Well, it’s not really a problem. It’s more like a bladder-control insult. Or is it a bladder-control identity crisis?
Who do advertisers think I am? I see as many TV ads for incontinence, motorized carts, and funeral-expense insurance as I do for Toyota and McDonalds. The marketing people clearly believe I am interested in these products.
Here are the shows I actively watch: The Walking Dead on AMC, Elementary on CBS, and Face Off on Syfy. By “actively” I mean going out of my way to keep up with the latest episode. It’s during these programs that I see the ads for cars and fast food.
Otherwise, I indulge my obsession with early 1970s pop culture by watching trashy horror and action flicks and the occasional rerun of Soul Train. I just can’t say “no” to an early Roger Moore Bond movie or any film with a muscle car involved in a chase as horns blare and a funky guitar goes waka-waka on the soundtrack.
“But Baker,” you say. “Those commercials are aimed at people who were already adults when those shows and movies were new. Duh.” To that I say: Soul Train went on the air in 1971. It was broadcast on Saturday mornings and was geared for teens and tweens trying to get hip to the latest songs and dance moves. Even the oldest original viewers can’t be more than 60. These advertisers are simply trying to hook us in early, just like the tobacco companies try to hook children in early by depicting Dora the Explorer smoking Kool cigarettes.
They do that, right?
The point is, the marketing people are convinced I am rapidly declining.
Come on! I play drums. I go see the latest Quentin Tarantino movies. I drink Vitamin Water Zero. I obviously live life on the edge. So why do I know so much about Gold Bond Medicated Powder and Tom Kruze, inventor of the Hoveround? Why am I reminded again and again that I can have adult undergarments discreetly shipped to my house at a surprisingly low cost?
Lately I’ve become worried about my final expenses, thanks to all the depressing commercials. Given the history of longevity in my family, that probably won’t be an issue for 50 years, but who knows what funerals will cost in 2063? It’s well known that advertisers play to your fears and make you paranoid. And you know who is really paranoid? Old people.
See? It’s working. They’re trying to turn me into an old guy. I’ll bet, when we’re not looking, they use Hoverounds for bumper cars and adult undergarments for coffee filters.
I’d go on detailing this conspiracy, but I really have to pee.
(Note use of hip, youthful sign-off that entered the lexicon no earlier than 1990)
Enjoy some 1970s car chasing courtesy of the Cleopatra Jones series. Why none of them ever won an Oscar for Best Picture, I’ll never know.