Peter Leo: We need commercial to tell us about cure for ads we just hate


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Appar­ently some of you have found a way to watch tele­vi­sion with­out the ads. What a shame.

Not only are you miss­ing some fas­ci­nat­ing stuff, but you’re not qual­i­fied to take this quiz. As al­ways, all an­swers are cor­rect, since our pol­icy is to never un­der­mine reader self-es­teem.

• One of the great TV ads in re­cent times is the Cialis clas­sic fea­tur­ing a man and a woman in sep­a­rate bath­tubs on a moun­tain­top with a stun­ning view. What’s the flaw in this ad?

a) Isn’t it fairly easy to re­serve a queen-size tub on a sce­nic moun­tain? b) It un­der­mines the Cialis mes­sage be­cause the guy has been stuck in his bath­tub for lon­ger than four years with­out a trip to the emer­gency room. c) If the two were truly in love, they’d be tex­ting each other in­stead of wast­ing time star­ing at a sun­set. d) If this ad was re­ally about sex, it would be a beer com­mer­cial.

• Why have the re­li­ably an­noy­ing “Messin’ with Sasquatch” ads made Jack Link’s Beef Jerky so suc­cess­ful?

a) The ju­ve­nile qual­ity makes it pop­u­lar among Jack Link’s tar­get au­di­ence: 6- to 9-year-old boys. b) Ev­ery­body can laugh at the hairy crea­ture’s di­lemma with­out in­hi­bi­tion be­cause the Sasquatch com­mu­nity lacks a de­cent pres­sure group. c) It shows we sup­pos­edly su­pe­rior hu­mans can learn a les­son from a men­tally de­fi­cient Sasquatch: You don’t have to be a vic­tim — strike back by se­ri­ously in­jur­ing your tor­menter. d) It sends an im­por­tant anti-bul­ly­ing mes­sage: Never play tricks on a good-na­tured but vol­a­tile crea­ture that doesn’t ex­ist.

• Which is your idea of a ground­break­ing ad?

a) An au­to­mo­bile ad fea­tur­ing a car do­ing less than 75 mph. b) A beer com­mer­cial por­tray­ing fully clothed beer drink­ers older than 25, not count­ing the slightly creeped up “Most In­ter­est­ing Man in the World.” c) A 10-minute bank ad that si­lently scrolls a list of the bank’s fees. d) A car in­sur­ance ad with this gun-to-the-head voice­over: “Many brand-new au­to­mo­biles were de­stroyed in the mak­ing of this ri­dic­u­lous com­mer­cial.”

• Why are the stu­pid peo­ple in “funny” ads al­most al­ways white men?

a) The ad­ver­tis­ing in­dus­try is aton­ing for those days when women were more likely to be cast as the dum­mies. b) Like the Sasquatch com­mu­nity, white men have no ef­fec­tive lob­by­ing group. c) White men are in­her­ently stu­pid. d) They make up the saf­est group to make fun of in po­lit­i­cally cor­rect times, way safer than the dis­tant run­ner-up: Islamic ter­ror­ists.

• Lib­erty Mu­tual in­sur­ance ads por­tray ev­ery­day ac­ci­dents that hap­pen “be­cause we’re hu­man.” Which of these ev­ery­day ac­ci­dents has hap­pened to you?

a) You’re wa­ter­ing the lawn near your car and don’t no­tice your neigh­bor up in a tree with a chain­saw, so are shocked when a huge limb crushes your car and just misses you. b) You drive home for­get­ting that you have two bi­cy­cles atop your car and bar­rel into the ga­rage, de­stroy­ing the bikes. c) After park­ing, you open the driver’s door and a car do­ing 90 rips off your door with­out stop­ping. d) Pre­par­ing to back out of your drive­way, you wave to a neigh­bor and, in­stead of put­ting the car in re­verse, hur­tle it through the ga­rage.

• Why is it a bad idea to eat din­ner while watch­ing the na­tional news?

a) Using a source other than the In­ter­net for news, and with tons of drug com­mer­cials? It’s a sure sign that you’re old. b) You’re likely to run into an ap­pe­tite-de­stroy­ing ad for bowel block­age or in­con­ti­nence. c) As if the news wasn’t de­press­ing enough, the non­stop drug ads lay out what aw­ful mal­a­dies await. d) If you’re busy eat­ing dur­ing the drug ads, you can’t jot down the rapid-fire list of po­ten­tially fa­tal side ef­fects.

• What’s your dream ad?

a) A guy thank­ful for his in­sur­ance is hor­ri­bly maimed af­ter a care­less neigh­bor, stand­ing on his car, cuts down a huge tree limb. b) A man cured of erec­tile dys­func­tion goes to meet his date on a moun­tain­top and finds an am­o­rous Sasquatch in the ad­join­ing tub. c) Two “hu­man” in­sur­ance agents come to blows af­ter a fender-bender. d) The red­head from the Wendy’s ads re­nounces ba­con pret­zel burg­ers as a health threat and runs off with the Geico Gecko, and the two go on to live ac­tive lives in a Cen­trum Sil­ver ad.


Peter Leo of Squir­rel Hill, a re­tired Post-Ga­zette col­um­nist and oc­ca­sional Port­fo­lio con­trib­u­tor, can be reached at peter­leo11@com­cast.net.

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