Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Brought To You By

“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Ben Franklin.

Wrong! At least in this world we live in today. Nothing can be said to be certain except death, taxes, AND advertising.

Sure, I enjoy the occasional clever commercial. My favorite is that caveman spot on TV where the caveman says, “Seriously, four feet by five feet. Well, obviously not because I’m looking right at it.” Maybe I like it because somebody else is actually cheesed off about advertising.

I don’t watch as much TV as I used to because I can’t get into a program where I’m watching ten minutes of program followed by five minutes of commercials. How much learning do you think your student could do if his teacher lectured a maximum of ten minutes straight, followed by a five-minute break? How about reading a novel ten minutes at a time?

On an hour-long American Idol this week I counted twenty minutes of commercials using a stop watch. Not only that, but a Coca Cola video display is occasionally used as a backdrop during the program itself. Not enough? Ok, all the Idol judges have separate large plastic Coke glasses prominently displayed at their table. Not enough yet? OK, there is a Coca Cola logo at the left bottom corner of the TV screen just in case.

It’s a new trend in advertising. Be as annoying as possible. How else could you explain pop-up ads and spam? What about that commercial for hed-on (I’m deliberately misspelling it here for personal reasons). Hed on, Hed on, Hed on. Their ads are evilly designed to GIVE you a headache so they can sell you the product, right?

Then they have the nerve to air a commercial where the actor says something like, “I hate your commercials, but your product is terrific.”

NO! I hate your commercials and I NEVER will buy your product even if I have a headache with pain at ten on a scale of one to ten and your product is the only one in the store. THERE!

I’ve noticed another annoying tactic even surfing the net. They’re called “roll-overs.” All of a sudden I have a car driving across my computer screen. What the . . . ? Apparently my mouse came too close to a display ad which then blows up to five times normal size or initiates some animation program that forces you to watch.

Even some of my blogging buddies have ads on their blogs. I won’t name names, though. But you will notice that Big Dave is brought to you by none other than Big Dave. Hmmmm, wonder if I should register that as a trademark.

Now if you’ll excuse me, all this ranting has worked up a thirst. I’m going to grab a Coke.


Blogger WordWhiz said...

AMEN! I've lost count of how many times your blog has taken on a particular pet peeve of mine...and so much more eloquently than I could have done! Thanks!!

7:14 PM  
Blogger Spider said...

Advertisers have figured that if they can get you to remember a product or a name, then you will buy it later because you will not remember the context.

So if they can put out commercials that are so annoying that you think "GEICO IS THE ULTIMATE CRAP INSURANCE" then at some point later when you are buying insurance you will just remember "GEICO=INSURANCE" and then visit their website and buy their crap and keep the caveman commercial writers making money by promoting stupidity.

9:40 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

'Tis the reason why I tape most of my favourite programmes and watch those on our ABC, commercial-free channel!

1:09 AM  
Blogger Matty said...

Big Dave,
Right on! Talking about American Idol, wasn't that a shock that Melinda got booted?
Also, I don't think Paula has coke in her coca-cola cup, more like vodka.
Yes, the commercials drive me nuts, and I also try to stay away from blogs that advertise as well.
I read your blog for the content,,not for the ads. I don't need anymore in my life.
I do like the commercial for Grey Insurance where the woman driver spazzes out...'road rage' it says something to the effect that if you don't drive like her, you have a right to lower premiums.
But most of the commercials are enough to drive you round the bend.
I have enough time during commercials to fold clothes, wipe counters, run to the washroom, make tea, pack lunches,,,,,well you get the idea.
Very good post. Thanks.

4:39 AM  
Blogger MSU gal said...

Paula needs a more Coca-Cola in the cup and a little less coconut rum with a lime twist (it goes better with Coke...I'm just sayin').

I have noticed Idol turning into an hour-long commercial but get used to it--it's the future of advertising. One day you may not be able to time anything because it will be difficult to decipher when the commercials begin and end. They will be blended into the programming.

7:01 AM  
Blogger simply me said...

You kill me - I LOL everytime. Lisa and I are going to our son's spring concert where they are both in the band and both play the trombone (even with a cast on - Jon). I am looking forward to it because I don't watch much TV. I am guilty of enjoying a few commercials, also one with the Geico caveman with his Therapist (since I am one) - gives me a chuckle.
You are right about TV and all its fancy advertisement. REmember when there were only 8 channels and the TV went off at midnite leaving a lovely color wheel for entertainment. Ahhhh, those were the days.

4:05 PM  
Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

A Coke? How come you guys always go for the off-brands? Shoulda had a Nesbitts.

4:10 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

Commercialism is everywhere...I must remember to look under my bed!

I have a couple of Google Adsense ads on my's supposed to be a means of making some money but few readers/commenters click on them so it might be next century before I receive a payment from Google! ;)

Some blogs go into advertising in a big makes money for them...I'm not part of the select money-making group!

I tape a lot of my favourite tv programmes (naughty me!) so I can speed through the ads when watching them.

6:10 PM  
Blogger Babette said...

This is one reason why we only watch telefishion in our home.

I do enjoy the not so subtle form of advertising university teams on apparel and sundry items. In fact, seeing a beautiful WHITE "S" on a forest GREEN background never fails to bring a tear to my eye.

6:31 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Hi Dave, we are blessed with much the same advertising standards here in Oz, I thought you would go for anything but a Coke BTW.

7:04 AM  
Blogger Kacey said...

Big Dave, Big Dave --- I love your commercial and the product is great. You should get a patent! I really like having an occasional commercial on T.V. --- it gives me a break to go stick a load in the dryer or get a Coke. Lord knows the Coke people don't have to advertise --- I've been hooked for forty years and stopped drinking it May 1st to lose some weight. Oh, how I miss it --- my poor pancreas doesn't know what to do without all that sugar. So, I watch American Idol and drool at all those darn commercials. Someone sent me a European commercial that was so suggestive that I was embarrassed. I bet folks in Europe love the ads!

5:21 PM  
Anonymous schnoodlepooh said...

I agree with you. I think advertising is insulting. However, I admit that I have seen a few comercials (very very few) that I think are entertaining. The caveman ones are funny, but if I had my choice, I would prefer they not be there. Does that stuff really work? Does it influence one person to buy car insurance????? I wonder.

11:36 AM  
Anonymous jan said...

One series of commercials has totally gotten to me--the PC and Mac commercials. They have made me feel like a total nerd in such an endearing way that I am ready to mortgage my children to get a Mac. And I used them for years where I worked without wanting to buy one.

I really don't like blogs with ads...

6:16 PM  
Anonymous cassie-b said...

If I try to watch late night tv, I rarely see the end of the show, because that last batch of commercials is sooooo long.

And I don't advertise either.

6:59 AM  
Anonymous squirrel said...

I noticed a lot of blogs are doing the pay-per-post thing. I just can't do it. It just seems so unfair to my readers who've been reading for years to all the sudden get hit with ads. BTW you're comment about going to get a Coke made me want to go to the store and get some. LOL!!

9:26 AM  
Blogger Granny said...

To each his/her own but I can't imagine having ads on the blog.

I do click on google ads though when a blogging friend has asked for help.

I then make it a point to never buy the product.

5:07 PM  
Blogger Nell Minow said...

I agree! It bothers me that the more we try to get rid of intrusive advertising (like pop-ups), the more we get even more intrusive advertising (like rollovers). And I hate this endless product placement that makes even the program part of a broadcast one long infomercial. I stopped watching "The Apprentice" after the first season because it seemed to me it was all about the product placement and not about the competition. I read that Martha Stewart is now accepting product placement on her show -- not that I would ever watch it (I am not the domestic diva type), but how can anyone believe anything she says anymore if she's getting paid to say that some new gadget is "a good thing?" And as long as we're on the subject, something else that bugs me is using characters from children's media like Shrek to sell junk food and toys. Children should be able to love these characters without having to be bombarded with things like Shrek's special green Cheetos.

6:54 AM  
Anonymous Terri said...

Ditto on all you said here. I'm not much of a night time tv viewer and therefore, I find the commercials exceptionally annoying! That headache one...FORget it!
The ones I do love are...not surprisingly....the pet ones. LOVE the Pet Smart commercials, but anything with dogs and cats.
Used to love the Hallmark ones..but don't see those much anymore.

6:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


11:01 PM  

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