Dumbed-Down Commercials

I suppose I really shouldn’t try to analyze television commercials, but here goes, anyway:

A current one for a Toyota something-or-other has a man entering a roomful of kids watching TV. After he fails to get their attention by merely saying “hello,” he snaps off the TV, whereupon the whole bunch is next shown heading off to a sleep-out under the stars. The clear message is, buy our vehicle, turn off the TV, reclaim your family, live happily ever-after. Carried to its logical extreme, however, if everyone turned off the TV, who would be left watching this commercial?

Another one, unfortunately also for cars, helps explain why we might have an obesity problem in the United States. GM would like us to “save” our “pushes” (button pushes) until we get to the showroom, to enter their contest and see if we’ve won a new car. One version of the commercial shows a NASA engineer refusing to push the launch button. Have things turned so bad, that we don’t have enough energy to push both buttons? Or, on the other hand, are we so superstitious as to believe that we have to save our luck?

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