A Word From Our Sponsor

Commercials are irritating. For years, they were like a mini movie, and I looked forward to watching most of them. Of course, the really clever ones meant I stayed in the recliner to watch the commercial, so refilling my water glass or going to the bathroom caused me to miss part of the show. Not a big deal, because a Hallmark commercial can move you more than the best drama. You don’t see many of those these days, but the Navy FCU ones come close. I love the father and the daughter with the pink room.

But…something’s happened. Most commercials are different now. And louder. The volume for commercials used to be louder than the show, and every time one came on, you had to adjust the volume. That got fixed, thank goodness, and it’s now pretty seamless. Companies have learned how to compensate, because it now seems people in commercials do a lot of loud talking. Yelling, in some cases.

For instance, lawyers seem to think the only way to get my attention is to yell during the entire commercial. On one such commercial, a lawyer shouts his talking points while playing chicken with a semi-truck, just daring the driver to hit him. Something’s wrong if I find myself rooting for the truck.

Another lawyer used to have good commercials. He came across as professional, caring, and someone I would want on my side in a court fight. But now…he yells, too. Maybe his law practice isn’t doing as well as the other guy, so he decided to emulate him. Not a good idea, IMHO. If commercials are based on reality, does anyone want a lawyer screaming at them while they’re trying to explain their problem? Pretty sure we don’t, and a judge isn’t going to want a screaming lawyer in their court, either. Why would we hire someone with a propensity to end up in jail for contempt of court, if we’re trying to avoid said jail? We wouldn’t.

Do you know they have a special tablet designed specifically for seniors? Well, they do, because I just saw a commercial for one. Probably a good idea since seniors are too old to understand technical stuff. Oh, wait! I’m a senior, I’m typing on a laptop, watching something I recorded on the DVR, and after I upload the post, I’ll get on my iPad and play a few games. Maybe they’re wrong and seniors don’t need special equipment because we’re too old and stupid to understand modern technology.

Another commercial totally suspends reality. It shows a mother playing pirate with her daughter who appears to be about eight or ten. It would be a better commercial if the daughter was about two. By the time a child reaches age three, they’re spending all their time on a cell phone or tablet. At no point does that child have one in her hand. Totally unrealistic.

My aunt used to get embarrassed by commercials. I was visiting her one time, and she complained when a tampon commercial came on. She didn’t know how she would explain that to her son, if he was in the room with her. Since her son was about 30, I don’t think it would have been a problem, but I let her rant. Sometimes, venting is good for you. It’s a good thing she’s not around to see today’s TV commercials. She would be apoplectic. Companies have no compunction about discussing the most private affliction. And they readily promote their solution to said problem. Even if it might be a little embarrassing. Nowadays, you can find out how to cure any ailment or increase your testosterone, so you’ll be more manly. Not sure that’s a good idea, since that probably means there’d be more guys on TV yelling at me.

Have you noticed the very expensive exercise machines now have a screen with a built-in trainer? Have you also noticed the trainer appears to spend their time yelling at the exercisee? (Is that a word?) Another commercial where loud voices seem to be the norm. Personally, I’d want my trainer to lounge in a recliner, eat popcorn, and explain the finer points of curling to me. You gotta admit that sounds more inviting than being yelled at by a stranger.

The Progressive commercials normally capture my attention, because I like Jamie. He’s goofy. The problem with them is that Jamie is bullied by the other employees. Yes, he’s a little strange, but that doesn’t mean they should allow others to make fun of him. If the point of their commercials is to make us feel sorry for Jamie, they’ve succeeded. In one of their newer commercials, it shows his house and wife. Again…totally unrealistic. Yes, I like Jamie, but even I won’t buy into the premise that beautiful woman is his wife. Most women probably wouldn’t even go on a second date with him. Jamie’s fun to watch, but he is a little whacko.

You can even experience the wonders of milk that’s not really milk. I was intrigued by their commercial and bought a small container of almond milk. Nope! I suppose it would be good if you didn’t like or can’t tolerate the real thing, but I can’t envision ever having a bowl of cereal with anything other than good old factory-issued cow’s milk on it.

There seems to be an increase in advertisements about psychics. In one commercial, they accost someone for an immediate reading. I’d pass if they asked me, because I’m just not on board with the whole psychic reading thing. Partly because the Bible warns about using them, and partly because I don’t believe they’re real. Some may be, but others? Nope! There used to be a psychic’s place of business I drove by on the way home. They had a big sign in their front yard that read “Physic Readings.” Yep. How good of a psychic can they be if they don’t know I’m laughing at them every time I drive by? If they really could foresee everything, they’d know they spelled it wrong. Physic, psychic thyself!

The Sling TV commercials are very weird, and I suppose the Spectrum ones are too, but I do enjoy watching the “monsters” on the Spectrum ones. They make me chuckle. The Sling ones get an eye roll. If you haven’t seen the new Wendy’s commercial for their salads, keep an eye out for it. Keyword…gangsters. It’s so funny I backed it up so I could call Ed in to watch it. Absolutely hilarious! Also keep an eye out for the Discovery Channel commercial. They’ve done a great job with the “Hooked on a Feeling” song and you can’t help but tap your foot.

Over the years, there have been several commercials with catchphrases that stuck in our memory. Clara’s “Where’s the beef” line from the Wendy’s commercial. “Help, I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up” became a registered trademark for two different companies. “Please don’t squeeze the Charmin.” Remember Mr. Whipple? I’ve searched my memory bank, which I will readily admit is a little lacking, and I honestly can’t find one commercial today touting a catchphrase with that kind of staying power.

I’ve come up with an idea for a commercial promoting God. No yelling, no embarrassing social disease or male-enhancement solutions, just a group of diverse people/ethnicities enjoying each other’s company, no digital devices, no bullying in sight. The final screenshot will be these words: “All I need in life can be found at the cross.” Simple catchphrase with staying power, and much better than some huckster yelling about how great they or their products are.

Happy Easter! He is risen and we are forgiven.

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