April 19, 2017
COMMERCIAL CRITIQUE – THE BEST AND THE WORST
I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I watch enough of it to make some critical judgements about what the masters of the medium are trying to sell me. When it comes to the commercials, we’re all seeing the same things, and you may have your own ideas.
Here’s a small sample of some of commercials I like and some that I hate.
Untuckit.com, Grade: F
Here we have a manly character walking down the street, playing it straight, talking about why you should buy his shirts.
“My problem, like a lot of other men, I couldn’t find a shirt that looked good untucked. So this became my passion. To design a shirt that captures the perfect balance between light and fit…”
I’m glad he is doing well in the untucked shirt business, but his passion is to design a shirt that looks good when you don’t tuck it in. Really? He gets the award for aiming low. And his shirt? It looks like a shirt. I don’t know how long it took him to design a shirt that looks like a shirt, but I think his pitch falls short.
Untuck it.com gets an F.
Mybetriq, Grade: A-
On the other hand, I find myself charmed by the little blue-eyed pink bladder that goes around with his mom, holding her hand, and giving her a tug whenever it’s time to go to the bathroom. If some genetic genius could clone little bladders like that to sell as household pets, I would buy one.
The point of the ad is to sell Mybetriq, a prescription medicine to treat overactive bladder. The symptoms of OAB are urgency, frequency, and leakage. Side effects are increased blood pressure, urinary tract infection, common cold symptoms, and headaches.
What I like best about the commercial is that after the woman goes to the doctor and starts using Mybetriq, she still hangs out with her cute little bladder. The bladder is a winner. I give it an A-minus – a minus only because of the nasty possible side effects.
Virbezi, Grade: F
Speaking of characters who represent bathroom diseases, one of my least favorites is Ilana Becker – a talented actress, who unfortunately plays an irritable bowel. She is very good at being an irritating bowel, which is what she was hired to do. But by the second time you see the commercial, you want to go the bathroom yourself, at least until it is over.
Fortunately, the poor Irritable Bowel Syndrome victim learns about Viberzi, a prescription medicine that will cure her problem.
Unfortunately, even after she has been treated and cured, she still has to hang out with the Irritable Bowel Syndrome character. Other side effects include new or worsening abominable pain with or without nausea and vomiting.
The Virbezi commercial also gets an F.
Mucinex, Grade: C-
An even more disgusting character is the short, fat, and annoying green glob of mucus that hangs around whenever somebody has sinus congestion. He’s a friendly enough little guy, but obviously not attractive. No matter how well he dresses or how friendly he tries to be, it’s hard for a ball of mucus to have friends. Nobody wants to be around him.
What happens in the commercial is that his sinus-suffering friend takes some Mucinex, and her symptoms are relieved and he is cast aside once again. Honestly, I feel for the little guy. All he wants to do is hang around and be friends.
He may be a disgusting little creature, but unlike the irritating bowel lady I do feel some empathy for him. Poor little booger. The Mucinex commercial gets a C-minus. He may not deserve a passing grade, but I would hate to hold him back for another year.
2017 Honda Hydrogen Fuel Cell, Grade F-
The creepiest ad of the year has to be the decapitated heads of children singing “Don’t Stop Thinking about Tomorrow,” while a narrator touts the glories of the new Honda hydrogen-powered automobile. The children’s heads are supposed to symbolize hydrogen molecules, but every time I see it, it reminds me of an old movie – the 1962 black-and-white horror film, “The Brain That Wouldn’t Die.”
In this movie, a mad scientist and his beautiful fiancé are in a car crash in which her head is severed from her body. The grief-stricken scientist rushes her to his lab, where he keeps her head alive in a jar while he stalks strip clubs looking for a new sexy body to attach to her head. Yuck!
The Honda ad is even worse, because the severed heads belong to innocent little children. And nobody seems to be particularly troubled by it. All they want to do is sell their stupid car.
I give this ad an F-minus, if there is such a grade. Each time I see it, it just gets creepier and creepier.
Of course, there are many more commercials on TV. I’ve barely scratched the surface.
But it’s getting late and I’m tired. And frankly, it’s time to turn on the tube.
— George Lee Cunningham
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