Tuesday, March 5, 2013

It pays to advertise

I saw a commercial on the news the other night.  There's good news for all of you who have had to live with the heartbreak of upraised toilet seats!  Some company has finally pushed American technology to frontiers as yet unexplored:  they have invented a toilet seat that lowers itself automatically once the males in the family have rid themselves of excess liquid.  In the commercial, the wife hears the dang fool husband stumbling back into the marital bed and she smiles just ever so, comfortable in the knowledge that the seat has automatically lowered itself.  Thank God and the good folks at Stanley or Moen or whoever came up with this idea while they should have been inventing a practical home bidet for the American market.

I can point to the fact that we have always tried to have multiple bathrooms in our houses as a big reason for the long-lasting success of our marriage.  People who share bathrooms are on my sympathy list right behind people who are right behind Chris Christie* at a buffet.  

Commercials on TV can be irksome because they are so guileless in their unabashed pitches.  Under the assumption that  women make most of the decisions about food and health matters in the family, the makers of vitamins and Cheerios aim their spots at them, while the beer and pickup truck companies want the guys to see their commercials, so they advertise on sports events or the like.

And then there are the erectile dysfunction ads!  They always show a couple who are a bit on the gray side, but obviously just as playful as couple of honeymooners.  Then the announcer says, in so many words, "When it's your turn at the plate, will you swing and miss?  Because if you just take our oddly-shaped blue pill, you'll be rounding third and heading for home in just a few minutes!"  And then there's the guy in the commercial, garden hose a-flow, washing his Camaro.  You don't have to be Fellini to get the symbolism in that.

I also wonder about the products for which you NEVER see commercials!  Ever see an ad for grits on the Brian Williams news?  Nope!  How about that company that makes the hot air hand driers?  Somebody has to buy them for all the restrooms across our wonderful nation, and yet they don't advertise!  Nor do the people who produce bandannas, rubber bands or toothpicks, yet just try living your life without those things.  Can't be done.

Here's how advertising works:  they put an idea in your head and create the need.  I got to go now and whomp up a mess of grits.  See you tomorrow!

*For our international readers (2): Chris Christie is the King-sized governor of the great state of New Jersey.

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