Sunday, May 11, 2008

Commercials: The Good, the Bad, and the Addicting

My spring semester is almost done (yay!), so I've been celebrating by cleaning my apartment and watching television all weekend. As I was flipping channels, I started seeing an unusual amount of odd commercials. Some are just wrong; take, for instance, the Hooters commercial that aired on MTV. I swear that it played during every commercial break and made Hooters seem like the happiest workplace in the world. The basic premise is that a young woman is talking to someone at an employment agency. The young woman in question says that she wants a job where she can make lots of money, work with her friends, and be in television commercials. While the commercials did not make me want to apply to Hooters or crave a plate of chicken wings, it did remind me of this rant about the "stripper myth" from Chris Rock.

Some of the commercials I saw were unintentionally funny. I saw one ad that urges viewers to visit New Jersey. In the vein of other tourism commercials, the ad shows all of the great things about the state, such as gambling resorts and beaches. Although I have nothing against New Jersey, it never would have occurred to me to actually visit there as a tourist. Even the people I know from New Jersey admit that it isn't a state bustling with tourist attractions (unless you count Atlantic City).

My favorite recent commercial is for the Discovery Channel; there's something about random people singing that makes me really content. When these people include Mike Rowe and Stephen Hawking, so much the better. An added bonus is that everyone in this ad seems happy in a sincere way (versus happy in a fake, desperate, Disney World sort of way). However, you are welcome to judge for yourself: