Salutations beloved. This installment finds me yearning to be in the pharmacology business or more specifically, as an ad writer for one of these behemoths. I won’t quarrel with the populist thinking that everyone in the medical business is in bed with the drug companies — except to say that hey, they need a little lovin’ too now and again I suppose.
What does give me pause though are the marketing campaigns. What an interesting spectacle these contemporary ads have become. Just so you know, I have over the years been associated with hundreds and hundreds of radio and television commercials, some I take great pride in and the scores of other less artistic or just plain stupid commercials bearing my mark — my association is perhaps more on the loathing side.
I totally blame those lesser efforts on the need for personal financial expediency or more often than not, a hubris-filled client, and I’m not kiddin’. Thus, I do modestly claim the right as a critic of the good, the bad, and the butt-ugly when speaking of the barren landscape that constitutes advertising.
A few quick observation on ads I see in prime time that cause me to cock my head sideways and say, usually out loud, Are you freaking kidding me?!
Is it not a little curious to see ads for things like, oh say chronic depression medication during shows like — The Biggest Loser? I understand product placement but really — depression meds? Just once I’d like to see an “eat-like-you-mean-it”ad for Wendy’s during the show. Now that is product placement. All I can think is that there is some skinny-bitchy, gum-chewing account executive who snickered as the buy order was placed with the network. “Puh-lease run the end just as soooon as they do the weigh-in!”
Who doesn’t just love the ads running for the couple who brush hands while unloading groceries in the kitchen and the set instantly morphs into the both of them sitting in matching soaking hot-tubs overlooking some beach on Bora-Bora suggesting that, voila, his ED has been cured thus, the moment is right, right? Seriously? Let’s review — dude has just ingested the “fix” and via the magic of fantasy, been transported to a beach with his smokin’ hot wife and this genius chooses a separate soaking hot-tub? Are you freaking kidding me?!? Listen nimrod, she will have the cabana boy’s cell number before dark-thirty.
Of course you have seen the dude, remember now, a sufferer of chronic ED, who pulls his piece of crap Chevy truck and trailer out of a mud hole with a team of horses [sure that’s gonna happen]. Apparently this out-of-the-box discovery ignites a fire that such ingenuity is going to get him laid. Just imagine how this conversation rolls out — “Hey baby, so I got the truck stuck up the the freakin’ axle and old Admiral and Blue pulled me out of the mud — now don’t that make you horny?” Are you freaking kidding me?!? Listen my man, the lady is gonna want you to wash off that horse smell, shave, and at least put some Barry White tunes on before you attempt a victory lap — just sayin’.
And I love ads aimed at fixing your low testosterone. “Hey there down and out aging hunter-gatherer — you can get back in the game with a little smear of this roll-on under your armpit — your ole bowling game will improve, hell, you might even regain the desire to sit in a tree-stand in the back yard and sight-in your AR-15 on a stray neighborhood cat or two.” If you grow a third testicle — bonus.
Then there are the ads for “I-can’t-take-a-leak” or “I-can’t-stop-taking-a-leak-and-my-friends-hate-me-for-screwing-up-the-golf-game”. To pee or not to pee is really a problem you need to take up with your doc, and not a decision based on a commercial during Dateline or Off Their Rockers. Perhaps cutting back to a six-pack during the news hour will help too.
Grace Slick got it right with respect to truth-in-advertising:
One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you
Don’t do anything at all
Go ask Alice
When she’s ten feet tall
Till next time, take two and call me in the morning beloved.