One More Thing

I want to tell my brother one more thing. I loved our childhood–the beach in summer, salty waves and frozen creamsicles. The trampolines, fireflies, road trips and late, balmy nights.  Continue reading

Mad Women

I’m the kind of person who won’t watch commercial television unless I can fast forward through the ads. And, most of the time that’s exactly what I do.  But, once in a while, it’s unavoidable, and I am forced to watch a few.

Flo. She's got moxie.

Flo’s got moxie.

Granted, they’re not all bad. Some are refreshingly funny or slick and hip. Those are the best. Some create interesting characters, like Flo. She’s the insurance lady who works in a store where everything seems to be strangely stark white.  With her intense makeup and brilliant smile, there’s something real and down to earth about her. I think she and I could be good friends, assuming she gets time off from selling insurance.

The Brad Pitt commercials I don’t get. Bizarre and over my head, if you want to know the truth. Besides, I prefer clean-shaven Brad to scruffy Brad.

Target has cool ads. So does Old Navy.  Their ads often have a brightly-colored, retro look. Meanwhile, I dislike the Walmart ads on principal.

I think any of the commercials for prescription drugs are way too long. Probably because they have to list every single side effect. I’ll never forget how, when my son was still a kid, he watched an ad for acid reflux so many times, he swore he had it, too.

And, don’t get me started on the ad for toenail fungus. Eww!

This woman is so busy at work, she has to take her lunch at her desk. Yet she finds time to use the Progresso soup can to call grandma who she's sure made the soup.

This woman is so busy at work, she has to take her lunch at her desk. Yet she finds time to use the Progresso soup can to call grandma, who she’s sure made the soup.

But the worst commercials of all are the ones that make women look plain dumb.  I’m talking to you, Progresso!

First, let me say, I have nothing against Progresso soup. That said, the last time I fell head over heels in love with any soup was well, let me see if I can remember…oh yeah.


So why does Progresso show women (and, on occasion, men) fawning over their soup, and loving it so much, that they pick up the empty Progresso soup can, to call the “Progresso” chef (as if it’s made by professional chefs and not in a factory).  Clearly, they must know a soup can is not a phone, yet as soon as the can is in hand, they say, “Ring, ring!

And magically, the chef answers, generally a male. The woman tells the chef that the soup is so good, it must have been prepared by grandma. She waxes poetic about the soup while the chef has a look on his face, as if to say, “This is what I have to put up with all day.”  Apparently, these women love their Progresso soup so much, that in one of the commercials, you see a woman wearing empty soup cans on her head, using them as curlers.

Now, I’m no feminist but, can it get any sillier than this?

The way I see it, these commercials are a throwback to the Mad Men era of advertising.  When women were portrayed as empty-headed housewives while a male voice-over, which always sounded wiser and more assured, taught them how to mop a floor, buy the correct toilet paper, and fix a meal for a “Hungry Man.”  Clearly, Madison Avenue must have believed we were incapable without their help. And, from the looks of the Progresso commercials, they still do.  Sigh.

And, while I’m at it, I find it a tad annoying, that in that car commercial where the grown son comes home for the holidays, in his spiffy new car, the parents, instead of greeting their prodigal son with open arms, sneak out the back door to take his car for a test drive. I don’t mind them taking the car, though I do wonder what kind of parents are these to leave their son, who, presumably, they haven’t seen in ages. Why don’t they first give him a warm welcome and a hug and then maybe the three of them can take the car for a spin?

And, why, oh why, is it the dad that gets behind the wheel while mom takes the passenger seat? Maybe I’m being nitpicky, but doesn’t she deserve to test drive the car once in a while? I’m just saying.

So how about you? Any commercials you particularly like or dislike?