It’s official. I can’t watch TV commercials anymore. Actually, I nitpick the shows, too, but these days a lot of commercials are ticking me off.  Some commercials are pretty funny, but the rest I could do without. Especially the commercials that make things sound better than they are, or claim that they’ve started doing something when really it’s always been that way.

“Farm-Raised Ingredients”
Last night I saw a commercial for frozen lasagna. I don’t recall which brand, but they highlighted the fact that their tomatoes, cheese, and pasta grains come from the farm. This was their major selling point. As if somehow tomatoes, milk, and grain haven’t always come from farms. Just announcing the ingredients are grown on farms doesn’t automatically make the product any healthier than before they slapped a new label on the box. The “new” ingredients could be GMO, or grown from hybridized seeds that ultimately damage the environment (I’m looking at you Monsanto), or raised on corporate farms that kill our small farms. This company is trying to use the trend toward whole foods and knowing where your food comes from to promote a product that is just as packaged and processed as before.

“No Chemical Leaveners”
This one I saw in a pizza commercial that claims its frozen pizza is the only “all-natural” one on the market. One of their claims is that it doesn’t contain “chemical leaveners.” Perhaps they mean that it doesn’t contain a chemical not traditionally used in cooking, but it ignores the fact that baking soda and baking powder are both chemical leaveners, and neither is considered a scary, unnatural thing that should be avoided. This pizza has yeast rather than baking soda or powder, but it also has artificial flavors, which are by definition not natural.

“One Model Year Newer”
An auto insurance company is advertising that they’ll give you the money to replace your totaled car with one that is one model year newer and has 15,000 fewer miles. If you think about it, that’s only a benefit if you replace your car every 2-3 years. If you, like me, keep your car for much longer, then the insurance company is getting a deal. Imagine if my 13-year-old Corolla with 140,000 miles had been totaled. They’d give me the money to replace it it with a 12-year-0ld Corolla with 125,000 miles. Um, yay? Unless your car is less than a few years old, the benefit may only amount to a couple hundred dollars more than you would have received as the cash value of your old car. I’d rather save money on my policy and put the savings into my emergency fund.

“Tell Us on Facebook”
It seems like every company wants me to like them on Facebook. Fine, I will, if you’re offering me something free, like a coupon or sample. If you just want to be able to promote to me on my Facebook newsfeed, then no thanks. I’ve liked a few select companies. They gave me a coupons, miles, or a free sample. And they’re companies I already like. Don’t air a TV commercial asking me to like your company just because. I’m not going to. If I want to give you feedback, I don’t need to do that on Facebook.

And those are just the commercials I remember from this week. I don’t actually see many commercials – we always seem to tune in a few minutes late or pause the show, and then fast forward to catch up. I think I need to keep doing that. It’s hard enough to watch TV when the shows themselves are filled with ridiculous premises (House, I’m looking at you).

What do you think?  Do you find most of the commercials you see irritating?

Comments

7 Responses to “I Can’t Watch Commercials Anymore”

  1. Steffie on March 23rd, 2011 8:37 am

    I find them so irritating that I haven’t owned a TV that’s been hooked up to cable or satellite or what have you for something like twelve years, and I’m twenty six. I don’t watch TV. A TV is what I watch movies on. The few shows I do watch, I download, and those always come highly recommended by one who knows my taste in such things (Pushing Daisies comes to mind). I just can’t take the advertising and the terrible falsity of the shows themselves – usually because they’re very crass or otherwise offensive to me (Blue Mountain State comes to mind). Nor do I have to deal with anything being interrupted for a news flash that Britney Spears is driving with her kids in her lap again. (Actually happened when I was in California, saw it in the break room at work.)

    This saves me money and time on several fronts. No cable bill, less extra buying, and much much more time to spend doing things besides stagnating on the couch, not to mention if I’m late coming home it isn’t a tragedy to miss the first five minutes of my show (Oh no!). The house is overall quieter, and we tend to do things like play ridiculous card games and build Lego cities. The best benefit for me is that my seven month old son is exposed to less TV that could stunt his development.

    The funny part about this is that I voluntarily gave up television when I was sixteen and I see kids running around with shirts bragging about surviving a week with no TV as a school event.

  2. Aryn on March 23rd, 2011 12:27 pm

    Wow. I can’t imagine giving up TV at 16. That’s impressive. I’m not ready to give TV up entirely, but I do DVR the few shows left on our roster (we’re down to 5) to help me avoid these obnoxious commercials. I agree that most shows are awful, which is why we’re down to 5. I keep cutting them, and then deciding not to find anything else to watch.

  3. Steffie on March 25th, 2011 8:01 am

    I had a little help. My younger brother was caught watching porn, so my stepfather cut the TV cord. I went to work, intending to take him up on the offer of matching my funds towards a new TV and ended up moving out instead. At that point, I was enjoying the extra free time so much (I spent my TV money and monthly allotment for cable on books!), I never bought another one. I live with roommates now, but we still don’t have the cable (internet) hooked up for anything other than downloading the movies we do want from the Playstation network. The upshot of this is that there are more books in my home and the downside is that there’s very little free space on the PS3 hard drive. Time for an external drive and an Ereader!

  4. Aryn on March 25th, 2011 4:36 pm

    I’m very tempted by the eReader. I have a TV, but I also have four full bookcases. One of them is seven feet tall! There is no more room for books. Nevertheless, Amazon is sending three more to my house this week. :)

  5. Andrea on April 4th, 2011 2:38 am

    The Facebook thing annoys me no end. I’m not on Facebook, I don’t want to be on Facebook, and I’m not going to join just to get a coupon. And isn’t there a bit of a disconnect between an ad on TV and a website? Does anyone really run to their computer to like a company?

  6. Aryn on April 4th, 2011 10:16 am

    There is some data that people do use their computers while watching TV, especially with the advent of iPads and SmartPhones, but it is still irritating to be asked to “like” everything all the time! It makes me feel like I’m in seventh grade again.

  7. John on April 4th, 2011 12:23 pm

    Basically watching tv anymore is more like watching commercials and the shows are set up for them to be run like every 2-4 mins it seems, ehhhh. It is so much better to have the show you like downloaded commercial free, its like watching the first season of Dexter in one sitting without waiting each week for the next episode.

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