Alexei Zoubov,head with saxophone
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        My allergy to ads.

        September 1st, 2008 by Alexei Zoubov

        It looks like with age I develop really severe allergy to ads!

        For the most of my life I didn’t watch TV at all. And was very pleased with it.

        For a short time I watched a lot of American TV when I visited the States in 1979, 1981 and 1983 (invited by my second – American – wife). It was all very new and very interesting to me – especially the commercials! Russia didn’t have any TV commercials back then.

        In 1984 I moved to the States, my wife left me and I found myself in a small furnished studio apartment with Murphy bed and – again, no TV.

        Several year later I met my third wife and started to watch some TV programs. To my great surprise, there were some worth watching. I somehow was able to get through the ads without losing my sanity, just managing to switch them off in my mind.

        And then, when I was getting closer and closer to become septuagenarian (had to look how to spell this word), I also was getting more and more annoyed by the ads. Some were disturbing me on the intellectual level (usually when their intellectual level was in negative numbers), some by their bag taste (often intentional), some by being so stupid as if created by some lower life forms, some… you know what I’m talking about.

        And there are some that annoy me because I really believe they shouldn’t be there at all. Like advertisements for prescription drugs that, in my opinion, should be promoted only to the doctors. Or alcohol of any kind – why it is better than tobacco or pot?

        Oh, there are still worse – the couples discussing insurance, supplemental coverage or investment options with the naturalness of bad robots with the batteries down; couples about to make love, being interrupted and praising Cialis for keeping it up longer. Or a crowd of sexually obsessed, like the sailors after a year in the sea, dudes singing a hymn to Viagra.

        Some don’t make any sense to me at all. Have you seen “PPA buses” ad (it is actually about providing help with prescription drugs)? Why do they need buses to promote this? Are they driving from town to town like “Straight Talk Express”? If they are there for help and not for profit, does it make sense to spend millions on commercials? “Because pharmaceutical companies want to help”, as they say in the ad? Fat chance.

        Now, I have to say that there are a few commercials made with wit, creative spark and intelligence. Here are three that come to mind:

        1. Bridgestone Squirrel
        2. FedEx Prehistoric
        3. March of the Emperors (French)

        If anybody knows any more, please include links in your comment!

        But.. these constitute a fraction of one percent of the dummy-targeted flood. And the most disturbing thing to me – bad tasteless ads work better. I know – I’ve done some marketing myself.

        Really, “Nobody ever got broke, underestimating..” and so on.

        Posted in Thoughts