Friday, April 03, 2009

Truly despicable commercials

I can't find it online, but it's an extenze commercial that you see all the time on comedy central for the past, oh, week or so. I keep getting extenze confused with enzyte, but I guess they're basically the same thing. In one of the many digressions in his essay "Host," David Foster Wallace explains--not that this is a big surprise or anything--that what these places do is get people to call with their promises of a week's worth of their product for "free," then automatically set them up to receive more and get billed accordingly indefinitely and refuse to stop unless the victims actually go so far as to get a consumer group of some sort involved. And given the nature of the product--well, obviously a lot of people are reluctant to admit to having fallen for the scam.

But anyway, the commercials that I--and most people, I reckon--was most familiar with were the "Bob just got a big boost of confidence" spots, and while I wouldn't defend those, they're so blatantly, exuberantly sleazy that it's hard to take them too seriously. Which is perhaps the point, and perhaps what makes them effective, assuming they're effective.

But in this commercial, oh look, here's a normal-looking, Boomerish couple. They wouldn't screw you over, would they? And the guy says something like, "I've seen all these commercials for years promising to enhance size and performance. And I thought, I don't care about size, but performance--well, that could be fun!" See? He's a normal, well-adjusted guy who isn't doesn't have neurotic size insecurity! He wouldn't be flogging a dodgy product--he's far too respectable! And the woman says, "When he told me what these pills did, I thought, performance? This could be fun! Maybe we could increase our intimacy--make love more often." See? A nice, normal affectionate couple who's still hot for each other after all these years! Isn't that sweet! If they recommend it, well--it's gotta be legit, right?

I guess what's wrong with this--what I find really, really fucking deplorable--is that this is a very effectively-executed commercial. I suppose the intent is no worse than that of Smiling Bob, but while all commercials are manipulative to one extent or another, jesus christ does this one ever manipulate your feelings of goodwill while remorselessly lying to your face to an extent rarely seen in even the most mendacious advertising! If it were a human being, he or she would be a truly frightening sociopath, and I have serious doubts about the people who wrote, produced, and starred in it.

1 Comments:

Blogger Tavis pontificated to the effect that...

I kinda want to sock the guys in the Extenze adds.

2:26 AM  

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