Friday, December 29, 2000

THE AFOREMENTIONED "Dr." Laura is a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine. I'll discuss that some other time, but right now I want to vent about the radio advertising I'm assaulted by as I listen. Here's a medium that might be second only to portrait photography in its lack of originality. A year ago every radio ad (except those demanding that you donate your car to someone or other) started with a RING-RING-RING sound effect and proceeded to simulate a very unlikely telephone conversation.

At the moment, every ad (except those demanding that you donate your car to someone or other) goes something like this:

Ah, things sure are idyllic. What could be more idyllic?

[Screeching sound effect, usually a phonograph needle being knocked off a record but sometimes an automobile skidding to a halt.]

Yeah, right! [Or perhaps "Get real!" or "Get over it!"] In the real world, things sure are real -- and you need this product ...

WMAL, Washington's Laura station, is running at least three ads like this, ads that would be idiotic even if they were original. The first one, near as I can tell, was for Alase laser hair removal. Then came one for Centrum vitamins, followed by a weather-coverage promo by WMAL itself. I kid you not: Yesterday the latter two ads were run during a single commercial break.

What's my beef about portrait photography? There are two kinds: Regular (subjects wear shoes) and oh-so-freakin'-creative (subjects are barefoot). How about a new cliche, camera dudes?

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