Thursday, 30 August 2007


Being on holiday in America; naturally, rather than actually do stuff, I've been taking in the splendor of American TV. What's incredible about American TV is not the programmes - but the adverts. I'm not saying they're brilliant themselves (although, Bud... Weis... Er? Classic!), but what they can get away both frightens and pleases me. Their medical adverts are the scariest of the lot, pretty much both telling you that you're ill and what you NEED to do about it. Luckily, what you DEFINITELY HAVE is easily cured by their medicine, and with only a 30 second list of side effects! Who cares if your anus is now bleeding continuosly; at least that rash on the back of your leg has gone! For example, in the first 24 hours of watching TV in my hotel room I'd convinced myself I DEFINITELY HAD... cramps of 3 kinds, erectile dysfunction, the menopause, insomnia, boils on my hands, 8 diseases that ended in 'ia', trouble staying awake and a child with ADHD. Hell, I don't even have a child let alone one with ADHD, but when he pops out, he's getting it, and I'm gonna make my non-existant health insurance pay through the nose to treat it, the nice voiceover lady told me to after all, she said everything would be OK, all the while lots of happy children ran around in a park smiling at the sun, and they all wouldn't lie to me, right? They all must have had ADHD; they seemed so happy!

The worst (or, best depeding on how you see it) of the lot however, was about children with diseases that confined them to wheelchairs. A very sad thing to happen to a child, sure, but this is telly land, they know how to make it seem like the best thing in the world. What you need to do... is buy them a dog... seriously... a wheelchair-assisting dog... and they'll be the most popular kid on the block. If they have a dog (and they live in telly land), it's like they're not even in the wheelchair, or even disabled in any way! This dog you buy (on your medical insurance of course) will do everything you ever need, in the advert, he bought the kid ice cream (with cash, I presume Wonderdog can't get a current account for a credit card), played baseball and even, at one point, seemed to be washing the dishes. And like all adverts, this product needs a tagline... what's the tagline for a dog that helps the disabled in any small way it can?

"With this dog, your kid will be the coolest kid around"

Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Fuck the fact it'll be helping your child out, they'll be cooler than the Fonz with a dog about.


Ben / S2K said...

As a resident of the US, I can say this is probably my most irritating irk about American television. The adverts are largely inane, and the radio adverts doubly so.

Andrew said...

In fairness, British radio ads are about as inane as anything I've heard. (My favourite one said "Of course, there's no way for us to prove this in a radio advert, but trust that we will do it. Why? Because we will.")

Oh, and if you're going to use a word three times, in all capitals, then do try to spell it correctly.

(I appreciate that it would be impossible for you to have found that website on your own.)

JoeyJ said...

Ha, fixed and fixed (I think, if not, I give up). The disadvantage of being in the corner of a hotel on their one computer with the computer constantly telling you that "YOU HAVE 60 SECONDS LEFT" (not my capitals) is that your spelling goes to pot, especially so if you're not a great speller to start off with.

Andrew said...

That does sound a little alarming. Did it mean to use the internet, or to live?