Posts Tagged ‘commercials’

Commercials I Mute!

muteFor my inaugural blog, I will share some gripes about TV commercials. While I understand their necessity in non-public supported programming, there are some that irritate me more than they should. I think the problem with commercials often lies in the sponsors’ need to reach as broad a market base as possible; as quickly as possible. This leads them to create a spot designed more for getting you to react and remember it, than for telling you about what they’re selling. It’s like a little kid smacking a girl he has a crush on. Sure, he gets her to notice him, but she just wants to smack him right back.

So here we go – a list of the kinds of commercials that incite me to pound on the mute button (in no particular order):

1 – Shout-outs. This is where you see a huge crowd of people shouting some unintelligible slogan or company name. I don’t know what you’re saying! I DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE SAYING! YOUR VOICES ARE BLENDING INTO SOME KIND OF ROARING AURAL TURBULENCE!

2 – Sentence Relays. One person begins a sentence which is continued by another, and then another, and then another… Yeah, I know, they are attempting the “bandwagon” scenario – learned about that in my college commercial art courses. But this has been so overused, it’s painfully cliche. Add to that, the editing is more often than not too choppy. I mute the known offenders on sight, and continue with my own Mad Libs version of the narrative.

3 – Shouters. Okay, there’s this one guy who leads the pack in this department. I won’t say his name because he wants me to. Okay, I will – Billy Mays, as in “BILLY MAYS, HERE…”. He shouts at me in my living room every day. Why is he doing this? I want to call him up and tell him that his spiel is being recorded with a microphone and his voice will carry from the far reaches of the planet via receivers, satellites, transmitters, and speakers. And who IS this guy anyway?

Stop yelling at me Billy Mays!

4 – Buy this product so it can kill you or make you sicker. This one is for the pharmaceutical companies. In a two-minute commercial you have to listen to one minute and forty-five seconds of the narrator telling you how their product will give you, oh, I don’t know “oily discharge”? Brain aneurysm? Hypertrichosis? Listen, these are prescription drugs. Let the doctors and pharmacists inform the potential patients. I guess what bothers me is what I’m hearing is the lawyers telling the sponsors how to cover their asses against any lawsuit that could arise.

Funny thing is these self destructing legally-over-analyzed commercials started multiplying right around the time political candidates felt required to tell us, at the end of their ad, they supported the nice things the ad said about them (even when we saw them saying it themselves!). No comment on that – just an observation…

5 – Dad’s An Idiot! Yeah, yeah, we know. Dads/husbands are inept cretins. We can’t do anything right. Ha ha ha. We get it. (That’s all I dare type – my wife may read this)

6 – Out-of-Tuners. For some reason, some commercial directors think it’s humorous when “regular folks” sing loud and way out of tune in (faux) earnesty. Don’t they realize it’s only funny when I do it!

7 – Purposely Cheesy. Certain advertisers think it is kitsch to make their commercials seem as hackneyed as possible. It’s not. It just comes off as something produced by high school kids who’ve recently discovered beer/pot – not something to inspire confidence in their product!

Which leads me to…

8 – Bob’s Discount Furniture. I don’t know if you are subjected to his torture in your area, but in mine, he won’t go away! His nasal squalling is inescapable on nearly every local channel (and radio!).

AHHHH!!!  He's even in my BLOG!

AHHHH!!! He's even in my BLOG!

He takes already overused catchphrases and tries to make them his own, while flashing images of furniture most of us would drive past on “heavy trash day”. And he insists on putting his own desperate visage in every single commercial (and on his trucks and storefronts). He even names furniture (that he bought from a warehouse) after himself and has puppets that look like him. I am positive that the purpose of his business is to raise money to put his narcissistic face on TV. I have been tempted to send him a bill for all the AA batteries I drained from having to hit the mute button so many times.

Okay… calm down, John…. Take a breath…. These are just commercials, the backbone of a consumerist society. You can always change the channel, mute, or zone out until your show comes back.

Or get Tivo.


Did I miss any?


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