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…