You know, I like TV. Really. But I’m so happy that we have TiVo, because it allows us to whiz past the ads. And maybe it’s just the crotchey old age talking, but I just don’t fricking understand commercials any more. A few examples:
I just saw an ad for Hooters. Fine. I like wings. Boobs are good. No problem. But right at the end, they tagged the commercial with: ‘Hooters Magazine — on newsstands today!‘ Wait… Hooters Magazine — what the hell? Is that for guys who want porn, but don’t want to go to all the trouble of actually looking at fully naked women? Or were people getting pissed at having to put up with those pesky wings and beers while ogling the honeys? Was there a problem with being able to pretend you were there for the food? Who needs to see it in print? What the hell am I missing here?
Car commercials are worse, though. Watch any commercial, for any car or truck — you’ll see two figures at the end of the spot. First, there’s the ‘nicely equipped‘ price tag. That’s high enough, assuming you don’t have a loose bag of cash or a first-born son to sell lying around handy. Then, though, there’s the ‘as shown‘ number, which is at least fifty percent more. So if it’s thirty grand ‘nicely equipped‘, then why show a ninety grand, pimped-out ‘as shown‘ car? And just what is ‘nicely equipped‘, anyway? Three tires, two cylinders, and an eight-track radio? A rusty door, mismatched hubcaps, and the grille off an ’88 Skylark? Who’s shilling these damned things? Used car salesmen? Oh. Right. Of course.
Then there’s Old Navy. Crispy-fried Christ on a cracker, don’t get me started on Old Navy. Buncha funky retro hippie freaks. And not in a good way, dammit! Stop thinking it’s a good way!
I’d also like to know what market-weenie genius decided that showing us big plastic creepy versions of corporate symbols would make us buy their food. First, it was Burger King, with that big, weird, smiling mannequin guy. That doesn’t make me hungry for a Whopper, dammit; it makes me scared of pedophiles. That’s just wrong. And tonight, I saw that Quaker Oats is following suit, using a statue of a Quaker holding treats for the kiddies in their latest ads. As if Ronald McDonald weren’t fricking creepy enough, in a ‘hey kids, there’s candy in my pants!‘ kind of way. Yow.
Yeah. That seems like a nice image to end on. A trio of creepy plastic clowns, offering goodies to children and adults alike. That ought to keep us all awake tonight. Maybe we’ll get lucky, and catch an ad for sleeping pills. Now there’s a commercial we can use, for once.Permalink | No Comments