When I was a kid, Allan Sherman sang about aspirin commercials giving him headaches and it was amusing. Now I’m an adult, insurance commercials give me headaches, and it is NOT amusing.
“We don’t watch commercials anymore,” a friend from work told me. “We only stream.” And that is a great advantage of streaming. However, depending on a person’s viewing habits, commercial free viewing isn’t always an option. Fast-forwarding through commercials is great if you record shows on a DVR, but some shows are better ‘live’ and football definitely falls into that category. Here’s my question about football advertising. Are football fans a larger car insurance target demographic than the general population? Because, unfortunately, that’s where the car insurance advertisers have decided to congregate.
My football season starts today at 1:00pm with a Lions vs. Bears game. I like professional football. I can’t wait. But I’m steeling myself for the commercials. Geico, All State, Farmers, Progressive, Liberty Mutual… football viewers are inundated by these advertisers. A few are amusing (All State’s Mayhem guy), but most are annoying (Geico’s Cavemen, Progressive’s Flo and company, and Liberty Mutual’s Limu Emu). If you are not familiar with the Limu Emu, he is a train wreck, clearly chosen for the ridiculous play on words. He is quickly moving up my list of most irritating commercial mascot, battling it out with the annoying Charmin Bears for the top spot.
I might try a little harder to ignore these absurd advertisements, but every time one of these commercials comes on, I am reminded that our insurance premiums, which are much too high already, are funding these inane ad campaigns that are played repeatedly during the course of just one Sunday football game. So I’m putting up a stink, and I’m complaining, not just for myself, but for all of us.
I mentioned annoying commercials to my brother the other day. His pet peeve has to do with the advertisements for prescription medications and their warnings. For starters these aren’t products that you can just go pick up at the store if you have a coupon and want to give it a try. You have to ‘get a note’ from your doctor and pull him/her into the advertising marketing circus. And then there are the multitude of side effects that are listed during the commercial (as quickly as the narrator can rattle them off) that would send most consumers running in the other direction. “Side effects may include nausea, headaches, anal leakage, involuntary muscle movement, night terrors, and suicidal thoughts. Some adverse reactions may be irreversible.” My favorite warning is, “This product contains penicillin. Do not take if you’re allergic to penicillin.” Duh.
I admit that there are some commercials we not only find amusing, but we will stop talking and delay our snack run to watch them. Bud Light, Doritos, and Snickers have offered up some fair entertainment while trying to persuade us to consume their products. We also appreciate the advertisers’ efforts to entertain and touch us during the super bowl. Here are a couple winners from last year. (Warning: These are links to You Tube and you may have to watch an ad to watch these ads. LOL They’re worth it.)
One thing about advertisers certainly stands out. They are quick to react to changes and events in the world, targeting demographics and their sensitivities. It will be interesting to see the changes in commercials this season. I hope there will be less politics and more fun. I think we can all use some comic relief.