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Monday, September 01, 2008

Know Your Audience

Do the folks at TV Land ever actually watch TV? I recently saw an ad during their Scrubs marathon that asked the question, "Tired of waiting around for Scrubs?"

Seriously? Scrubs is on almost all day every day on three channels in two languages. Kinda hard to take the rest of the ad seriously after that. They teach you (or at least they're supposed to) in the advertising business never to begin a commercial with a question that can easily be answered with a flatout "No." In this case, I don't know what other answer one could have.

Then I saw another commercial for a diabetes blood-sugar-level tester that boasted to be "almost pain free." To me, "almost pain free" is just another way of saying, "Sonofabiscuit, that hurts!" Look, if you can't in good conscience say in a commercial that a product is pain free, don't say it's close to being pain free. Say it works really well. Say it's quick and easy. Say it has lotsa cupholders. But don't say it's not quite pain free. Heck, it's a commercial. People are used to being lied to in commercials. When they hear "almost pain free," they will feel the pain and hate the sight of your product.

But this commercial took the absurdity one step further. This is the rest of the one-liner opening pitch: "It's almost pain free . . . and it talks!"

Why do I suspect that the talking blood tester says things like, "Take that, you insulin-deficient beyatch!"


  1. I have tried that diabetes tester, because my dad has one of them, and first off, it hurts like aitch-ee-double-hockey-sticks. Second off, I tried it probably a year ago and I STILL have a red dot on my finger from it. So not only is it painful, it leaves a permanent mark in your skin. There's no such thing as needles that don't hurt.

  2. It's true. I had gestational diabetes with both my pregnancies, and anyone who tells you it's not gonna hurt is a complete and total liar. There's a reason they tell you to use a different finger to test on every time you do it. Oh, and the needle you give yourself insulin with hurts too.

    btw, loving the Wilco. I'm always glad to see that people with influence, such as yourself, promote one of my fave bands.

  3. Great observation, correct me if I'm wrong but isn't Scrubs on every channel in every nation from 7 to 9. I'm pretty sure that's fact.

  4. Scrubs - so true. A "talking" blood tester - well, that's just painful in itself.

  5. Scrubs - so true. A "talking" blood tester - well, that's just painful in itself.


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