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Friday, October 5, 2007

Recurrent Ads: Berserk-Making

During the NFL season, a football fan is subject to one of the great tests to his loyalty - the numbingly recurrent advertisement for either automobiles and beer during breaks from the game. These drive me berserk.

First, the jingle. Well, actually there is no such thing as a jingle any longer - just a signature song that is pulled from the catalog of an artist whose best work is way behind him. Back in the 80's, Chevrolet took whatever tolerance listeners had for Bob Seger and reduced it down to a few bars of his song "Like a Rock" - a mullet-wearing yabo's fantasy anthem if ever I heard one. It remained in place for a good ten years. John Mellencamp traded in his credibility by offering up his song "Our Country" to the gods at General Motors. The advertisements commemorate a past where Chevrolet trucks were always there at the important moments in American history - the end of World War II, the moon landing, the election of Ronald Reagan. Good times. I like the way car companies always portray the past as if all races of people in America celebrated these things together all along, and they all bought Chevy trucks. How many times do I have to hear it? It is maddening.

Honda, on the other hand, is suggesting that you "Hold on Tight to Your Dreams" by way of ELO. Volkswagen used ELO's "Mr. Blue Sky" to good effect. MasterCard uses three schoolboys dancing like neurological patients to Funkadelic's "We Want the Funk." But auto ads are the last bastion of the non-ironic advertisement, and I suspect it is no small measure related to how ad people see football fans as the only remaining people who actually buy any kind of schlock, especially the feel-good nonsense kind about dreams coming true through purchasing an expensive car whose fuel consumption keeps us nicely imprisoned by the insane politics of the Middle East. Football fans just ain't that interested in what all that shit means, man. So, you know...fuck that.

Let's not forget Budweiser's ever-present ads for "Budweiser Select," which is as likely undrinkable as Budwesier itself. Using The Chemical Brothers' song "Galvanize," I suppose the advertiser is trying to nab the clubber who goes out after the game to galvanize the action. Blech. Enough. It's torture. I hear those reconfigured strings, and I want to take my own life.

Add to all of this the fact that the Jets lost to the Jints, giving away the early lead and turning he ball over on a potential game-winning drive, and I may never watch football ever again.

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