By: Revanche

Commercials that just don’t sell me

February 25, 2013

These past few months, the television has been on in the background (to lure the dog out of seclusion) for background noise. I haven’t had tv on this regularly since I was a kid jonesing for my cartoon fix.

Some of the commercials are so awful I have to wonder: Does this stuff work on anyone? Personally, these bring out the SkeptiGrinch in me.

Every holiday car commercial ever

Tagline: Give the best surprise/present/gift of love ever!

Image: Red ribbon on a car

Reaction: Because after the surprise of a new car wears off, the cost of a car payment or the car purchase can be your next shiny surprise! WOO!  PiC didn’t need to be told he’d be stabbed with a fork if he bought an unplanned brand new car without discussing it with me. And hold the puppy kisses but as much as he’d like a surprise car, he would NOT like what we paid for it.

Toilet Paper commercial

Tagline: Let’s get real about what happens in the bathroom!

Image: Lots of women gushing over toilet paper and very carefully not ever saying poop or pee.

Reaction: When were we pretending that any self respecting bathroom with a toilet wasn’t for poopin or peein? Because that’d be a new one on me. What’s with the completely woman-centric casting? You’re trying to tell me that men don’t use toilet paper? Oh. Right. Men aren’t supposed to care what caresses their tushies. Except believe me: they do. Maybe not to the extent of discussing it on television but strictly speaking, I don’t care that much either.

Local S.F. clothing boutique (Lauren knows my pain!)

Tagline: We really like you!

Image: Women fawning and chitchatting.

Reaction: Get. AWAY. *slaps hands* If I wanted a shopping buddy, I’d bring my own.

They “like” their customers and that’s why we should shop there? Not because they provide excellent products, prices or service? This is a business not a friendship. PLBTTT.


Tagline: You don’t have to think about it

Image: Woman yoyoing on the decision of whether to have children. In the background, a litany of side effects including hypertension, acne, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, depression, infertility and very commonly, ovarian cysts.

Reaction: Is that actually worth the risk?

The Buy a Home, funded by no-we-haven’t got an Conflict of Interest Realtors Association

Tagline: “Owning a home increase self esteem and test scores.”

Image: Happy fake families.

Reaction: PROVE IT. Show me those studies.

Also while you’re at it, tell me about the side effects on families when people overreach their means to buy real estate they can’t afford, or have unexpected events like job loss or serious illness that impedes their ability to pay the mortgage because of this myth that everyone should – no matter what – buy a home.

Men’s testosterone supplements

Tagline: It’s just a number, if it’s low, increase it!

Image: A dude confident now that his “numbers” are higher.

Reaction: What Lauren says: AdLauren1 AdLauren2


It’s the rare commercial that’s clever, entertains without being maudlin, cheesy, scary or offensive. Twitter friends pointed me to the recent Toyota “granting wishes” commercial- that was funny and cute. Of course I still love the Volkswagen Darth Vader one, not least because it plays on my geekdom and little kids learning to love it as well. Oh and the Purina (?) dog in training to lose weight commercial is fun.

But I can’t remember the last commercial that made me think, maybe I’ll try that.  Can you?

10 Responses to “Commercials that just don’t sell me”

  1. Mochimac says:

    I am wiping real tears from my eyes after reading this and laughing out loud:

    “Reaction: Get. AWAY. *slaps hands* If I wanted a shopping buddy, I’d bring my own.”

    Ditto. I hate people who glom on me in a store. I am okay with a “Hey how’s it going?” greeting, but then LEAVE ME ALONE. Don’t follow me around saying: That would look GREAT on you… and don’t say things like: “No what are you talking about? You do NOT look like a linebacker in red even though you’re clearly an inverted triangle.”

    I don’t buy off fake friendliness, I buy off genuine, brutal honesty that says: Hey, that colour.. NOT SO HOT on you. Try this one.

    • Revanche says:

      It feels like this is the worst in Europe where being helped in non-chain stores seems to be the norm. They look vaguely offended when I shoo the yes-salespeople away. 🙂

  2. jesinalbuquerque says:

    Commercials aren’t meant to make you think. They’re meant to make you buy without thought. Funny column. Don’t you love the drug commercials with their rattled-off lists of side effects… like death.

  3. eemusings says:

    Bahahaha. I almost want to look some of these up on Youtube. I’ve never seen testosterone supplements ads here – wonder if we just don’t have the products or if there’s some reason they don’t advertise…

  4. Oh yes I can! We just linked to one the week before last. *This* is how to sell cleaning products…

  5. Shelley says:

    I can’t tell if these are weird, laughable, gross or all three. Thank goodness for ‘catch up’ TV with no commercials.

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

This website and its content are copyright of A Gai Shan Life  | © A Gai Shan Life 2018. All rights reserved.

Site design by 801red