Ya Cahnt Git Theah Frum Heeya

The majority of the television I've watched over the past year or so has been via online streaming or DVDs, which means that I haven't seen as many commercials lately. That is certainly not a complaint. Over the last few weeks, though, I've been watching shows as they air, which means that Madison Avenue is once again free to work its magic on my pliable brain. Or not. Long ago, I confessed my puzzlement/confusion/anger over the "Hi there, loser!" type of ad. Why on Earth would companies want to give a viewer the impression that this is the kind of person they think consumes their product? But hey, I wrote that five years ago. Surely, corporate America has grown and matured. There's no way they're still pushing the idea that their customers are idiotic freaks.

Whoops. YouTube comments are usually a haven for sub-literate, racist assholes, but someone over there pretty much nailed it with the succinct "1 step closer to Wall-E". Seriously, what's the demographic that DISH is aiming for here? Post-football game rioters? People who thought the family in Silver Linings Playbook were role models?

I know there's a school of thought that argues that when it comes to commercials, there's no such thing as bad attention. Any ad that gets people talking about it is, by definition, "good". I'm not sure if economics supports that hypothesis, but I can only react as an individual viewer. And my reaction is "Ew." I hate this ad. I hate the accents. I hate the characters' personalities. I hate the idea that we're supposed to find these people amusing. I hate that they literally rely on toilet humor. I hate the idea that this type of campaign must actually work on consumers.

It's ironic that AMC showed this multiple times during last night's Mad Men episode. True, that show is more about the people who happen to work at ad agencies than the work that those people do, but they've still shown multiple times that there's a lot of creative genius that goes into selling a product. No matter what the original idea of pairing this commercial with Mad Men was, the resulting message comes across the same: In the 1960s, advertisers caught our attention with cleverness and appeals to our emotion. In 2013, it's a man with an obnoxious voice taking a dump. We've come a long way, baby.


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