Shaken Not Stirred

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Skin Cancer, Jock Itch and Erectile Dysfunction

Yesterday I saw a commercial about skin cancer. The spokeswoman gave some statistic like "every such and such a second, a woman gets skin cancer. That's why you should use....". Uh, men get skin cancer too. Later that day, I saw another commercial that didn't exclude men--the sunblock showed a whole family using it.

Women seem to advertise their personal hygiene issues. Growing up I noticed that most commercials featured women and their body function products. There is always those embarrassing tampon commercials. Margaret Cho once made fun of a spokesperson she saw for tampons who also did feminine wash. She said, "I know more about this woman's pussy than I do my own". Yikes! I think the ads which feature a daughter telling her mother about an itch is rather humorous myself. Is it something that you bring up during lunch or while trying on shoes at Bloomingdales? "What do you think of this color? Would this go with that evening gown I wore at the Jone's anniversary party? I plan to wear it again for Jill's engagement announcement. Oh and by the way, I couldn't wear pantyhose today. I have this itch, this irritating scratch that would just be exacerbated by the extra covering. What should I do?". I know that mother and daughter relationships are based on a lot of sharing, but even that?

Can you imagine a father son ad about jock itch? Men do tend to talk about things like that. But to make the commercial more realistic, they would have to use a lot of mono-syllabic grunts and curse words. So I don't think Proctor and Gamble, Johnson and Johnson or any other major company could pull it off. It would go something like this..."Shit...I'm not even wearing fucking underwear and it still itches. Ready to take a jack-hammer to the damn thing. Do you have any of that uh prickly heat powder?". The scene would be two guys sitting by a barbecue grill drinking beer. Neither one would be smiling and there would be no introductory sharing of emotions. Straight to the point. Not that the chicks don't get straight to the point.. but the commercial hides a little bit of the embarrassment behind a pretty backdrop and very well dressed women either having tea or lunch.

The funniest commercial I have seen is the erectile dysfunction one. I know everyone has see this commercial. They show a guy, smiling making his way thru the crowd. He's actually pushing his way thru the crowd to get to his wife, girlfriend, or mistress. They don't explain the relationship of the couple. Anyway, after bulldozing his way thru the party and making a b-line to the anxiously awaiting lady, he gets to her, smiles and the scene fades to black. The overhead voice says something about "get back your life". They had to cut, cause the next line would have been.."It's kicking in and I'm semi-hard now. Wanna go to the car or borrow one of their bedrooms". You know in reality that is how the scene would have ended. The guy had a big smile on his face, and the caught seventh grade look of "don't send me to the blackboard right now. I don't want to stand up".

If they really want to sell something. Just come to the point and say what it is they need to sell. Like Oliver's review of the car (, it's more entertaining. It more memorable and truthful!


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