6.02.2003

 
I generally really like commercials.

For the most part, I find television advertisements either amuse me, entertain me, make me laugh, or at least attempt to incite some emotional response in me. Even commercials that clearly pander to me in some vague attempt to make me think that use of a certain product will change my life and give me all the things I have always wanted (Miller Lite has the best commercials of this genre) at least have some amusing element in their transparency.

ESPN has probably figured out the art of the great commercial more than anyone else. Their Sportscenter commercials are simple, generally hilarious, and brilliant all at the same time. (It probably helps that ESPN doesn’t have to sell a product and their target audience, the people who find the nuances of the ads amusing, are already watching Sportscenter in the first place). Saturn has made great strides in the advertising ring; the commercial with everyone driving a cardboard box around while the people in the Saturn look like royalty always brings a smile to my face. Other advertisers consistently draw the viewer’s attention with their intelligence or humor.

But Dr. Scholls… my god, they suck.

That commercial for those gel-filled in-soles NEEDS TO GO.

Honestly, who could find any ounce of merit in that ad? I know when I see that I could certainly imagine a group of thirty-something people chilling at a pool-patio party in the hills above sunny Los Angeles on a Saturday all standing around feeling cool because they dropped four bucks for a little additional foot support. Yup, nothing cooler than shoe products, especially slip in in-soles. Nothing cooler than a group of people with their own cool lingo based on their foot products. And I can definitely believe that the one guy who didn’t manage to make it down to the drug store couldn’t pretend to be gellin’ like the rest of those. Like Magellan they so gellin’.

Puh-leeze.

Honestly, I cannot remember a worse commercial in the last couple of years than the Dr. Scholls commercial they have put into heavy rotation. First of all, some products just don’t really need commercial advertisement like that; I think I could have a dollar for everyone who would see that commercial and then think “well damn, I gotta get me some of those” and I might be able to get a decent meal from a vending machine. Maybe. You just don’t have an emotional reaction to in-soles. You may get excited at the drug store when you see them, but I just don’t see those commercials driving up the demand for Dr. Scholls in-soles.

Secondly, I really hope Dr. Scholls didn’t pay much to the agency that cooked up that gellin’ party scheme, because I doubt very much of anything could drive up their market demand, and certainly the embarrassment from creating such an ad could not have justified the minor blip in consumer demand.

Also, can you imagine a sadder thing than that commercial set? All those out-of-work actors willing to do anything and play any role just for a paycheck. I feel kind of bad for those people.

Seriously, with the advent of the modern Super Bowl telecast, advertising on television has become something of an art. But who forgot to tell Dr. Scholls to put the finger paints away and just let the real artists try to create something?