'Matter of Laugh or Death,' a humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
TV COMMERCIALS TOO CONFUSING THESE DAYS
You know you’re getting old when TV commercials make you say, “What the heck was that all about?” Some of the ads these days are completely baffling. When a 30- or 60-second spot ends, I often have no idea what product they were trying to sell. “Was that a commercial for underarm deodorant or cat food?” I asked my wife recently. “I dunno,” she replied. “I thought it was an ad for an insurance company.”
I wonder if some of these TV ads are being produced by avant garde Hollywood directors. Or maybe by directors who took too much LSD in the 1960s. Often there is wild, pulsating music, and explosive computer-generated images of people flying around a city and cars morphing into tigers. (Or maybe it was cars flying around a city and people morphing into tigers. I’m not quite sure.)
The whole point of television commercials, I always assumed, was to prompt viewers to go out and purchase a particular product. I wonder if the companies paying huge sums to produce these spots and buy advertising time are aware that at the conclusion of the ad, most people scratch their heads in puzzlement. I’m pretty sure “puzzlement” is not the emotion most likely to trigger a purchase.
Then there are the commercials made, not by ‘60s druggies, but by 25-year-old computer geeks. At the end of one commercial I saw recently, I said to myself, “Wow, that looks like a really weird, violent movie.” Then I realized it was an ad for a video game for children. (Don’t worry, I’m sure when school-age kids repeatedly watch someone’s head explode, it will have no negative long-term effects.)
Twenty minutes later a different ad caused me to say, “Wow, that looks like a really weird, violent video game.” Then the final tag line came on the screen: “Opening in theaters May 15th.” Oh well, maybe the school-age kids will take a break from repeatedly watching someone’s head explode on their computer game at home, and go to the Cineplex and repeatedly watch someone’s head explode on the 30-foot high screen.
There is one commercial on TV a lot these days that I do understand. A middle-aged guy with gray hair is sitting on a couch in the reception area of an office building waiting for a job interview. Then the guy suddenly splits in half and becomes two guys, but the new cloned guy has brown hair. The first guy, with the gray hair, says, “My hair says experience!” The new, younger-looking guy, replies, “But my hair says energy!”
Then as the announcer describes the hair coloring product being promoted, the two guys blend back into one guy again, but now with brown hair on top and a touch of gray on the sides, which says: experience AND energy! The best part of the commercial, though, is the very end. The announcer says, “Look like a man who knows what to do, and has the energy to do it!” At the exact moment he says, “…do it!” we suddenly see a close-up of the receptionist, an attractive woman young enough to be the guy’s daughter. She is gazing at him with lust in her eyes.
So the message of this commercial is clear: Even if you don’t get the job, this product will cause hot young receptionists to throw themselves at you! Ah, it reminds me of the good ol’ days, when TV ads used sex, rather than computer-generated explosions, to sell everything.
Of course, I’ve seen that particular commercial 50 times now, and I still don’t know the name of the product.
|Home||Current Faith||Current Funnies||Faith Archive||Funnies Archive||Contact Bill|