Commercials. They can make you happy. They can make you cry. They can make you throw your cat at your television. State Farm commercials, however, amuse and entertain, me at least.
For those of you not in the know, which includes pretty much everyone not living in the US, heh, State Farm is simply an insurance completely here in the land of bald eagles and sarcastic slightly-off (but only slightly) Asian guys. Not really your first choice of a company that has humorous entertaining commercials, I know.
Now, of course, you could say some of the commercials are false advertising but, honestly, if a person actually thinks their insurance agent is going to pop into your life every time you sing a commercial jingle, then you need to be mentally institutionalized, or at least gain a sense of humor. Whatever is easier for you. They’re not supposed to be serious. They’re supposed to be fun and entertaining and somehow get you to get an insurance policy from them. Wait a minute…
But seriously. Watch them, and I guarantee that you’d at least wonder who the heck thought of these ideas and what they were smoking at the time.
I am sure it’s to no one’s surprise when I say things have gotten progressively worse when it comes to television. Our society is drowning in crime procedurals. Cartoons of today are nowhere near as good as cartoons from over 10 years ago were. Worst of them are, HGTV is no longer showing home decorating shows. It’s really depressing. Now, things have gotten even worse. The Truth, an anti-tobacco ad campaign, has had a makeover to appear to a younger generation, and it’s not pretty.
Started in 1999, The Truth’s main objective is to educate the younger generation about the truths of the tobacco industry. Over the years, it’s gone through several different campaigns. They first started with commercials that were dark and sent a powerful message. The first commercial they released in 2000 showed a group of people dumping 1,200 empty body bags in front of a big tobacco company in order to symbolize the amount of people who die each day (at the time) from smoking. Toward the mid 2000s, they aired commercials that were lighter where group of people sang songs that mocked the tobacco industry. They then did a total 180 when they showed commercials featuring ex-smokers with various defects. They’re very similar to the Tobacco Free Florida commercials. I will do everyone a favor here and not link to these videos. They’re quite disturbing, and I do not want to scar anyone for life. Since 2014, they have decided to get away from being rebellious, serious and informative, and stated a campaign aimed toward teenagers and college students to stop teenage smoking. The aim is to end teenage smoking. Yeah, good luck with that. You need more than memes and hashtags to stop any demographic from smoking.
Not surprisingly, I like the older commercials better. Sigh. I’ve officially become one of those people who shouts “BRING BACK THE OLD STUFF.” Well, at least it fits with my blog.
As a person without a TV, I don’t get exposed to as many commercials as I used to. Of course, I still use the Internet on a daily basis, so I do get bombarded with commercials and advertisements all over the place. I haven’t really seen many commercials that I’m fond of the past years though. I know. I know. Commercials are not supposed to be memorable or nostalgic. Still, when I had a TV, there were quite a few commercials that immediately grabbed my attention, and I have since missed them. So, I should be thankful that YouTube exists.
Although well-known songs are used in a lot of commercials, songs not familiar to the general public are used just as much. I did not know any of the songs in the commercials below beforehand and, now, I associate these songs exclusively with the commercials. As a result, I have nostalgia for these songs and commercials. Yes, there I said it. Commercials make me nostalgic. Sue me.
Coincidentally, all of the commercials are between 2009 and 2010. What amazes me is that the songs enhance the commercials. They don’t overpower them. Of course, I don’t know what song could overpower an Advil commercial but nevertheless, it works.
PSAs are supposed to inform the general public of a social issue or other concern. They’re not supposed to be nostalgic. I don’t know why they make me think of my childhood, especially since I barely remember any PSAs I might have watched when I was a child. If I were another person, I’d be worried about my sanity.
I am sure everyone is familiar with the The Ad Council,the non-profit organization that produce and advertise ad campaigns for other non-profit organizations. I am going to make the very bold statement that if you are an adult living in the U.S. that you have seen at least one PSA from the Ad Council. If you haven’t seen those creepy PSAs from Tobacco Free Florida with the woman who has a hole in her neck, though, consider yourself lucky.
The television ad that they ran consists of a subtle, and somewhat somber, underscore of piano music, a voice over and a group of young adults. The voice over starts by stating that everyone has friends. As he starts naming specific groups of friends a person might have (online friends, friends you hang out with on a Saturday night, etc.), the group gets smaller and smaller. Eventually, there is only one person left: the friend who supports you when you are dealing with a mental illness.
When I initially saw this PSA, I was captivated by it because it was simple, yet it sends a powerful message without being overwhelming. The interactive video that was on their Web site, however, was quite the opposite.
For a number of years, there was an interactive video involving three fictional friends: James, Sara and Angela. The premise is Angela was recently diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and had told James and Sara shortly after. James and Sara are at a coffee shop and are concerned about Angel’a well-being, but are not sure how to support her. They call Angela, and she meets them at the coffee shop. The three of them talk about her situation, and Andrea shares how she feels while James and Sara both listen to her and offer their kind words and support.
Throughout the video, you have the option of choosing from two options: one that you should do and one that you shouldn’t do. If you choose the right option, it automatically moves on to the next scene. If you choose the wrong scene, James or Sara appears, and they basically tell that you’re not a horrible person and why you’re wrong. Along the way, you also get tips about supporting someone with a mental illness and facts regarding mental health.
It sounds like a fun interactive activity, but I find it a little bit too unrealistic and cheesy for my tastes. The biggest thing that bothered me was I felt they kept repeating bipolar disorder repeatedly in a way that seemed as if they didn’t even know what bipolar disorder is. I know. I just criticized a non-profit mental health campaign. I’m a horrible person. Now, please excuse me. I have to run away from the mob coming after me with torches.