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T V Commercials

search I laughed when I read the comments posted under my Facebook friend’s question: If you could ban one TV commercial you hate, which one would you choose? With her permission, I posted the same question and warned that comments would be shared in this column.

I don’t like TV advertisements, but I understand that sponsors are necessary on commercial networks. I endure, and usually mute, commercials during sport events and fast-forward them on recorded dramas so most commercials that my friends mentioned I hadn’t seen. I googled them. There are some strange ones.

Many friends don’t like a famous actor who transforms into a strange persona with scrawny arms or crazy hair or someone called a meathead. The first time I saw Scrawny Arms, I laughed. Somehow it made me think of the Three Stooges. Humor that’s good for one laugh.

My friends obviously think food should be eaten in kitchens and dining rooms. Certainly not in a car and certainly not in a provocative way. I agree. Does anyone else remember the commercials about coffee that was good to the last drop? And soup that is M’m, M’m good? Those aired when families ate meals sitting around a kitchen table.

Animal lovers cringe when they hear a ‘sappy song’ because they know that pictures of abandoned animals will be shown. “I can’t get to the remote fast enough!” one friend said. She changes the channel and doesn’t watch the program.

A grandmother doesn’t like car commercials that show irresponsible driving. “Do young drivers really need to know that a car can do a figure 8 at 90 mph in a parking lot?” she asked.

Furniture commercials made impressions. Bad impressions. It’s annoying a friend said to hear a one syllable word, chaise, be ‘drug into eight syllables.’ And watching a woman drag a chair around her house irritates many people.

Several friends commented about drug commercials. One said, “I don’t think they should promote prescription drugs. Especially when they read disclaimers for thirty seconds at double speed and have no idea how drugs will react with some of the other drugs that you are taking.” And another wondered why anyone would think that green monsters coming out of someone’s nose would sell medicine.

Many friends would ban what I call behind-the-door commercials. I say, “If a product should be used a behind closed door, i.e., bathroom or bedroom, I don’t want to see a commercial for it.” A mother said, “It’s embarrassing to see such products advertised while sitting in the same room with your teen-age grandchildren or father-in-law.” One friend doesn’t even like seeing a bear squeeze a package of toilet paper.

Then there are annoying jingles and songs that get stuck in my friends’ heads. Five, five dollar, five-dollar foot long. You could’ve had a V-8. The writers of these commercials did their job too well.

Two friends expressed concern about banning anything, anywhere, anytime. And some friends reminded me that there are alternate ways to watch movies and dramas and ball games. Or if I’d simply hit the off button on the remote, I could avoid all annoying commercials and the programs. Or I could watch only public television where the commercials are much more pleasing.

Or I could read a good book. I’ll do that as soon as this basketball game is over.


2 Responses

  1. I didn’t respond to the question about which commercial I would band that I hate, because I like commercials. Not that I get to see many; Harry either mutes if we are watching TV live or zooms through if we are watching something recorded. But when he’s not around I watch them all. My favorite right now is “Never.” A young man at a party says, “I’m never getting married.” Next scene is his wedding. He says, “We’re never having children.” Next scene is his wife giving birth to their first child. This continues for a few years through the birth of the second child and acquisition of an SUV. The last scene he is on the sofa with his sleeping two children and wife and says “I’m never giving them up.” STATE FARM.


  2. Alicia, I love that State Farm commercial, too. Never, he says. I love it!


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