Call me jaded (Jaded!), but I’m not buying what they’re selling on television anymore. I don’t watch nearly as many commercials as I used to, having learned to fast forward through them in the 1980s with our top-loading VCR. Oh yeah, I went there. I can ignore ads old school and with my DVR. Good thing skipping ads is so easy, except when OnDemand makes it impossible. I will even opt for the longer running ads on Hulu so I can skip out and grab a drink. See what I did there? Even when the ad is playing, I leave the room! Only the furnishings will be subject to Madison Avenue’s messaging! Muahahaha…
Yes, again, all of this is simple stuff. But somewhere in the midst of skipping through, cutting out, and ignoring, I think commercials gave up on us. They don’t even try to sell us products and services anymore. Consumer spending may still be around 70 percent of the US’s economy, but maybe we’re not buying things because we were introduced to them in the middle of Private Practice.
I’m not asking for epic, 1984-reminiscent, one-time run ads like the Macintosh computer. I’m talking about simple things, like soap, cereal, dinner meals, and the like. For an ad by Proctor & Gamble’s Crest, for example, we see a series of extreme close-ups of people’s smiles. Entrust your smile to Crest. Not a bad idea, right? Except the soundtrack to this is the alienating, morose theme from the movie The Bridge, a film about suicide.
Or there’s this ad for a new kind of way to jazz up boring chicken dinner—try Philadelphia Cream Cheese’s “cooking cream!” Cooking cream? Say it with me: cooking cream. I know it’s alliterative and all, but once I get past the joy of similar consonant sounds strung together, the idea itself hits me, and it is disgusting. Sure, I’ve used cream cheese in cooking from time to time, but to dump a container full of cream cheese and herbs into my sauce pan of chunky chicken [sic] is a bit over the line for me. Maybe the commercial sells it better than I think it does.
I have to admit, that chicken wallpaper is pretty amazing. The product, however, is can’t-go-there land for me.
From the land of annoying advertisements, there is this:
See, why do people have to ruin Foreigner that way? Is Foreigner that hard up for royalties these days that they’re willing to let Stouffer’s change their lyrics and let this aggravating ad change the melody? Now I never want to eat spinach dip again, and truth be told, I wasn’t that much of a spinach dip guy before this commercial “came into my life.”
Anyone else have some examples to share? Add them in the comments and let’s snark!