Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Commercials are fun too.

Disclaimer:  Dad you may not find this entertaining, but it is educational.

With invention of TiVo and the DVR the game of commercial watching is becoming a thing of the past which is unfortunate as it can be entertaining and informative.  Let me explain the game.  You are watching a show, I'll use Project Runway in our example because the surrounding commercials are not to subtle.  One of the commercials I saw while watching reruns of PR last week was an ad for a product that helped with "feminine odor" (they were not talking about stinky girl pits).

To play the game you have to ask two questions to yourself or other players in the room. First question:  Why?  This is sometimes pretty cut and dry like with  Jeremiah Weed it is an "adult beverage" commercial so no mystery there.  In our example Vagisil commercial the why is less obvious to a guy such as myself.  As a guy my "why" questions are along the lines of:  Is this really a problem? Soap doesn't work on girls?   Or like many products (usually pharmaceuticals) is it an invented problem to sell a product?  So often in the "why round" we can introduce our theories, I have a theory on the Vagisil ad, this was no surprise to my wife because she thinks I have a theory for everything.

The next question is: Who?  This often adds to the why theories.  But the "who" can often be quite funny when you stop and analyze it.  "Who" encompasses male/female and age.  The Wilford Brimly diabetes commercials that used to come on during Matlock reruns was obviously aimed at older people and I am guessing women from Wilford's tones. So imagine my surprise when Wilford showed up between sets while I was watching Spongebob.  I have a theory on that.

Compare older Viagra commercials with the current Cialis ads.  Both treat "ED" (you can have fun with the "why" even if you are a guy)  Old Viagra commercials usually had a flashy car of some sort and a "Man's Man" extolling the virtues of the magic blue pill.  Cialis usually portrays a couple involved in romantic things like long walks on the beach or holding hands on a brisk fall day (girl stuff).  The difference in the "who" is genius.  Viagra targeted the man, Cialis is going after his partner.

The other aspect of the who that makes TV watching fun is that when you answer the question you find out who TV execs think are watching their shows.  MTV, Spike, Lifetime, and Bravo intended demographics are obvious from their programming choices, but watch the ads sometimes they can seem very incongruent (word of the day) with what they advertise.

The commercial game also adds a new dimension to quality tv shows like "The Jersey Shore"  watch the ads on that one.  When I have stumbled across the show I ask myself "Whose reality is this?"  and, "Are these people for real?"  Play the commercial game, and suddenly you understand what's wrong with todays youth, and homeschooling almost makes sense.

What does this have to do with quilting or sewing?  Who knows, but that is the problem with the internet, I can write anything I want, call it blog and pretend my opinion matters.

 "Stay sewing my friends."-the Most Interesting Man in the World, (misquoted for thematic purposes)


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