September 21, 2007

Madison Avenue Is Ruining Football for Me

I can't take it anymore. I was driving into work today and I heard the 50th version of the same commercial. The wife was complaining because her big lout husband and his fat drunk friends were making noise and grinding potato chips in the carpet and generally watching football. The wives suggest the boys take it to Hooters, and everyone lives happily ever after.

I have obtained audio files discretely secreted from the offices of some of the most powerful ad agencies on Madison Avenue. Here's a transcript of one of them:

[MAN 1] - We've gotta come up with a way to get people's attention.
[LACKEY 1] - Guys still like football right?
[LACKEY 2] - Football's hot right now.
[LACKEY 3] - Men in our focus group like football.
[MAN 1] - Well we can't just show football?
[LACKEY 1] - Guys still like tits right?
[LACKEY 2] - Tits are hot right now
[LACKEY 3] - Men in our focus group like tits. And twins.
[TOKEN CHICK] - After showing something football related, and tits, we need to find a way to engage women viewers.
[MAN 1] - Pissed off wife. Ok, so that covers Irish Spring. Now we need to come up with a strategy for PaperMate.

blblah Tackle your hunger, and your inner bigot, with Reggie White and Chunky Soup

In another, you can hear sexy baritone voice-over man reading some copy.

[VOICE-OVER] - Hey boys. It's football season, and you have a man-sized hunger. That's why you need DiGiornio. When you're down in the trenches with your boys, you need to shut the door on big hunger. DiGiornio doesn't just taste like delivery, it tastes like delivery being slammed down your throat by [insert non-thuggish Pro Browler] That's right, [non-thuggish Pro Bowler] eats DiGiornio.

The sad truth is that they think they have figured out the only way to reach the coveted 21-35 year-old money wasting men. Unfortunately, there are only so many combinations of football players, tailgates, living room celebrations and hot wives/chicks in midriff jerseys that work together. And now we're getting them for everything from Doritos to shitty frozen pizza to shitty non-offensive beerwater. It's painfully obvious that the people making the commercials don't get it. You can't just throw images of football around and get us to zone out and absorb the advertisement.

And really, we don't all relate to "fat guy who paints himself colors used by no NFL team because we don't want to use the Bears' colors and risk alienating Green Bay." We also don't all relate to "guy with enormous beer belly with wife hotter than Ari's on Entourage." If you can't bring some fresh ads like Bud Light and DirectTV, just show us the product.

I really fear the day is fast coming where the idea of really liking football becomes trite. Like you can hear some slicky ad-man in your ear going "You like football, riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight? Would you like to see some football? Hey men, it's FOOTBALL TIME!". Your only reaction will be "I'm not that guy. I don't like football, because I'm not like those guys on TV who like football." I'm not looking forward to that day.

12 Responses:

"ben" said...

I don't get it.

"ben" said...

Okay, I'll explain.

I didn't follow why stupid commercials (and they are painfully stupid) ruin football for you. Because you are afraid you are supposed to relate to the stupid people watching football in the commercials, and because you don't want to be them, you won't like football?

J-Red said...

The point is that they are making being a football fan "uncool" by oversaturating us with commercials that try to lump all football fans together.

When was the last time you actually sat on a couch with two other men and stuffed your face with salty snack foods while waiting for the homeowner's wife to bring you more beer? When was the last time you, and four other guys watched the game FROM THE BACK YARD so you could supervise the grilling of your Johnsonville Brats?

They're making the whole ritual of football watching so stupid that they're alienating people. I don't want to be a balding schlub. I also don't want to be a frat boy. Are those my only two choices?

Russell said...

I'll agree that I am insulted by the characterization of all football fans as constantly eating and drinking, while being rude to their incredibly hot wives. The ones that are even more ridiculous are when the wives serve them and look happy about it.

I don't understand why Madison Ave. is so predictable. If you ever watch TBS's funniest commercials, even though most aren't laugh out loud, almost all of the international ones are very creative.

The whole point of a good commercial is to entertain and to put the product in your mind. What they appear to have lost is that when the commercials look the same, the products blur together. Beast Light, which is terrible, at least has unique ads with the huge cans falling from the sky to crush effeminate men. Doritos used to have those laundromat commercials with Ali Landry. What happened to those and ones like them? They were clearly good commercials since I remember them and what they were for.

"ben" said...

I still don't really understand, J-Red, but I'll just accept that characterizations portrayed by TV ads dictate your likes and dislikes.

I think Madison Avenue would actually be very encouraged to know they have that kind of effect on people.

J-Red said...

Ben said: I'll just accept that characterizations portrayed by TV ads dictate your likes and dislikes.

Isn't that what they're DESIGNED to do? The only difference here is that they're not dictating the products I like and dislike, but rather they're spoiling the underlying draw of which they try to take advantage.

"ben" said...

That is the wish and desire of advertisers, certainly. However, many people no longer believe in the "Magic Bullet" theory because our society has become slightly more sophisticated as consumers since advertising took off as an industry.

I think the main objective of advertising now is as Russell said:

"The whole point of a good commercial is to entertain and to put the product in your mind."

Anonymous said...

you guys all know that sports events mean big money....rather if it is football to tennis everyone is out to make a buck. what i would like to know is why there are no commercials on tv with women in front of the set watching their favorite boys play ball and the men show up with a cold drink and my favorite snack bitching why i spilled my last drink all over his new carpet. I look forward to the weekend to watch my favorite teams and yell and i must say that i eat junk in front of the tv while doing so....oh cabana boy...a cool one over here please. but i get where j-red is coming from but someone has to pay for those games being on tv.

Brien said...

J-Red, will those commercials also turn you against beer? I'm sure you wouldn't like to be one of those meat heads who drink beer, right?

J-Red said...

You'll note I specifically exempted Budweiser (and I should have exempted Miller). Those are fine upstanding companies with only the best interests of the NFL in mind.

Coors can go to hell. The beer sucks and the commercials suck.

Brien said...

I hope you just mean Coors Light. Original Coors is not bad at all, and they just had a fairly decent commercial during the game last night.

michael said...

As a T watching afficionado, I feel compelled to comment. Mainly because although I watch TV for 4-5 hours every night and probably 20+ hours on the weekend, I have not watched a commercial since college...and thats almost 7 years now. Yes, 7 years without watching a single commercial all the way through. I am a channel zapper. On Saturdays I watch two TVs right next to each other constantly flipping between games. And even if there are no other games on, there is always something better to watch than stupid commercials...even if its the Weather Channel, which is entirely pointless to watch since I live in Santa Barbara and it is 72 degrees EVERY GODDAMN DAY.

...this may come as a surprise, but yes, I am single.

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