Monday, December 31, 2007

Television at it's absolute best

Here's a tv commercial from 1985...

If you've never seen this one, no doubt you've seen hundreds just like it. Go ahead, make fun of it if you want to (but not too much because I am in love/obsessed with the girl in it and if you make fun of her, I will have no choice but to fight you). It's ok, it is funny. These commercials always follow the same formula:
  • Present some tedious common chore in a manner that makes it seem more difficult than the combined labors of Hercules.
  • Demonstrate a miraculous product that will make accomplishing this chore not only possible but fun, possibly for the whole family.
  • Hint vaguely that the development of this miraculous product is somehow affiliated with the space program (optional).
  • Show a ludicrously low price for this miraculous product.
  • Point out that the consumer actually gets two miraculous products for the ludicrously low price of one.
  • Inspire call to action by offering at least one free additional separate premium feature or item if the miraculous product is ordered immediately.

Now, in the case of the Powerjet presented above, the free additional premium item is an on/off switch, which is pretty shitty if you think about it. Seriously, how screwed are we if all manufacturers start considering on/off switches as premium, value-added features? But that's the beauty; these commercials are designed so you don't have to think. At all. The last thing the manufacturer wants is for the minds of people watching these to function beyond the ability to dial a phone and read a sequence of numbers from a credit card. And that's what happens to you when you see enough of them, which is why I love them so much. Not all commercials, just ones like this from the "as seen on tv" family. I wish with all my might that there were a cable channel that showed nothing but these commercials 24 hours a day. I'm envisioning something along the lines of mid-eighties MTV, with these commercials instead of videos (which are actually just commercials anyway). I guarantee I'd watch for at least an hour every day. As it is, I have been known to reach an almost zen-like state while watching Tarnex commercials. Man, they just stick those crusty old spoons in a bowl of Tarnex and they come out gleaming. In fact, If I ever become independently wealthy, I am going to hire teams of people to scour the globe in search of the crustiest, nastiest pots, pans, candlesticks and flatware. They'll bring them back to me in my palatial mansion, where I will lock myself in a room on the second floor and live out the rest of my days growing a long beard and fingernails and polishing those items with Tarnex. Maybe you would bliss out to the Topsy Tail or the Bedazzler or, if you want to go really old school, the Pocket Fisherman. But that's another beautiful thing; there's something for everyone!

Now, I know none of this crap works in real life like it does in the commercials, but that's the whole point. As seen on tv, imperfections are erased, families are brought together, wrongs are righted and the mundane is made fun and exciting for one low, low price plus a free egg timer. You won't find anything else on television that gives you such feelings of tranquility, inspiration and inner peace and if you do, return this blog for a full refund.

1 comment:

Denise said...

I'm actually a big fan of this genre of advertisement - and you broke it down perfectly! My favorite is for a product whose name I don't recall but it was essentially a simple spatula. They show someone mercilessly poking and prodding a sunny side up egg in an attempt to turn it - nearly in TEARS brought on by frustration due to their inability to achieve this task. The narrator announces over this scene - with all of the gravitas of a seasoned war reporter on a 24 hour news network (yeah, not much?) - "Oh, no, you broke the yolk again!"

Love it.