It's Oscars time. Somebody wake the Grouch.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

What the Advertisemensts REALLY Taught Me

In order to keep up with current events, and also because our recliner is veeerrry comfy, I watch a fair amount of television. Which means I also watch a lot of advertisements. Love them or hate them, one thing about commercials, or "adverts" as they are known in Tahiti*, is that they are all designed to convey a specific message: "Buy our product!"

This is a simple and straightforward message. (Duh.) However, since ads need to be clever and interesting to gain our attention, the writers invariably present us with a plethora of other messages, many of them unintentional. I never fail to learn just a little bit more about our sordid world from a TV commercial. Here are just a few things I've learned from advertisers in the last year.

  • Bud Light - Some alcoholics will do anything for free lite beer. Here we go!
  • Jack's Links - Caution: This product may make you recklessly stupid around giant mythical primates.
  • Geico Insurance - Geckos are magical lizards that can talk and produce wallets and cellphones out of thin air. Who needs insurance with them around?! (Also, cavemen suck.)
  • Butterfingers - People who eat Butterfingers are selfish *****s who would rather let you starve than share a measly crumb or two from their little candy bar.
  • ESPN Sportscenter - The reason you never see your favorite athletes on the street is because they all hang out in Bristol, Connecticut. The sports bars there must do terrific business.
  • E*Trade - Babies are mouthy little bastards, but man, can they play the market. 
  • Cialis - Sexual arousal can cause you to hallucinate that your home has turned into nature. (Also, older people are a lot hornier than most young people suspect.)
  • Volkswagen - It's acceptable to hurt people when you see a Volkswagen. (I blame the Nazis for this.)
  • Twix - Guys, are you a lying, no-good, skeez? She'll never know, as long as you have a Twix candy bar handy.
  • Orkin - Giant mutant bugs are going to take over the earth. They can drive cars and deliver pizzas. Soon they'll be able to wield firearms, and then even your Orkin man won't stand a chance.
  • Burger King - That weird, perverted guy you remember from high school? He finally managed to grow a beard and became king of all burgers!
  • Allstate - All of your auto damage has been caused by Liz Lemon's old boyfriend. Why don't we all sue him?
  • Charmin - Cartoon bears are chronic sufferers of dingle berries. This explains why Hanna Barbera never showed Yogi from the rear.
  • Apple - Apple thinks that all us Windows users are four-eyed doofuses who can't see why their trendy, hipster computers are overpriced.
  • Windows - Windows was invented by everyone, which explains the bugs.
  • Dos Equis - The rest of us are way too uncool to drink Dos Equis. Stick to your Buds and Millers you uninteresting proles!
  • Old Spice Deodorant - Again, too cool for us. Right Guard and Sure for the ladies (and the generic stuff I use because everything else burns my pits and I can't put my arms down and ... well, you get the picture.)
  • Progressive - All of our insurance is sold by a single gabby woman in a giant, sterile supermarket.
  • Discover Card - Never, ever, go on a blind date with an Eastern European woman named "Peggy." For one thing, you'll never be able to get her to call you back.
  • Snickers - Without a Snickers bar, you will eventually turn into a cranky older woman.
  • Dr. Pepper - Who needs med school? Everybody's a doctor!
* Britain too, apparently

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