My fellow Galley Slave David Skinner has written a charming Casual in this week's Weekly Standard about his love for television commercials and, conversely, his distaste for shows like CSI. (But is he referring to CSI: Miami, CSI: Las Vegas, CSI: New York, or CSI: Punxsutawney?) I am partially with David in that there certainly are entertaining commercials such as for Volkswagen, which he mentions, and almost anything produced by ESPN. I also enjoyed those NFL/United Way ads putting supersized players in unconventional situations. (And yes, I am fully aware of the financial turmoil besetting the United Way. Nevertheless, you can't help but laugh when former Dolphins receiver O.J. McDuffie finds himself conned by a 6-year-old during a Pokemon card trade.)
On the other hand, of late, the number of wholly obnoxious on-air ads vastly exceeds the number of amusing ones--for every Volkswagen commercial there are at least ten truly annoying Capital One "What's in your wallet?" promos featuring barbarians, Vikings, snow monsters, barbarian Vikings, barbarian snow monsters, and barbarian Viking snow monsters. And remember when you loved Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll"? Now, if you hear it, you half-expect a Cadillac Escalade to come roaring through, leaving behind it a trail of flames and scorched earth.
Consider it a minor dissent.
13 hours ago