Commercials aren’t what they used to be

Published 10:20 am Friday, September 30, 2016

I keep an eye on commercials.

I’m appalled by some of the stuff I see.

The commercials with the loud music, strange dancing, graphics and pyrotechnics associated with them, which do not entice me to want to buy the specified product being promoted.

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And speaking of music, I’m surprised at the infusion of classic rock into the mix to advertise everything from dog food to aspirin. I watched a commercial for a pet store chain that featured lines from the Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil.” Several yeas ago one played a Beatles classic “Getting Better,” which used the phrase from the song that went,“It’s getting better all the time.” Apparently they decided the chorus right after that phrase, “Can’t get no worse,” just wouldn’t fit into the overall theme.

And why have some politicians and political ads continue to use the Bruce Springsteen song, “Born in the USA,” a protest song about Vietnam with the phrase, “Got in a little hometown jam;
so they put a rifle in my hand; sent me off to a foreign land to go and kill the yellow man,” is beyond me. Obviously, no one did much research on the tune.

The more annoying ads on the tube are the commercials for all these new prescription drugs that are supposed to cure or minimize all these different ailments, some of which I never heard of. They sound great. They can control this malady or that condition, and the announcer touts these “miracle drugs” as exactly what you need, emphasizing you should “go ask your doctor” if the drug is right for you. Then they tell you not to take the drug if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients — something you may not learn until you take the drug. After that warning they give the side effects, which in some cases are worse than the condition they’re supposed to help.

There are some ads I miss. I miss the sports-oriented Snickers commercials, especially the one with the football player who is knocked out during the game and thinks he’s Batman. And there are the pre-2005 Allstate commercials, especially the guys who are tailgating and set their car on fire (blow it up is more like it). The “Mayhem” commercials the company shows now have nothing on those old ads.

There were also the Alkaseltzer commercials from the 60s, which had the great jingle of “plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh, what a relief it is,” or the meatball commercial where the actor goes through multiple takes trying to eat a meatball and gets an upset stomach.

I find today’s commercials annoying, when I’m watching a program. I realize companies have to sell their products, but if their going to do it, I want to see some simple humorous spots that at least make the unwanted break fun. I want to go back to “plop, plop, fizz, fizz” and wondering where the yellow went.

John Surratt is a staff writer at The Vicksbpurt Post. You can reach him at 

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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