In a time where everyone seems fiercely divided on most issues, there’s one thing we can all agree on: Local television commercials can be hilariously bad.
The Tampa Bay Times recently asked readers to tell us about the Tampa Bay television commercials they love to hate -- past and present. We received more than 700 responses on Facebook, Twitter and Reddit. Here are the best of the worst.
Fuccillo Kia, which has multiple locations around Tampa Bay, is known for its over-the-top and loud commercials. The commercials star the owner, Billy Fuccillo, who offers “HUUGE” deals on buying and leasing Kia vehicles. In this 2016 ad, Fuccillo and his sidekick offer customers the chance to win a home, a car and a trip around the world. You only have to buy or lease a Kia and win first place in a mini-golf tournament.
Most commercials try to steal your attention with catchy jingles and scripted dialogue, but not Culpepper Kurland ads. The personal injury law firm located in Tampa has made a brand out of looking cool and saying absolutely nothing. This particular commercial features the duo walking in slow motion and taking questions from a sea of news reporters. Make sure to watch to the end on this one. Brad Culpepper throws a business card into the press pulpit that ends up being the final frame of the commercial. Thing is, the the law firm handles cases that are rarely -- if ever -- covered by the media.
Gold & Diamond Source
The Gold & Diamond Source in Pinellas County has had more than 500 TV commercials, but readers found this March Madness ad particularly annoying. The ad features the operators of Gold & Diamond source, Steve and Julie Weintraub, who told us their love story recently.
Allied Discount Tires
You may not remember the 1980s commercials from Allied Discount Tires, but they are a Tampa Bay classic. The “tires ain’t pretty” spokesman, Sam Behr, gently talks through the struggles of selling tires. Years later the commercials are still remembered for their frankness and simplicity.
Bay City Cabinets
Bay City Cabinets ads from the 1980s start like a lot of bad commercials. Three men, known as “the Hatchetmen” take turns yelling at you, offering up savings and deals on cabinets. The most notable part of the commercial comes at the end when the men laugh in unison and wave their hands around their knees.
Bay City Cabinets has been in Tampa since 1979 and still exists today. In late March, the business posted a 15-second video on Facebook that features workers doing the iconic laughter and Charleston-like dance move at the end.
Weather Tite Windows
Weather Tite Mike, aka Michael Hollander and the owner of Weather Tite Windows in Tampa, wants your business, but he also wants you to bring him cookies.
That request has perplexed a lot of people who want to know why he wants cookies. According to Hollander, though, that’s the whole point.
“I want to keep them guessing, so it’s kind of like a cliffhanger," Hollander said. “You know it’s working when random people approach you and ask you for cookies.”
Hollander says he receives about a dozen cookies a week and keeps cookies at his store for customers.
Stimus’ Auto Dealerships
In the 1980s, it was hard to avoid commercials featuring Bradenton used car dealer Tom Stimus and the famous TV wrestler Dusty Rhodes. The pair made a name for themselves by yelling loudly, smacking hoods of cars, and declaring Stimus’ as No. 1 in the world.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be whisked away for surgery on a hospital gurney? Lucky for you, you don’t have to wonder any more thanks to 1-800-ASK-GARY commercials. This particular commercial is shot from your point-of-view as you roll down the hospital hallway. The only difference from a typical hospital visit is that your doctor is telling you to call Gary.
Red Rose Inn & Suites
The Red Rose Inn & Suites in Plant City closed in 2012 but is still remembered for its campy commercials featuring Evelyn Madonia, who was known for her gaudy ballroom dresses and large red hair.
Florida Auto Exchange
Would you buy a car from a doctor wearing a snorkel? If you answered yes, then look no further than Dr. Credit at Florida Auto Exchange in Dunedin.
Treasure Island Fun Center
You’ll probably need a nap after watching Treasure Island Fun Center’s commercial. A lot is going on. For those who don’t know, Treasure Island Fun Center is an arcade in Seminole that has been around for decades.
Wagon Wheel Flea Market
Wagon Wheel Flea Market in Pinellas Park has been around since 1966. In more recent years, the flea market has aired commercials featuring testimonials from customers that seem a little odd. The jingle at the end screams local commercial.
Usually, jingles come at the end of ads, but that’s not the case for Easy AC, an air conditioner repair company in Tampa. The jingle plays through the entirety of the commercial, even when the narrator is talking.
WTOG Channel 44 Station
This 75-second commercial from the 1970s has no speaking parts. Instead, it uses a series of clips of people holding up four-fingers on each hand as elevator music plays in the background.
Acree Air Conditioning
It’s the jingle you wish you could stop singing, but you can’t. Also, why do companies use irrelevant phrases in their phone number?
We Buy Any Car
This isn’t technically a local commercial, but we decided to include it after many readers said they really don’t like it.
What other commercials did we miss? Let us know in the comments!