Is it me or have the creators of commercials run out of ideas? There was a time when commercials were of value. They were informative. They got us thinking about new products, they sparked conversation, and I suspect this was the intention; get people talking about the product  in a positive way and that’s the clincher; ‘positive’ dialogue. That doesn’t seem to be happening much anymore. Is it that the advertiser just thinks the viewers are stupid, or have they truly lost sight of their audience?

There’s a commercial where a young man is stretched across his bed playing a video game when his mother walks in and asks him if his friend is coming over, to which he replies yes. She sniffs the air and announces that his room stinks and it must be ‘cleaned’ immediately. The next scene is the two of them spraying everything in the room with a ‘fabric odour eliminator’, after which his friend arrives and announces that it ‘smells really nice in there’. Really? You took a can of aerosol and masked the odours of his curtains, shoes, dog mat, etc and declare the room to be clean! Wow! How about teaching this kid how not to live like a pig? Open the window to air out the curtains and furnishing. Maybe clean the dogs mat. Put some odour-eaters in those stinky shoes. No, better to just spray vanilla and roses over it all. (how stupid are the rest of us who launder, dust and vacuum…..we could’ve just sprayed all our dirt away)

There’s an adult underwear commercial where a mother (who looks too young to be having bladder leaks) is sitting on her bed lamenting that she has to miss her sons soccer games due to a leaky bladder. (so is she not grocery shopping or going to work either?) She starts wearing this brand of adult underwear and now not only attends his games but later that night is dancing at a club with a new man. Boy, that’s some underwear! (comes with a man…..who needs a dating service?) They even go to great lengths to show you the heavy duty absorbency by pouring a large glass of liquid into a pair to prove there’s no leaks. Just how long is she going to wear these things? They might have tremendous capacity but wouldn’t pushing that to the max cause an odour eventually? (maybe she could spray herself with theodour eliminator’  from the other commercial)  Next thing you know she’ll be flying a plane or skiing down an alp, and all because of this industrial underwear!

A man is glued to a chair in front of his 3rd floor balcony and his wife is unable to get him to come to her because he’s tossing cat snacks and watching the neighbours cat jump up to catch them – he just can’t tear himself away from this entertainment. (either this guy’s got a simple mind or that marriage is in deep trouble)

There’s an ad where two young teens meet on the street. The young man’s face is covered with Skittles candy and he expresses to the young woman that his doctor has diagnosed him with ‘skittles’, after which she picks one off his face and eats it, then shrugs. (well doesn’t that just make you want to run out and buy a bag?)

Yogurt. There’s an ad where a young woman is lying on the floor writhing next to a bowl of yogurt and it’s unclear whether she plans to eat it or roll in it. Then it switches to a photographer lovingly taking a picture of the yogurt and fruit. The music is ominous and the voice over very definitive but at no point does it tell you why you should eat this yogurt, just that you should. What’s the message here? Will this stuff make me look good? Feel good? (Or will it leave me rolling on the floor like the woman in the ad, cause I can get the same result from a good laxative)

And we’ve all seen the commercials that boast a detergent that’ll clean all stains, even blood, and they launder a white shirt with a big blood stain to prove the products capability. Now how often would the average launderer have to deal with that? (Do you think maybe if you’ve got a shirt with a big blood stain on it maybe, just maybe, you have bigger problems than laundry?)

The Trivago guy… anyone else tired of him dancing around on their screen? (makes you want to reach for a giant fly swatter)

In the past commercials were part of the entertainment. They made you laugh, or cry, or think, but they invariably taught you something of value or made you aware of a new product or service – they were informative. Then as they weakened,  they became our opportunity to get a snack, go to the washroom, return that phone call, etc. And now, with final decline of their worth and with the beauty of technology, we simply ‘fast forward’ over  the commercials, bypassing them completely.

You would think then, that the creators of commercials would have to be more innovative, more clever, to make them more entertaining, anything to ensure the audience stays tuned but alas they are not. Todays commercials are lame, unimaginative, and an insult to our intelligence, and until advertisers recognize they can’t peddle their low budget attempts at advertising on a sophisticated audience, the ‘fast forward’ button on our remotes will continue to get a workout.

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