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.
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?