Advertising dum-dums

It’s bad enough that most of the programs we enjoy on free-to-air TV have to be spoilt by advertisements, some of which seem to take up more air-time than the show itself. Even the ABC, which is supposed to be paid for out of our taxes and which doesn’t accept commercial advertising, manages to sneak in a multitude of “promos” for their upcoming programs.

On top of all this, the advertising agencies really do seem to go out of their way to either do stupid things or to annoy us. This is quite the opposite of what I was always taught advertising was supposed to do. Here are just a few of the things that annoy me and are the reason why I turn off the sound and avoid watching the TV when the ads are on.

  1. Ads are repeated over and over, for any product or show, to the extent that they cease to have any sales value. These advertisements often go on being broadcast literally for years, which seems to me to project entirely the wrong image because it suggests the Company is doing so badly that it cannot afford new material.
  2. The above problem is often exacerbated by the fact that agencies seem to employ idiots for designers. They employ people who come up with the wackiest and most irrelevant material, bad enough to cause annoyance and derision the very first time it is broadcast let alone seeing it perhaps five times an evening every night for four months. This is a trait that can’t be blamed on just the small advertisers, some of whom obviously create the ad themselves, and usually act in them as well. The large international companies are just as likely to make this mistake; their agencies obviously get so carried away with what they consider to be a really clever idea that they forget their reason for being is to sell the product.
  3. Actors appearing in ads are made to behave in ways an ordinary person would never act, therefore destroying the reality of the material projected. An instance of this is in virtually all Kellogg’s cereal ads where the person eating the food gazes off into a distant utopia as they eat. Have you ever seen anyone in real life do that, rather than look with relish (or otherwise) at the dish in front of them? And have you seen the ad for Jeeps where the girl tells her husband/partner that she’s “bought a Jeep”? And he takes it all so calmly too. If Jacqui or I were to take such action, without first discussing such a large expenditure together, I think we’d have a marriage failure on our hands!
  4. Funeral insurance advertisements. There are about four major company’s indulging in this effort. In fact, you can sometimes sit down for an afternoon’s television and be swamped by these monstrosities to the exclusion of virtually any other advertiser. They use such poor actors too.
  5. I don’t care what the authorities say, I am absolutely convinced that the advertisements broadcast at a louder volume than the program they are spoiling. In addition to this, many of the ads, especially the ones promoting an upcoming show, pump up the actual colours on the TV. This gives people bright red faces and their blue eyes look like lasers!
Ad. Article continues below.

These are just a few (the tip of the iceberg) of the things that annoy and irritate me when I am trying to watch an evening’s television and I am sure readers can come up with many, many more than this.

I know we wouldn’t have any free to air TV if it wasn’t for the ads that pay for it, but surely the agencies should have a responsibility to provide something which is at least acceptable in quality, and enhances, rather than spoiling, our viewing pleasure.


Do you agree with Brian? Are you also annoyed by ads on TV? Which is most irritating? Tell us below!