Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Commercial Grade

Yesterday, my wife and I were part of another I-Cubs Concessions extravaganza. It was fun and busy. I couldn't believe how slowly time went, though and, as before, my legs and feet hurt A LOT after the game.

But, this post isn't about all that!

I wanted to talk about commercials. Yes, they are always in the way when you are watching your favorite TV show and they always seem to be on the radio during the morning drive to work instead of music.

Commercials, just by nature, are quite annoying. But, oh, how important they are! Commercials are what let us know that we need to run out and get a large Coke in the middle of "American Idol" and that our air conditioner isn't running correctly during the nightly viewing of "King of Queens."

The local commercials, like the air conditioning one, are always the best. Not because they are well made or that they have a useful message, but because, at least here in Des Moines, they all have the same male vocalist singing their terrible theme song. But, those terrible theme songs are so darn catchy.

Who can forget: "We obey the rules to live by...Golden Rule, plumbing, heating and cooling." Or everyone's favorite: "Savor the TASTE and dining exPERience, Cosi Cucina." There is also the Thrasher Service theme song and the Anchored Walls song. All of which are sung, presumably, by the same guy.

I can still remember, well, part of a theme song from local Kansas City TV growing up: "Call ' seven', anytime night or day." Okay, so I don't remember all of the telephone numbers, but I know the melody and it sticks in the brain. I can even see the little white repair men and black bird on the navy blue screen. I wonder if that is still a commercial today? It's a classic, so I'm sure it is.

A commercial that I particularly like on TV right now is one for Arby's. Two men, one dressed as a baker and the other as a mariachi guitar player, are running towards each other in a field. The message isn't the funny part to me, but the choice of song: "Oh, sweet mystery of life at last I found thee..." Which, as anyone knows, is a song featured in the classic funny movie "Young Frankenstein", which is one of my favorites! Therefore, I have a connection to the commercial and it makes me want a new Arby's Flatbread Mexican...thingy.

There is a humorous commercial on the radio that always makes me think of my's a parody of the drug commercial "I learned it by watching you." Except, this is a commercial for Burger King in which the Whopper Jr. is looking at old ads of the regular Whopper (his dad) from the closet. The ads say that the original Whopper was sold for "less than a buck" at one time, so why can't the Whopper Jr. do the same. The dialogue from the father saying, "How can you think that you can sell yourself for a buck, Whopper Jr.?" and the tag line being "I learned it by watching you."

Commercials are annoying and, as I said, usually in the way, but I'm sure you can list a few of your favorites off the top of your head and I'm even more sure you have jingles going around in your brain at certain times during the day.

Hey, if commercials weren't so popular or important, we probably wouldn't have TV shows dedicated to them at the end of ever year...counting down the best commercials of the year. We probably wouldn't go to a Super Bowl party "just for the game." And we certainly wouldn't know that we need a ketchup dripping, mayonnaise spurting quadruple thick burger from Hardee's (or Carl's Jr. for you non-Midwesterners) at 10:30 at night.

Question: What is your favorite commercial of all time?


  1. I found the theme song I was thinking of from way back when. It's for Midwestern Construction. If you'd like to take a listen, follow this link, then click on "Goodies" towards the bottom of the page and then click on Jingle. Happy listening!

  2. Oh, it's funny that you found that commercial - and yes, they do still play it. I haven't seen that BK commercial, though!! That's so funny!

    Of course, since you asked, I can't think of my favorite commercials. But I have many. I kind of like commercials. Probably has something to do with my career and whatnot.

    Test Pattern, an MSNBC blog, does a best and worst commercial thing every summer. Have you ever read it? Here's a link: