I worked in TV. I was happy when I left TV. Now I watch TV every night until my senses are thoroughly dulled and I fall asleep in my decliner chair with my TV still flickering in my face. Before I proceed I have to disclose I’m now heavily into PR, so I might be somewhat biased against advertising, but I do see it as a partner, not an adversary. Now here are the worst offenders in my book.
Talk about turning a word of caution into a selling point, the manufacturers of Viagra, Cialis and Levitra are trumpeting an FDA-mandated warning into a marketing coup. Give ‘em an A for clever, but an F for taste.
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, TV commercials pay for many of the programs we watch or sleep through, but we don’t have to sit there day after day, night after night and take it lying down. We can stand up and fight back.
Here are Madden Mischief’s list of without a doubt, the worst, most obnoxious, silliest and most tiresome commercials on TV that are wearing out my mute button and giving me carpel tunnel remote control syndrome.
One proviso before we start. Because they made my maddening list, they’re probably the most effective TV spots ever made as they keep being repeated ad nauseum probably because they’re generating sales.
Still I can get some cathartic relief citing the ones that irk me the most.
One is the commercial for that wonder drug Aleve. Without it, merry-go-rounds stop, roller coasters freeze and a child looks sadly up at her grandfather who is in pain. Then magic happens. He’s offered Aleve, and everything in the amusement park starts up again. Smiling grandpa runs with his granddaughter to the next fun ride. I’ve seen this spot so many times I need Aleve myself for my eye pain.
And then there’s Nutri Systems and ageless Marie Osmond saying “bye bye stubborn belly fat.” I wish I could say bye-bye to her, but she keeps coming back, smiling, chirpy and shapely, promising you can lose weight eating all the things you love like lasagna, bars and shakes.
Next is Farmers insurance and how they know a thing or two — dum dee dumb dumb. Please spare me those things, along with the yellow talking midget money, how adorably stupid, and the over-active bladder from Astellas Pharma-Myrbetriq who keeps dragging women to toilets until she goes to see her doctor. Ugh. And don’t forget Toujeo for controlling blood sugar starring a heavy-set black woman walking through a white paper-mache city and coming home to a white paper puppy and a white paper husband. What a waste of paper.
My only relief from this onslaught of mindless TV spots is when highly promoted products are finally called out by the Federal government for making false claims, like the so-called memory enhancing supplement Prevagen. My hero, The Federal Trade Commission and New York’s attorney general charged the company with fraud for making false claims about the product’s enhancing memory. I’ll remember that.
Lastly is the proud man from Minnesota caressing his “My Pillow,” a spot that runs so frequently it’s given me bed sores. Here’s another case, a pillow case where the TV spot spun itself into alleged dreaming, but the legendary infomercial got a wake-up call when it was fined $1 million for deceptive advertising practices, charges brought by prosecutors in nine California counties.
Ads for MyPillow are ubedquitous. The company spends $1.4 million a week on advertising, and reportedly more than 18 million pillows have been sold.
But the company can no longer claim its products can cure, prevent or treat any diseases — without reliable scientific proof. It will pay civil penalties of $995,000 and donate $100,000 to shelters for the homeless and domestic violence victims.
Thanks. Now I can sleep.
One last one I can’t resist are those people who gleefully seek to learn from their DNA where they really come from, their ancestry. “I thought I was Italian, but I’m really more Eastern European.” “I can’t believe I’m part native American.” And on and on. One day I can imagine someone saying:
“I’m Jewish, but now I discovered I’m part Iranian and now I hate myself.”