Monday, September 14, 2009

You lie!

Oh, this is not some screed about Joe Wilson, the sorry state of South Carolina, or the death of civility in public discourse, though I could, of course, go on about any of those topics. This is about the actual words "you lie."

Last night, perhaps it was the Sunday evening blues, I turned on the TV and just fairly mindlessly watched. (I'm not sure that there's any other way to watch. Anything that's on is fairly mindless.)

In any event I happened to see two separate commercials with housewives--you know, blonde, pert and happy to do the wash--saying how much they love Clorox. Love. That is the word they used. Love.

"You lie!" I yelled. "You lie!" But these women went on. Holding the plastic bottle up to their cheeks like a newborn baby's arse. Pouring an ounce of the stuff into their wash and breathing in the freshness of their pink sweaters. "I love Clorox."

This is the shit that we do in our industry. The clients love Clorox because it pays for their Volvo wagon. The women in the focus groups love Clorox because they're benzedrined out on M&Ms and diet cokes and being paid to say they love it. The actresses on set love clorox because the account people and creatives better get the actresses to say it with conviction or the account will go into review and they'll never work again.

I love Clorox. It makes my whites whiter and my colors bright!

You lie!


Teenie said...

So true! Yet the client push their products on us like they're the second coming of Christ--even though they wouldn't discuss their dang Clorox with their families over Christmas dinner if you paid them.

Well, OK, maybe if you paid them.

Unknown said...

The problem is that, partly thanks to advertising, many formerly strong words have completely lost their meaning. And advertising, especially in the fmcg category, has mostly been a parody of itself for many years. Produced by agencies or clients without a hint of irony. The blinders on. The same lame ideas over and over.