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Thoughts For Thursday: Commercials

March 10, 2011 · 81 comments

in Thoughts For Thursday

As I write, I quite often have the TV on in the background.  Sometimes I pay attention, sometimes I don’t.  However, there are a couple commercials that almost always catch my eye.  I am going to share a few examples:

  1. Lifetime’s new show “Coming Home”. I believe the show recently premiered, although I have not watched it yet.  The  show features homecomings of different service men as they reunite with their families after deployment.  The commercial I have seen frequently shows snippets of different reunions, one appears to be of a man graduating college and his dad shows up at the last second in his uniform, and they both end up crying.  Then I end up crying.  This commercial tears me up every single time I see it.  Dads and daughters are featured, husbands and wives.  I think I would end up being a mess after watching an entire episode if I can’t even handle the commercial.
  2. Tide Commercial #1. This commercial elicits a totally different response than the “Coming Home” commercial.  In this ad, mom is going out to the bar, wearing her daughter’s ugly green shirt (that people love for some reason).  Of course, something spills on the shirt, but oh well.  One morning, the daughter is looking for her favorite shirt, and mom lies saying ‘Oh I haven’t seen it’.  Daughter leaves for school, and mom runs to the dirty clothes and pulls out the stained, even uglier green shirt.  Lying mom treats ugly shirt with Tide and it comes out looking perfect, albeit ugly.  Daughter is shown wearing the shirt later, chipper as a lark, and mom lies about where she found it.  It is a beautiful tale of a bar hopping mom that lies to her daughter, and is smug about it.
  3. Tide Commercial #2. Dad is outside doing yard work, and he is all dirty.  Dad comes across a teeny tiny white skirt (can’t remember if it is in the laundry room, or hanging outside to dry) and wipes his very dirty hands all over the little white skirt.  (He obviously has contempt for this skirt, and with good reason.)   Next scene, teen daughter sees her skirt is all dirty and is she is mad.  Mom is equally disappointed, but then treats tiny skirt with Tide, and it comes out looking clean as the day it came out of the factory.  Daughter puts on skirt, mom is thrilled that her daughter is leaving the house in her little mini-skirt, and dad is exasperated.  The moral of this story:   Moms don’t care what their daughters wear, as long as their daughter is happy.  Also, dad’s opinion doesn’t matter and mom should undermine him if she feels like it.

Do you have any commercials that impact you a certain way?

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

The Biz of Life March 10, 2011 at 8:58 am

I haven’t seen Coming Home either, but that kind of thing would get to me too.


Kris March 10, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Biz – glad I am not alone. That commercial just gets me!


First Gen American March 10, 2011 at 9:03 am

The superbowl cheetos commercial where the guy licks the other guys cheeto fingers is pretty disturbing. That’s the last commercial that triggered an emotional response.

I haven’t seen the serviceman commercial but there are people at work who’s husbands were deployed and I absolutely can’t imagine it. They do so much for their country.


Kris March 10, 2011 at 8:24 pm

First Gen – That Cheetos commercial is just awful! I cringe every time I see it.

I am glad there is a show featuring the servicemen. I don’t think we do enough as a country to honor them.


Nicole March 10, 2011 at 9:09 am

Hm… if dad got the skirt dirty, DAD should be doing the laundry. If he doesn’t like the skirt, then he needs to take that up with his daughter and donate the skirt to goodwill. No wonder families don’t feel like they can communicate without fighting and passive-aggression.

We’ve mostly been doing Netflix (*cough* 3 seasons of Man vs. Food finished *cough*) so I haven’t seen any commercials recently. I am definitely a sucker for the heart-wrenching ones (remember the latter-day-saints commercials? the AT&T commercials?), and these days all the goodhearted reality show commercials like the ones where they build a house for someone totally deserving or get kids to eat well etc. totally set me off and I’d never be able to watch an entire episode.

Oddly, I can’t stand the sob story backgrounds during the Olympics. More Olympics, less fuzzy back story.


Kris March 10, 2011 at 8:28 pm

Well, dad was trying to ruin the skirt, but was unsuccessful. You are right, he should have made his point differently. But, it is tv, so at least one parent has to be made to look foolish.

Love Man Vs Food. Don’t know how he isn’t a thousand pounds.

I remember those AT&T commercials, and there was also a McDonalds commercial that used to get to me.


Jenny March 10, 2011 at 9:15 am

I haven’t seen the first one, but I definitely agree with you about the tide ones, especially the green shirt one. Mom ‘borrows’ the shirt, spills on it, doesn’t bother to do anything about it, belittles the daughter about her choice of clothes, then hides it back in daughter’s closet so she feels foolish for not being able to find it earlier. Mom of the year award here. And that skirt is indecently short for a teenager to be wearing.

Another line of commercials that annoy me are the A&W (fast food chain) ones with the really terrible employee. In the worst one he shows up late for work but drives through the drive-thru to order food. Then when the boss comes out to his car to confront him (much more nicely than he deserves), he rolls the window up and chews loudly with his mouth wide open.

Also the makeup one that starts with Ellen Degeneres saying “Inner beauty is important, but not as important as outer beauty” What???? That’s a great message to be sending.

Other ones that bug me are the dryer bar ones. People go on and on about how much better this product has made their lives. Really? How much of a problem was it for you to have to spend an extra few seconds per load of laundry to throw in a dryer sheet?

Also the McDonald’s ones where someone buys the cheap value menu items for someone else, then says something along the lines of ‘it’s worth it for you’, then when the price comes up, they try to hide it.

Okay done now, but I could go on all day about commercials that annoy me, maybe it’s time for me to get a DVR.


Kris March 10, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Jenny, your comment was better than my post! 🙂

I also am not a fan of the Ellen DeGeneres makeup commercial. Obviously I hate the Toyota Highlander commercials too as I wrote a previous post about those.

I haven’t seen several of the ones you listed, I will have to keep my eyes open!


Niki March 10, 2011 at 9:48 am

I haven’t seen the Coming Home commercial, but it sounds like I would be sobbing the whole way through. I think you have to have a heart of stone to not cry or get emotional. I have been to a lot of coming homes.(My dad and husband were/are in the Navy)It is a very emotionally charged situation. Watching the ship pull in and seeing all the sailors on the deck. Than when they finally walk off, everyone is just so excited and happy.

By the way I think that green shirt is ugly too.

Commercials have gotten irritating, like the Toyota minivan and Geico money eyeballs. Ughh.


Kris March 10, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Niki, thank your husband and father for us for serving in the Navy. I cannot imagine the huge range of emotions you have gone through your whole life waiting for your dad, then your husband to come home.

I can’t decide if I like or dislike the Geico eyeballs 🙂


101 Centavos March 10, 2011 at 10:35 am

I watched the Coming Home show the other day quite by accident, I had the TV on as background. After I while I was captivated, and a short while after that, teary-eyed. Glad the boys were already in bed and asleep.
As for Tide, they’ll need to fire their idiot marketing agency. Incompetent stupid Dads and slutty Moms and daughters. Nice….
We don’t generally buy Tide, but now odds are good it won’t make top of the grocery list.


Kris March 10, 2011 at 9:21 pm

I have to buy Tide. It is the only detergent that is unscented enough for me to handle (Tide Free).

Dad isn’t incompetent. He is trying to stop his daughter from leaving the house looking like a tramp. Mom is all for having a trampy daughter.


Nicole March 10, 2011 at 11:38 pm

We use Seventh Generation unscented. Failing that, Purex Free.


Suba @ Wealth Informatics March 10, 2011 at 12:35 pm

I would cry if I saw the Coming Home show too. We don’t watch TV so have not seen any of these commercials, but last week when I was traveling I did see one that got to me (not in a very good way). It is the H&R Block (or may be Jackson Hewitt) at Walmart commercial. So this couple do their taxes at walmart, gets a big fat refund, get a check right there (probably the hefty-interest refund anticipation loan), cashes the check at walmart and buys a big screen TV! The ad is about how you can convert a very boring, challenging task into something they love. This is wrong in every single thing. I took a note to write about this, but this week has been crazy busy. I might end up forgetting it, but I was fuming for a long time.


Kris March 10, 2011 at 9:23 pm

Now I am fuming over the Tax/Walmart commercial! I will try to remind you with a random comment in the near future.


krantcents March 10, 2011 at 12:49 pm

My favorite is the Citibank credit card commercials. One that I remember is a father and son traveling in Norway tracing his roots and Dad finds out he is really Swedish.


Kris March 10, 2011 at 9:23 pm

Krant – I love that Norway commercial too!


Afford-Anything.com March 10, 2011 at 3:13 pm

The Tide commercial you described — the bar-hopping mom who lies to her daughter about her nighttime antics — is actually a commercial I really enjoyed. The (occasionally true!) stereotype is that teenagers will lie to their parents about going out & partying at night. I thought it was a little refreshing, and empowering, to see the tables turned. The mom was rebelling against her role, proclaiming that she has a life, too, and she deserves fun and freedom, too. (Of course, she should have probably just bought her own shirt!)


Kris March 10, 2011 at 9:25 pm

Afford – I guess I just didn’t see that side of the Tide story. I can see your point, but I still hate the lying.


MoneyCone March 10, 2011 at 3:45 pm

I haven’t seen the third commercial, but what normal person wipes his dirty hands on a white skirt?


Jenny March 10, 2011 at 4:25 pm

I think the point is he doesn’t want his daughter to wear such a trashy skirt, so he purposely wipes really dirty hands on it hoping it will be ruined. Of course it doesn’t work due to the magical power of tide.


Kris March 10, 2011 at 9:27 pm

You are right Jenny. Dad intentionally tried to ruin the skirt. Good thing mom is so smart and could get the stains out so the daughter could go tramping around!


Money Reasons March 10, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Sounds like Tide is not thinking these ads out very well!

I hate ads that demean parents by having them battle against each other…

I also hate those kids channels where the adults are always moron that are easily trick by the smarter 2nd and 3rd grade cartoon characters. What a bunch of malarkey (as my grandfather use to say).


Kris March 10, 2011 at 9:35 pm

I totally agree with you MR with one exception – the Simpsons… 🙂


First Gen American March 15, 2011 at 7:37 am

I just thought of another one…pretty much any Glade commercial. It’s always some stay at home mom or kept woman who doesn’t work, never is shown doing housework and as soon as her husband and/or kids leaves for work, she goes and does yoga, plays tennis or hangs out with her girlfriends.

It’s demeaning to stay at home moms (who actually work very hard all day) and it spreads a false impression that being home is a life of leisure. Even rich woman don’t have this lifestyle. If they stay home, it’s because their spouse travels like crazy and is never home and they’re forced to run everything by themselves.


Juanell Hopper April 8, 2011 at 1:02 pm

I also found that commercial offensive. Kids disrespect their parents enough without a commercial condoning it or encouraging it. In my opinion, girls should respect their father’s opinion, because, he used to be a young guy, and a mother should want her children to respect their father. What is wrong with the young people today? They are bombarded by shows where the kids dont respect their parents.


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