Advertising dum-dums 79



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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!

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!

Brian Lee

  1. Sure the ads that do not apply to us or even appeal to our individualistic pleasureable sensations are a nuisance while watching an interesting skit, episode, soap opera, news or sports segment. But look at the big picture – if advertisements by the Ad Agencies were not shown, that show and not even the TV Channel would be existing. The commercial TV stations survive ONLY on the revenue generated from ads.

    4 REPLY
    • It’s the Harvey Norman ads that do my head in. Loud, hectoring, bullying voice shouting in an accelerated manner. Ugh. Makes my flesh creep. And the irony is, I hate the ad so much I refuse to shop there

    • It’s not just commercial TV, most of the channels on Foxtel have ads also. I have no idea why I’m paying money for this rubbish!

    • I agree Anne and it took me awhile to work out how to change the channel while the adds were on, the back button didn’t have to push select first!! is sneaky

  2. I always have my iPad on the sofa next to me and the ad breaks become IPad breaks. I barely notice them. They’re also useful as toilet breaks and cuppa breaks.

  3. The funeral ads make me angry. The ploy is to make us guilty for being a burden to our offspring. And these ads go nonstop every afternoon. I agree that the sound is louder on ads. Some ads are great, but I wish we had more of a variety every day.

    4 REPLY
    • Luckily I don’t watch day time TV so don’t see them that often. However, as I believe they’re a rort, they don’t make me feel guilty in any way.

    • The final expenses ads are a rip off, with a prepaid funeral you have an agreed price for your funeral which once you have reached the cost you stop paying, but with the insurance you keep paying & paying until you die, if you stop paying your insurance goes.

    • these funeral ads are the most hidious and why waste their money anyway, its something we will all need one day so really not something that needs to be compared or thought about.

      1 REPLY
      • Vicki, the insurance companies want your money and unless you happen to die early you will have paid for your funeral several times over, so they go to the bank laughing their collective head off. Far better just to pre- purchase your funeral, but make sure your family knows, and change your address with the funeral company if you move before you need it!

  4. I do love the ” I bought a jeep” ads and the punch line cracks me up. Clever promotion.

    3 REPLY
    • I think there Jeep ones are clever. How often does an ad become such a byword! Think to when Buddy Franklin sideswiped a car. The next day the photos were out with the caption “I hit a Jeep…” The ad makers must have been delighted!

  5. They are putting far to many ads on! Used to be 3 or 4 now on some shows u can have 10 or more – less is better as I get up and walk around I will not watch them

    1 REPLY
  6. Absolutely correct, hence that is the reason I do not watch TV. Don’t even bother to turn it on. Most of the shows I like (very rare) run at least 10-20 minutes over schedule all because of these idiotic adverts. I do listen to the news but even that is going all day, so once a night is enough. I watch DVDs now and again.

  7. Agree in many ways – we all know that it’s the ads that ‘pay’ for some of the programs – – but don’t you sometimes find the ads are better than the programs?? Probably why I don’t watch TV much!! 🙂

    1 REPLY
    • Can’t say that ant ads ae btter than the progs Anne! I love some of the UK shows such as POIROT etc…..

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