There are many new things that computers have brought into our lives, but here's one I didn't expect. Thanks to the powers of the Internet, you no longer need to watch television to see commercials. Just log onto the Ad Critic (www.adcritic.com), and you can watch real television commercials right on your PC. Yes, never again will you ever have to miss another commercial. Talk about a solution in search of a problem.
At Adcritic.com (Motto: "All ads, all the time"), you can now download over 750 of your favorite (and least favorite) commercials. According to the site, that's over two gigabytes of pure product shilling. Whoever came up with this idea deserves some sort of medal from the advertising community. Somehow, they have actually convinced people to choose to watch commercials. How scary is that?
As much as I didn't want to like it, I have to admit that it's a nice site, though at times it feels like some sort of music video countdown. On their home page, there's a list of the ten most downloaded commercials as well as a list of all the newest commercials. (This week, for some reason, the top four spots belong to Budweiser.) There's also a new section dedicated to all the commercials from the presidential primary, which, if you ask me, probably explains why the Budweiser commercials are so popular. After watching all those political commercials, we all probably need a drink.
Of everything, the strangest feature is the music page that lists all the songs being used in today's commercials. There, I discovered that techno artist Fat Boy Slim is selling his music to Oldsmobile, that Waylon Jennings is selling out to Nike, that Ozzy Osbourne is helping to sell Mitsubishis, and that some group called the Bulgarian Women's Choir is singing for Audi.
Happily, I wasted over an hour there. I was sold countless products during that time, and I enjoyed every moment of it. Still, it all seemed wrong. How could I be so willing to watch commercials? Shouldn't these companies be tricking me into viewing their ads? After all, isn't that what advertising is all about? I'm only used to watching commercials when my thumb is too tired to click the remote, and here I was using my computer to let these companies brainwash me.
And the brainwashing did get intense at times. Once, I stumbled upon a Gatorade commercial featuring the Smash Mouth song "All Star." Next to the video screen, there was a picture of the latest Smash Mouth album cover, along with a link that read "Like the music in this ad? Buy the CD!" When I clicked, I was suddenly taken to Amazon.com, where I could buy the album for $12.58. And, of course, underneath the video of the Gatorade commercial, there was yet another ad for something called Shopnow.com.
Hmmn, this Gatorade commercial is brought to you by ... another commercial? Yes, the world is getting very strange indeed.
|Copyright 2000 by Joe Lavin
Joe Lavin's Humor Column is published every Tuesday at: http://joelavin.com
As long as you include my name and web site address, feel free to forward this column all over the place. And if you enjoy my column, why not let your local newspaper or magazine know about it?
Submitted By: Joe Lavin
Mar 8, 2000 12:39