New Project: Ad Hominem

Most evenings, when me and my girlfriend get home from work, we’ll watch a couple of shows on TV. In between segments of Jeopardy or Seinfeld or whatever we tend to sit around for the commercials. Modern commercials drive me crazy. They are so insincere, so tone deaf, so overly measured and concocted, so repetitive. I could go on and on. And I do. I sit on the sofa and make fun of, or complain about them and have been slowly driving the girlfriend crazy.

So instead of sitting on the couch, slowly driving her insane bitching about this tripe, I figured I’d share that here. Now, we can say that this stuff doesn’t matter. That ads are basically pointless now. But that’s not true. Marketing and advertising is still important not only for moving products, but for setting and reflecting a society’s thought process and tones. Commercials are supposed to be in touch with our values and portray the product in a way that is sensible to those values. The fact that the modern advertisement is an incoherent jumble of crap that peddles to every circumstance except anything relevant to the product is a pretty sad reflection on our values I suppose.

So on here I want to try to share various commercials that I see, as well as my reflections on them. I get that most, if not everyone will have little or no interest in this. I understand this puts me firmly into obscure nerd territory. Maybe you’ll enjoy my ranting and raving. I promise to try to be funny occasionally. I also will try to be fair.

To that end let’s establish some parameters to work within.

  • I will rate ads on an A+ to F scale. In very rare cases, I may be more harsh/enthusiastic. I will explain myself if that occurs.
  • I will endeavor to embed the entire advertisement. If there is an edit of the ad playing that is particularly bad, I will definitely show it next to the full size version to illustrate the garbage.
  • I will explain my ratings. In my review of the commercial, I will look at specific factors. Namely:
    • Length: How long does it take to sell me on this?
    • Audio/Visual: How well is this presentation put together?
    • Explanation of Product: Do I know what is being sold?
    • Inducement of Sale: Why should I buy your product?
    • Procurement of Product: Where/how can I buy this?
  • I will attempt brevity. Thus, I will grade each section and explain.

I encourage y’all to send me suggestions of ads and commercials and to let me know what you think. This is a new project, and may change as it goes.

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