Monday, 7 May 2012

Commercials and Brain Drain

Welcome guest author S.A Garcia to Four Strong Women!

A series of commercials for a fancy phone featuring a certain familiar fruit icon clog the TV waves. The commercials show people asking silly questions of the device or, and this is scary, asking the device to remind them to do things.

Why do so many tech commercials portray the consumer who purchases the gadget / service / technology as either a tech addict or an irritating doofus? I don’t understand the context.

Advertising used to promote a message that “this product makes you cooler and sexier than those sad plebeians swarming around you.” I don’t know, maybe my cranky old brain doesn’t understand hipster irony. Does the word hipster still apply? Wait, it did as of 5.6 seconds ago. Sorry, sounds I am already out of the loop.

No matter, this is my ragged soapbox. A “Hey, kids, get off my sidewalk!” spirit fills me. I love this moment because I do not have a front yard and, face it, I can’t tell kids not to walk on the sidewalk. I just smile and nod at them.

The opposite advertising trend started back, erm, gee, I’m too old to remember the exact commercial that made me sit and think, “Wait, they just showed that if I purchase their tech product, I will act moronic. Why does that make me want to purchase said product?”

Trust me, I can act moronic on my own. I don’t need to purchase products to help me increase my moron potential.

Let me sort through my mental files for examples. Ah, there, remember a certain mail-order video game company’s commercials? They showed people who played bad video games slamming their fists through walls, throwing TVs off balconies and performing destructive stunts because their video games sucked. Really? At least the message was more of a “purchase games through us and you will stop acting violent.” Still, it made me think that people who play video games need to seek psychiatric attention or at least not live in apartments with balconies. I feared for everyone below the throw zone.

And yeah, back to those fancy phone commercials. In the latest one, a young woman asks her phone if she hears rain. Then she asks about ordering tomato soup for delivery. Tomato soup? What? Next she asks the phone to reminder her to clean up tomorrow because today she wants to dance.

Say what? This commercial tells me a) she’s too clueless to realize that rain falls outside her window; b) she can’t open a can or container of tomato soup or, wait, perhaps navigating around a grocery store is too challenging; c) her memory is shot; d) she has nothing better to do than dance.

Don’t get me started on the other phone commercial which portrays a young couple merrily driving across the US sans a map or a clue. “Yeah, we ran out of gas in the middle of nowhere because oh gee, we forgot to tell our fancy phone to remind us when we needed gas. Tee-hee, we’re too hipster cute and in big old luuuuv to look at the nasty old gas gauge.”

Yeah, what the hell, guess I have watched 2001: A Space Odyssey too many times. The idea of relying on a phone to run a person’s life is spooky.

Yet if one of the phone commercials shows phone owner Dave naming the phone Hal, I will feel tickled. Better yet, the commercial needs to show the phone whispering this to Dave: “Dave, you want me to remind you that today you will strip naked, paint yourself red and run in circles out in the park while screaming ‘I am an apple!’ Have a nice day, Dave.”

Now that is a commercial I can appreciate.

Shameless Promo Moment: My next m/m romantic comedy, An Elf for All Centuries, is available for pre-sale at Silver Publishing.

Elven model Fabion’s day is perfect until wizard Matradorian kidnaps him. Surprise, Fabion is a spiritual match for elf king Henda’s dead lover. Only he can save the dying Henda. Fabion controls himself from punching Matradorian, saves Henda and falls in instant lust with his romantic fantasy.

Fabion realizes his polluted, on the verge of ruin thirty-ninth century is gone. The Prince pitches the temper tantrum of any century until he realizes sexy Henda accepts him as his true lover. Being the virile, handsome Henda’s lover fills Fabion’s emotional gap. The former super model decides to accept life in the backwards century.

Soon Fabion learns the nineteenth century is more dangerous than his vanished thirty-ninth century. Who wants to kill him now? And why?

S.A.G’s Bio: I can never decide between red or white wine. The same goes for my art: creating visual art and word art occupied my professional life until word art triumphed.

Reading Gordon Merrick at age nineteen sounded a wake-up call about gay fiction but didn’t encourage me to test the publishing waters. My stories did not deserve any notice. Running B-Side, an indie music magazine, helped to develop my dialogue and description skills. While traveling to interview bands, writing gay romantic fiction percolated in the background. Thirty years of gay romance lurks in notebooks and the computer. I just started tapping into my ideas and do not plan to stop.

When not obsessing over unique ways to describe erotic encounters, I enjoy reading, gardening or more like trying not to kill everything, traveling, arguing politics and teaching my house bunnies tricks. Unfortunately, the furry furies refuse to answer e-mails or blog posts. They also refuse to clean their own litter boxes. Brats. I also enjoy cooking for my beloved partner because she endures the endless experiments with grace.

I hope my manic devotion to words and romance connects with my readers. Is that a sincere enough ending? Drat, the sentiment needs work. Blame my sloppy muse.

Now for my bio’s promo section:

In 2011 Dreamspinner Press released the romantic fantasy Canes and Scales, the dark comedy To Save A Shining Soul, sad short Baron’s Last Hunt and the sci-fi dramedy Divine Devine’s Love Song, although I don’t think readers know about Divine. My next short novella, “Love in Focus,” is due in June as part of DPS’s Time is Eternity, anthology.

Silver Publishing unleashed sexy incubus Amando and his story Temptation of the Incubus in October 2011. Amando fights with brat Prince Fabion over their sexual ranking in my writing pantheon. Ah, the boys need their exercise.


Faith said...

Any kind of commercial except the e-trade baby ones typically drive me crazy.

S.A. Garcia said...

Sorry, I want to give the e-trade baby a serious case of diaper rash.

Faith said...


I'll tell you one that gets on my last nerve and that's T-Mobile's commercials with the girl that always wears pink. I dunno what it is about that girl but I'll get up and leave the room when she comes on.

S.A. Garcia said...

Oh yes, the perky T-Moblie woman. In truth ALL cell phone commercials drive me nuts. The AT&T commercials where everyone acts like snarky junior high students :"That's so 24 seconds ago" make me turn purple.

Toni V.S. said...

Well, her name isn't Hal but they do have that commercial with the GPS which speaks in that oh-so-quiet Hal-like voice. There are some commercials I hate so I mute them as soon as they start.

Faith said...

There's that one for the jeweler Jared's who speaks like that. And there's the one who does the voice for Ooma too. Oy!

Anthology Authors said...

There are numerous commercials I don't care for. It's one of the many reasons I love DVRs. (g) BTW, my daughter, who is 7, loves the e-Trade baby commercials. While she is very bright, what does that tell you about commercials?


Faith said...

I don't know what it is about the e-Trade baby commercials but they crack me up. I love the one where the friend baby is on the place and he's crying so e-Trade baby yells "swallow!" so his ears will pop.

The ones I absolutely despise are the ones with that stupid wee-weeing pig in them. They're enough to make me run out into traffic.

Faith said...

I meant *plane* not place, gah.

S.A. Garcia said...

Sometimes I wonder if ANY commercials work. I'm trying to think of one where I sat up and went "really? Ooo, please, I want to know more."

Still thinking. Hmm. *dum-te-dum*

Nope, nothing bubbles up from my mental swamp.

S.A. Garcia said...

So really, no one could think of a commercial that made them want to investigate said product?

There you go, commercials are failures!

Jaime Samms said...

All I can say about commercials is...PVR. Nothing so good and right was ever invented as the fast forward button on my remote control.

S.A. Garcia said...

Jaime, guess I am the only Luddite still watching some shows on regular old TV. Something about self-torment comes to mind...

Faith said...

S.A., we have a channel here in SE Ohio that's called Retro. It has all the programs from the 60s up to the 80s on it. Some of them I don't even remember when I was very li'l, but the hubby does.

S.A. Garcia said...

Faith, I watch our local news because I have a crush on the weather woman. I suffer the commercials for her.