I need to begin by confessing that I despise commercials. It’s not because I object to the effort to promote and sell products through media. I get that it is a necessary means for funding. My peeve is that I find myself becoming angry and offended by the tone of most commercials, which seem to be geared toward people with lower mentality.
Let’s face it, years ago it seemed that most commercials were aimed towards those who were not the sharpest crayon in the box. Really? Seriously? How stupid do you think we are? I am one of those individuals who talks back to the television all the time. Even though I am alone, and I fully understand that no one can hear me (except perhaps the neighbors), I verbally answer back and or criticize what needs to be addressed on the television. That includes making grammatical corrections orally on a regular basis.
I even speak up when there is an error in a title or the closed-captioning. There are some rather outrageous ones circulating social media that illustrate my point. And, I swear that “on the street interviews” are conducted only with individuals that have no clue, often using the phrases ” I seen…”, or “We got no….” but back to my point about commercials. These really make me grit my teeth and verbally correct them.
To avoid the painful experience for me to watch most commercials, and I’ll admit there are some cute ones – but they usually show up on social media or YouTube. My solution is to record any program I’d be interested in viewing. That way when I get around to watching it (see upcoming blog addressing THAT topic), I fast-forward through the commercials, to spare myself the discomfort. But one day over the holiday season I found myself with a little time on my hands and not much cued up to be watched. It occurred to me that I hadn’t really seen any commercials in quite some time, and it was possible that I was getting “out of touch”, since occasionally someone refers to a product or item that I was not aware existed.
So I spent a day watching LIVE programming. Not recorded, no fast-warding, and boy did I get an education. I now am completely aware of the problems in today’s society, and solutions that can be purchased to resolve them. I am an expert on Erectile dysfunction, constipation, diarrhea, urinary incontinence, toenail fungus, how much toilet paper to use, menopause, acid reflux, and depression.
And now I understand what was so funny about the cartoon that showed a little boy and his daddy at the park – when the boy asked his dad why that one area was cordoned off, and the dad explained that they were planning an erection showing the founder of that park to be displayed there for eternity. And the little boy’s response was “but they said on TV that if you have an erection lasting more than four hours you need to call your doctor.”
Another thing that irks me – what’s up with the repeated commercials? I am by no means an expert in the advertising world, but I always thought that commercials were controlled, i.e. not repeated back-to-back. I thought someone was in charge of controlling that. What good is is to run the same commercial multiple times during a program? I thought paid time slots were allocated – If a sponsor bought 3 spots on Sunday night programming, you would think he would want all three used on the same hour-long show. Duh! Repetition isn’t always effective. There are products I refuse to buy because I’m sick of hearing about them. And I’m sure I’m not alone.
The epitome of it all is right around the corner. Soon we will be hearing about how many millions of dollars will be spent on a “Super-bowl” spot, together with the millions of dollars spent to produce these “classic” pieces. While there millions of people suffering because the money isn’t available, or funding has been cut. Where are the priorities?
I think I’ll keep on recording and skipping the commercials. Yes, I can be classified as a grammar Nazi. But, I must admit that I am showing great self-control by not taking a red pen with me in the elevator where I live, making grammatical corrections to the notices posted inside the elevator by building management. But I do grit my teeth a lot.