Commercials make life too hard
Can life be nearly so difficult as it is in television commercials?
Recently a series of spots have run for a popular energy drink, whose contents appear to be the equivalent of a liquid 8-ball. The spots depict a succession of groggy people, attempting to wake themselves in the morning by making coffee.
Fine, but each ad depicts making coffee as though it were the labor equivalent of open-heart surgery. The characters in the ads fumble through the filters, spill water all over themselves and come very close to setting the house on fire, all while attempting to make a simple pot of coffee. Those who choose to pick up their coffee from a shop are stuck in long, miserable lines, staring at their watches in a crowd of other people who look equally miserable.
“Why do we go through so much hassle every morning for coffee?” a voiceover asks.
Wait, do we? Coffee is actually pretty easy to make, right? The entire process takes somewhere in the neighborhood of three minutes, and if you’re really obnoxious (like me!) you can even buy a coffeemaker with a timer on it, so you can literally wake up in the morning with a fresh pot already made.
(Note: Among my favorites of these ads is the one in which the woman needs to down an energy drink so she can walk on a treadmill — the treadmill that appears to be already in her house. Really.)
Another television spot promotes a giant blanket with sleeves, possibly the least necessary invention in the history of American society since the Pet Rock.
In a desperate attempt to prove the necessity of this product, the ad depicts a series of characters wrapped in ordinary blankets — which is to say, without sleeves — struggling mightily to perform simple tasks like answering the phone or eating popcorn. Because this ad is taking place in an alternate universe where taking one’s arms out from under the blanket means certain death.
The ad also features other, cheerful characters using the sleeved blanket while camping or watching outdoor sports. Suffice to say, if you met one of these people, you’d turn in the opposite direction and run as fast as you could.
Look, I realize it’s the job of advertisers to convince us that life could be made better. Most likely no one realized what a hassle was involved in standing up to change the channel on a television until someone invented a remote control. And surely no one realized how much better life could be with a giant paperweight until the portable DVD player came into being.
Even so, don’t we have enough real problems without inventing them artificially? Could life really be this hard?
Thursday, March 24, 2011
shameless promotion (2.0): March 24, 2011
In the ongoing effort of this blog to
get Will Heath fired once and for all promote its primary author's rapidly disintegrating writing career, we present this week's column from the St. Clair Times. As always, please feel free to leave your own comments, either here or by finding us on Twitter. We thank you in advance for your feigning of interest.