16 March, 2010

About TV Advertising

If ever you have watched a few hours of day time television then you have been educated though you may not know. Resting between the cooking shows and the game shows and the morning gab and the afternoon soaps is the complete panoply of our personal woes.

All the problems of our society exist side by side, on the tube, every day.

Who advertises on day time TV? Well, who watches it? Law firms soliciting class action participants pose alongside pharmaceutical companies drumming up product awareness (remember Phen Phen?). Repair your credit or buy a car with no money down and no credit check. Can’t get around very well, you must need a scooter. Slip and fall litigation, DUI defense, the list is long. Declare bankruptcy or study for a new career. ‘Institutional’ ads insinuate to the viewer that you wouldn’t be home watching TV in the middle of the day if you salvaged your career through vocational training! Save your house from foreclosure or get in on the ground floor as the housing market floods with bank owned properties. An entirely new set of potentially litigious circumstances include allergy and asthma medication, feminine hygiene products, depression aids and more. Check out these contraindications, may cause: headache, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, anal leakage, joint pain, redness or swelling of mouth, face or throat, shortness of breath, anxiety and more. And while I’m at it, since I’m paying my doctor to know what’s best for me, why should I ask him about any prescription medication?

Of course the real reason these contraindications are broadcast is to avoid litigation, after all you’ve been apprised of the down side in their commercial. So if you mention the product to your doctor then they know you’ve seen the commercial.

It’s very different at night. Night time television is all about health and/or fitness. The reign of infomercials. Juicers, work out programs and related gear. Make your hair curly or get it straightened, increase your capacity for sexual pleasure (that’s a class action suit waiting to happen). Lonely? Call our chat line and hook up with someone in your area. Maybe you want to work at home for yourself and sell knic knacks that you never see and don’t touch for small profits and a free web presence. How does that work anyway? I guess they sell those things to people without a vocation who watch TV all day! Internet shortcuts anyone? Again with the busty spokes model (preferably with a British accent).

I’ve lost track of the many fitness machines (including awkward to clean juicers and toaster ovens). I wonder where they get audiences for these shows? Who chooses to sit in the audience and be impressed by a sharp knife or a vacuum that can really suck? The crowd glances one to the other in appreciative enquiry. What? Another new grilling machine to congest the unused appliance shelf? I do notice that the taste of cooked food is impressed upon the viewer as aggressively as the cooking hardware itself? There’s always that one taster who rolls their eyes in astonishment.

There have even been a few scandals. The Dell spokes person was busted for pot and lost the gig. The Mac spokes person goes on to get a movie career. The sham wow guy is busted for spousal abuse. The oxy clean pitchman, Billy Mays, knocks his head and mysteriously passes on.

And so it goes in the 21st century.