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Chocolate, Orgasms and Mama’s Pizza

Several weeks ago I decided to watch an international rugby tournament and turned on the TV to find that the playing field was covered with nine advertisements. That’s nine adverts right on the field. The players ran across a patchwork of different rectangles and squares, large and small, of varying colours with numerous logos and messages. It was incredibly distracting, and annoying. And, of course, the ads were painted on the field in such a way that to those of us watching on TV they looked like they were standing up. I tuned the TV off.

Sports uniforms now display corporate logos front and centre. You often have to search to find the team logo. A while back I tried watching Samsung versus Standard Chartered on the Dove for Men playing field officiated by Emirate. Sports stadiums are named after corporations – long gone are the grand old names like Candlestick Park. While watching a baseball game on TV I was fascinated by how the commentary and advertising were melded together. It went something like this:

Well the count on Johnson is 3 and 2. Ford trucks. They’re tough. They’re the trucks for you. Here comes the pitch and it’s a high deep fly to right centre. O’Conner is at the warning track and its out three. Mama’s Pizza. If you want traditional pizza, you want Mama’s Pizza. As we go into the ninth we’re all tied at 9 and 9.

I exaggerate only slightly. Honestly.

On TV the station logo is now prominently displayed in the upper left hand corner of my screen, sometimes large and in bright primary colours. I guess the powers that be are afraid I will forget the station I’m watching. And if the logo isn’t bad enough, many stations now offer little messages under the logo, usually advertising an up-coming programme. Apparently I have no way of finding out this information. For a third of the time one actor or another has his or her face covered by the logo. Interestingly, when the show goes to commercial break the logo and message completely disappear. If you have ever wondered what your TV station thinks of you, stop wondering. Your viewing pleasure is secondary to self-promotion and advertising bucks.

(During TV commercials I mute the sound, but when I go to the movies I am forced to learn what they are actually about. Unfortunately, I can’t mute while sitting in the theatre. Even though I have paid a handsome price for my ticket, I still have to sit through twenty minutes or more of TV ads.)

Advertising can be informative, of course. For instance, there are particular products that guarantee a female orgasm. If TV ads are anything to go by, most chocolate bars will give a woman an orgasm, as will yogurt. But not just any yogurt, mind you. You have to get that really creamy one. Get the creamy one and I can almost guarantee all women readers they will have an orgasm. And speaking of women in the state of sexual arousal, I have to say cat food commercials are particularly disturbing. The relationship between women and their cats at feeding time is something to behold. My grandmother would never understand, though the cats seem to enjoy the experience.

I was walking down our high street (main street in America) and at a bus stop was an almost full size picture of a very beautiful woman in very revealing lingerie (there was more skin then lingerie visible). I turned to my wife and said something like this:

I really try to be a good guy, to respect women, and you, and our marriage. I try to keep my fantasies in check, remaining as wholesome as possible. But I’m surrounded by beautiful women without clothes. It’s not right that I have to fight getting an erection while walking down the street minding my own business.

Let’s face it. Advertising would almost cease to exist without women’s bodies.

You might think that if turn off my TV and radio and never leave the house I could escape advertising. Of course that’s nonsense. Though my front door almost every day comes advertising. Here’s a little break down:

  • Food: Pronto Pizza; Pronto Grill House; Papa John’s Pizza; Domino’s Pizza; Pizza Hut; Charlie’s Ristorante Italiano & Pizzeria; New Balti Tandoori; and Peking Express.
  • Real Estate: Ellis and Co; and MG Martyn Gerrard Estate Agents.
  • Entertainment: Virgin Media; Park Theatre.
  • Travel: Travelsphere – Europe & World Wide; Voyages to Antiquity – Cruises to Classical Civilisations; Mature Traveller.
  • Health: Golden Charter; Lloyds Pharmacy –Health for Life; Zumba – Fitness with Julia (Julie is, of course, a real looker); AXA PPP Healthcare – Redefining Standards.
  • Insurance: Blue Cross for Pets; Direct Line.
  • Taxis: bentXcars; Diamond Cars; Hendon Cars.
  • General Services: – Same day Repair Centre; LondonTownGardens – Artificial Grass (always looks its best); The Mobile Furniture Company; Rubbishcut – Rubbish Removal; CSN Management Ltd. (building work, painting, wallpapering, flooring, etc.); Sylvia’s Cleaning Service.

And that’s just in the last two weeks.

I’m trapped. There’s nowhere to turn. There’s no escape. If my wife were sitting in a hospital bed breast feeding our new born baby, a private company would walk up and hand her a flier detailing their services. When I turn on my Kindle one advert after another appears (you can pay to have this stop in the U.S. but not in the UK). Advertising is everywhere, intruding upon my life in ways unimaginable when I was a kid. Which I guess only goes to show, I’ve become an old fart. I mean, people watch the Superbowl for the commercials. What’s that about?

Copyright © 2013 Dale Rominger

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