In this week’s silly post I’d like to talk about an ad currently running on Hulu for a brand of air-fresheners. Aside from the fact that air-fresheners contain numerous toxic chemicals that can cause everything from reduced sperm counts to cancer, the ad is really stupid. It has hunky men carrying air-fresheners in slo-mo, winking at the camera seductively from each room of a house – one in the kitchen, another in the living room and yet another sexy young thing in the bedroom. The ad goes on to say that while having a different man in every room might be a fantasy, you can in fact have a different toxic scent in each room.
First of all, what woman fantasizes about having a man in every room? That sounds terrible. Second of all, the campaign is so ridiculous it makes me want to NOT buy that air freshener, even if I wanted to poison myself with benzene, formaldehyde, styrene, and phthalates.
The thing that gets me about really really bad advertising is that there are so many people involved in the process of actually getting it on TV. First there are a number of people at the ad agency who come up with the bad idea, then their creative team does a pitch to a company, then the company sends the proposal up the chain of command and who knows how many people sign off on the concept and budget. Then there are graphic artists, writers, producers, casting agents, actors, make up artists, cameramen, boom mic operators and even key grips, whatever the heck they do. It must be at least 100 people who take part in producing a really really bad ad. And nowhere along the line did someone say – STOP.
The same is true for some of the reality TV programming of today. There are food shows about deep-fried-mac-n-cheese-hamburger-loaf. There are married couples flipping houses and arguing over every remodeling decision along the way. There are housewives arguing in virtually every metropolitan area of the United States. There are naked people who are either afraid or shopping or dating, or a combination of all of the above – of course arguing more or less the whole time. There are even horrific things like a man being eaten alive by a snake in some kind of snake-digestive-juice-resistant suit.
In all of these TV shows there are countless people who never say – wait, this is dumb, let’s not do this.
This ad for an apparently intelligent TV station is actually quite funny and points to the state of our TV entertainment. I know there are quite a few really good shows out there, also. There has even been some God centered shows that come and go, like ‘Joan of Arcadia,’ ‘Eli Stone.’ or the awesome good kicks evil’s butt ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer.’ But sometimes I look at some of the truly dumb ideas that actually manifest themselves as ads and TV shows and I wonder.
I guess it’s kind of like other really dumb ideas, like segregation or women not having the right to vote. For a long time, they were just accepted and all the boom mic operators and key grips of life didn’t feel it was their place to say anything even if they thought it was a terrible idea. It took people like Martin Luther King and Susan B. Anthony to speak up and say – STOP! Then enough people joined them and said – yeah, I think it’s really dumb, too. And then the Civil Rights Act and 19th Amendment could happen.
So, I guess, if the awful toxic air-freshener ad has any merit, it is to remind us to speak up against dumb ideas! Why is racism and sexism still showing up in so many ways in our ads and TV programming and everywhere else in our society? Why should gay or lesbian human beings have any less rights than any other human being? How could such a bad idea still even be a thing? Let’s just stop implementing all these dumb ideas.
Please consider supporting the Human Rights Campaign – to speak up for equal rights for the LGBT community.
Or support any of the fine organizations listed on the Get Involved page who are working towards ending dumb ideas.