True stories with a twist!


Thank goodness I no longer have young children at home watching prime time TV with us. It was always bad enough to suffer through boring “hard sell” commercials. But now I wince as I watch them.

Where are the sweet jingles of my youth, promising, “You’ll wonder where the yellow went when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent.”

Now we have very different tunes and messages. Every time I see a commercial I wonder how parents answer their childrens’ questions about what is appearing on the screen for all to ponder. The extra large, extra wide television screen with surround sound, the better to see and hear the commercials.

I can imagine a child asking Dad what “an erection lasting more than four hours” means. What’s an erection, Dad? And don’t say, “Ask your mother.”

Or the one promising you’ll “be ready when the time is right.” What does that mean, Mom? When the time is right for what? Visiting grandma?”

How about the one assuring there’ll be no embarrassing leaks when you dance? What does our leaky garden hose have to do with dancing, Daddy?

Or the woman rushing off to get to the bathroom in the middle of her daughter’s wedding? “Mommy, where’s she going and why is she in such a hurry?”

The man who feels as if he has rocks in his belly and “can’t go”? “How did that poor man get all those rocks in his tummy, Mom?”

Here’s a typical 50’S ADimages-4

I used to enjoy commercials; I still remember a few. Remember the cigarette ad:

“I gaze into the crystal ball and what I see I like, He’s not so dark and handsome, but he’s smoking Lucky Strike. Be happy, go lucky, go Lucky Strike today.”   Those were the good old days, although the message of the commercials could leave you dead, hacking with emphysema or gasping for breath with COPD.

Please tell me, parents and grandparents of children, how do you answer these questions?Unknown-3

Comments on: "TV COMMERCIALS" (26)

  1. Yes, commercials now feel more manipulative and less fun then I remember growing up. Though I did like the recent Del Monte commercial, “If I was a flower growing wild and free…” Our kids aren’t little anymore but my husband still hits the mute!

  2. How I miss the Burma Shave ads that were posted along the road. Great fun! I do love the creative ads, but it seems TV has to get out a hammer and hit you on the head incessantly until you’re out of your mind and the only thing you remember is to buy their d**n product. 😉

    Our grands, ages 13 and 11, rarely watch TV and turn away when those types of ads come on.

    • Good for your grandkids; they’re learning sales resistance at an early age.
      Those Burma Shave ads were the best; we have contests trying to remember them (although there is a website with all of them listed!)

  3. I am with you on this Ronnie! I miss the old commercials. In fact, they used to do jingles and my Mom entered jingle writing contests and won her share of them. Today’s ads are just too personal to be aired, especially when the kids are watching.

  4. My kids are now in their thirties. I never had this problem that I can remember, mostly because we limited TV altogether and nobody complained. Some years we went without it altogether. Living in the Maine woods on a lake was enough. Then there were horses and travel and other small animals and outdoor activity enough to please them, plus their friends’ parents trying to figure out how to get the kids together as we all lived a distance from one another. Then there was team sports for both kids. My youngest did have a cellphone in her junior year of high school, but she only used it for emergencies, as she drove herself to school in some serious winter conditions. I think, more than anything, our lifestyle grounded them in something besides media hype. Parents today do have choices, though they might not see it that way.

  5. I can’t imagine having to field questions from curious young minds who hear these commercials. As it is, we laugh at the ridiculous list of side effects they always mention. And why, for the love of all things holy, are the people in the Cialis commercials in separate bathtubs?

  6. Hilarious– but so true too, I miss the old jingles and hate all those adds for sexual dysfunction and incontinence!

  7. Newbie here. I enjoyed this post. We also have Victoria Secrets ads, which can provide some awkward moments with teens. My favorite commercial today are the ones with Flo, the Progressive Insurance guru. In fact, I want Flo to appear on NCIS as Abby’s cousin. Take care, BTG

  8. Harvey Hammer said:

    A wonderful commentary on our state of TV commercials. Stay tuned to your local TV station and you will not only be able to diagnose any illness you have but you will also know the latest medications and their side effects. I shudder to think of young children hearing the terms that Ronnie describes in her memo.
    Unfortunately many of those people that watched the tobacco commercials, are probably part of the COPD population.
    So much for truth in advertising

  9. Thank goodness there are no children in our family right now so I don’t have to answer these questions. I, too, like the good old days.

  10. I just tell my grand kids that TV is evil – invented by space aliens to suck you brains out through your eye balls. So far that line has been, mmmm, less than successful. Most times I just say, “go ask your mother.” Grandpas can get away with that.

  11. We did not get a TV until I was 12.. and we were only allowed to watch two programmes a week (6 of us had to vote every sunday as to what we wanted to watch then Mum would veto half of our suggestions anyway) and disneyland on sunday at 6 o’clock. I have no TV now, have not watched it for over 8 years i guess. i do remember when I was a teenager and an ad coming on the tv about Tampons. My Mother ‘shocked’ tried to cover my little brothers ears and eyes at the same time, though she only had two hands. I remember laughing at her but she was DEEPLY unsettled by the whole thing. Tim must have been about 10 and had no idea what was going on.. a whole different world.. c

    On Thu, Nov 20, 2014 at 8:29 AM, morristownmemos wrote:

    > morristownmemos by Ronnie Hammer posted: “Thank goodness I no longer > have young children at home watching prime time TV with us. It was always > bad enough to suffer through boring “hard sell” commercials. But now I > wince as I watch them. Where are the sweet jingles of my youth, promising, > “You’”

  12. Hi Ronnie,
    When you find the answer to your final question please let all of us know what it is. I’ve already had a granddaughter asking some of these trying questions…, to which I calmly replied…, “That is something that Mom and Dad could explain better that I ever could”. ……..have a great weekend ! 🙂

  13. It is not only in Ads that things have changed beyond comprehension… ladies monthly things were kept behind the counter and passed over in a brown paper bag… now there are rows of them for all to see… and sorry but I find nothing more embarrassing than passing a young, still in school uniform reading up on which would be best for her… I know its natural and a part of life, but maybe I’m old school I don’t want to see it…
    I loved the old ads, kept me entertained, now when they come on I take the opportunity to get something to drink, use the loo or take a stroll… so they are wasted on me, i don’t watch them…
    Cigarette ads are banned on our TV because of that emphysema or gasping for breath with COPD thing… however alcohol is not, so you can be pushed or encouraged to drink and become an alcoholic, or drink and drive… and seeing as alcohol is involved in 48% of our vehicle accidents I would have thought that no ads would be allowed… oh well the double standards will never be understood…

  14. Haha, so true. The feminine hygiene ads I was exposed to as a child were nothing compared to the bombardments we get today, especially with all the erectile dysfunction and bladder leakage ads, as you point out. Those and the ongoing ads for vaginal mesh problems. Ugh.

    Last week I was sitting at the airport gate surrounded by strangers and we all had to listen to a Viagra ad on the TV above our heads. Classy.

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