Category Archives: Advertising

1000 Words: You’re Filthy and You Stink!

Longtime Pencillistas know that I haven’t had broadcast TV since the mid-90s, nor have I had cable since, if I recall correctly, the late ‘Aughts.

Ergo, I’ve had very little truck with TV ads for at least a decade and a half or so. I do catch ads on radio. I listen to the sports talk station from Chicago, WSCR-AM. That’s how I learn how much I really need boner pills and a better system for betting on games. At this point in time, sports radio is solely about legalized gambling and erectile dysfunction, if one is to judge by the content of its ads. I also listen to NPR, meaning I’m constantly bombarded with reminders of how generous and altruistic the largest corporations in America are, seeing that they’re the biggest underwriters of public radio.

This past weekend, operating on a tip I caught from the redoubtable Don Moore via social media, I subscribed to a streaming service called Tubi. It has thousands of movies and television programs and is free. For instance, Sunday evening I watched Laurel and Hardy in The Flying Deuces and Richard Basehart and Jack Webb in the film noir classic He Walked by Night. I had scrolled down the list of Tubi offerings and was blown away, what with Stalag 17, Fail-Safe, the whole Peter Sellers Pink Panther franchise, In the Heat of the Night, Stagecoach, Notorious, Bela Lugosi as Dracula, at least two of the four Dean Martin-as-secret-agent Matt Helm spoofs, countless schlocky horror films from the late ’50s and the ’60s, and…, well, the list goes on.

At first I couldn’t figure out what the deal was with this Tubi stuff. Before I committed, I wondered how the company made any dough. My first guess was it would sell my metadata and, if I signed up, I’d subsequently forever be swamped by texts, ads, pop-ups, and — who knows? — midnight visits by door-to-door salesmen.

Turns out the Tubi biz model is advertisement-based. Any movie or program on the channel will be interrupted at odd times by a string of ads, just like broadcast TV was back in the ’90s and, I assume, still is today.

Since I grew up in the 1960s and ’70s, I’m quite accustomed to commercial breaks on TV, a hardship, I’d guess, that would be unbearable for younger generations today. There isn’t, to be sure, a Skip Ads button on the screen, lower right. I can picture a 20-something saying Fk this! and switching back to TikTok where there are no such breaks. Natch, they’ll be Ignoring the fact that the entirety of TikTok is an advertisement of some form or another. So, I suppose they’re right; it’s like saying there were no sudden showers yesterday because it rained from morning until night.

To tell the truth, I sort of appreciate commercial breaks. I get to run to the bathroom occasionally and stop off at the fridge on my way back because there’s still some cold pizza left from last night.

So, here we are in the third decade of the 21st century and what are advertisers trying to sell us? Lo and behold, it’s the same shit they were flinging at us in, say, 1968. To wit: that we Americans are the stinkiest, filthiest, grodiest, most messy, germ-infested, pest-ridden fat slobs this side of a frat house.

For pity’s sake, every single part of our bodies, inside and out, and all the surfaces within our homes, as well as every article of apparel that touches our skin is no more clean than the reservoir beneath any given port-a-potty at the conclusion of the annual Pitchfork music fest.

But there’s a product to ameliorate every stain, spill, or stink imaginable. The blades of our ceiling fans, the floor tile near our garbage pails, our hair, our fingernails, our breath, our armpits, and our female parts all are fouled beyond belief but — thank Christ in heaven — there’s a bottle-ful of chemicals, a treated wipe, a spray, or a specialized detergent that’ll make any and all pristine once again.

A side note: advertisers have been hammering women that their nether parts are malodorous and un-fresh since at least the late 1960’s. That’s when Madison Avenue realized women’s junk emitted a distinctive aroma. The ad men were compelled by their very nature to portray such scent as hideous so as to sell females mists, scrubs, and perfumes to mask it. Leading me to wonder why men’s junk isn’t similarly branded. I mean, I’m as clean as all get-out but I’m fairly certain my boys south of the belt line don’t quite smell like freshly baked apple pie. Aren’t there millions — hell, billions — to be made marketing male hygiene products?

Pristeen™ Ad, 1969

Anyway, I’d forgotten how ridiculous — no, deranged — TV ads are and always have been. It’s no wonder Americans are a neurotic, obsessed mess. The very fact that we’re alive makes us as delectable as a plastic trash bag filled with putrid fruit and chicken bones.

We don’t care at all for ourselves anymore and TV advertisement surely has played a major role in our meta-alienation.

But products in gaily colored plastic bottles are our only redemption. One commercial I saw during the Laurel and Hardy movie showed a young women who proudly proclaimed she uses Febreze™ on her sofa cushions every single day. Another women was shown unloading her laundromat dryer and when she pulled out a towel, she was so drawn to its fresh smell that she buried her face in it and appeared to experience an orgasm.

We like to tell ourselves we’re 23 times more sophisticated than the dopes of the 1960s were. This is the internet age after all and everybody knows about dangerous chemicals and subtle advertising manipulation. Why, there was even the much ballyhooed Mad Men premium soap opera a few years ago peeling back the curtain on how ad agencies hypnotized us.

Yet, even today, we’re still desperately afraid we’re a foul, rancid, noxious, funky mess.

Your (Almost) Daily Hot Air

Truth In Advertising

The Huffington Post ran a little think piece on the latest Cadillac commercial. The author, Carolyn Gregoire, savaged it. Watch:

Well, guess what — I’m going to praise it. Yep. It’s the first honest commercial I’ve seen in years. Maybe ever.

What Cadillac is saying here is if you’re a soulless, amoral, stone-hearted, vapid, vacuous, pathologically acquisitive mass of testosterone-infused human tissue, our overly-big, overly-showy, over-priced, gas guzzling road hog is for you.

Credit, babies, where credit is due.

Money Mania

Let’s stick with eating the rich. We’re at the point now where some of the richest of the rich are pretty much losing their minds because, well, they’re too rich.

Apparel titan Peter Nygård is an almost-billionaire. Acc’d’ng to most estimates, he’s worth more than $800 million USD. His failure to attain that exalted B- status must weigh heavily upon him. So much so, apparently, that he craves more years upon this planet than the normal mortal is allotted. He needs time, you see, to make the final $200 mill that’ll elevate him to plutocracy heaven.

And, guess what — he’s convinced he’s bought that time! Yes sirs and ma’ams.

Nygård sez “…I have actually been reversing my aging and getting younger.”


Forever Young?

In an earlier day, we might have suspected there’s a painting of him hanging in a closet, one that shows him becoming more decrepit and frightful by the day. Now, though, evidence of his visual comeuppance prob. will be found on some image board or photo sharer. Shutterfly, say, or Snapfish, under the URL

This Wilde-ian character in human form swears to high heaven that stem cells have been reversing his arrow of time. The Bahamas Tribune has the scoop: Nygård lives there and Freeport was the site recently of a big stem cell research conference, which the younging (opposite of aging?) fashionista attended, I suppose, to show everybody how smooth his skin was and how sparkly his eyes were becoming once again.

Sane people are expressing skepticism about Nygård’s claim. The Bahamas’ frantic effort to become a global stem cell research center, too, is causing people there to welcome any and all claimants about that particular biotechnology, no matter how off the wall they are.

Painting by Ivan Albright

Painting By Numbers

Great, now not only are the rich insensitive to the needs of people and the planet, they’re becoming deranged. Happy 21st Century, everybody!

Okay Old

Sophia Anastasiou-Wasik is my oldest friend. That is, she’s been my friend for longer than anyone else. One day, though, she may be my oldest friend in the strict, years-on-this-planet sense.

She’s aging. And she isn’t hiding it. See, she’s an artist of many disciplines, sort of a Renaissance dame. She’s fiddling with her camera these days, shooting herself in what most of America would consider the most unflattering way possible.

While people innumerable stand on their heads to make the general public think they’re 10, 20, hell, even 30 years younger than they actually are, SAW is busy pointing out her own wrinkles, sags, stretches, and splotches. If you don’t see the beauty in these “flaws,” well then, the advertising agencies and the health and beauty industry have about a million tips for you.

Let’s look at a couple of her pix from her Middle Aged Skin collection:

Photo by Sophia Anastasiou-Wasik

Photo by Sophia Anastasiou-Wasik

Age, the old adage goes, before beauty.

Your Daily Hot Air

Blood Feud

The Loved One pitched this link my way last night:

From AdWeek

Seems that last fall, some guy from the usually insufferable United Kingdom posted a rant on FB, calling out a British manufacturer of menstrual pads for lying. To him.

Yep. This chap, named Richard Neill, wrote that all his early life he’d assumed women who were being visited by Aunt Flo were having a bang-up time, running and jumping and grinning like maniacs. At least that’s what he gleaned from adverts (don’t these Brits have a cutesy way with words sometimes?)

By the time he became old enough to hang around with women and they started letting him know when it was time for the Clean-up in Aisle 1, he realized that the sloughing off of the uterine and vaginal linings didn’t signal several days of bliss — either for the sloughee or for any human beings within a several-mile radius of her.

In fact, as many of us who strive not to be fooled by corporate adspeak (read: lying) know, those monthly three-to-five days often — way, way, way too often — are among the the most harrowing of our lives.

From "Psycho"

So, Neill called out the Bodyform outfit via social media and — whaddya know? — his post captured better than a hundred thousand Likes. And Bodyform, rather than call for the RAF to bomb the man’s home, decided to have a little fun.

The company produced a slick vid featuring the company CEO (played by an actress) apologizing for misleading the women (and men) of the world (or at least its market share of the orb). The actress-as-CEO looks meaningfully into the camera as she recites her mea culpa. Then she says, “I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, but there’s no such thing as a happy period. The reality is, some people simply can’t handle the truth.” She then tells Richard he’s blown the cover off Bodyform’s efforts to protect men from the truth about women’s beastly time, this over images of men weeping and gnashing their teeth. “You, Richard, have torn down that veil and exposed this myth.”

Aw, hell, watch the vid for yourself. This, my fellow Pencillistas, is creative advertising.

Funny, no? It makes me wish Barack Obama and the Dems had done something similar when Me Party-ists, Birthers, and other whack-a-doodles started accusing the president of everything from socialism to Manchurian Candidacy to failure to brush his teeth after every meal.

It certainly couldn’t have been less successful than the strategy they’ve used thus far.

You’ve Been A Naughty Little Girl

More evidence that too many fundamentalist Christians are really sexual fetishists in disguise: There’s a lively group of Obsessive Lovers of An Invisible Friend in the Sky who follow a path they call Christian Domestic Discipline.


The idea being, the king of the household must maintain order within his cellblock…, er, home, by spanking the little woman now and again.

How quaint. And biblical.

And, let’s be frank: Hot!

Well, for some.

Many of us — your loyal e-Pencil-weilding correspondent included — don’t dig pain. In fact, I’ve dedicated my life to the avoidance of it. But I’m an open-minded fellow so I say if you need pain to get off, then go get whipped.


The Sanctity Of Marriage

When it comes to sex, my philosophy is anything goes, as long as kids, explosives, and animals aren’t involved. (The bestial scene is so icky, you know?)

Anyways, who are these CDD folks trying to kid, beside themselves? Not I, that’s fer shur. Correction, they are trying to fool me but I ain’t falling for it.

There can be no reason on god’s green (and purple-y bruised) Earth why a man would feel the need to whip his helpmeet unless he was getting off on it. There, I’ve said it.

And any helpmeet who sticks around for said whipping also must be getting engorged in the nethers when the whip comes down. I’ve said it again.

Yet this gang of CDD-ers insists the Big Daddy-o wants us all to play master-and-slave.

This religion racket is the damnedest thing, no?

[h/t to Jezebel.]

When The Whip Comes Down