It Didn’t Used to Be This Way!

Today’s post should really be titled “Rachel’s Rant!”  This one is about annoying commercials, so it really doesn’t have anything to do with writing, except that writers are actually paid money to write the scripts for this garbage; plus, I keep my television on with the volume down low when I write so that I have some background noise.  But I have to say, I’m ready to turn it off.

I know I’m going to sound like an old lady, but I’m willing to risk it when I say…  Back when I was growing up, they didn’t have all these stupid and grotesque commercials on television like they do now,… yet products still managed to sell.  I’m not opposed to change and progression when it is for the better, but in some cases, the old adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” definitely applies.

I am beyond sick of the Charmin toilet paper commercials whose main selling point is that it “keeps your underpants clean!”  That is just nasty!  Do we really have an epidemic of people walking around who don’t know how to wipe their own hiney properly?  I mean, think about it.  Don’t you wonder if the ad execs from Charmin just thought this would be a great idea for no reason, or was their consumer care line actually getting an influx of calls from angry customers who wanted reimbursement for their soiled underpants because their toilet paper didn’t do its job?

Back when I was growing up, Charmin sold by using a funny old man named Mr. Whipple that owned a store and stood by his toilet paper display warning customers, “Don’t squeeze the Charmin!”  Inevitably a female shopper would always deceive him into looking the other way while she hugged a package of the oh-so-soft toilet paper.  And guess what?  People bought it!  We know what to use toilet paper for as well as how to use it properly!  If we don’t, then perhaps rather than forcing us to watch commercials about skidmarked undies, we need to take more time away from the iPad and hang up the cellphone long enough to teach our youth what needs to be done in the bathroom!

Okay, how about the Clorox bleach commercial where the kid excitedly tells his mother, “Mommy, I made poo poo!”  Then the mom looks in the toilet and realizes that her kid actually took a crap in the bathtub!  GROSS!  Who really does that?  And seriously, if your child does have an accident (not an “on-purpose!”) in the tub, are you going to go look at the bleach in your laundry room and when you realize that your hubby picked up a generic brand, you’ll refuse to then use it until you can get to the store for some actual Clorox?

Again, back when I was a kid, Clorox was advertised by a man offering money to a woman at the Laundromat if she’d give him her husband’s shirt.  He tore the shirt in half and washed one half with Clorox and detergent and the other half in detergent alone.  She saw how much whiter the bleached shirt was, and from that point on, voila!  She started using their product.  (Perhaps Clorox should team up with Charmin to make darn sure those underpants get clean!)

As if the Clorox poo poo boy wasn’t bad enough, how about their other ad where the potty training child is so proud of using the bathroom, that he runs down the hall carrying the full potty chair with him, splashing urine all over the floor as he goes. Seriously, Clorox?  What I really want to know with both these ads is WHERE WAS THE MOTHER WHEN THESE KIDS DID THIS?  I mean, honestly, if you have a toddler who’s still so young that they haven’t even mastered potty training yet, are you really leaving them unsupervised so long that they can get into that kind of mischief?

How about the stupid air freshener ads?  In their infinite wisdom, the ad executives at Febreeze think we are a nation of blithering idiots!  They fill a room (or a car) with garbage, animal dung, rotten food, etc., then they spray Febreeze before they blindfold someone, then stick them in that room and ask them to identify the smell.  Inevitably, the blindfolded person always says, “Um, it’s a field of daisies,” or, “It’s fresh like the first day of spring.”  Then they remove their blindfold and are genuinely astounded at the amount of filth surrounding them.  Seriously?  Are we stupid enough to fall for this?

When I was a kid, air freshener ads were cute.  A popular air and carpet freshener then was Airwick.  The commercial started by an announcer saying, “Airwick presents some smelly reasons why you need a rug and room deodorizer.  Then we see a wet dog while the announcer says, “Rover… who’s all over.”  Cut to a baby in a diaper, and he says, “Little Annie’s fanny.”  Cut to someone cooking fish and onions, and he says, “The fish that comes to dinner… and stays.”  Cut to grandpa smoking a smelly cigar, and he says, “The old fogie’s stogie.”  Then he shows us a basement that’s musty from the rain outside, then we see how the carpet freshener made the house smell great just moments before the mother-in-law with the sensitive nose shows up.

Honestly, I could rant for another twenty-seven pages about how commercials have taken a turn for the worse, but I have other things planned for my day, and I’m sure you do, too.  But I’ll tell you now, with all the things I might do today, buying Charmin, Clorox, or Febreeze is now not one of them!

35 thoughts on “It Didn’t Used to Be This Way!

  1. Commercials are one of the main reasons we’ve gone TV-free in my house. We’ve used just Netflix for three years now, and whenever I see a TV on in someone else’s house, I’m absolutely horrified at the commercials. Glad I’m not the only one!

  2. “Clorox poo poo boy” really made me laugh!! You have some excellent points and I agree with them all, but I was laughing most of the way through this. Because you’re right!!! Loved it.

  3. LOL – especially loved your suggestion for a Clorox/Charmin collaboration!

    But seriously, you’re totally on target. The ads have gone overboard, and there are way too many of them. We watch Netflix a lot, largely because it gives us back 20 minutes of our lives for every hour long show we want to watch.

    • LOL! I’m glad someone caught that. 😀 Yes, I definitely love Nextflix and even Hulu, though it does have those 2 commercial breaks int he middle, they aren’t as bad. Have a great week! 😀

  4. Very funny Rachel! I don’t know those ads myself, but yes, whatever happened to the clever ads? These advertising execs get paid a fortune to ‘think outside the box’ and come up with something smart…or they used to? I rarely watch tv myself, but we have them in the house, one for the kids and one for my husbands sport, otherwise I think we’d have got rid of ours long ago…or at least I would, lol! Imagine their faces…

    • Thank you! If you don’t know those ads, consider yourself lucky. 😉 I don’t really watch as much TV as I listen to it in the background while I do other things. But if I removed mine, I think my kids would kill me! LOL! 😀

      • haha! So would mine! I’ve threatened it a few times! I know what you mean about background noise, though…when I’m at home during the day writing, I have my local radio station on real low for the same reason, but when I was young and single, and living on my own, I’d have the tv on even if I was reading or doing something else, just to have some human contact, lol, how sad is that?!! Now, my house is soooooo noisy, I’m glad to have a bit of silence when I can get it! How times change!

      • LOL! I know that feeling EXACTLY! When my kids were small, I couldn’t wait for them to get older and give me some peace and quiet. Now, they are too busy to give me the time of day and I feel blessed when they stay long enough to eat a meal. Ah, to be young again. 🙂

  5. I’m really glad you wrote this post. I have been thinking the same thing about many commercials to myself–I am glad I’m not the only one that sees these commercials as off putting.

  6. Look at the lengths of the individual episodes of TV shows over time. In the 60’s, a one hour drama had a total runtime of about 50 minutes. In the 80’s, it was more like 45. Today, it’s in the low 40’s. TV shows just keep getting shorter and shorter (my source for this information: my DVD collection).

  7. Can I get an AMEN?! Thank you for this! I’m so glad we have a dvr to pause, rewind and fast forward, else I’d never be able to watch TV for all the ridiculous commercials. I’ve seen all the commercials you mentioned, and the newer ones are something else. The first time I saw them, my first thought was WTF is this? The others you talked about are from my childhood and they just appealed so much to me because they were done in good taste.

  8. Okay, I’ll confess to laughing uncontrollably reading your post, BECAUSE my husband saw a commercial so horrifying he was trying to describe it to me, when it came on again and he made me watch it. NADS NOSE HAIR REMOVERS. Oh my Lord. Actual footage of people jamming a wax-tipped applicator up their nose, ripping it out, exclaiming that it didn’t hurt at all, and then proudly displaying a close-up view of what they’d just ripped out of their noses.

    This is the only commercial IN MY LIFE that I’ve been so grossed out by, I made him change the channel before I even found out how much they were charging for it!

    Plus (and here’s my practical side)…we have nose hair for a reason! It keeps dust and contaminants and icky stuff from making its way into your respiratory tract…if you want to trim it around the front so it’s nice and neat that’s one thing, but these people ripped out every nasty coated hair AND DISPLAYED IT ON TELEVISION!!!!

    LOVED your rant, thank you for the laugh!!!!! -Kate

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