Today: Jun 18, 2024

Questioning commercials

Jessica Giannone , General Assignment Reporter-

Imagine this: There’s a loud clash on the floor. The sound of broken glass and a woman screaming with terror alerts you. You notice the woman’s face is startled, upset and shameful. Her hands are clutched to her face; she looks as if she’s about to cry. The situation appears as nothing less than that of a tragedy, but what is it?

Would it be odd to know that this was actually a commercial? Better yet, advertising a coffee pot holder. Yup, the masterminds behind the scene decided if they showed a glass falling to the ground in slow motion with an old lady dreadfully screaming, people would want to purchase a device that slides a coffee pot forward and backward on a counter, (and we can’t forget the suspenseful music in the background). You just put the pot on the device and pull it back and forth! Amazingly, you don’t even have to touch the coffee pot. 

Let me just say, that convenience would take a real burden off of my life. Did I mention my worst fear was dropping a mug? (Sigh), it’s very unfortunate. It happens so frequently, I don’t even know why I physically bother to reach for anything on the counter. 

We obviously live in a world full of exaggeration, but seriously? That three-minute advertisement was more dramatic than the ending scene from “Titanic.”

This is just one example of the crazy commercials I’ve watched in my life.

There’s something to be said about the way people judge what is actually necessary in this generation. Reflecting on the marketing industry and how employees consider what is appealing to the public, it’s like we’re either naive, lazy or just dumb. 

I’m sorry Mr. Ad Executive, but I don’t want your storage bags that turn into towels, and no, I don’t need a free hunter green bathrobe on the side with my name on it.

The ironic thing about advertisements is the fact that they have to bribe you with something extra to make you want to buy what they’re actually selling. Heck, I’ll order the color-coordinated plastic containers just so I can receive a free LED book light.

“But wait! If you call now, we’ll throw in an extra set for free!”

Aw, you shouldn’t have.

Um, ok? If you can convince me that one person needs 10 cases of glow-in-the-dark markers, you win.

Oh, you said it’s $29.99, but it’s on sale 70 percent off? Gosh, now that makes me want to buy it. You got me! The fact that it has a $100 value really changes my perception of the quality of the item.

You know what else takes to my liking? Watching happy, attractive people laugh and nod their heads in satisfaction. The fact that I am watching someone else run in a field of flowers giggling and holding hands with their grandpa tells me that if I have depression, it will be all right because those people are enjoying themselves, so logically, I will too.

“Get your life back and ask your doctor about Adapin. Risks include: heart attack, stroke, nausea, thoughts of suicide and death.”

It will show a couple sitting at a computer looking at each other and smiling, then a person will shake hands with a doctor who happens to have his office overlooking a garden. Then, it will show the patient acknowledging his or her new life in contentment while smelling a flower, and then the couple will sit down for a picnic with their family and hug.

“Be yourself again. Take hold of your future before it’s too late. You don’t want to wait another day. Call now, and take charge of your life. Oh, one more thing, you might suffer internal bleeding, kidney failure and die.” 

Ah, commercials. Gotta love them.

Now that I think of it, it’s actually really effective to see images of people who have lost weight. It’s totally common to lose 80 pounds and have “ripped” abs three weeks later.. What’s Photoshop? 

One time, I actually saw a company advertising bubble wrap. It showed children jumping and playing on it at a birthday party and made every other regular celebration activity seem like a hardship, or unbearably boring.

I’d like to check into the “commercial world” for a week, where everything is fast, easy and apparently life-changing.

When people start being realistic, I’ll stop being a marketing critic.

Oh, I forgot one last detail. At the end of the first commercial I mentioned, a guy quickly said: “Not to be used on grass.”


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