Saturday, April 09, 2005

Selling to the Lowest Common Denominator

Am I the only one that’s noticed that television commercials are getting incredibly stupid? I’ll admit that I watch a fair amount of television, usually while I’m knitting. I don’t know if my tolerance is getting low or if I’m suddenly more aware or if the commercials are actually that stupid. I suspect it’s the commercials.

I’ve seen this one a few times: it’s the Tampax Pearl tampon commercial where the couple is in a rowboat in the middle of a lake and all of a sudden! the boat springs a leak. Oh my! What to do? Well, if it was me, I think I’d notice a HOLE in the bottom of the boat that looks like someone shot a bullet through it, but hey, that’s just me. So now, Mister and Miss Adorable Couple are in quite a pickle. There is water coming into the boat. The man scrambles, looks for a solution. Girlfriend sits quietly for a moment, considering the problem and then reaches into her tote bag and pulls out an entire BOX of Tampax Pearl tampons. Ladies, back me up here – on a date, got your period, take a tampon or two or even three . . .but the whole BOX? In a tote bag? On a BOAT? A ROWBOAT??? Where in the hell does she think she’s going to have the opportunity to use an ENTIRE box of tampons? Even the boat only has one hole in its bottom. And the next question is – if that tampon can stop an entire LAKE from coming into the boat, why can that same tampon manage to leak while you’re wearing white pants?

Another commercial that’s been annoying me is the KFC commercial where the whole family is gathered around the table, looking at each other the way that you would look at a stranger who sits next to you on the bus when every other seat is empty. Who are these people? Why are they here? What could they want? Wait, Mom is going to explain. We are here for dinner. The family is confused. “Dinner? What’s that?” they wonder. And Mom produces a bucket of KFC. Yay, Mom. The tagline of the commercial is priceless and shows exactly where America is as a nation: “Time for a real dinner, bring home KFC.” So, let me get this straight – real dinner is now takeout chicken as opposed to takeout burgers or tacos or sub sandwiches. I’ll admit I don’t cook dinner every night. There are times when I can only cook once a week – but I don’t think I’ve ever tried to kid anyone that bringing home KFC was like Mom had been in the kitchen all afternoon creating a meal. This slogan replaced the “KFC is Kitchen Fresh Chicken”. Whose kitchen? Not mine. Not yours either, I’ll bet.

Weight loss commercials are interesting too. Every diet program out there, from Weight Watchers to L.A. Weight Loss (does that stand for Lard Ass?) to Jenny Craig all parade these women across the screen in a clingy little number spouting about how she’s lost 83 pounds or 112 pounds or some other wondrous number and in small print it says:
“Results not typical”
Then show me what IS typical. I don’t want to see your wonder girl in her wonder bra! I want to see the ordinary people with typical weight loss. I got the chance to meet a typical weight loss customer just this morning. She has been going to L.A. Weight Loss for about 7 months. She has lost around 35 pounds. She’s happy and I’m happy for her. I am not happy for Wonder Woman on the commercial.

The new Burger King commercial is just plain creepy. It’s the one for the “New Breakfast Whopper”. It’s a Whopper, all right at 730 calories. It has two of everything – two slices of egg, two sausage patties, two slices of cheese, two slices of bacon, two pieces of bun, and two paramedics to carry you to the emergency room once you’ve consumed one. The sandwich is creepy enough, but when you throw in a Burger King with a plastic head staring in the window at you while holding out his arms and all the birdies in the sky coming to roost on them – that shit is downright horrifying. I don’t want me no part of that. Uh uh. That’s Alfred Hitchcock food. And for breakfast.

Where are the Budweiser frogs when you need them?

Monday, April 04, 2005

Step Down Meals

Y’all, I have a question for you – if there is a step down system to quit smoking, why is there not a step down system for weight loss? Like the patch. Three different dosages errr. . . portion sizes. Do not confuse this with “stepping” or whatever that wacky exercise thing is where you hop up and down off a plastic platform. I mean step down. I’m talking gradual reduction of food intake. And don’t tell me that I can do this on my own at home. I could be making mattress ticking patio furniture covers too, but you don’t see that happening, now do you???

Today, for lunch, I had a Lean Cuisine meal. Glazed chicken to be precise. I like glazed chicken. I like the rice. I like the lil French cut green beans and mushrooms. What I do NOT like is the fact that there is approximately enough to feed an anorexic 4 year old.

People, do they not realize that we are hungry? That if there is not more food, we will devour candy and chips and popcorn to stave off the 2:00 hungries? That fat people NEED more food? Don't they realize that we've been gorging for years???

Here is what I propose – and remember, you heard it here first and if you see it in the supermarket and my name is not on it, someone (or some corporate entity) stole my idea.

There could be a 3 tiered system.

In tier 1 (for people just starting out) ~ a portion of food that would be considered “normal” by overweight standards. Now, I don’t mean a pound of chicken. I suggest adding more food by adding a ton more vegetables and rice. Give us something to EAT, for God’s sake! Something to make us feel full. Something with some bulk and fiber! And yes, I’d be willing to pay more for this. It’s still cheaper than Big Macs and fries and hopefully, better for me. Plus, I would have all that “eating my veggies” karma to float me through the afternoon. And water. Lots and lots of water.

In tier 2 (as we become accustomed to less food) ~ still more food than a standard frozen “diet” meal and still heavy on the vegetables and rice but less than in tier 1.

In tier 3 (because we’re on our way now!) ~ a regular diet frozen meal-sized portion – because we are adjusted to eating less and eating healthy.

I envy the people that get full on so little. I don’t understand it. I’m trying to re-train my body to think that way but my body is protesting. I know that portion size is really skewed in America and that we are not intended to consume 2 and 3 pound meals. I know that every bite after the first one tastes the same so a taste should be enough of some things. Why isn’t it? It’s like a friend of mine once said – I’m sorry that I’m full because I’m not done eating yet. Why don’t I feel that way about exercising?

Think about it.