Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Truth In Advertising

Let's wander off the beaten path tonight and talk about something that never ceases to annoy me. Television commercials.

I don't watch a lot of tv. On the vague occasion that I don't feel like settling in for a movie but still require some background noise, I might tune into Adult Swim, Law & Order SVU, or the Food Network. I used to be a huge fan of The Learning Channel, until the vast majority of their programming became basically the antithesis of learning. And I absolutely refuse to try and become involved in a movie on regular television. I can live with the editing, but not with the interruption to the continuity.

Commercials. Bringing you product placements for shit you wouldn't consider buying otherwise.

Here's a question... when HDTV and Blu-ray manufacturers show me commercials on my regular televsion... how do they do that super fucking cool trick where they make the image better? Are they messing with the original image, like those obnoxious Claritin commercials, or can they actually make my pixilated image more realistic without me needing to buy their product? Ever wonder?

Let me tell you about the commercial I saw today. Premise: a guy is trying to pass off take out food as a home cooked meal to his girlfriend. The product? Hefty's newest garbage bag; The Black Out. Okay... outside of the scenario presented in the advertisement, who needs to hide the contents of their garbage? Teen moms that didn't make the MTV cut and decided to go the Lysol and coat hanger route? Middle aged white men with a penchant for dressing like clowns and picking up gay men? Larry Flynt?

Dear Local Car Dealerships across the nation...please up your advertising budget or stay off my television. The daughter you think is a beauty queen makes me want to gouge out my eyeballs with a beer can tab. Your peculiar fashion sense is only equaled by that of the ambulance chaser looking to represent me for free if my father's uncle died of asbestos poisoning. And why are you always pointing at me? Is there some type of accusation being made here? Because, that wasn't me. I don't even own a Hawaiian print shirt.

Worst commercials ever? Feminine hygiene products. No one needs exposed to this awkwardness. Women aren't going to deviate from the product their mother taught them to use. Nurses may be the only women wearing more white pants than the actresses in these ads.

I'd love to see an honest insurance ad. Man emerges in a somber suit and announces in comforting tones: "Sure we're fucking raping you, but it's either us or them."

I don't mind movie trailers too much. What I can't stand though? Being exposed to previews for movies for a full 3 months before the movie hits theaters, only to be re-exposed to the same trailers 6 months later when the movie gets released on blu-ray, dvd, on demand, and netflix.

Don't they do demographic studies anymore? How about some relevancy with product placement? If I'm watching cartoons at 1:30 in the morning, I doubt I'm concerned about getting my taxes done, finding an exciting career in the military or buying a new car.

Even the most clever & unique commercials get old after two or three viewings. Pick an ad campaign and stick to it, Geico. Jesus.

America's 51st State must be hypocrisy. We can't have ads for tobacco products, but we can run commercials for products that won't help you quit smoking 24/7.

I'd love to continue, really. But I just saw a commercial for one of those single's hotlines and it turns out, real singles are waiting to talk to me right now. Just a guess, but I bet most of those whores come with more side effects than the latest medicine waiting to be approved by the FDA...

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