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 TV Bites With Neena Louise

A Word from our Sponsors

by Neena Louise
I hate television commercials. I really, REALLY hate them! I'm not sure if it's that the ads have become so bad and so similar or if it's just the constant interruption, but more and more I find myself muting the television, walking away, or picking up the book I keep handy rather than watching a commercial. Kind of defeats the purpose of advertisements when they're ignored like this, wouldn't you say? The least advertisers could do, since they are a constant interruption to my television viewing, is make ads amusing, interesting, or at least less obnoxious and insulting.

A tiny sampling of things that go thud...

Michael Jordan/Warner Brothers ads for MCI:
Okay, Michael Jordan is an amiable hunk and I love Looney Tunes, but the new voices for the Warner Brothers characters are barely recognizable, the scripts are corny and stupid, and I can't recall what any of the tag lines are. Keep Jordan and toss the fake Looney Tunes (or at least shut them up) and these ads would be better.

Drug company ads:
The plethora of drug ads that have made a recent appearance are unintentionally hillarious. The drug company advertises a drug for some affliction or another, then spends most of its ad time listing the nasty side-effects (which is required by law). I can't help but wonder who in their right mind would trade a minor affliction for a dazzling array of horrifying side-effects! The droning, speeding, monotone of "don't this drug if you are living" is so tiresome I generally change the channel (and don't always return).

.com ads:
Some are cute (like the one with the yappy dog), but most are just stupid. I'd like to take that sock puppet for the pet site and shred it with a dull pair of scissors (slowly); I don't even recall the ad for Monster.com (just the logo at the end); the one for the stock site where a bunch of people are visualizing their utopias is nauseating... I watch TV for hours a day, and I can't recall the actual site name of a single .com ad. Tells you something...

Car ads:
Could someone other than VW please come up with something more original??? All car ads are the same: Show car. Show beautiful scenery. Cue "Leave it to Beaver"-type family. Play soothing music. Flash gigantic interest rate and teeny tiny exceptions that no one can read. Flash logo. The end. YAWN. Even Toyota's new ads were funny the first time, but lost their appeal after the second time.

The same ad over and over and over and over again. All day long. And again. For the same show. Again and again and again. Then again just in case you missed it... ARRRRGGGGHH! SHUUUUUT UUUUUUP!!

Feminine hygiene ads:
Is it my imagination, or have these become grosser in recent years? Sure, advertise your product, but you need not take the position that women are smelly, leaky and diseased in order to do so (yuk!).

Cough/cold/flu remedies:
Most show the Perfect Family with the sniffles and Concerned Parent selecting Appropriate Medicine. I'm not sure I agree with the suggestion that dosing kids with anything will help cure their colds or flu, but there still has to be a better way to advertise to the idiots who think it will.

Colgate Total:
Ca u sa shu thu fk u? (I now cringe when I pass Colgate in the toothpaste aisle.)

All the "new-wave" ads:
You know what I'm talking about: The Dr. Seuss-ish computerized scenery; the new-wave music; the beautiful people with the perfect lives... Enough already! I can't help but wonder if advertisers think that we're really so stupid that we believe our lives could be transformed into something like this if we just bought their product.

All the "in your face" ads:
I've had about as much as I can take of the head-banging alternative music, grunge-type logos and stroboscopic camera tricks. If I were feeling remotely ill when watching these ads, they'd make me throw up. Perhaps that's the idea...

Gross-out slacker ads:
I don't know who thought these supposedly youth-oriented ads up, but I find it hard to believe that anyone - young or old - could find anything terribly appealing in ads which suggest spitting pizza sauce in your friend's face, belching to get free CDs, or a guy who eats microwave macaroni out of his dog's slimey bowl after his girlfriend leaves him.

Considering the zillions of dollars spent on advertising and all the creative talent that's out there, surely somebody somewhere could come up with better material that can a) keep one's attention without slapping one in the face or b) grossing one out.  
We would love to know what you think, sound off on the TV message boards and let us know what you think!


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