Monday, July 09, 2007

Commercial Raves

You may want to send small children out of the room, since when I say I’ll be raving about commercials, I fear I mean it literally.

What prompted me to go off on this particular tangent I of course have no idea. But here are just a few random thoughts on advertising/commercials that came along as I wrote. Don’t expect much in the line of linear thought. Ready?

I’m often tempted to ask just how stupid advertisers think the public is—or how stupid the public is to believe them—but the answer is all too clear. Think Home Shopping Network.

Car ads are fond of offering next-to-nothing finance rates “for highly qualified buyers.” May I ask just what a “highly qualified buyer” might be? I suspect that means someone who has enough money to be able to buy the car outright and doesn’t need a low finance rate to begin with.

One of my very favorite ads absolutely positively guarantees that “no loan application will be refused”. That’s truly brilliant! You will note it says nothing whatever about whether once the application has been accepted, it will be approved. Would anyone like to place a bet?

I love “loan consolidation” offers (paycheck advance loans and income tax advance loans are fruit of the same tree). It never seems to occur to those suckered in that not only will they still have to pay off their regular bills, but that now they will have a new one...paying off the people who made the loan to pay off original set of bills.

Why is it that advertisers seem to think that by talking very fast in a frantic “Run! Save Yourself!” voice might somehow convince you to buy whatever swill they’re pushing?

Schlock sold with a “Certificate of Authenticity” also amuses me. And the point…let alone the value…of a Certificate of Authenticity is?

As the night follows day, you can absolutely, positively guarantee that when anything being sold for $19.95 claims to be “A $250 Value!!!” its true value could not conceivably exceed $1.25, if that.

If that marvelous combination floor-mop-and-popcorn-popper with the Lifetime Guarantee were one tenth as good as they claim it to be, why would they then offer to give you two of them for the price of one?

Four words which should be cause for lethal injection for any advertiser are “But Wait! There’s More!” Why in the world would they have to give any more than they absolutely have to, if what they’re pitching is 1/1,000th as good as they’ve been screaming at you? The answer would be obvious to a chimpanzee, but apparently not to homo sapiens.

Were I king, I would seriously also consider lethal injections for anyone involved in the production and distribution of Infomercials. I would nobly spare the same fate for people who watch the things on the grounds that they surely must already be brain dead. Where do they get the audiences for these shows? They grin and nod and applaud wildly as though someone were standing off camera with a machine gun trained on them threatening to open fire if they don’t act like complete idiots. Whenever presented with the most trivial supposed fact about the product being touted, they display more awe than St. Bernadette must have shown upon seeing the Virgin Mary. And I will not ask about the so-called ‘hosts’ of these insults to 5,000 years of struggle toward civilization. The word “sycophant” was coined for them: they gush more than an Oklahoma oil field.

And when I’m told by the breathless salesperson/voiceover that whatever gewgaw they’re trying to foist off is “Not Sold in Stores!!” I can be sure that the reason is because no store would touch it with a ten foot pole.

Hey, I’ve run out of space, and I’m only just getting started! Well, later you can be sure.

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