Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Make it stop

If you suffer from Misophonia you might not want to continue with this post.

Or, if you suffer from crotchety 44 year old freelance copywriter bitching about crappy ads on TV, you might also want move it along, there's nothing to see here.

If however you are like my wife and I, I suspect you share a guttural, stomach-turning experience every time one particular Beneful dog food commercial graces our screen.

This has nothing to do with my bipolar feelings towards dogs.

As readers of this column know I am a dog lover and I'm still heartbroken over the loss my rescue retriever mix, Nellie, a little more than three months ago. I loved my dog.

My neighbor's dogs, with the constant yapping, yard-shitting and 3 AM barking wake up calls, not so much.

This little rant has more to do with advertising than animal husbandry.

Feast your eyes on the commercial in question. I could only find the 15 second version of the spot, but you'll be thanking me for not posting the longer snuff-film variation.

I managed to get through 6 seconds of it again before the little hairs on my toes started sprouting new hairs of their own.

The grain-free food might be bursting with pumpkin and chicken and blueberry and spinach, yum, but it's also got a bushel's worth of cringeworthiness.

Every time we see it, we make a mad dash for the remote control.But sadly the double AA batteries are on their last legs. By the time we attempt to change the channel or mute the volume, the masticating dog has ear-wormed himself into our brains and made us nauseous for the next 90 minutes. And we're already halfway into the Liberty Mutual spot about that cloying woman and her boyfriend/car named Brad.

This is where a little bit of knowledge can be scary.

I know, and many of you know, that before a commercial makes it to the airwaves it goes through rounds and rounds of post-production. Every flaw must be fixed. Every pixel must be polished. Every decibel must be deconstructed for optimal persuasiveness.

That means this spot, and its more tortuous 30 second kin, has been pored over at least 100, perhaps 200 times by the sound mixer. In a dark, sound proof room. With booming industrial grade speakers.

My heart aches for that poor man. Or woman.

I can't help but to be reminded of the theme song from MASH: Suicide is painless.

1 comment:

Marc Lucas said...

Don't feel sorry for the actor.
Residuals heal all wounds.