Mike Bloomberg announced his multi-gazillion TV ad buy just as I was writing a very short chapter in my short book, How I Learned The Facts of Life, about the effect of TV commercials.
Will Bloomberg’s ad blitz alter my mind and consciousness? Will it make me think about voting for him?
The larger question is: can and will money buy the 2020 election?
Oh I doubt it. I am proof:
I watch too much TV. Ergo, I see a lot of TV commercials. Some of them make me laugh, out loud. Over and over.
Lately, I’ve been enjoying the little medieval tableaux vivants for Bud Light Premium. Love the actor who plays the king, standing in front of his mirror admiring himself in his crown and evening cape. John Hoogenakker. That’s his name. (I just looked him up.) What great comic timing! Bud Light Premium, a castle with two turrets, only one of which is the party turret. Hilarious.
No matter how many times I watch Dean Winters, Allstate Insurance’s Mayhem, I laugh, especially when he’s a coolly maniacal housecat lying on someone’s lap, or a 70-pound St. Bernard puppy, licking Tina Fey’s face.
What is it about insurance company ads that make almost all of them funny? After all, insurance is not a naturally comedic proposition. And “funny” does not necessarily sell the product. You can giggle over a brilliantly conceived commercial, but not remember what it’s selling. Which means it was not brilliantly conceived.
But I do remember insurance company names. State Farm (a little too antagonistic, maybe?). Progressive, with Jamie and Flo, and Farmers Oscar-winner J.K. Simmons. And who would deny Aflac’s klutzy duck, or Geico’s gecko?
My current favorite, the one I’ll specifically watch every time, is the Liberty Mutual Insurance series, with the broody method actor who can’t get his lines out of his mouth. When he blurts out, “Liberty-bibbety,” I crack up. I’m cracking up right now, as I type this. “Liberty-bibberty.”
However, on the few occasions I drink beer, it is not Bud Light Premium.
And my insurance policy is not from any of the above companies. My company, Chubb, doesn’t advertise on TV. (No, I’m not getting a Chubb swag bag for mentioning them.)(As far as I know, there isn’t any such thing as a Chubb swag bag.)
As much as I like looking at the women’s fashion lining my Facebook and Twitter screens – gorgeous stuff, tailored personally to my tastes – I’ve never bought any of them.
I don’t care how many millions of dollars Audi or a politician throws into TV ads. I don’t own a car and I don’t vote for the greatest number of ads I see for one politician.
I’ll bet you don’t, either.
And if we’re not bewitched enough by “Liberty-bibbety” to buy a policy for only the insurance we need, we’re not going to be drawn into the treacherous world of Russian fake ads.
Nothing to be afraid of.