Sunday, March 16, 2008

Commercial Relations

I have a love hate relationship with commercials. And I’ll bet we all do.
First of all they intrude on our viewing pleasure, assuming we are watching a television show we like. Second of all many if not most are incredibly stupid and many of the rest are just plain annoying. Okay, some of them are clever and entertaining but unfortunately those are few and far between.
When a good one strikes our fancy it can become part of our culture. I cannot remember all of them and I am sure, if anyone bothers to read this they can add their own favorites. So before I go into my tirade against the bad ones I hereby give the devil his due with:
"Where’s the beef?"
"I can’t believe I ate the whole thing!"
"Get to know what good is."
"We bring good things to light."
"See the USA in your ---------."
"Please don’t squeeze the -------!" (He squeezed his last this year.)
"I’d walk a mile for a -----."
"The San Francisco treat."
"Plop plop fizz fizz…"
"You’ll wonder where the yellow went…"
(Oldie) "Trust your car to the man with the star."
"And leave the driving to us."
"We try harder."
"Good to the last drop" (My grandma’s favorite)
"We answer to a higher authority" (My Rabbi’s favorite) and
"Look ma, no cavities." (Every mother’s favorite.)
Naturally there are hundreds more catchy phrases turned sales tools but I have a limited life span so I stop here.
There are books written about this stuff and they become obsolete as soon as the next smart ad man comes along.
A good book on advertising - $29.95
Average price to buy what they are selling - $99.95
Enjoying the slogan without spending money – You guessed it, priceless.
Then we come to the God awful ones, at least as far as I am concerned and if you do not agree, well since this is my piece, tough. In fact I despise some of these that I cannot even bring myself to recreate the entire phrase. I start with the all-time (to date) worst ad for a product THAT DOES NOT WORK AND IS A FRAUD:
"Head On –" (apply directly to the garbage.)
"So easy a caveman… "
"Can you hear me now?" (unfortunately.)
"Zoom Zoom" (I shall never purchase the product, EVER – Just because of the ad.)
"You’re in good hands" (And their hands are in your pocket.)
"I’m loving it." (What, obesity, hardening of the arteries?)
And a couple of oldies that made my list:
"The first pre-mixed pre-measured disposable douche." (Ewww!)
“Can I talk to you about, diarrhea?” (NO – And it always aired during DINNER!)
There are several, seems like thousands of new ads for real or made up diseases or ailments that are flooding the airways. This is because the pharmaceutical industry is hemorrhaging money. A pill that averages costing them 2¢ can sell for $10 so getting you to think you have the disease the pill cures is ‘job one’ for their ad agencies. The current darlings of the mass mania media are:
RLS (They ‘Kidnapped’ the literary usage)
ED (The Bob Dole one, not the TV show)
BPH (Big Prostate, Huge? No, Benign Prostate Hypertrophy – I like mine better.)
COPD (Colorado Police Dept?)
RA (Not the Egyptian one)
And don’t you love it when the ad says, “Ask your doctor if Blah Blah Blah is right for you.” I will not ask him! He gets enough money to take the tests and find out what I have, why should I give him the answers?
And finally one you won’t hear, NYD. This stands for Not Yet Diagnosed. But trust me they will find something that fits and make up a drug to cure it. If not they will name it, "Fever of unknown origin." TRUE, Look it up!
There are many more but I seem to have developed STM. (That’s M not D.)
There is a commercial running these days for a very real and debilitating disorder known as depression. While this condition is treatable not every drug or combination of drugs will work for every person afflicted. You really must see a doctor about this one. However a certain ad claims that their product is the must have. They are not actually lying because if you do not buy their pills they will become depressed.
Since we are all bombarded with ads all the time I feel that the product of the young century must be the TIVO. The I and the O must stand for input and output and the TV part is obvious. TiVo allows you to take the I Out of TV and what could be better than that?
Anything that allows me to zoom zoom through commercials is priceless!

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