I’ll Bet You
I’ve written this before (as have many gambling authors) but life has many gambles from marriage to having children to figuring out which movie to see tonight with your honey bunny. Marriage is a coin flip; children are examples of genetic roulette and movies are usually not all that satisfying.
But television commercials have bets too; some of them bizarre; some that make little sense and some that are downright frightening. Here are some of them:
Actor William Devane has a new career. He pitches gold and silver for a company called Rosland Capital that markets such precious metals. His pitch is simple and exact: “Safeguard your wealth with gold and silver from Rosland Capital.”
Oh, yes, Mr. Devane goes into all the reasons gold and silver are great investments and how our crummy monetary system is losing its power and how to protect yourself from what appears to be a coming collapse. His Rosland Capital is not the only company that does this but it is a great example of marketing an idea which is (for all intents and purposes) really weird.
How so? Well, if gold and silver are such great investments why is Rosland Capital selling their gold and silver for the very currency that is about to take a major fall? I mean isn’t their gold and silver worth more than the crummy currency with which we buy these metals? Why would Rosland Capital be so stupid?
Now, I’ll bet you that Rosland Capital has an ace up their sleeve that they are not sharing with us. What do you think of that bet? Is Rosland doing something we should be doing instead of buying their gold and silver?
What about Cialis tablets? The commercials show good looking couples in their 50s (give or take), always in shape and charming, doing something such as swimming or dancing and then the announcer says something to the effect that the husband longs for an erection to, well, you get the idea.
If he is taking Cialis then he is ready to go at “it” with abandon. His wife looks oh so happy too.
The commercial makes a point of not showing a fat, lumbering gargantuan whose erection days are long behind him. Instead it teases you that a man’s erection might last (oh, my lord!) four hours. Go to a hospital emergency room and proudly proclaim to all and sundry, “I’ve had an erection for over four hours now!”
The Cialis commercials end with a truly strange image of the husband and wife in separate bathtubs. I’ll bet you that they would have even better sex had they bathed before they became, as Shakespeare wrote in Othello, “the beast with two backs.” I’ll bet bathing afterwards put some kind of damper on their rock and rolling during it.
Cars, those darn cars, racing around roads, through parking lots, up and down mountains and coasts with a good-looking man and often an amazingly beautiful woman egging him on with a picture-perfect smile that is also a sexy come hither.
These commercials have (in really, really small print) the disclaimer that the driver is a professional so that speeding like a maniac on a closed course is perfectly fine for this guy.
Most men (and these commercials are geared towards men) don’t bother reading the small print. Instead they buy the car (also figuring the beautiful woman might find him driving such a car worthy of a perhaps Cialis-fueled night of rumpy pumpy).
So what happens to some of these amateur drivers racing through the days and nights on America’s highways, parkways and streets? They crash and perhaps kill others and themselves in the process. I’ll bet that many nutty drivers have been lured by such commercials to drive with abandon – meaning abandoning their lives and perhaps the lives of others.
Medicine ads are the most frightening. I don’t want any of the diseases that these drugs supposedly cure. Here’s an example of one such generic commercial:
Image: A healthy-looking woman scampers through the high grass, her dress breezing out behind her; her hair flowing in the wonderful waves of wind as she proclaims, “I used to suffer from constant diarrhea and forceful expelling of rancid gases. I couldn’t go out to eat with friends or my beloved husband. But now I take Squeeze It Off and I am a new woman.”
Then the announcer’s calming voice comes on (while we see images of the woman happily dancing like a dervish, playing tennis and jumping up and down playing volleyball): “Do not take Squeeze It Off if you are allergic to the following drugs [huge list of drugs cited], or have been in countries where there are fungal infections or malaria. Can cause diarrhea [yes, the symptom is also the side effect], headaches, back pain, joint pain, depression, suicidal thoughts, drowsiness, hair loss, rashes, coma and death. If you experience any of these symptoms immediately see a doctor.”
The commercial ends with the woman walking down the street hand in hand with her husband as she says, “I am a new woman.” The husband smiles.
I’ll bet many people are as I am with these commercials. They think, “Oh, please don’t ever let me have constant diarrhea and forceful expelling of rancid gases.”
Frank Scoblete’s recent books are I Am a Dice Controller: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Craps, Confessions of a Wayward Catholic and I Am a Card Counter: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Blackjack. Frank’s books are available on Amazon.com, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, and at bookstores.