TV advertising conventions I'd like to see subverted. Trucks make you masculine Who uses trucks? Don't answer that. I live in a rural area so I know what kinds of people use trucks: all kinds of people. Yet trucks are invariably marketed to men. And they are marketed in a rather condescending fashion. You have gravely voiced guy, former football star, more gravely voiced guys, Dennis Leary's voice and Mike Rowe......okay I'll hand them that Mike Rowe is probably the best, if most unconventional, choice there. But all those choices are decidedly supposed to appeal to men or, more exactly, to a supposedly basal desire of men to always be hyper masculine. Which is strange because, when you get down to it, a truck is a practical thing that is useful in practical ways so why is there a need to connect it to masculinity at all? But that seems to be a trend that things that are actually useful to men get advertised as being part of what makes men masculine. Wrenches? Useful and always advertised in the context of men being masculine. Building a kick ass man cave where you can mainline the NFL Network straight into your veins or tightening a bolt on a snowmobile with attached chainsaws. Decidedly missing is the more likely use of making sure a bracket for a flower box doesn't come undone. Oh and apparently these wrenches are made out of female kryptonite seeing as how you never see a woman using one in any of the commercials. I guess they're all too busy being barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen or something. And then there's razorblades. Dara O'Brien once, correctly, noted that razorblades take this idea to a ridiculous level. We have the Mach Three! Or the Stealth Fusion! I'm sorry but why is this razorblade powered by fusion and why is it stealthy? Can the Sonicboom Ninja Bomb Laser Jetpack Razor be far behind? And why is this even being bothered with? It's not like men are just going to collectively forget to shave if they aren't sold on this idea that somehow it will connect you with a 6th graders idea of cool. So maybe what I'd like to see is a commercial that shows a truck being used in a way that I most often see them being used: by a soccer mom picking up groceries. Smart Phones will change your life Smart phones are awesome....or at least that's what several billion in advertising dollars want us to believe. Granted the companies that have invested several more billion in their development do need to make sure that we are sold on them. They didn't have factory managers tortured to death in China over these things for nothing. And so we get the new campaigns that basically sell us on the idea that these new devices aren't just a new gadget; they are the genesis of a new paradigm shift in how humans live their lives! Your life will be like a Twinkie filled with cocaine stacked on a Russian swimsuit model. They don't even have a name for the number of things that you can do with the iPhone (maybe Yottazillion?) and the number of apps for the Droid is supposedly rising at such a rate that it will threaten Skynet soon resulting in a war that promises to be as lame as it would be ominous. I mean video chat is important...right? I mean who doesn't want the person on the other end to realize you've been chatting with them while on the toilet the whole time? And dolby speakers! That will be useful when you want to see how quickly you can bring an entire bus full of people into a rage that would scare an old Nordic Beserker. But when you get down to it the whizbang features of these phones are mere novelties in many ways. I've know several people that plunked down good money for a smart phone then, after about nine months, realized that almost everything they do on it they could do with their older phones that were cheaper and didn't have extended contracts contracts so confusing that only the Staff of Ra could discern where you were even supposed to sign them with the blood of your newborn. Then they started planning that when their contracts finally ran out (the year 3568^4 is coming pretty soon...right?) they would be dumping them. I ended up looking the genius simply by virtue of being flat broke when each of the major new smart phones debuted. So I suppose a good advertisement would be someone doing what we generally do with phones....sending tedious text messages about nothing complete with txt spk and repetitious laments that Becky totally doesn't deserve to be going to the dance with Chad because I totally saw Chad first. Beer equals parties So does beer actually have a presence at parties? I suppose it does (I was raised in a cage in a library so parties are mostly things I've only read about). But then again so do paper towels. Paper towels are quite useful to sop up vomit. And there's always vomit at these things right? Most of my research into this was done via Youtube and the connection there seems to be rather concrete. So anyways beer is something that we can agree is often at parties but is it a guarantee for a party? Well the beer conglomerates have spent more money than exists in the entire country of Chad to make sure we think so. And is that accurate? Well, again, beer is rather ubiquitous at certain types of parties but then you have to consider where is most beer actually consumed? Unless you are a total social drinker you will probably consume way more beer over the course of your life while sitting by yourself somewhere watching androgynous males compete over who is going to be voted into a sham recording contract by hormone addled tween girls on TV. And just how fun are these parties? I would contend that the advertisement version of these parties represents more a distorted memory of how we think those parties were than how they actually were. The few times my tracking collar malfunctioned and I escaped into the wider world I got to see some of these events briefly where it became obvious that these functions are much less fun when you are not yourself inebriated (which I wasn't because that allows the Wraith Ninjas to triangulate your position for recapture) . I suppose then that a nice subversion of this would present a lonely guy, prominent beer belly exposed by an ill fitting t-shirt, downing the cheapest beer he can get by the palletful while slowly crying as he realizes what his life actually constitutes. Only women eat yogurt Somewhere along the line someone decided that only women eat yogurt. I can only guess this was decided by some guy that had never eaten yogurt himself and had never been to an actual supermarket. Then one day he spots some woman eating yogurt while on some fad diet. In his brain he concludes that since only women go on fad diets (which is a stereotype in itself) and this awful goop stuff seems to be a part of them only women must be buying it! And so new convention came to be. I suppose you could see this as the inverse of the rule talked about earlier where women are never seen using practical tools. Unless they're mops, brooms, dusters or new combo things called Swifters. Then women are apparently the only ones that can use them. Maybe there's a biometric reader on the handle that requires someone to have two X chromosomes to activate their internal fusion reactor (hey if men's razors can have them why not floor sweepers?). If so then there's an awful lot of technology behind these things that's being kept secret. Additionally it seems somewhat odd that when food is marketed to women the commercials always seem to portray them in orgasmic bliss while consuming it. Next time you see a commercial that is pushing a food at women mute it and then decide if they are really advertising a food product or some new magic pill that makes you orgasm from doing normal everyday things like eating cheese.....or yogurt. Orgasmdol! Please check with your doctor to see if you have heart that's healthy enough for sexual activity. Side effects include cramping, exhaustion, vacuuming your carpet for six hours straight, forgetting your husband's name or that he even exists. Don't take Orgasmdol if you are nursing, work in a public place, are a Southern Baptist or live in a residence without adequate sound proofing. Hey I'd invest in any company that could actually come up with that! So I'd like to see some real yogurt aficionados. A young couple sitting around their table talking about how awful the new price mark ups are at the nearby Whole Foods. Body sprays will get you crawling in sex Body sprays are to a certain extent functional. In that they initially existed to cover up the fact that you had an irrational fear of showers (maybe one molested you or something). But somewhere along the way it was decided that this was insufficient as a marketing foundation. So someone then remembered that studies had shown that pleasant smells make people, especially women (don't argue with me about it argue with the scientists who concluded it in their studies), more likely to have a pleasant memory about you. Knowledge of that had been getting both sexes to pay exorbitant prices for fragrance sprays for centuries. So they went with that....only they forgot the pleasant smell part. Gotta keep the overhead low and all that. And so, even though their product could be used to make captured Taliban talk quicker than any waterboarding, they quickly decided to drop all subtlety and just flat out declare that the use of their nostril torture spray will get women to just flat out lose their minds and jump/rape you right there (which could be anywhere). Why someone could continue to believe this even after coming close to such concentrated aromatic assaults is a bit of mystery. Perhaps there's some rationalization about it being so bad that it's good. Like maybe the bad smell part of it will destroy the part of your brain that recognizes it as bad leaving you confused as to concluding it's actually good. I believe this same principle is behind the continued success of Two and a Half Men. I guess it is still easier to make those mental contortions than to just come to grips with your shower phobia. Which means that this advertisement should show a desperate young male applying the product prior to going out, being totally ignored by the opposite sex leaving him to eventually come home, pig out on cookies, play some World of Warcraft and die just a little bit more on the inside.