Saturday, August 3, 2013


DVR's are a wondrous invention, aren't they? I hate to trot out the old "in my day" chestnut, but really, don't you find that commercials last longer now than the actual TV shows they interrupt?

Perhaps network channels feature more interesting ads, but in our house, we watch a lot of cable, and if it's not the "Act Now and Get Two For the Price of One!" stupid little quirky inventions that we didn't even know we needed, it's Fred Thompson beating us about the head, smiling eerily, telling us that we really need to get a reverse mortgage. Or William Devane, shouting, "Gold!" every seven minutes. (And c'mon! William Devane? From that eighties soap? At least Fred Thompson was in a good show.)

I find myself disappointed to realize I'm watching a live show and I can't fast-forward it. This, if for no other reason, is why people tune in to PBS. Honestly, we'll watch any sort of crap; English castle retrospectives, some guy hiking up a hill; just to not have our senses sullied by inane people shouting that we need to call in the next five minutes!

Seems to me that people all over this great land have begun to put their collective feet down. Oh, Nielsen knows it. Everybody pre-records shows now. It's completely skewing the Nielsen numbers. Plus, a lot of us watch shows online - whether it's Hulu or YouTube. Know what I do when Hulu sticks a commercial in the middle of a show I'm currently engrossed in? I flip over to a new window and do something more interesting to kill time. Try as you might to get me to buy an Audi, I'm busy playing Candy Crush Saga.

Look for the days of product placement. Some day, all the advertisers will suddenly catch on that we aren't falling for their incessant pleading that we (please, please!) rush out and purchase their product. I don't care how many cool indie songs they slap in there.

No, instead, we'll see Jethro Gibbs dabbing from a can of MinWax as he tidies up the boat in his basement. Sheldon Cooper will hold up a pair of Fruit of the Looms and tell us they're just like the ones his me-maw bought for him when he was a kid.

And frankly, that'd all be okay with me. I like a little entertainment to go along with my forced Madison Avenue servitude.

The only people I know who make even slightly entertaining ads anymore are the Geico folks. Their ad agency employs somebody with a strange, wondrous mind. First it was the little piggy, and now this:

You have to laugh, because it's so dumb. Don't we all like dumb? Yes, we do.

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