And Now, A Word From Our Sponsors

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October 9th, 2011

This blog entry comes with a Parental Advisory Warning. (Meaning, maybe kids can explain it to their parents.) You’ll have to pardon my ignorance, but I just don’t understand those Viagra or Cialis commercials. Oh sure, they’re a lot better than some prescription drug ads that don’t explain what they cure, but still spend decades […]

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This blog entry comes with a Parental Advisory Warning.

(Meaning, maybe kids can explain it to their parents.)

You’ll have to pardon my ignorance, but I just don’t understand those Viagra or Cialis commercials. Oh sure, they’re a lot better than some prescription drug ads that don’t explain what they cure, but still spend decades describing what can happen if you take them. If you experience exhaustion from watching this, please seek immediate medical help.

The newest commercials seem to have been made by the Inception movie folks. A couple goes about their normal day when somehow they bump into each other, then the whole set and landscape changes around them. They go from painting the house to a slow morph into being on a camping trip. Their house fades away and turns into a tent and suddenly they’re sitting around a campfire. I can’t speak for everyone, but I don’t generally get frisky after a long day of sweaty hiking, particularly when the house I was just painting melts before my very eyes.

The next one is even stranger. Slowly the couple — presumably with the male jacked up on erectile dysfunction drugs — leave their backyard and become part of a deserted boardwalk carnival. Man, if that happened to Marci and me, the very last thing I’d be thinking about is sex. I’d be looking for a portal back to reality and hoping there’d be no insane clowns hiding in the cotton candy kiosk.

I think in that commercial, though, the guy’s grilling some meat to start with, so at least we know what got him going.

During each of those crazy minute-long commercials, all the side effects are listed. I am by no means one of those people who thinks the government interferes with our lives too much. But I think maybe the FDA can lighten up a bit on the full-disclosure laws concerning drugs. Seeing a middle aged guy and his wife playing midway games all alone has absolutely nothing to do with the advisory, “if you experience a sudden decrease in cabin pressure,” or whatever.

The announcement always says, “see our ad in Golf Magazine.” Why? Are they implying golfers suffer from this problem more than the general population? Tiger Woods would beg to differ, I’m sure.

But honestly, what bothers me more than anything else, is the couple always end up lounging together in separate bathtubs. They sit there, filmed from behind, looking out over gorgeous scenery in matching clawfoot tubs inexplicably placed on top of a mountain. I like baths as much as the next guy. But for the life of me, I can’t figure out the logistics involved in having sex in two different tubs.

I’m sure there’s something I’m just not understanding. Maybe it’s okay to spend 60 seconds talking about a drug that makes your Willy Wonka bigger, but it’s not okay to cohabitate the same bath with your spouse or significant other. Would the censors allow it if it were a jacuzzi?

I shouldn’t really complain. At least Bob Dole isn’t the spokesman anymore. Talk about scary midway clowns.

As the ambiguity level goes up, the drug makers risk alienating their customers even more. Does the target audience even know it’s being targeted? Honestly, the pill could be for asthma or hay fever or motion sickness for all the sense these ads make. I’m not saying they need to show people having sex, but perhaps they could be a little less obtuse.

Sometimes advertisements simplify products too much. But, (I’ve been waiting to say this for a few paragraphs now), these commercials make it hard.

https://readthespirit.com/rodney-curtis/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2013/03/wpid-rctubs.jpgPhoto illustration by Rodney Curtis, although he apologizes for it.

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