I love commercials. I think TV ads are cute, little, itty bitty movies. So it doesn’t bother me that, for the most part, they’re lying to us. Look, folks! Like Skyfall, Terminator and Iron Man, they’re fiction! Sit back and enjoy the show.
The thing that I don’t understand, though, is how TV commercials ever actually SELL anything. The ads all exist in these weird-ass Never-Never-Land dystopias that can’t be a good idea to showcase the product. For example:
Household Cleaners – The houses in these ads are filthy. They’re disgusting. Who lives there — trolls? The furniture and floors look the family pet is a buffalo. The kitchens are the greasiest, greasy combination of greasy-spoon diner and salmonella experiment known to humanity. And the bathrooms! OMG! They’re covered in so much crud Gollum wouldn’t poop in there. Even the worst hillbillies I know don’t live like that. If you live in this kind of squalor, you don’t need “Extra-Strength” anything to clean it up; you need a match to burn it down before the Health Department shows up and does it for you.
Feminine Hygiene – Menstruating women are not that happy. They just aren’t. And if they do smile, it’s a lot more evil-looking than in the ads. It’s not a good idea to remind women of this.
Automobiles – Everybody knows the internal combustion engine is a dick to the environment, and car ads prove it. First, they drive the SUV through a stream, turning the fish habitat into mud pies. Then, it’s up the mountain, in a 4-wheel-drive rampage to catch the sunset from the summit. Perfect view! Except they parked their three tons of automotive junk on a hundred-year-old lichen that just got its endangered species life smeared into the tread of an all-season radial. Yeah, we’re not destroying our planet fast enough. I want one of those.
Drugs – I don’t care what wonders the newest wonder drug does, the “side effects” litany scares the hell out of me. Honestly, “may cause dry mouth, tremors, depression, heart attack, vomiting, internal bleeding, external bleeding, massive bleeding and your tongue’s going fall out” leaves me a little reluctant to try taking it for “occasional arthritis pain.”
Condiments (ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise etc.) – Nobody puts that much mayo on a sandwich. It’s like they’re painting a barn — with a trowel. The bread would be slimy, for God’s sake. And take one bite and you’d have white crap shooting up your nose, down your chin and all over the room. You’d look like a werewolf who just murdered an albino.
Snack Food – I don’t know anybody who delicately puts one potato chip on their tongue like it’s a communion wafer. Nor have I ever seen anybody put chocolate in their mouth and suck it to death. Nobody chews in slow motion, and not one person — ever! — eats just one cookie. Honestly, if people ate snack food like they do in the ads, they wouldn’t eat snack food at all. why bother?
Yogurt – There isn’t a man alive who doesn’t wish some woman would look at him the way all women look at yogurt – in the advertisements.
Originally written – March 2015