Awkward Morning Musing of a Sleepy Mind: Advertising


The bedroom light seeps through my half closed eyes, as my wife starts her morning a little earlier than I. The morning news filters into my waking moments. Between the promises of another scorching hot day and the frivolous chatter of the news anchors, the advertisers pitch their wares to what they hope is their demographic audience. According to the commercial, these advertisers believe I am in need of a MRI, hearing aid, a new roof because mine leaks, a new air conditioner because mine is broken, and my ass is suffering from hemorrhoids. I know I can be a pain in the ass but I don’t believe I suffer pains. Just who do the advertisers think are their morning viewers?

The advertising industry is the second largest employer of statisticians, behind only the insurance industry. The statisticians crunch numbers to give the probable age and gender of viewers for each show and broadcast time creating a demographic group. This hypothetical group is then matched to vendors that will pay to advertise their products at optimal times to target the “right” demographic group. According to the numbers, my house and I are falling apart. I suppose that I am the exception to their calculations.

Now, some things should not be advertised during specific shows or movies. One must go beyond the statistical demographics and into the human factor to understand why some products would just be insensitive or awkward-no matter what the statistic say. As I was clearing the sleep out of my thoughts, I came up with some potential advertising fails.

  • Golden Corral buffet restaurant advertising during the Biggest Loser.
  • Viagra commercials during 16 and Pregnant.
  • Clorox Bleach during any of CBS’s CSI franchise.
  • Political adds during the Jackass movies.
  • Closet organizers during the broadcast of Kill Bill or Kung Fu. (wait for the light bulb moment, you will get this one)
  • Shout stain remover after the Bill Clinton Biography.
  • Boy Scouts of America during news coverage of the Jerry Sandusky Trial.
  • Dos Equis’ “Most Interesting Man in the World” commercials during Intervention.
  • Cobra radar detectors advertising during Cops.
  • Ginsu knives during the OJ Simpson Biography.
  • Texaco sponsoring Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth.
  • Starkist ads during A Dolphin’s Tale.         

Commercials are part of the television experience. Advertising, when done responsibly, can be thought provoking, funny, or even informative. In some cases, commercials can just be annoying. Take a moment to think of a few products that would be a little awkward when advertised during specific shows. I am sure you can come up with more examples to add to the list. My list was composed before the first cup of coffee.

The one plea I have is for someone to convince Trojan condoms to sponsor an ad during Duggar’s 19 and Counting.  

Until next time…




1 Comment on Awkward Morning Musing of a Sleepy Mind: Advertising

  1. The non-US coworker // July 27, 2012 at 8:11 am // Reply

    At least you have zone targeted advertising…. Where I’m from, you basically cannot watch open television anymore, the content has dropped so low, that basically the only audience they have is dirty old man trying to get a glimpse of the attributes of a dance contestant (which happens quite often, I might add) or maybe some pet that doesn’t understand why we are staring at a flat surface…
    So like many I watch cable programming. The thing with cable programming is that they do not bother to use zone advertising, but bulk advertising. So sometimes, you are between shown and you get a detergent commercial with a girl talking with a strange accent, and then you realize that you never seen that detergent on the supermarket before…. Then you see it, a little sentence on the bottom of your screen that says: “This commercial is exclusively for the republic of such and such”.
    This really freaks me a lot, because I’m not a big fan of commercials, and when I see this, I only wonder, what are the people of the republic of such and such watching 5 of my local commercials??
    That is why I don’t watch tv anymore, I prefer to download my programs and watch them when I want. I know that’s what’s TiVo is for, but we are quite behind on this particular technology here.
    Enjoy your zoned and targeted advertisement ….

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