Commercial rant time...

Drtooth

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I had to split this from the McDonalds jingle thread because I feel this is an important topic that's been going silent for too long, and I for one think it needs to be addressed.

Okay, sure... say what you will... junk food commercial= Joe Camel blah blah blah... but how come I see commercials for things that are quite a bit more hazardous, financially, if not health oriented?

Seems everytijme I turn the TV on I see these commercials:

  • Cash for Gold/Gold Rush/Gold Envelope, etc.
  • a website that supposedly has all these great home business job offers. You know, the ones that have an ever changing number in the web address so they don't get caught
  • SMC- a compnay that tells you you can make money by buying stuff and selling stuff (the very definition of pyramid scheme)
  • Sleep medications with side effects that are more dangerous and terrifying than not being fully awake.
  • And of course, infomercials featuring get rich quick schemes and non-working cures "they" don't want you to know about.

I'm sorry... but that stuff is much, much worse than anything they advertise on kid's programming (Junk Food, toys, video games... etc). And frankly, I think adults aren't half as smart as kids when it comes to these things. Other than the medications, all the ones I listed take advantage of broken down poor, down on their luck people. And they've grown in numbers because of the Recession (like a flock of vampires gathering at a blood bank). Where is the government and angry groups fighting to stop these advertisements from being on TV? Especially during daytime television, where poor, broken people who want to make a quick buck can be suckered into it?

And the infomercial I was talking about... ever hear of someone called Kevin Trudeau? Dude's a freaking traveling medicine salesman who was indited for multiple scams in the 80's, who sold books with little if any useful information and got caught for it, and he STILL makes infomercials. Really! We can't see Chester Cheetah, but a conman can have his infomercials unregulated? Seems fair.
 

bazooka_beak

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Have you seen the "Extenze" (or whatever it's called) commercial? Ewness! And don't forget the "go to school online/in your pajamas" ads.
 

Drtooth

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I'm so glad the message I'm sending is getting across... :attitude: (we really should have had a Sam the Eagle Face palm smilie).
 

dwmckim

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I can vouch for the pure evil-ness of SMC. I used to work there (Arizona has a lot of call centers). I had heard from a lot of people beforehand that it's not a good place to work but as someone who needed a graveyard job to work at as a second job, they were one of the few real good choices. I can vouch that they are evil personified. One of my managers/Big Bosses had a very obvious drug problem as well. You can tell a lot about how a company values its customers by how it values its employees and vice versa. They kept cutting employees' hours and pay - you could either accept the paycuts or not work there. Even though i actually did very well there and was one of their top employees during my six months with them (i had to leave because my car broke down and had to make a Sofie's Choice between my day and my night job) but they won't rehire me now (or any former employees who want to come back whether they left on good terms or not) because i know all their dirty little secrets as to what they used to provide their employees vs what they offer now.

Not all products in informercials are bad - some are really quite good really - but let the buyer beware. I do feel a need to defend Kevin Trudeau however - while he doesn't have the most squeaky clean history, he has done a lot of good - there was lots of valuable information that the general public really should be more educated on in his books on Natural Cures and Debt Cures "They" Don't Want You to Know About and i reccomend them as good reads (pick them up at the library if you don't want to spend the money).

However, stay away from home-based biz-opps. Over 95% of them are scams.
 

Drtooth

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Not all products in informercials are bad - some are really quite good really - but let the buyer beware. I do feel a need to defend Kevin Trudeau however - while he doesn't have the most squeaky clean history, he has done a lot of good - there was lots of valuable information that the general public really should be more educated on in his books on Natural Cures and Debt Cures "They" Don't Want You to Know About and i reccomend them as good reads (pick them up at the library if you don't want to spend the money).
I heard the "Natural Cure" diet thing was to just keep getting enemas. I've heard and seen nothing but bad things regarding him. Anyone else, fine. If there's any information that is useful, it's either common knowledge or possibly stolen from someone else. Plus, frankly, there's a lot to the guy that he doesn't want you to know.

And sure, there are some infomercials that aren't scams... that Popile guy hazs a reputation for quality products... It's the scammy ones that bug me...

The point I am making is that adult commercials are FAR more convincing than kid's commercials... they play off of so many adult neuroses it gets awfully creepy to think about them. Yet, the kid's commercials are the ones being pulled off the air and scrutinized by so called advocates. I can understand why people have problems with the food advertisements. I don't agree that pulling them off the air will do anything to the obesity problem. But there's a group that wants to get rid of toy commercials too, because kids might want to ask for them. Which, honestly, is just selfish, lazy parenting masquerading as caring for children.\

My point? I have watched thousands of hours of TV in my life, and there is one thing I get out of kid's commercials:

"Buy it! It's sooo cool! Beg your parents for it!" Now, that doesn't sound too bad, considering the basic ideal of a commercial is to make you want something you don't need. But you get into adult commercials, and I see some shocking emasculation and badgering. This is what I get out of adult commercials.

"You can only be a true man if you drink a lot of beer and drive a huge gas sucking truck. If you look the slightest bit old, you can't be that playboy you always wanted to be, but aren't, and loose women won't hit on you for your ego. If you care about fuel economy and anything else besides action films, women that are hotter than your wife currently, you could be gay." (you wouldn't believe the subtle homophobia they have in these things...)

"It's okay for women to be five pounds overweight, but anything over that much and you have to consume as many cereals, yogurts, and drinks as possible so you can grab that perfectly perfect man you think you deserve, but are somehow better than. And hypocritically, eat decadent desserts." (Watch a Lean Cuisine commercial sometime)

and my personal favorite:

"If you can't sleep, feel slightly depressed or can't satisfy your mate at an obscenely old age, than pop a pill. It doesn't matter what the side effects are... would you rather see pink elephants, have suicidal thoughts, wake up with your car crashed in a ditch and you're in a dress (and a dude), or not have a good night's sleep?" (I'm well aware there are some medications, even depression ones, that are vitally important... I don't think they should be advertised on TV either, and that's an important decision between a doctor and patient. Did you know the US is the only country that allows pharmaceutical adds on TV?)

The one change I'm thrilled about is how the payday car title loans are vanquished from the air waves. I swear they had something to do with the credit crash that helped fuel the Recession. And Mr. T shouldn't have needed money that bad.
 

D'Snowth

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Okay Drtooth, sorry for initially ruining your thread, I'll be seriousness...

Over the years, there's been plenty of commercials that have drove me absolutely bonkers; two of which I can't currently remember off the top of my head are...

1. From 2002 or 2003 or so, there was that commercial for those snack tubes of Skippy peanut butter, and the kids in those commercials performing that godawful rap that made you bang your head on the wall... "SQUEEZE! IT'S DA SKIPPY, IT'S DA SKIPPY YA SQUEEZE!" Matter of fact, quite a few kids in school at the time hated it as well, lol.
2. From 2004 (I believe) there was a commercial for some kind of digital camera, where this guy was in a meadow, and comes across a turtle by the duck pond; he kneals down to take a picture of it, and all of the sudden, this turtle stands on its hind legs and starts singing "In the morning/in the evening/at suppertime/not much money/oh but honey/ain't we got fun/ain't we got fun", etc... meh...
 

Drtooth

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I see what you mean... though my entire thesis of this post is that there's so many annoying, frustrating, and self serving regulations on kid's TV commercials (leading to even more frustraiting, annoying, self serving regulations for kid's Television on the whole- thus making it not profitable and not worth it enough for networks to actually attempt original kid's programming), but with adult programming you can advertise anything because we're force fed the ideal that kids aren't as smart as adults.... and frankly, even kids wouldn't fall for half the get rich quick schemes they advertise on daytime television. Oh, to make it so daytime shows like Maury Povich and Judge Karen were unprofitable.

Again, this is still venting my frustration about the state of children's programming and any animation that isn't made by 12 year olds on the internet... i.e. various Sonic the Hedgehog characters in crudely drawn X-Rated situations.


But yeah... I guess people can use this to say how stupid commercials that aren't promoting financially risky garbage and get thin quick heart stoppers... :embarrassed:
 

dwmckim

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Most annyoying insulting commercial of all time (not including political ads which are in a class of their own)..."My wife...I think I'll keep her." (showing my age with that one!)
 
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