All those crazy ads

Watching entirely too much television has given me knowledge of exactly what’s advertised via this particular communication system. It’s unbelievable at times just what advertisers are willing to do just to get their products on our TV sets and into our mind.

First, I realize, as do we all, that without ads we wouldn’t be privileged to see all of the wonderful shows we see daily. It wasn’t always like this, especially for old folks like me. We remember the old radio days when television was a dream we didn’t think would ever be possible. Silly folks we were, for now we have more beautifully colored shows, movies, and especially educational programs that have absolutely changed our lives.

Remembering all too well, that awful first 10-inch TV set we had back in the day, my son Doug and I were talking about our favorite shows over the years. Lately we’ve been watching old cowboy movies like the Lone Ranger and Roy Rogers and laughing our heads off at the terrible acting. Then there have been those musicals with tons of dancing girls and the big bands like Glenn Miller.

What’s so sad about those musicals is that they were all in black and white. That took so much away from just how beautiful it all must have been. My favorite “old” features were the mysteries. Remember Charlie Chan and Agatha Christie? Every once in awhile they’ll bring back those wonderful old shows and this gal won’t move from the sofa. My current favorite show is “Blue Bloods.”

It’s, I believe, the finest ever produced for television with a wonderful cast, including Tom Selleck. Of course there are lots of really excellent new programs arriving all the time. Then there are seasonal programs like “Dancing With The Stars,” a bachelor show and “America’s Got Talent. That last one the favorite at our house. If you miss this one turn it on, it is amazing watching how much talent people have. It boggles the mind.

I love cooking shows. My special favorite is the “Pioneer Woman” who cooks the kind of food you and I cook at home. Too many of those fancy cooking shows include items that we probably can’t even find in Fallon. They too often include all kinds of wine that we would use once and never use again.

Now onto the topic of ads that pay for all of the above, and there are some real doozies. Is that a word? Doug has been helping my trying to remember the ads we watch, laugh at, and turn off and some that we thoroughly enjoy. One is a commercial from an insurance company. It takes place on the Maury Povich show and includes something doing with “Doug” being the father.

Another insurance ad includes Doug, and Rick my son’s best friend’s name. Still another has a “scapegoat” named Rick eating something off an assembly line. There are more with “Doug” but all I could do was laugh. Have you noticed the ton of assorted people doing an insurance ad with the Statue of Liberty in the background? What is this supposed to mean, that the insurance company is as pure as the statue, or something?

Having seen this ad so many times, my hand immediately picks up the remote to change the channel. Then, of course, there’s the stupid ad that has a woman talking about her insurance and a safe driving bonus. Her voice suddenly changes to that of a man’s, a well-known actor we would immediately recognize. Why do they do this? Perhaps my favorite ads are the insurance ads with “Flo.”

Although not endorsing the product and being optimistic, I hope they’ll continue until I’m a 100. Who doesn’t just love Flo? She’s everywhere, and while I don’t have her insurance company, I appreciate the variety of the commercials. I hope they keep doing more and more with this very talented woman. However, my favorite ad is for my insurance company, which will go unnamed.

It shows a man driving a motorcycle with a sidecar. He’s pulling one of those tiny “you can only sleep two people in this thing” trailers. All I can ever think about, as I watch this ad, is how my son Doug and I could use that motorcycle with the sidecar. Can you imagine seeing Doug and I driving into town in one of those things? Watch out, here come Doug and Edna, get out of the way!

Edna Van Leuven is a Churchill County writer and columnist. She may be reached at


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