Monday, October 19, 2015
So that means Sunday afternoons as I watch NFL football. The commercials, I've discovered, all fall into three or four categories.
The new car commercial. Always a city at night, gleaming skyline, and for some reason the streets and highways are completely deserted except for this one shimmering car. It roars over bridges, barrels through tunnels, and speeds through downtown. Forget a policeman or stoplight, there’s never another car. Or pedestrian.
The driver is often in a tuxedo. So he’s going to a black tie event the night after the city has been evacuated. He never wonders why a heavy populated urban center is deserted. If I could hop in a new car and be assured police would put up barricades and detain 2,000,000 people allowing me to go from Santa Monica to the Staples Center without stopping once at 7:00 on a Friday night, I would buy that car. Assuming of course that it was always washed and waxed. If I can’t see the lights of the city reflecting off my hood in cool geometric patterns the deal is off.
The subliminal selling point of cars used to be that you’d get women and get laid. Now it’s that you can make a left hand turn at any intersection.
There are still the truck commercials. They haven’t changed. They’re tough. They’re rugged. You can haul redwoods. You can drive through mud. When am I ever going to haul trees? I live in a deserted city.
Crappy franchise junk food is another popular category. Every combination of meat, cheese, bacon, and sauces on every combination of bread, roll, tortilla, or wrap. Burger King is boasting a black bun for Halloween. Um, doesn’t that suggest burnt?
Taco Bell is selling healthy alternatives like salads with the slogan “Un-Freshing-Believable.” Uh, “un-fresh?” Doesn’t that sound like the food is anything BUT fresh? Don Draper let that go through? It actually makes no difference because the minute they show lettuce on a Taco Bell commercial they’ve lost their audience. Ironically, you never see a Kardashian eating a salad, just a triple-deck Tabasco pulled pork sandwich with pineapple slices and cinnamon-swirl cheddar french toast .
Beer commercials are plentiful and they too have not changed their approach. All are geared to stupid frat boy/man children who love their teams more than their girlfriends, which is easy because none of them have girlfriends.
It’s a great temptation to just DVR the games, but I like the feel of watching a sporting event in real time. I like having the ticker to follow the scores of the other games. And if Ian Eagle is calling the game I don’t want to miss any of his deliciously wicked throwaway lines. But we’re not halfway through the season and already I’m tearing my hair out. I just want to get in my car, floor it, and drive. Unfortunately, there’s stop-and-go traffic on Wilshire at 4:30 on a Sunday. I hate you, Madison Avenue!
By Ken Levine at 6:00 AM