Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thank God for TIVO

Television commercials used to have some sort of diversity to them. One would be a straight forward breakdown of a product, the next a jingle-based presentation, followed by an ad based on humor. However, there is a new trend in advertising and it has become quite annoying, which has me counting my blessings that I have a DVR to skip past all of the 30-second eye-rolling, sigh-inducing clips.

The trend: feature a person who has an unreasonable, uninhibited obsession of whatever is being pitched and attempt to make it funny. And it seems like every commercial uses this premise.

For example, I recently saw an ad for a product that is supposed to deodorize and scent your home. But rather than focus on the benefits of having the product, the ad instead showed a woman shoving her nose into her carpet and inhaling the odor like a bloodhound. I don't know about you, but I'm not overly eager to buy a product that is suggesting that I will snort it like a coke addict for hours on end.

Or perhaps you've seen the Burger King ads that show people on the verge of threatening physical violence upon BK employees who tell them that they no longer sell the Whopper. Makes me want to go even more so I too can be an irate jerk over a greasy sandwich.

Beer commercials are the worst. Whether the guy has created some elaborate way of sneaking, storing or protecting his stockpile of beer, or is going through elaborate schemes to lie his way to getting more drinks, the commercials often seem more like a promotion for the value of Alcoholics Anonymous than an advert for a tasty brew.

A recent ad features a person going into the new AM/PM gas station shops and going on a shopping (and cholesterol) blitz on all of the "food" the store offers. The shopper goes in to buy $10 in gas (HA! $10 dollars buys a fume these days) and opts to instead leave with a horde of Funyuns, soda, candy and those hot dogs that roll on those metal bars all day long. And I wonder how anybody in their right mind would walk into a gas station market and think "OOOH, better stock up on all the grade A, high-quality food items in here!"

There are many more. And the shame is that the message of what they're selling often gets lost in a poor, cliche attempt at humoring the viewer. And that's why I love that little button on my remote with the two triangles pointing right. If there's anything worth obsessing over, it's pressing the FFW button to skip past those ads.

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