Tuesday, February 24, 2015
A lady of my acquaintance was bemoaning television commercials the other day. Whatever happened, she asked, “to the happy, clean fun ones we used to see?” Well, sez I, “they're still on the air but harder to find in the mix of horrific computer-designed violence and over the top volume that assaults the eyeballs, ears and normal minds.” While I didn't put it quite that way, let's just say I shared her disappointment.
Just about everyone agrees that the Super Bowl commercials were, once again, the best show on the tube (they should be with their airtime price tags.) Still it's hard to wait a full year before that broadcast treat rolls around again. Budweiser stole the 2015 show with the little lost puppy being rescued by their Clydesdales, but there were other great ones too. Some even better than the Katy Perry half-time extravaganza.
Advertising keeps in step with the times; essentially going down the drain along with long-honored social graces like table manners, saying “thank you” and other happy memories from earlier days. I'm not big on government interference in our lives, but next to what goes on with motion pictures in theaters, television programming is, thanks to a certain federal oversight of the public's airwaves, a paragon of virtue. The movie theaters “coming attractions” alone are enough to damn all values of decency. The USA exporting this violence and trash all around the world has renewed the tag of “Ugly Americans”. It's just plain sad. America is far better than this.
Tailoring television ads to the demographics of the viewer population is an art form of sorts. Here in Florida (“Heaven's Waiting Room”) we are inundated with commercials for retirement homes, surgery for back problems, stairway power chairs and erectile dysfunction. The latter with its constant warning to “call your doctor if you experience an erection lasting four hours.” The standard answer among the over-80 group is: “I will call my doctor, but only after I've announced it to all my golfing buddies at the club.”
Medications are so widely promoted on the TV tube, it's silly to spend all that time in the doctor's waiting room. The answer for whatever ails you is most likely just a click away on the remote.