Evolution of commercials | Mark’s Remarks


You really show your age when you start being offended by television commercials.  

I just noticed this the other night – especially after my kids started rolling their eyes at me.

A bra commercial came on. Ladies of all shapes and sizes were cavorting around in their underwear, highlighting brassieres with adequate lift and support.  

Or so they said.

Now, I support the “all shapes and sizes” things.  It’s been long overdue. I think advertising would appeal to more men and women if we could see more ordinary looking folks.

But I remember as a kid watching the old guy in glasses, demonstrating with a tape measure how the Playtex “cross your heart” bra is perfectly proportioned.

If my grandma was around, she always said “That old feller never wore a bra.”

I also remember deodorant commercials in which people acted like they had a spring in their step because they were wearing deodorant that made them feel dry and confident. People hopped around, fully clothed in turtlenecks and three-piece suits. They jumped fences, worked in the heat and what have you.  

We never saw skin, body parts, or anything.

Now we actually see armpits and people putting the deodorant on their bodies. I don’t care how pretty the models putting the stuff on are. Nobody needs to see that!

I can’t even begin to discuss all of the suggestive material in commercials.  

Remember the lady that wore Enjoli perfume and would sing about bringing home the bacon and frying it up in a pan? The most racy thing she said was “Never let you forget you’re a man.” Even when she said that, you just saw her husband wink at her.

I saw a commercial the other day that rivaled a racy movie, and it ended up being an advertisement for a car. I don’t recall seeing a car in the entire commercial!

I wonder what older folks from a generation or two before us would say? I mean, after all, Dinah Shore used to sing about seeing the USA in your Chevrolet, and the ad would show well-dressed families driving in their spotless cars. The most suggestive commercials back then were when a narrator would claim that Milk of Magnesia wouldn’t cramp your style.

I can just hear my paternal grandmother saying “Well, I just think that’s awful.”  

I mean, using the phrase “cramp your style” on TV after all.

I guess right along with a loss of innocence in our culture, the sacred world of television commercials is gone as well.  

Coffee commercials don’t talk about their product being good to the last drop anymore. Nowadays, a sexy lady in a short nightgown brews up a seductive pot of coffee, pouring it slowly into a cup and carrying it to her buff, shirtless male partner who just happens to be pruning the bonsai tree on the patio.

Maybe Michelle and I should start buying that brand – and get a bonsai tree.

I even saw a commercial recently about gas pain and bloating. Another one was about toilet paper.  In both commercials, the comfort of the derriere was discussed and there was a sound effect and little green cloud illustrating a character passing gas.

Am I the only one noticing the difference?  What would Josephine the plumber say? How about Mr. Whipple?

And I shudder to think how such content would scandalize our beloved Mrs. Olsen.

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