Sunday, May 2, 2010

Truth in Advertising?

I've been sick for the past week, which has resulted in a lot of home time, alone with the television. As anyone who watches a lot of TV (particularly during the daytime) will tell you, advertising can really make or break a product. For instance, every time Jennifer Love Hewitt talks about how Proactiv solution saved her skin, I want to get out my credit card and order immediately. I'm also completely mesmerized by Space Bags -- those plastic bags where you suck out the air with your vaccuum and miraculously a giant comforter is smushed down to pancake size.

There are a couple of commercials that, every time I see them, I wonder how the advertising agencies that came up with them are still in business. For instance, the folks at Geico. They seem to have multiple personalities, if you ask me. First they had the cute little British gecko. Then they turned it up a notch with the angry cavemen (while still using the gecko). Then there was that strange money with eyes glued to it that popped up while "Somebody's Watchin' Me" played in the background (but still keeping the gecko and the cavemen). Call me crazy, but I thought you were only supposed to have one mascot. Can you imagine if high schools went by this school of thought? My how that would confuse the cheerleaders: "Go Panth . . . Wildca . . . Dolphins?!?!"

I'm also not a fan of the Charmin commericials where the bear does his business up against a tree and then gets toilet paper fuzz stuck to his butt. There are just so many things wrong with that commercial, I can't help but be turned off. But the absolute worst are the Mucinex commericals. You know these commericals . . . they're the ones where the giant green blob of snot comes with his suitcases to settle into your sinuses. In the best of these worst commercials, the blob paints the walls of your bronchi with green mucus. Having been on a Mucinex high for most of the week, I can attest to the fact that it does work. But I choose to buy it in spite of the commercials and not because of them, simply because they are the grossest, most awful advertising tools I've ever seen.

These commercials are not great, but the ones that are really bad are the local commericals that look like they've been produced in someone's basement. In this area, there's Crystal Koons, who has been peddling Toyotas long past her expiration date, with her trademark phrase, "We're gonna wow, ya!" It's kind of sad, too, because you can just tell by her enthusiasm that she has been hoping that this would be her big acting break and her next step would be as the next housewife on Wisteria Lane.

Anther one that always gives me a giggle are the "Kiss My Bumper" commericials for Senate Insurance. I'm not even sure what "Kiss My Bumper" means, but it always reminds me of Flo from Mel's Diner, who always said, "Kiss mah, grits!" Still, the commericals are so poorly done, it's hilarious.

There's also the slew of local attorneys that have some very dramatic commercials, discussing mesothelioma, car accident injuries, and other types of negligence. This, of course, appeals to the people who are presumably home in the afternoon recovering from their workplace slip and fall. The very best of the best of these is the commercial for Mike Slocumb. In one of his commercials, he has William Shatner (who is also featured prominently on the website) giving his seal of approval. You know, William Shatner who got all of that real-world legal experience on Boston Legal. I know when I'm looking for a lawyer, I often think to myself, "Who would William Shatner recommend." And here's the answer . . . Mike Slocumb. But this is still not the best of the best that Mike has to offer. The very best (and try as I might, I couldn't find a clip to show here) shows some gray-haired men sitting around a smoke-filled room, very 1975 soap opera, discussing a case. One lawyer says to the other, "Who's the lawyer on this case?" The other lawyer looks stricken, there's a zooming sound effect, and he says, "Mike Slocumb." And the first lawyer says, "Let's settle this thing!" Settle indeed.

And so, as my sick week draws to a close, I'm thinking that I may look into an alternate career path as an advertising executive. My first order of business will be to make Geico choose just one mascot. You with me?

1 comment:

  1. Geico commercials have ruined my radio listening experience with their barrage of commercials. They must have a massive advertising budget, and now that they have local agents it means that they no longer eliminate the middle man. As a result, how can they POSSIBLY still be the cheapest rates? Somebody is deceiving someone!