Saturday, January 28, 2012

Hey, Stupid!

Have I got a deal for you!

No competent marketer would miss an opportunity to sell product to a broad new demographic. I don't think I noticed, however, when the "total idiot" demographic became a hot new target. Perhaps it's been there all along, but only more recently came into high profile. After all, I'm sure you can think of instances where, after watching a commercial, you said to yourself, “Who would be stupid enough to pay good money for that?” The entire Home Shopping Network was based on the existence of people with minimal discernment and taste.

Still, I've noticed a rash of television commercials that I find peculiarly disturbing. It's like the sponsor of the advertisement is saying, “Are you stupid? A total idiot? Well, have we got a product for you!” For example, who is the Xfinity commercial supposed to appeal to?

Hurray! If you're ignorant enough to demand (non-negotiably!) that Comcast give you Xfinity service with those features that already come standard, then come on down! You're the boss! You'll get a wonderful false sense of power and we'll send you the bill! Yay.

Then there's Yoplait. Are you a skinny woman who saves money by wearing your late grandmother's good-condition, novelty-print, mail-order dress from the 1958 Sears Roebuck catalog? Do you need just one more push to cross the line into wannabe model anorexia? Then pick Yoplait for your noon nosh!

“A swap a day adds up to something amazing!” Like, malnutrition?

I never thought I'd learn to appreciate the subtle wit and humor of the old Shake 'n Bake commercials from the seventies. Today's commercials are making me nostalgic. (Or just dyspeptic. Hey, where is Speedy Alka-Seltzer these days?)


Improbable Joe said...

My favorite commercials are the ones where the family brings home groceries and other items from Walmart to save a few bucks, and then sits down to their Hamburger Helper and corn from a can at a $2000 table in a half-million dollar house.

... no wonder the politicians dismiss poverty, if that's how they think the average Walmart shopper lives!

Zeno said...

And lower middle-class characters in sitcoms always have huge living rooms in their apartments or houses. Amazing!

Kathie said...

Bottled water, anyone?!?

Doc Sarvis said...

I'm not sure which is worse, these stupid commercials or watching my friends laughing at commercials they have seen dozens of times. OK, I know which is the worst. Fighting the remote out of a friend's hands because she wants tom watch all the Super Bowl commercials twice and the rest of us just want to watch the damn game.

Mark said...

Here in Australia we're bombarded with this commercial. Looks like they have a whole team of... scienticians working for them.