Monday, September 13, 2010

What I Really Think About: Viagra Commercials

I don't know much about advertising, but I do know what's bad and those Viagra commercials are BAD. I suppose a lot has already been written about this and I'm five steps behind as usual, but recently, I was watching an innocent, appropriate-for-all-ages sporting event with a young (under 14) family member and there was a Viagra commercial!
  Okay, the commercials themselves are bad enough. They're as stilted and unromantic as the subject itself and though I suppose the drug has helped people, is there anybody in America (over 18) who has not heard of Viagra? Do we have to keep talking about it? Why keep advertising?
   In addition to the commercials pushing it, the drug has been extensively covered on the news and this is probably due to the fact that so much broadcast space is now devoted to news. (There are articles on all kinds of odd stuff and weird surmisings that don't really seem like news at all).
   And what about that one line in the Viagra commercial? You know which one I mean. Something about something lasting more than four hours.  Okay, when the guy on the commercial reviewed that little warning, in flat and unconcerned tones, I was really worried that my family member was going to ask me to define the terms or explain!

How did I handle it? I looked straight ahead, nose in the air as if nothing untoward had happened.
I learned this skill from my own dear father-in-law. When Karl and I returned from living in Okinawa for a year, we stayed with his parents. My father-in-law had a desk in the den where the TV sat and while we had been away overseas watching only the officially sanctioned stuff broadcast on military bases, the advertising companies in America had come up with the bold and brilliant plan to advertise feminine products on the TV.

Now, that is no big deal now, but back in the 70s these sorts of things were not part of the formal family discussion. Though he was hilarious and witty, when such a commercial came on, Dad would just stare, face impassive and stony, at the TV as if they were discussing something as common and boring as grass seed or asphalt. Back in the day, in certain situations, you just didn't go there. Except if you were sitting in a cold, clean office concocting commercials to make everyone uncomfortable.

Now, I suppose that the commercials about all medicines help people. But in general, do they have to list the side effects the way that they do? After hearing any of the side effects, I would think most people would want to run as fast as they could from taking any! I suppose this must be done to protect the drug manufacturing company from lawsuits.

So then, in order to save big business money and hassle, children are hearing things they shouldn't and adults are asked to put up with a gross, itchy sort of mental discomfort.

 So I'm asking the Viagra people to edit their commercials. If you must keep advertising, do it the right way.  Because if it is broadcast, it is part of the discussion even if no one says anything in reply.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting what we all are thinking. It is such an uncomfortable moment. The last thing our boys want to watch with us. My husband holds the remote now and when one comes on the tv he immediately pushes the mute button. Then I have to remind him that the show is back on. haha. You should send the post to the manufacturer. -Janet

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