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Faux Outrage

Literally the most important blog in the universe since 2010.

I don’t watch television all that often.  When I do, I usually find myself watching some kind of comedy program.  Stand-up, cartoons, sitcoms, etc.  If I actually think about it (which apparently, I am), I probably truly laugh zero times in these half-hour period.  When I do laugh, the program is often on a commercial break.  Not because the commercials are funny, but because they make absolutely no sense.  What ever happened to those old-fashioned commercials that oh, I don’t know, told the viewer what their product does? It seems to me that commercials are less about selling a product and more about determining which company can confuse the crap out of viewers at a higher rate.  Let the battle of obscurity commence!

Case #1: Sprite

Sprite uses what I consider to be the best way of confusing viewers: Contradiction.  They are kind enough to inform the general public that Image Is Nothing.  We’re glad to hear that too, as most of us are sick and tired of being told what to buy and where to shop.  Go Sprite!  We like your style!  I’m thirsty already!  As soon as we’re ready to hit the road and find our nearest Sprite dealer, they hit us with a blind-side right-hook: Thirst Is Everything.  I have two thoughts here.

First, HOLY CRAP.  THIRST IS EVERYTHING!  Upon hearing that, I’m not sure whether I am supposed to desire to become more or less thirsty, or run for the hills and obey Cokey, the god of Thirst.  If “Thirst Is Everything” is not a minor over-estimation, I’m not sure what is.  Also, it’s a tad arrogant for a company like Coca-Cola (the makers of Sprite) to assume that they make a product that combats what they consider to be everything.  And anyway, we all know that soda just dehydrates, so their “Thirst Is Everything” statement makes even less sense.

Second, as a consumer, I am confused as hell.  “But you just said image was nothing, and now I am supposed to believe that thirst is everything?”  That makes no sense and happens to be ridiculously boring.  I think I speak for a few of us when I demand that image once again be considered everything!

There was going to be a Case #2, but since there were too many examples to choose from, allow me to cut to the chase.  I really despise how companies even attempt to instill some kind of “this product will save me from all that is evil” image in a consumer’s head.  Maybe that kind of idea is allowed in ads for medicines and the like, but for the love of Pete, not shoe commercials.  Granted, that kind of “I have to drink Pepsi because Brittney Spears is hot and, if I do drink Pepsi, I will be that much closer to her tender whore-like touch which will be all I need to survive in this cruel world” image and product loyalty does exist, but for the vast majority, commercials don’t seem to be talking with consumers the way they used to.  I feel as though I am being talked at nowadays and have very little connection with today’s advertisements.  I don’t know about you, but for the sizable majority of commercials, I feel as though the target audience was not only “not me”, but also “not anyone in particular”.

To advertisers from me:  Calm the hell down.
From advertisers to me: Calm the hell down.

(Side Rant : I’d love to sit in on the brainstorming sessions for those really really obscure commercials where, at the end, you’re not only unsure of what was actually taking place in the 30 seconds it took you to watch it, but you also couldn’t go out and buy/do/ingest whatever it was they were selling because you have no idea what it even was!)

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