Look at the woman - she's already gotten bored of waiting for an answer and is writing something down in her planner, presumably "Do not ever, ever fuck this guy."

Guy: "He has a certain... je ne sais quoi."

Fuck you.  Since when does "being smart" have to equate to "having heard of, and formed an opinion on, every modern sculpture artist in existence?"  This is the kind of shit someone who thinks they are extremely smart came up with.  Ooh, and French!  The language of smart people, right?  That's what I heard.

In the extended version of this commercial, the woman replies, "Oh, tu parles français!"  Let's be clear here: "Je ne sais quoi" is a well-enough-known phrase in English that I don't believe for a second that someone who actually spoke French as a second language would hear it and assume that the person they were talking to was bilingual.  Also, as someone who actually does parle un peu de français, it's pretty shitty for that woman to immediately use the singular tu form of the second-person rather than the plural vous form, which is more typically used in formal address, like, you know, when you're speaking to some stranger in the park.  Perhaps she's just being patronizing because she recognizes he's full of shit, but I don't think that's the intent.  Although if you type "Oh, you speak French" into Google Translate, it (properly) gives you the more formal "vous parlez français" form.  I guess this ad was written by someone who took French, but just not since sophomore year of high school.

Oh, the guy's response to that, by the way, is "Oh yeah, all the time," which is just a continued stream of bullshit.  McDonald's: it won't make you smarter, but it'll sure make you feel like you have to pretend to be a genius everywhere you go!  But this really is a commercial all about behaving weirdly in front of strangers.  The guy feels intimidated by the woman's seeming intellect and has to try and impress her even though she's a total stranger because, I don't know, smart woman in business suits are inherently emasculating, right, fellas?  But meanwhile, the woman is sort of a bitch here, between assuming the guy just chilling on a park bench must be a fan of modern art, assuming he speaks French for no good reason (forcing him to keep bullshitting), and using tu like she's talking to a five-year-old.  Other than that, though, a couple of winning characters here, McDonald's.  Maybe we could have a whole series of ads where the guy has to keep feigning expertise to avoid looking like a schmuck, while internally feeling confident in his own intelligence because hey, he didn't buy a seven-dollar Sausage McMuffin at the artisanal breakfast co-op like some sucker.

Most delightful aspect of this ad: the supremely awkward way the guy is required to hold the cup of coffee just so the "McCafe" logo is not obscured by his hand.  In case you're deaf and wanted to know what this was an ad for, I guess.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Tomato sauce for the soul

I hate to be sort of on the same side of an issue as that awful "One Million Moms" group, which apparently wants this commercial to be banned, but this shit is just dumb.

Look, I'm all for people dumping on One Million Moms for attacking this commercial, but a quick Google search includes comments like "one of the funniest, most endearing ads I've seen in a long time."  Whoa.  Back the fucking train up here.  Yeah, the ad isn't offensive like the dopes at One Million Moms seem to think it is.  But I do think it is (a) weird and (b) bizarrely inappropriate for the product being marketed.

Like, the ad seems a little tongue-in-cheek, but not really enough to completely get away with it.  It seems fairly serious in its suggestion that Ragu is some sort of magic elixir - serve your kids pasta with this sauce poured all over it, and they'll totally forget about their hard day!  Which included, apparently, seeing you having sex like, minutes earlier.

Doesn't the timeline in this ad not really work?  And just generally not make sense?  I mean, when are these people eating dinner that the parents were off fucking at 8 pm, pre-dinner?  I know it doesn't take a long time to cook pasta but still.  I guess we're supposed to assume that the kid is getting home from a friend's house (a friend who also eats dinner super late, apparently?), and the parents thought they could squeeze in some evening action before he arrived only to be proven WRONG.  I don't have any kids, so I guess I'm not familiar with that whole aspect of one's marital sex life.  It does seem weird though.  Also, how about locking your fucking door, people?  Why are we blaming the kid for this one?

Also, I'm sure that kid loves eating pasta, but he seems REMARKABLY unfazed by sitting at the same table as his parents given that he looked horrified to have seen them fucking like, what, 15 minutes earlier?  He's really over it already?  Either it wasn't that hard a day of childhood or Ragu is actually some sort of mind-erasing product.  "Are your kids upset with something you did?  Feed them Ragu!  RAGU TO FORGET."

One Million Moms are awful, and I think it's a bit much to attack this ad since it's frankly far less explicit in its suggestion of sex than plenty else that's on the air, to say nothing of even most family sitcoms.  At the same time, I do find it an odd way to sell pasta sauce, and just kind of creepy.  By comparison, here's another ad in the series:

See, that's actually kind of cute.  I know that "the replaced pet" and "walking in on the parents having sex" are both pretty stereotypical "bad childhood experiences," but I think one is a lot less weird to have on primetime television.  No, sex isn't weird or gross or inappropriate to even allude to on television.  But it still seems like a strange way to sell pasta sauce.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I'm really, really hating it

For a long time, McDonald's was not just the unquestioned leader in its industry, it was also responsible for a lot of memorable ads. The last couple of years... not so much. First we had this ridiculousness, then we had the biggest asshole in commercial history, and then we had... hand dancing. Oh, did we ever have hand dancing.

Yet overall I would still have said that McDonald's was probably the least offensive ad maker in its cohort, if only because of sheer volume - yeah, the coffee guy is a huge asshole, but it's not like that was the only ad McDonald's was running. Recently, though, they've just gone completely off the rails.

For instance, what the hell is this?

Let me say right off the bat that I LOATHE the entire "the simple joy of X" campaign. I hate everything about it. The "simple joy" of cheap, shitty food cranked out by minimum-wagers on behalf of a multinational corporation? Fuck off. But that's just the start of the indignities perpetrated by this series of ads.

Husband: "I'm home! ...oh."
Wife: "Where were you?"
Husband: "Uh, I was just in the car."
Wife: "The car? What's that on your collar?"
Husband: "Hm? Oh... tie?"
Wife: "Why do you seem happy?"
Husband: "I'm not..."
Wife: "Come here."
Husband: "Okay."
Wife: [smells him] "Mint. Wow."
Husband: "I had a Shamrock Shake."
Wife: "I hate you."
Husband: "And I got one for you, too..."
Wife: "I love you!"

This is deranged. This is mental patient level shit. The wife almost certainly has some sort of personality disorder, probably something in Cluster B. Also, she mouths "I love you" at the shake as she walks away. She has PROBLEMS. But McDonald's doesn't seem to see anything wrong here. To them, this is perfectly acceptable behavior where the Shamrock Shake is concerned. See:

Announcer: "The magical minty flavor you'll covet with all your heart."

GET. THE. FUCK. OVER. YOURSELVES. I guess it's probably hard not to be supremely arrogant and self-centered when you're a company like McDonald's. They are the dominant global force in fast food. In 2010, McDonald's had revenues of more than $24 billion, a figure greater than the gross domestic products of nearly 100 countries. So, you could argue, McDonald's doesn't really have anything left to sell. They could never run another ad and they'd probably do just fine. And when they run ads implying that people are functionally addicted to their food, I guess they have the sales figures to back that up. But FUCK is it annoying.

What's really grating is the straight-facedness of it all. These commercials seem designed to appeal to a younger crowd, and they have the vibe of post-modern ads that are all about joking and almost playfully undermining the product. But if there's one thing McDonald's does not do, it's undermine its products. No, McDonald's inflates them to almost godlike statures.

THIS IS ANNOYING. It is annoying and terrible. This is a lot like that "bigger than the Big Mac" ad from five years ago that was actually the first McDonald's ad to make this site. See, McDonald's, here's the thing. You're really famous. Everyone recognizes the arches, everyone knows the Big Mac song in spite of the fact that it hasn't been the centerpiece of a campaign in like decades. But NO ONE uses your food as a reference point. NO ONE. "It's the Egg McMuffin of X" is not something that ANYONE has EVER said in ANY context, outside of the actors during the filming of this commercial. And are there really even people who think of the Egg McMuffin as the most delicious food item ever invented, such that this ad would begin to make a lick of sense? I feel sad for them, if so.

You can't even claim it's tongue in cheek. It's not tongue in cheek. McDonald's has the clout to say that their products are fantastic and addictive and world-defining, and they are totally serious about it. Maybe they're not wrong. But it's extremely obnoxious.

My two least favorite McDonald's ads at the moment, of course, I can't find on YouTube (not copies worth posting, anyway). If anyone can turn up a decent copy of the ad with the two old guys or the "I've been around" ad, let me know.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Live from New York, it's creative bankruptcy

I've commented a few times in the past about how an ad has reminded me of a Saturday Night Live parody commercial. But I'm pretty sure this is the first time in the five years I've been writing this blog (yep, we're FIVE years old now) that an ad has actually stolen its entire concept from one of those SNL ads.

Did Verizon think they were just going to get away with this? Did they think no one would remember the Bad Idea Jeans spot from SNL because it aired so long ago? Guess what: WE REMEMBERED. The top two comments on YouTube both call Verizon out for being ripoff artists, which means that not only did two people notice it, but so did dozens of other people who subsequently voted up those two comments.

The real question is: does Verizon think they were just doing a "playful homage"? I mean, the similarities are hardly just limited to the basic "bad idea" concept:

They're both playing basketball too! Of course, that makes me think that Verizon wasn't trying to hide anything, and that they just thought we'd find it funny if they referenced a previous bit of humor. The problem is that while I'd expect that from, say, some douchebag's internet ad blog, I tend to think that maybe professional ad writers could actually come up with their own jokes. (Don't bother pointing out how they had to write new things that were bad ideas and how that counts as coming up with jokes. For starters, anyone with a sense of humor could come up with three or four "things that are obviously bad ideas." Then there's the fact that Verizon's are pretty toothless - granted, this is a national ad campaign and not a late-night comedy show - and the fact that there seems to be a pretty clear thematic connection between some of the jokes, like the two that are about the guy's kids or the one about where surgery is dirt-cheap - clearly some third-world country - and the original one about Haiti.) Everything about this ad screams laziness, if not just outright plagiarism. It's like whoever had the Verizon account woke up late on the day of the pitch meeting, ran out the door without his notes, and had to make something up for the client on the spot.

Oh, and extra negative points to this current Verizon series for reusing multiple commercial actors I already hate, including the doofus from the State Farm "Journey" ad right below this post and, in another ad in the series, the biggest of the three idiots from those old Raisin Bran Crunch spots. Like it wasn't bad enough they were already reusing someone else's concept.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The unwatchable journey

In the nearly five years I've been writing for this blog, we've had a number of running targets - Raisin Bran Crunch (in order: here, here, here, here, and here), Burger King (too many to list them all, as we've written fully fourteen Burger King posts, but here are three of my favorites), Crispin Porter + Bogusky in general (this Quivering P. Landmass post is my personal favorite), and so forth. But I don't think I've ever been moved to write about the same ad campaign three times in eight days. Congratulations, State Farm!

Agent: "One of the best things about State Farm is our accessibility."
Guy: "Oh yeah?"
Agent: "You can call us 24/7, get quotes online, start a claim with our smartphone app - you name it, we're here, any time, anywhere, any way you want it."

"Any way you want it?" Gee, that's an awfully uncommon turn of phrase to bust out there. It's almost like you're setting something up.

Guy: "That's the way I need it."
Agent: "Any way you want it."
Guy: "All night?"
Agent: "All night."
Guy: "Every night?"
Agent: "Any way you want it."
Guy: "That's the way I need it."

This is already pretty stupid. But you know what would be way stupider? Addressing what just happened as though it were somehow a natural part of the conversation, or in any way not just some bullshit thrown together because someone inexplicably thought it would make for an amusing ad.

Guy: "We just had ourselves a little Journey moment there."

Oh, writers of this ad. What were you thinking? You guys are as cold as ice. You're willing to sacrifice our love! Hmm, bit of a Foreigner moment there. Rest assured that was completely organic, just a natural extension of what I was already writing. Because I'm hot blooded. Check it and see!

Agent: "Yup."
Guy: "Saw 'em in '83 in Fresno. Place was crawling with chicks."
[Guy's wife looks over angrily]
Guy: "I gotta go."

Just in case you thought we'd get out of one of these ads without some sort of relationship issue: nope. State Farm is getting really good at sowing marital discord, aren't they? I picture this agent meeting up with Jake at some all-night diner and chuckling about all the relationships they've ruined through their jobs in the insurance industry.

And then they end the ad by playing the actual Journey version of "Any Way You Want It." Here's the thing: if the song is famous enough to be used the way it's used in this ad, then it should also be famous enough that you don't need to ram down our throats that you're using it. Playing the song at the end of the ad would have worked perfectly for your purposes. Doing the stupid song-lyrics banter, then being like "HEY THAT WAS JOURNEY DID EVERYONE CATCH THAT THAT WAS JOURNEY," and then also playing Journey at the end of the ad... at that point I really just feel like you're insulting my intelligence...

...faithfully. (Nailed it! Totally natural!)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Like a grim reaper, State Farm is there

This commercial is really weird, right? It's not just me?

Wife: "My husband Hank was always fun. Never took life too seriously."

Sad piano. Use of the past tense.

Wife: "Till our son was born. That day he bought life insurance."

Mention of life insurance. Serious-looking woman.

Wife: "Now there's no way I could send our boy to college without it."

Mention of using life insurance. Use of the first-person singular pronoun.

Wife: "If there's one thing I could say to Hank, it'd be 'Thank you.'"

Implication that speaking to Hank would be impossible, because he is dead.

Hank: "You're welcome."
Wife: "Hey, Hank."

Oh, she just sounds like she wishes he was dead. So really, while all that other stuff seems like nothing more than cheap misdirection in hindsight, don't you kind of get the feeling that this woman secretly fantasizes about her husband dying?

Announcer: "Life insurance you can use while you're still living."

Um... really? Well, let's check out the State Farm website.

Permanent life insurance policies offer financial protection in the event of your death. But did you know that they can also help you build cash value you can use in your lifetime? In fact, the cash value you build can grow into a sizeable asset that you can access by loans and withdrawals.

I don't claim to be the most financially savvy person. And perhaps someone more learned on this topic will feel free to educate me in the comments. But something about this sounds really problematic. I get that it makes sense to allow people to have early access to a potential life insurance payout lest they reach a point where they're too old to use much of it or the whole family dies in the same plane crash or something. But then, isn't that really how insurance works? You pay a fairly small premium compared to the potential payout, and the insurance company is effectively gambling that you won't ever get to collect the big money. There must be another shoe dropping here.

Unpaid loans and withdrawals will reduce the death benefit and policy cash value. Loans also accrue interest.

There it is. So look, I'm sure it was nice to have that money to send your son to college, but when Hank actually DOES die, you're pretty much screwed, lady.

Hank: "You are one lucky lady!"
Wife: [now actively thinking about killing him herself] "Mmmm-hmmmm."

I get the joke they were obviously going for, but this commercial is super morbid. And the message and tone are really undercut by the fact that the wife clearly cannot STAND her husband! (Oh, State Farm made an ad in which spouses weren't thrilled with each other? You don't say.) The whole thing is just awkward, and frankly kind of creepy.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Can't buy me peanut butter

Jif! Boy, you can't get that anywhere, can you?

I mean, that's the message I'm getting from this commercial. Jif, beloved regional product, and certainly not major national brand. Right?

[Phone rings]
Mom: "Hey, college girl!"
Girl: "Hey, Mom! I just got your package!"
Mom: "Great!"
Girl: "Yeah. Mom, you're the best!"

And the girl reaches into the box and immediately grabs, not the picture of her with her beloved dog, not whatever mix CD that is (and what do college kids love more than mix CDs put together by their mothers?), but the jar of Jif peanut butter that her mom thoughtfully sent, because, of course, this girl has decided to attend college in Bangalore, India, where they do not sell Jif peanut butter.

Mom: "I thought you would like it."

Is she supposed to somehow know inherently that the daughter is talking about the Jif? Telepathic moms choose Jif.

Mom: "So how are your classes?"
Announcer: "It's more than just that great peanut taste. Choosing Jif is a simple way to show someone how much you care."

Whoa, whoa, WHOA, there, Jif. Settle the fuck down. I like peanut butter and all, but throwing an inexpensive jar of peanut butter (that the girl could easily have purchased herself at like a hundred locations within a mile of her dorm) into a care package is like the definition of "minimal effort." I guess they do admit it's "simple," but I don't think that's nearly pejorative enough. How about, "Choosing Jif is a lazy way to show someone how much you care?" Or better yet, "Choosing Jif is an ineffective way of showing someone how much you care, because seriously, who gives a shit?"

Also, man does that girl dig into that peanut butter quickly. Hello, freshman fifteen!

Mom: "We can't wait to get you home!"

"Back to Lexington, Kentucky, home of the immense Jif production plant!"

Girl: "I love you, Mom!"
Mom: "I love you too! We'll see you soon."

How soon is this girl coming home? If she's going to be back home in like two weeks, did you really need to rush out this care package? Clingy moms choose Jif.

Announcer: "Choosy moms choose Jif."

I know this has been Jif's slogan since forever. And it's one of the classic slogans that like everyone knows. That said, it's kind of dumb, right? CHOOSY moms choose Jif? What exactly is choosy about picking the most dominant peanut butter brand in the United States, which is mass-produced on a grand scale? I'm not saying this inherently precludes quality or that Jif isn't any good, but selecting it isn't really indicative of choosiness. Moms who buy whatever's at eye level choose Jif. That's a bit more realistic, I think.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love is in the air, and it smells like pepperoni

In honor of Valentine's Day, get a load of this shit.

That is a screenshot of this page, which I took because since the listed end date for the promotion is 2/14/12, who knows how long it'll be up for your perusal.

I mean, holy shit, right? Look, I know this is probably just for publicity. Pizza Hut comes up with a gimmicky thing that no one would ever actually buy, it gets kicked around the web because people love that Neiman Marcus fantasy gift shit, and boom, free advertising for the $10 dinner box, which I did not previously know was a thing. But just imagine for a second that Pizza Hut was serious here. How fucking deranged is this?

First, I love that it's not a diamond ring, although if you're the kind of woman who INSISTS on an expensive diamond for your engagement ring, you're probably not going to be too impressed with the $10 dinner box proposal no matter how nice the ring is.

Then, how about a photographer AND a videographer? I'm not sure that's enough. How about a caricature artist too, and maybe a stenographer to get down every word you're saying? You really want to remember every facet of your embarrassing Pizza Hut proposal.

I also love that the stated cost is $10,010, because that includes the dinner box. Yeah, we couldn't just include that in the obscene $10,000 engagement package. That's extra. (The "plus tax" also kills me.) This is really the biggest tip-off that Pizza Hut is mostly kidding around, I think (although I'm sure if anyone actually wanted this they'd be happy to sell it). It's funnier if you take this extravagant package and make the cheap-ass food cost extra on top of it.

If you click on "more information" it gives you the press release, which only makes it clearer that this is a publicity stunt of the highest caliber. Most of the time is spent talking about the dinner box itself:

The $10 Dinner Box Proposal Package includes a ruby engagement ring, limo service, flowers, fireworks show, photographer, videographer and of course, most importantly, the mouth-watering new $10 Dinner Box.

Fitting all of these amazing items into one package echoes the feat pulled off inside the new Pizza Hut $10 Dinner Box, which includes a medium one-topping rectangular pan pizza, five breadsticks with marinara sauce and 10 cinnamon sticks with a sweet icing cup in one box for only $10.

Just by the way, that is like the starchiest thing that ever starched.

"If we’re able to fit pizza, breadsticks and dessert into one box for only $10, why stop there?" asked Kurt Kane, Pizza Hut CMO.


Perhaps my favorite part - and again, it's irrelevant because ain't nobody buying this - is in the fine print:

"We may substitute listed products with equivalent value products."

I wonder which of those products is most likely to be substituted for an item of equal value. If you're the sort of person who loves Pizza Hut so much you're willing to propose marriage over a pizza box, maybe you could trade in the fireworks show for a couple years' worth of Lipitor.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Low Voltage

The 2006 documentary Who Killed the Electric Car? is an exploration of the reasons why the initial attempt at production of electric cars in America failed. Various possible reasons were cited, including the desire of the oil companies to spike a competing fuel source, a lack of appeal to consumers, and fears on the part of the automakers that long-term revenues would drop because electric cars required comparatively little maintenance.

Well, between last fall's ad campaign for the Chevy Volt and the one they've started running recently, I think I have an idea for a sequel in case the electric car fails again: shitty advertising.


[A bunch of aliens are examining the Chevy Volt in a guy's garage.]
Alien: "Chevy Volt!"
Guy: "Guys... this is the third time this week."
[Aliens look somewhat chastened]
Guy: "Okay, I'll say it again. It's electric..."
Alien: "Electric."
Guy: "But when I need to go farther, it uses gas."
Alien: "Gas."
Guy: "Please, tell me you understand..."

You know what, Chevy? Don't fucking flatter yourself. Do you think really think this idea is such a hard concept? Hey, it uses electric and gas! Congratulations, it's a fucking hybrid, except it reverses the typical order of fuel usage. EVERYONE GETS IT. It was bad enough in the initial ad where the premise was "idiots at the gas station will hassle you because they're confused, because this is just WAY too complicated for people to grasp." Now we're really out in the depths of the egos of Chevy's design team. "That's right, not even space aliens who have mastered the technology of interstellar travel understand how a car could possibly have two power sources!"

Here's how a Chevy Volt ad plays out in real life. Ready?

Guy: "Hey, I thought that was an electric car."
Volt owner: "Yeah, it mostly is, but it does use gas as a backup power source for longer trips."
Guy: "Oh, okay."

FIN, assholes. No one is confused by the Chevy Volt. And by pretending that everyone is, you're making yourselves look like supercilious dicks.

I'm not even going to talk about the ridiculous "punchline" to this ad, since it doesn't deserve comment. I will say, though, between the electric car and the aliens, was anyone else reminded of "We Do," the song sung by the Stonecutters in the classic Simpsons episode "Homer the Great," when they saw this ad? I'm just saying, if Steve Guttenberg pops up in the next Volt ad I'm gonna be really suspicious.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

America's heart valves are always closed

One of our Twitter followers, @Telos09, brought the following ad to my attention a couple weeks ago. It's been a while since we've taken a "request," for lack of a better term, so let's get into it.


Woman: "Uh, what's the Loaded Baked Potato Skillet like?"

Let me stop right here. Are there really people who go into Denny's and start asking the waitstaff to give opinions on what the food is like? This is the kind of thing you do at a real restaurant, where maybe you're not sure if the preparation is going to be what you want. Is a dish too spicy? How's the meat prepared? That kind of thing. At Denny's this is not an issue. What's the Loaded Baked Potato Skillet like? Uh, it's like we threw some potatoes and other shit into a pan and then cooked it for five minutes.

Waitress: "It's like, uh..." [makes sizzle sounds]
Kid in nearby booth: "No, it's more like:" [makes sizzle sounds]
Douchebag at a nearby table: "If you have prime rib, it's like:" [makes sizzle sounds]

Okay, everyone just shut the fuck up. And I know Denny's is just trying to work all the skillets into this ad, but prime rib? Who the fuck asked you about prime rib, dude? We're talking about the Loaded Baked Potato Skillet at the moment. Fuck off.

Old lady: "The Western Skillet's like:" [makes sizzle sounds]


The ad then cuts between all the people doing their stupid sounds in a way that reminded me immediately of the original Budweiser "Wassup" commercial from, God, what, a decade ago? On the one hand, probably just a coincidence. On the other hand, my mind went there IMMEDIATELY. I don't know. Whatever.

Woman: "Oh, that sounds good, I'll have one of those, please!"

I get the joke. It's not funny.

Guy: "I'll get the:" [makes sizzle sounds]


We then see the actual skillets, and man do they just look gross. They don't quite reach Famous Bowl levels, but they really do just look like a bunch of shit tossed into a pan. Yeah, just throw all that shit in there, and then drizzle some other shit on top of it. I am not getting hungry.