Tuesday, April 28, 2020

"In These Uncertain Times"

Ever since I got a Roku four or five years ago, I've pretty much stopped watching "live" TV. Sure, I'll catch the occasional network show, such as The Flash, Legends Of Tomorrow or The Orville (when it airs once a decade). But for the most part, it's streaming for the win here at Stately Canada Manor!

As a result of all that streaming, I don't see a lot of commercials anymore, so I have no idea what's going on in the world of TV advertising.

Last week I watched live TV for the first time since the viral apocalypse lockdown began, and HOLY CRAP! For two hours, literally EVERY commercial I saw had a coronavirus theme! EVERY. One.

I bet I heard the phrases "In these uncertain/difficult/unprecedented times," "We've always been there for you," "Now more than ever," "We're still together even though we're apart," and of course, "We're here to help" at least a hundred times.

And every commercial was exactly the same. Somber piano music playing over shots of empty streets, followed by images of families huddled together in their warmly lit homes, along with scenes of hospital staff and delivery workers risking their lives while doing their jobs. All accompanied by a reassuring voiceover, telling us that everything will be OK.

The astonishing repetition became hypnotic after a while.

It doesn't take a genius to see right through these ads. Look just below the surface of all these, "We've got your back" messages, and you'll see companies that are hanging on by a thread, and desperately need us to continue buying their products.

I get it. But you're not my friend, Verizon Wireless. You're not gonna overlook it if I can't pay my bill this month, or send me a care package when I run out of food. Not even in these uncertain times.

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