Thursday, May 24, 2018
Opinion

Commercials guaranteed to drive you bonkers

I just hate it when a termite the size of Shaquille O'Neal rings the door bell asking for directions. I can see his old car out there and another termite waiting for him to go to the next place. I can't really understand what he's saying, but I know I don't like it.

I can't understand why pest control commercials on television have to show me huge bugs walking, talking and driving. I know they think they have to have a gimmick, but I don't want to look at it.

That commercial spot usually is followed by a huge ugly something crawling out of a sink and sewing very large saddle-back cockroaches all over the county. Nice? No.

I know a little bit about commercials. My first big job in broadcasting was in Medford, Mass., writing commercials for local sponsors — car dealers and restaurants. I could sell tail fins and wrap-around windows and submarine sandwiches. I learned how to sell the sizzle.

Today, a lot of local commercials are loud, shouting, perky and generally unpleasant. Commercials for local car dealers feature young blondes in red dresses excited about something. The rush too many words together. They say everything with a toothy smile. Do you know how difficult it is to talk properly when you're smiling constantly?

And then there are agencies and/or clients who insist on ending commercials with somebody else's slogan.

"I guarantee it!''

The man who established that line sells men's clothes. But now it is being used by the owner of a local restaurant. He promises your satisfaction, too.

"I guarantee it!''

He likely thinks that's clever, but it isn't.

I can't stand the very long and expensive commercials turned out by the people at the oil company that caused the spill in the gulf. They tell us they're committed and that they're a part of us. They want us to eat shrimp. They even hired local folks from the gulf coast to shill for them.

I'm not buying it. I don't mean the shrimp. I mean I'm not buying their stated commitment.

Are you thinking of buying a car? Have you noticed that almost all of these expensive cars now look alike. They look just like the less-expensive cars. It used to be a very luxurious automobile had its own, terrific style. Not today. Cars that cost a lot look, in their commercials, almost identical to the cheaper cars costing less.

At least a car doesn't come with a list of side effects. The disclaimers on health-care-related commercials are too much. I love that one of the potential results of one medication is sudden death. There are plenty of other ailments, too.

Actor/director/activist Emilio Estevez was quoted in the July issue of Science of Mind magazine: "if you watch television of any length of time, you're going to feel there's a lot wrong with you; your body doesn't work, you have pains you didn't know you had, you're depressed, you're overweight, your teeth aren't bright enough, on and on and on.''

He's right and he didn't even have to guarantee it.

Of course, there is a three-letter remedy to this commercial-induced malaise:

PBS.

Jim Aylward of New Port Richey was formerly a nationally syndicated columnist and radio host in New York City.

Comments
Editorial: Banks still need watching after easing Dodd-Frank rules

Editorial: Banks still need watching after easing Dodd-Frank rules

Legislation that waters down the 2010 Dodd-Frank law and was sent to President Donald Trump this week is a mixed bag at best. Some provisions recognize that Congress may have gone too far in some areas in the wake of the Great Recession to place new ...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Another voice: The chutzpah of these men

A new phase of the #MeToo movement may be upon us. Call it the "not so fast" era: Powerful men who plotted career comebacks mere months after being taken down by accusations of sexual misconduct now face even more alarming claims.Mario Batali, the ce...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Editorial: Candor key step to restoring trust at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart Institute

Editorial: Candor key step to restoring trust at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart Institute

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital has begun the important work of rebuilding trust with its patients and the community following revelations of medical errors and other problems at its Heart Institute. CEO Dr. Jonathan Ellen candidly acknowledges...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/23/18
Editorial: Tampa Bay House members fail to stand up to Big Sugar

Editorial: Tampa Bay House members fail to stand up to Big Sugar

Big Sugar remains king in Florida. Just three of the state’s 27 House members voted for an amendment to the farm bill late Thursday that would have started unwinding the needless government supports for sugar that gouge taxpayers. Predictably, the am...
Published: 05/18/18
Editorial: Bondi holds drug industry accountable for Florida opioid crisis

Editorial: Bondi holds drug industry accountable for Florida opioid crisis

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s lawsuit against the nation’s largest drug makers and distributors marks a moment of awakening in the state’s battle to recover from the opioid crisis. In blunt, forceful language, Bondi accuses these companies of ...
Published: 05/18/18
Editorial: A sweet note for the Florida Orchestra’s violin program for at-risk kids

Editorial: A sweet note for the Florida Orchestra’s violin program for at-risk kids

This is music to the ears. Members of the Florida Orchestra will introduce at-risk students to the violin this summer at some Hillsborough recreation centers. For free.An $80,000 grant to the University Area Community Development Corp. will pay for s...
Published: 05/17/18
Updated: 05/18/18
Trump backs off China tariff threat as China pumps money into a Trump family project

Trump backs off China tariff threat as China pumps money into a Trump family project

In barely six weeks, President Donald Trump has gone from threatening to impose $150 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods to extending a lifeline to ZTE, a Chinese cell phone company that violated U.S. sanctions by doing business with Iran and North K...
Published: 05/17/18
Editorial: Activism as seniors helps put Hillsborough graduates on the right path

Editorial: Activism as seniors helps put Hillsborough graduates on the right path

Lots of teenagers are walking together this week in Hillsborough County, a practice they’ve grown accustomed to during this remarkable school year.We can only hope they keep walking for the rest of their lives.Tens of thousands of them this week are ...
Published: 05/17/18
Editorial: Bondi holds drug industry accountable for Florida opioid crisis

Editorial: Bondi holds drug industry accountable for Florida opioid crisis

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s lawsuit against the nation’s largest drug makers and distributors marks a moment of awakening in the state’s battle to recover from the opioid crisis. In blunt, forceful language, Bondi accuses these companies of ...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18
Editorial: Johns Hopkins All Children’s should be more open about mistakes

Editorial: Johns Hopkins All Children’s should be more open about mistakes

A state investigation raises even more concern about medical errors at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and the venerable St. Petersburg institution’s lack of candor to the community. Regulators have determined the hospital broke Florida law by ...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/17/18