I have never been one to complain about the morality of television content, or how appropriate it is to broadcast. I have a remote control and I can choose to stop watching a program. It has recently occurred to me that I can no longer save myself from irksome content, nor more importantly can I adequately prevent children from seeing inappropriate content. My remote control has not disappeared. There is now an ambush. Not just an ambush, but a deluge of sexual material and gratuitous R worthy violence. If I want to hear dirty jokes, like in “American Pie” or see torture and dismemberment like in “Saw” I make an informed choice to go see a rated R film. Today this content can spring upon you, even when watching cable news, informational programming, and network television during prime time. Some of this material comes directly from the United States government.
Here you have anthropomorphic candy having sex, sex in insurance commercials, sex in household cleaning commercials.
I would like to stress that while some of the advertising is clever and funny, I saw all of these in one day, which is mind numbing, and with the exception of one advertisement all before eight o’clock p.m.
The wave of sexual material becomes very tiring. Here are the examples.
The following may not be appropriate for children. Discretion is advised.
Butterfinger Candy (Nestle)
Payday Candy (Hershey Company)
Klondike Ice Cream (Unilever)
Glad Trash Bags (80% Clorox 20% Procter and Gamble as of article)
Liquid Plumber (Clorox) This has aired on and off since 2012
Trojan Condoms (Church and Dwight Company) This is the only one I say after 8:00 p.m.
Caution: The following two government advertisements use trauma conditioning and may be harmful to children. Discretion is advised
The Food and Drug Administration
The Food and Drug Administration
These last two ads are especially disgusting. This is a new low for the Food and Drug Administration and for advertising. The FDA is showing a complete lack of integrity in exposing the public to this garbage. Instead of useful information the FDA has gone the reprehensible route of using traumatic imagery to augment our behavior. The FDA admits that the ads are targeted towards a 12 to 17 year old demographic. Ages too young to go into a theater and see this type of imagery in film.
While I have noticed these types of commercials more often, it seems that the only alternative is complete brainless ads. Advertising no longer tells me about the product. My soda choices are not a social movement and they do not speak to my character or personality.
“This is how we dew” (Mountain Dew)
Dr. Pepper Macklemore ad
There are too many car ads to post that contain no information about the car.
The most disturbing thing about these advertisements is what this all implies. Advertising is a very a-moral industry. That is not a criticism. It is an observation on the nature of the business. Advertisements are all about numbers. It gets used if it works. Advertising agencies make very blunt, very honest, and very secret studies of the public. Advertising is either a mirror for the public psyche, or at least how the industry views it. Right now, the mirror of advertising is telling us that at best, we are completely insecure. They are telling us that if we buy their refrigerator, as a father, we will have a family that loves us. Never mind about the warranty or improvements. If we buy this car we are going to have friends and we won’t ever be alone.
At worst they see us as animals. They use association, repetition, and our libidos to compel us to complete a task. The task is buying the product.