My recent plunge into freezing temperatures and bitter winds has left me with a savage head and chest cold. All right, it’s not that bad; but it is annoying. It’s had me in a bit of a fog, so I figured I’d spend a day in front of the TV, curled up under a blanket. A good plan, but an apparently flawed one.
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My intent was to watch corny movies and mindless television shows via one of my many streaming options, while mostly napping. Unfortunately, the internet had different plans. I had two options: I could go downstairs to get a handful of DVDs, or I could turn to the ever-reliable satellite TV. I chose the latter.
During the day, the pickings in the satellite TV world are generally slim, but something is usually just intriguing enough to kill a few hours. I’m fairly certain that’s why channels like DIY, The Food Network, and HGTV exist. I settled on a variation of one of these and proceeded to settle in for my nap.
It wasn’t long before I was reminded of why I so strongly dislike daytime television. A barrage of cringe-worthy commercials caused me to fling the blanket from my body in a mad search for the remote. I flipped between channels the first few times commercials came on, but this made it difficult to focus on napping. Despite my dislike for them, I chose to let them play. Here are the five types of commercials that plague the daytime.
Weight Loss Gimmicks
There seems to be no end to the commercials that are geared toward losing weight, getting in shape, and becoming a better you. These ads feature before-and-after photos and often include real-life testimonies about how great and effective the product is. They adore the word “free” and the phrase “money-back guarantee.” These features aren’t exclusive to weight loss commercials, of course, but they do appear to be a staple in them.
Another staple of weight loss ads is the annoyingly optimistic, can-do attitude. You know, the whole, “the time is now, and with the help of this product, you can achieve your ultimate body goals” shtick. The overall plan is the same whether the product is a pill, a meal plan, or a fancy workout gadget– to sell you something that makes achieving your goal easy enough for you to continue being lazy.
It’s Hard Getting Old
The world would have you believe that it’s absolutely miserable getting old. I’m not sure if it would be entirely appropriate for me to say one way or the other, given that I don’t have as much experience as others, but I can’t imagine it’s as bad as the commercials make it seem. Yet, these ads highlight the worst aspects of growing old because it draws your attention to them. They talk slowly and sympathetically, trying to convince you that they really do feel bad about your situation. Once they get you thinking about all your discomforts and concerns, they can try to sell you the solutions.
A common strain within these commercials is the appeal to an individual’s inability to do the things he or she was once able to do. They offer a fix that will help you get back to your old self. You’ll also find commercials that appeal to the elderly through simplicity. After all, everything will be better and easier if you get this surgery, take this pill, or buy this cool gadget. Whatever this type of commercial may be pushing, you’ll know you’re getting old when it applies to you.
Some daytime commercials rely on fast-paced talking, bright colors, and scenes of happy people. These ads are generally selling clothing, often of the professional variety. They tend to operate under the assumption that the people watching are down on their luck and looking for a way to get back on their feet. Lucky for them, clothing commercials have the answer.
Clothing ads seem to say, “No one will take you seriously if you look like a slob. However, if you buy these clothes, you’ll suddenly be brilliantly successful.” The overall message of these commercials boils down to one thing: the best way to be successful is to dress the part. If you look like a million bucks, you’re more likely to make a million bucks, right?
Mini infomercials are easy to spot if you know what to look for. In these commercials, you’ll find someone speaking directly to you about how amazing a product is or how it changed the whole game. They’ll throw around the word “free” and the phrase “but wait, there’s more” like nothing. Their products range from rotating brooms to heavy duty glue, and they can typically be broken down into two categories.
Caps Lock Commercials
Caps lock commercials are the ones that wake you from naps and cause you to turn the volume way down. They get your attention by attacking your senses and yelling at you about how a product will benefit your life. Along with the yelling, they like to employ a fast pace and a direct appeal to your common sense. Why wouldn’t you want this super cool product?!
Personal Appeal Commercials
Personal appeal commercials are subtler than caps lock commercials. They use personal testimonies and sometimes like to have the creator of a product tell you why it’s so important to them. These commercials try to sound reasonable and show you how you could be as happy and carefree as the “real people” you see before you. With only 12 payments of $19.99 each, you too could be a case study.
The Future is Yours
Future-oriented commercials are the final type I noticed. These could be selling anything from higher education to life insurance, but they all appeal to a person’s fear of the unknown. Many of these commercials assume you’re watching daytime TV because you have nothing better to do. If only you had a degree or some stellar business cards; you’d be the talk of the town.
Generally geared toward young adults, these commercials push you to believe in your dreams, but the real goal is to get you thinking about the future. If they can send you into a tizzy worrying about how you’re going to get a good job or who will provide for your potential future family, they might be able to sell you on something. You definitely don’t want to be caught unprepared when the future comes knocking, right?