Watching American TV is a study in patience… In being patient and sitting through all the commercial breaks!! I have almost given up on watching films on TV because a 2-hour film easily stretches out for more than 3 hours with all the breaks… And it doesn’t even work to change channel as most of them have breaks at the same time! However, I have figured out that E! is not usually synchronised with the other TV-channels so I get my entertainment news during the commercial breaks of other programmes.
Nevertheless, I am fascinated by American commercials and here are some of my reflections and findings:
- Medicines and drugs are a favourite topic for commercials! It is interesting as you hardly never see ads for medicines on European TV. And what about all the side-effects?? Do they really need to be mentioned?? “Side-effects may include constipation, diarrhea, nose bleed etc etc”. I don’t really understand the point in taking for example an asthma medicine that can increase the risk of asthma-related deaths? But anyway, what’s the point in mentioning all the side-effects in the ad, when we haven’t even bought the product yet? (I do understand that it is to avoid law-suits, but isn’t there a limit to the liability of companies?)
- Do not attempt this at home and Filmed in a closed circuit are usually mentioned during ads for cars. Once again because of the liability factor…
- Have you seen the ad for Reddi Whip (whipped cream from a spray can) on the morning porridge / oatmeal?? And people wonder why the US (and Puerto Rico) has an obesity problem!!? It seems to be so American to take something so healthy as porridge and then make it so unhealthy by putting cream on top of it! I find it absolutely shocking, both because of the health implications and because it sounds utterly disgusting! Maybe because I have always had a problem with the cream you get from a can, euck! I was hoping that the ad had found its way to youtube, but no such luck – however I found an interesting article about the ad.
- But the most interesting thing about American TV-commercials has happened recently, let’s say for the last 1 month: everybody is going GREEN!! From car ads about zero land-fill, to Democrat and Republican politicians together addressing climate change (check out the web-site wecansolveit.org). I think that it is very positive that the big country in the west (well, north-west to where I am located at the moment) has finally woken up to care about the environment, but why all of a sudden now? Anybody has a theory?