Sunday, May 18, 2008

Order Now, Operators Are Standing By

Commercials – TV Review

This may catch you off guard, but today I don’t plan on reviewing a TV show. Rather my focus is on the commercials in-between a recent show I watched. In an ongoing debate with my friend Brandon, we have been going over the pros and cons of television commercials. Whereas Brandon is in favour of commercials, I take another approach. Though I understand the need for commercials, and will admit there are a few I find funny, for the most part, I will not watch a commercial. Most of the TV I watch, is usually something I’ve recorded on my DVR (Digital Video Recorder), which means I’ve got the option to fast forward the commercials. While watching shows with Brandon, this discussion has come up time and time again. So, as is custom when I try to understand someone’s differing viewpoint than my own, I have tried to see things from his point of view. I shall attempt to judge for myself what I’ve been missing and share my findings with you. This is a random block of commercials, and may or may not be typical to what I normally bypass on the DVR. I’ll judge each commercial according to three standards, each with a rating of up to five; one being poor, five being great. Information, Entertainment Factor and General Interest are the three sections, and will be totalled together.

First up we have a car commercial. Elizabeth Baron is an employee of Ford and works in the virtual area. Putting people in cars which do not yet exist. Interesting concept, a job I never would have known about hadn’t I seen the commercial. A quick joke is made in regards to the gender of the virtual experience.
Information-3 Entertainment Factor-2 General Interest-2

Moving on to a more common item I shop for, we have an ad for Glad garbage bags. A pair of movers are attempting to raise a harnessed piano up to a second floor story. Unfortunately the rope snaps and the quick movers grab a Glad trash bag and hold it open as the piano drops, but not onto the outstretched bag, but rather to the side. Demonstrating the toughness of the piano, they begin to shove the shattered bits of the piano into the bag. Once finished, the movers are upstairs knocking on the tenant’s door. Once opened, they hold the overfilled (but held) bag of piano parts and ask where she wants the piano.
Information-1 Entertainment Factor-4 General Interest-3

Third commercial is for Home Depot, advertising outdoor furniture. It seems if you shop at Home Depot for outdoor furniture you can potentially have the coolest house on the block.
Information-1 Entertainment Factor-0 General Interest-2

In the market to purchase a new house? Then this commercial may be for you. A couple is looking for places to live and standing on the porch of one location, the Eiffel Tower can be seen in the distance. The wife tells her husband the house must be within driving distance of her mother. He doesn’t look to happy about it, but next scene they are standing outside once more, only this time the Seattle Space Needle is in the distance. Panning to a shot of the ground, an older woman is parked and waving up to the couple.
Information-2 Entertainment Factor-3 General Interest-2

I’m not a smoker, but if I were and wanted to quit I now know Nicoret Gum comes in 3 flavours. It sure does taste good to quit.
Information-1 Entertainment Factor-1 General Interest-0

If you have not eaten yet, I know a place open for business you can try. Outback Steakhouse has a catchy theme and sure does try to make you feel as though you are in for a real Outback experience. But what exactly is an Outback experience? And can I truly catch it at a local restaurant? FYI, I ate there once and was not impressed, but you don’t have take my word for it.
Information-2 Entertainment Factor-1 General Interest-3

Music may calm the savage beast, perhaps depending on the type of music one is enjoying. In a commercial for Ipod and Itunes, funky music is playing as dancers in shadow can be seen strutting their stuff amid vivid colour patters in the background. Get down tonight.
Information-2 Entertainment Factor-2 General Interest-3

The next two commercials were ads for shows on the network I was watching. To keep this review unbiased, I have decided against reviewing them. In total there were nine commercials during this random block, totalling roughly four minutes.

Final results:
Information-12/35 Entertainment Factor-13/35 General Interest-15/35
For the most part, I expect any show I watch to have at least an Entertainment Factor and General Interest of 30/35.

Conclusion: Commercials are substandard forms of entertainment and may not be as entertaining as the show you are watching. Unless the Information aspect is raised, and thusly the Entertainment and General Interest, I will have to hold to my original viewpoint and continue to fast forward commercials the next time I watch my DVR. Brandon, may I have my four minutes back?

1 comment:

  1. If I were sitting on your couch, Jeff, I'd be tipping the balance in favor of your friend Brandon—I *love* commercials. No, not all of them, and certainly there's plenty that never deserved to see the light of day (but one of my favorite things to do is to make fun of those, hehe). There are some brilliant ones, though, at least according to me... The old-school Apple ones, for instance. Some of the Coke ones. Some of the Nikon ones. Admittedly, I don't watch a lot of TV anymore, even less of the channels that show commercials, so maybe I'm being nostalgic here :)

    In any case, and much more to the point, your reviews were wonderful. I like how you convey a sense of impartiality, of objectivity; I suppose that's what any reviewer worth his/her salt must achieve, but I've always found it impossible to do myself.

    So happy to be reading you again :)
    Guilie @ Life In Dogs