Is it just little old me, or has TV advertising attained the frightening level of the old Soviet mind-numbing torture? The onscreen ads pound minds until they’re totally laundered.
Because of the Super Bowl, TV this week has been particularly annoying, and will reach brain-imploding max during the actual game on Sunday. The most popular sports event of the year is particularly brutal on the couch potato’s already mashed psyche.
For hours before the game, throughout the contest and into the post-mortem, viewers are inundated with commercials. They’re stuffed into every spare second, including as players rumble around the field, take a breath, scratch themselves and when they’re in locker rooms at halftime.
The usual half-hour, mid-game rest becomes a frantic hour of twerking singers, rockers and commercials. And finally, we get more peddling as victors squirt champagne at each other after the game, followed by ex-jock commentators going over each play in slo-mo.
As a guy who spent a long career in the advertising racket, I realize those bothersome commercials finance the so-called free TV beamed out to encouched fans. It also pays for the insanely inflated salaries of the athletes, to be spent wisely on luxury cars, booze, drugs, hookers, lawyers and child support.
However, what bothers me most today is how the ads have evolved over the years. In my early TV-watching days, as I squinted at the 12-inch screen, they were live, low-key pitches, usually taking two or three minutes of each broadcast hour.
Now, they’re blasted at eyes and ears 15 or more minutes per hour, deliberately loud, intrusive and the same ads are repeated a dozen times a day. And, please, don’t even get me started ranting on infomercials and PBS begging season.
The invasion of commercials into the internet is even more obnoxious. Whenever you click into a page, an ad immediately covers it as if to say: No, stupid, you can’t look at it until your brain is totally washed. Just sit there and watch this endless message about a miracle pill, overpriced car, insurance, diet plan, cable service or other useless thing you must rush out and buy.
TV ads have become like the sneering in-your-face schoolyard bully who grabs your lunch money, pulls your hair and makes you say uncle. Finally, this old guy is mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore. I’m swearing off TV right after I watch the Super Bowl, reruns of “I Love Lucy”, a Kardashian classic and maybe a couple of NBA basketball games.