Giant Termites and Dead Carpets

Has anybody else noticed that suddenly, after years of Hard Sell, a handful of commercials on TV are clever and entertaining again?

One of my favorite things about traveling to England (which I haven’t been able to do for several years) was watching their TV ads.  Often the ads were better than the programming.  Sometimes the ads would be so witty you’d forget that they were advertising. Occasionally they even seemed to be mocking the product they were selling. 

I can remember a time when a few American TV commercials were entertaining,  and now they are starting to appear again.  Is it an overall trend or one particular ad agency making an impact?  I’d love to know.   My best guess is that the new technology that allows viewers to skip over advertising is forcing companies to try harder.  The viewing public is no longer a captive audience.

Here are a few examples of commercials I’ve enjoyed recently: this ad for Orkin with a giant termite knocking on the door, mumbling about using the phone as an excuse to get in. The Stanley Steemer carpet cleaning ad that has the guy crying over the carpet he could have saved.  This tampon ad with the woman saying (tongue-in-cheek) how much she loves getting her period, intercut with clips from vintage sanitary product ads.  You might say they’re a bit silly and over the top, but I much prefer them to the hard-sell, dead serious commercials we’ve been subjected to for ages.

I will be watching for more!

Update: I love this Hanes ad too!


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