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Quarter Lifer

Quarter Lifer: If You Are In Marketing Or Advertising...Kill Yourself

5/16/2006

If You Are In Marketing Or Advertising...Kill Yourself

I recently mentioned I have become so irritated with the state of television that I've decided to make my rants on the topic a semi-regular post. Today my beef is primarily with commercials....

Name That Tune...
Maybe I'm getting to the age when you start to notice these things, but I was really depressed to see what music is now backing commercials. I understand there have been many sellouts when it comes to adding music to commercials. However I still expect there to be some relevance between the music & whatever piece of crap product is being sold to me. I also don't want any commercial played so much that I forget there was once a real musician behind the song & that it wasn't always used to hock hemorrhoid cream.

Examples
1) Blondie - One Way or Another
Not too long ago I was having a drink at a local martini bar & I heard this song come over the speakers. It occurred to me that my first thought wasn't of Debbie Harry or BCBG's or punk rock. My first though was in fact of the Swiffer. Thinking about dusting while at a bar is depressing. To make it worse I then began to think that things I consider music history to today's kids is nothing more than a jingle for sweeping with little to no meaning in the grand scheme of things.

2) Ann Wilson & Mike Reno - Almost Paradise
Is this a sappy, straight out of the eighties cheesy ballad? Well, yeah. However, it is also the love theme from Footloose. Footloose is one of those classic, so my childhood, girly movies that just happens to hold a special place in my heart. Dancing, young Kevin Bacon & Sarah Jessica Parker, an angry John Lithgow....What more could you want?
Taking that into account, imagine my surprise to hear the song on my TV the other day. I wasn't in the room so I missed the product the song was now being associated with. Luckily, all good commercials are played to death & it was only a matter of time before I got another chance to see it. I have yet to figure out exactly what the point of the commercial is, but I now know it is for M&M's & has something to do with the backseat of a car. Sounds kind of dirty for candy, but then again I put no limit on the lengths marketing people will go to to make a buck. Regardless of what the "plot" is the song has been ruined for me.

3) Tone Loc - Wild Thing
I enjoy this song, but don't really have any profound emotional attachment to it. What I do know is this is probably NOT the song I would choose to represent Mother's Day. Of course I am not the people at Kmart. You read that right - Kmart is celebrating the woman who brought you into this world with a Monsters of Rap classic. I don't know about the rest of you but I can't not resolve buying mom a kmart diamond necklace (as if that isn't bad enough) with the following lyrics:
I keyed the door we cold hit the floor looked up and it was her mother
I didn't know what to say I was hanging by a string
She said "Hey you two I was once like you and I liked to do the wild thing"
I guess it'd be nice to have a sympathetic mom should you get caught having sex, but I think there are better reasons to appreciate my mom.

The Era of Prescription Pimps...
Ok, we have all adjusted to the overly informative yet highly unnecessary prescription drug commercials nowadays. Thanks to these commercials I now know more than I ever wanted to about all kinds of shit. Why just the other day I found out the appropriate term for "My dick won't go down!" is priapism.
The most frustrating part is there is absolutely NO FUCKING REASON for any of these commercials to exist. First off, the ads are for a specific drug, that regardless of how many commercials they run is ONLY available from a doctor. Hopefully a doctor you trust enough to make these recommendations for you. Unless of course you are one of those people who enjoys being brainwashed & actually do believe everything you see on TV.
My next beef is the drugs advertised tend to be expensive, but highly specific. I find it hard to believe that limp dick is as big of a problem as my TV seems to think it is. If erectile dysfunction really is causing a nationwide catastrophe I have some very attractive, fully functioning men I can introduce you to.
Lastly, it irritates me to no end to know that the commercial being played is driving up the costs of already outrageously priced medications. During my recent bout of unemployment I could still afford my doctor & dentist even though I didn't have insurance. Why? Because those are real people who were willing to help me through a rough patch as opposed to forcing me to forgo my health.
Guess what breaks my budget every time I'm without insurance? Prescriptions. At 26 yrs old I have all of three scrips I need - Celexa, Allegra-D & my birth control. Prior to the first two coming out in generic those 3 medications equal approximately $243.97, almost 25% of my monthly income while on unemployment. Even buying generic the total is still upwards of $175 per month. Do you think Walgreens cares if I'm broke? Think the prescription companies would let me pay in installments? Hell no. They have to fund those fucking commercials.

Some of my favorite pill popping commercials...
1) Flomax

First off, is this just the worst name ever for a drug that helps you pee better?
Anyway, Flomax is aimed at men who have a enlarged prostate, but not prostate cancer. What percent of the average TV viewing audience is this going to interest? Are there lots of enlarged prostates running around & I just missed a memo?
Relevance aside, at the end of this commercial when the various side effects are being rambled off (if only I were making this up) it actually says:
"When starting Flomax avoid situations where injury may occur"
I don't know about everyone else, but I try to avoid situations where injury may occur EVERYDAY. Should I incur an injury I'd hope it was not due to my own stupidity or the fact that I forgot to avoid injury that day. Also, in order to avoid all injury you would basically have to lay on the floor of an empty room, not move much & hope no natural disasters hit where you are located.

2) Achoo!
The allergy people love commercials yet somehow seem to come up with the worst marketing stategies. I remember Allegra ran some of the original prescription commercials. During a speed binge I decided to go off for a good 20 minutes about how no one skis on grass whether they have allergies or not. If only I had known then the horror yet to come....
- Astelin: Under no circumstances should I ever be forced to hear grown men singing doowop (while wearing shirts that spell out a word when lined up no less) to a woman stuck in traffic. If that honestly makes you think about seasonal allergies you have bigger problems.
- Nasonex: A French bee can seduce other bees better when not bogged down by his allergies. I realize sex sells, but allergy meds? I think that is stretching it.

Show Me The Money...
The investment commercials are no better. I understand the commercials that are keeping all those former Law & Order stars working. However, the new Charles Schwab ones drive me nuts. They have apparently decided to ditch actual actors & instead voice over these animated investors. I guess that would be ok if the animations reminded me of people. They don't. The "people" in these commercials actually look like bad photographs which have been attacked by someone with a pension for the palette knife photoshop filter.

Usual reality TV ranting...
Because it isn't bad enough we have reality TV shows, we also have to have commercials for them. Two I found particularly troubling:
- Shalom in the Home: The Jew in an RV concept is unnerving enough, but did we have to have the theme song concocted by the same brilliant mind that gave us The Nanny theme?
- King of Cars: This is A&E's latest attempt at a downward spiral in viewership. As if real car salesmen aren't enough to make you chew off your own leg to get away now we get to watch them on TV. The show started airing the first week of April. By the second week of May they were running ads to tune in for 'King of Cars: The Lost Pilot". My first reaction was 'Well, it can't be too lost since you only have five fucking episodes total'. Then I started thinking about the last 'lost pilot' I had seen - Buffy the Vampire Slayer. That one made much more sense to me because A) I didn't know it existed until the 7th/final season of Buffy & B) Oh, yeah that was actually a successful show, with a long run and good writing. King of fucking Cars has been on for ONE MONTH. If they were going to lose something in the first month the show was on I wish it had been the whole fucking cast.

Rant over...I'm sure the TV bitching will continue on a semi-regular basis until I crack & stop paying for cable altogether in an attempt to save my intelligence.

11 Comments:

I'd agree with you because I feel the same way about some of the jingles but alas I am in marketing so must now go kill myself.

9:42 AM  

When you get that call from me at 3am and all I say is 'Orange Drink' at least you'll know why!

12:53 PM  

i love the Nasonex commercials!!! the bee reminds me of my bitter half.

6:17 PM  

This post has been brought to you by Walmart!

12:33 PM  

Just an FYI research shows that commercials have more effect on the target audience when the music was originally popular in the target's teen and tween years. For example, for the 35-45 market you'd want to use something from 1975-85. Magic Carpet Ride plays in almost every commercial you see targeted at 45-55 year olds.

I don't remember what children's movie it was, but Walt Disney came a pussy hair away from using in the soundtrack "Semi charmed kind of life"...you know, the one about doing speed, but was so upbeat and happy sounding nobody noticed it was about sex and drugs. I think the line "She comes around and she goes down on me" put that idea to a halt

2:25 PM  

Thank you for reminding me why I watch barely any TV.

I just like the commercials for the antidepressants which have MORE side effects that the actual disorder.

3:52 PM  

Argh. Those Nasonex commercials are irritating.

Who the hell does the animation for those commercials? It's so awful.

And why does the bee have to have a Spanish accent?

12:24 PM  

I agree with you on the song thing. It's really bad to hear "One Way or Another" on the radio, and hear your 6-yr-old in the backseat, singing her heart out, because you realize just how much tv she's watching. I've been trying to cut back on tv-watching also. I hate the ED commercials, but my daughter loves Digger, the toe fungus.

2:19 PM  

i deal with commercials exploiting songs i like by singing over with lyrics that are different, so it sort of blocks out the commercial.

like -

one bear
or another
likes to
rub noses - with you!

As for the shalom in the home, he is actually a pretty nice enough rabbi who wants to get people to work out their problems and apparently has helped a lot of people avoid divorce when the problem has been easily fixable. I think people give up too easily.

6:00 PM  

Gotta say... I HATE the E.D. and "Male Enhancement" commercials they play on Sunday morning while we are watching tv & enjoying our breakfast with the kids (7&3) Do we REALLY need that any time before the kids' bedtime? And Sunday morning, no less.

12:07 AM  

I'm with you on hating TV jingles that used to just be great songs. Especially the new one for Benadryl that shows some chick with a cold deciding whethr or not to go to work with the Clash's 'Should I Stay Or Should I Go' in the background.
What a sell-out. Someone besdides the Clash must own the rights to their songs.

2:30 PM  

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