Note: Today’s offering is by humorist John Matonich, a fellow Yooper who came downstate, endured you Trolls for a long time, did well in da business world, then retired and returned to da homeland. His first book “Surveyin’ Da Situation” (yes, he’s a former surveyor) is available on Amazon. — Andy.
By John Matonich
Sometimes it really irks me when advertisers are stereotypical. I mean come on, is it always necessary to make assumptions when they select the appropriate medium for their ads? For example, I was having lunch the other day and the restaurant had ESPN playing on the TV. In fact, they were showing highlights of the Champions Golf Tour past known as the Senior Golf Tour. Now, if I had the choice to watch senior golf over grass growing, I most times would choose the grass, but the rest of the diners were content with golf.
When it came time for a commercial, it was announced the program was brought to you by Cadillac. I had to wonder if advertisers think if you can afford to watch the Champions Tour, you must be able to afford to drive a Cadillac. That might be possible, but I didn’t see any of the patrons in the restaurant paying much attention to the ads. In fact, I swear I saw a couple of folks glance outside to check the length of the grass. I wonder if any more attention would have been paid if the ads dealt with plaid pants or funny hats or some other golf paraphernalia.
Of course, the afternoon programming during the week is full of ads geared to the smarter sex (I hope my wife reads this). Clothing, hygiene, children’s’ cold medicine and the like bombard the viewer. Fortunately, I am rarely in a position to be home that time of the day, so I am not subjected to it. I have wondered, though, if any ads for monster truck rallies or World Wrestling Federation matches ever make it to the TV screen on a weekday afternoon.
What really set me off, though was an ad in one of my woodworking magazines. I do enjoy the normal array of tool ads and ads for books/DVDs that are supposed to teach you 64,000 ways to rout a door. I don’t even mind the ads from the magazine itself telling me why I should subscribe to their magazine that I am already a subscriber to.
The ad that touched a chord was a full page ad showing a kindly white-haired gentleman bending over a table saw with a new hearing aid barely visible in his ear. The wording said something about his hearing aid being the best tool in his shop.
I am sorry, but I have a problem with this ad. First, while I am a fanatical woodworker, I am not white haired (some might also say, not much of a gentleman, either). Also, not all people that love to play in the sawdust are from the senior set. Most importantly, no self-respecting woodworker would say the most important tool in his or her shop is a hearing aid. Maybe if the most important tool in this guy’s shop was hearing protection he wouldn’t need the hearing aid in the first place.
After taking out a pen and drawing a mustache, beard and a tattoo that simply said “Mom” on the guy in the ad, I felt better and went on to look for an ad for a miracle saw blade.
Maybe I am just being too hard on advertisers, but I am sure we have all seen ads that have raised our blood pressure or just make us shake our head. I am glad, though, that I have yet to see any hygiene product ads in my woodworking magazines, so I guess I ought to be thankful.
And that’s the Situation as I Survey it …..
John Matonich is back home in Da U.P. after a 35-year stint below Da Bridge. His column will appear here occasionally.