Lunchtime Poll

Lunchtime Poll: Commercials Suck

This past weekend I built myself a new platform bed. I was so high on my success at making a sturdy bed frame, that I decided to give my old nemesis Minwax a try so the trim would be all nice and pretty. I have a History with Minwax, and all stains really, that makes “nemesis” a suitable descriptor for our relationship. (For more about why I hate staining things, check out pileofmonkeys’ “DIY Can FOAD.”) This time, against all expectation, it seems to be going well.

Still, whenever I see a Minwax commercial on the television, I want to yell at the happy staining people. IT DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY. You don’t wave your magic paintbrush over a piece of furniture and have it miraculously turn into something pretty and smooth and evenly colored.

It seems like lots of commercials intentionally give people unrealistic expectations of how easy and/or effective their products are. Are there any that make you angry enough to yell at the screen?


By [E]SaraB

Glass artisan by day, blogger by night (and sometimes vice versa). SaraB has three kids, three pets, one husband and a bizarre sense of humor. Her glass pendants can be found at if you're interested in checking it out.

35 replies on “Lunchtime Poll: Commercials Suck”

I keep seeing this deodorant commercial and it’s driving me slowly insane. I tried to find it on youtube but no go.

Anyway, in the commercial they give women bells (like christman bells) to wear so that they “realize how much they move.” Like, really? We need to strap bells on women like kitty-collars because our silly labybrains can’t even tell when we’re MOVING!?

That one and paint commercials get to me. Like when you see people painting walls and they’re basically using rollers to write out their names and squiggly lines instead of painting straight up and down. All I can think is that their walls are going to look like streaky shit. And as the paint dries and they have to go over an area again (since they painted squiggles), it’s going to clump up and bubble.

There is nothing that annoys me quite as much as when I realize I’m a victim of advertising:  I drive past a Wendy’s billboard and somehow end up in their drive-through ordering a big ol’ Frosty; I hear a commercial on the radio advertizing a sale at a store I rarely frequent and suddenly I have an idea of how to spend my Saturday.  The realization comes slowly – I’ll be standing in the checkout at the aforementioned store I rarely shop at wondering how it is that I chose today to shop there . . . then I remember the commercial I heard about the sale . . . then I yell “SONOFABITCH” either in my head or out loud, whichever is most appropriate.

Holy shit, you built your own bedframe?? That’s so awesome! I’d like to learn how to build furniture one day; it sounds like one of those things that, if you have the skills and the tools and the time, you could save so much money.

As for commercials, I hate all infomercials and infomercial-style commercials, as well as “Only As Seen on TV!” products. I would much rather see proof of a product working from unbiased sources, ones that don’t use situations built to make their product look good.

My anger is usually pointed at the absolute ridiculousness of some products. I HATE ‘unitaskers’ and products that exist just to generate profits.

Also, how hard is it for kids to make their own damn snacks? And WHY must mothers hover over them while they eat? Are 8 yr olds completely unable to use a butter knife safely enough to spread jam on toast? Can they not get their own damn glass of juice?

There are things you need, things you want, and then there are things thrust in front of you telling you that you need them. Odds are, you don’t. (in some cases, you find that a few of these things are the greatest ever and they really do make your life better – those are unique products. See also: Snuggies.)

I have added another group of commercials to my s#!t list – car commercials that tell you not to buy eco-friendly cars because they’re not “cool.” A lot of “green” cars have problems, and if advertisers want to point those out I would have no problem, but instead they go with things like “They don’t sound manly,” or “They’re not stylish.” It makes me crazy.

There was a commercial recently where a supermodel was telling guys that Valentine’s Day isn’t complicated, implying that if women received flowers or chocolates, then they would be tearing their panties off in eager response to their gifts. Women are not machines!

Yes! I hate the ones that crow about their beer being colder than other beers, which, what the fuck? That’s not an accomplishment on the part of the manufacturer. It’s up to the customer to pop their beer in the freezer before drinking or whatever. If your product’s only selling point is that it’s COLD, then you have a crappy product. It drives me up a wall. Then there are the ones that assume all their customers are men. Wrong.

Also, it’s not a commercial (….though maybe it is, in a way), but one of the surest ways to irritate me is to make me listen to someone sing the anthem(s) at a sporting event.  My former choral days make me twitch at the excessive swooping, needless vibrato, and wholly unnecessary embellishments which are endemic to the genre.

There was a Tide (or some laundry detergent) commercial I kept seeing a few months ago that had a little girl all dressed in boys clothes sitting on the floor playing with blocks while the mom, all in pink floral ruffles and whatnot, sat on the couch talking about how her little girl refuses to wear dresses and only jeans and t-shirts and oh they were almost accidentally ruined one day, but then… Tide saved the clothes after all…. At which point I yelled “STOP TRYING TO CHANGE HER!” at the computer (where all my TV watching happens). They had another one about a woman who had the same dirty, stinky pair of sneakers for forever and her man-partner (boyfriend? husband?) reluctantly saying how Tide had allowed her to continue to keep them. Again, me wanting to yell the same phrase.

Really- why does Tide have to create a commercial world where all of my personal traits are gross and barely tolerated? It’s called being a dirty hippie/tomboy/person who works outside all the time. Leave me be!

The new Huggies commercials are bugging me for just this reason. They are all about “The ultimate test – let’s see if a group of dads can keep their babies clean and leak-free with Huggies.” Because all dads are like the first half-hour of Three Men and a Baby all day every day.

Many moons ago, there was a Tupperware commercial where the plot was the working mother was going away on a business trip. She took her husband and kids to the freezer and showed them how she had precooked and froze their meals, and wrote what day to serve them on and what with.

It just pissed me off so much. Men are helpless raising their kids or cooking for them, hahahahaha.  Women have to do everything and it’s totally fair.

Oh god, that is such a trope in advertising, and it makes me so angry.  And it’s always framed as “oh, those wacky men and their inability to do anything domestic!  Ha ha ha, women have to do everything!  Hilarious!”  NO IT’S REGRESSIVE AND INSULTING AND DECIDEDLY NOT HILARIOUS, JERKFACES.

I don’t yell, I reply in a Very Sarcastic Voice (freckle’s VSV©). “Children like to play outside, but sometimes they come home sooo dirty”
Me: “Oh. OMGOSH playing outside? In this day and age? And they dare to come home without passing by the laundromat?!”

People like to watch commercials with me. The only ones that really bug me are dubbed ones. No Heidi Klum doesn’t speak Dutch, nor does Tiger Woods. We can all read or use a lovely voice-over.

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