In my time off this summer, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to watch game shows. From The Price Is Right to Wheel of Fortune and, of course, Jeopardy! I’m not complaining about game shows. I have Netflix, too. So if I didn’t want to watch game shows, I really don’t have to. But I like trying to better the contestants on the game shows… guessing prices, solving puzzles, questioning answers.
But this isn’t about how awesome I would be if I became a contestant on one of these shows. Because that should go without saying. No, this is about the commercials that are common during these shows.
It’s a phenomenon that I actually noticed years ago. I was still in college and had a break during the day and would often watch TPIR before heading to the dining hall for lunch. I always thought there was an unnecessary number of commercials for various motorized scooters. That’s right, I said various. More than one brand of motorized scooter would advertise during that game show hour (My favorite was the one where an excited old lady got her scooter and did donuts in her living room). This led me to believe that the target audience for these shows is definitely over a certain age.
I remember thinking this wasn’t fair. As a great deal of the contestants that show up are well under the age of 30. So shouldn’t more of the commercials be targeted at that demographic?
More recently, as I’ve seen more of these shows on a more consistent basis, the commercials have changed a bit. More often they’re for prescriptions which can enhance a man’s sexual performance (that’s right, there are multiple options out there), which I also assume are aimed at an older demographic. I also see more than a few commercials for medical alert systems.
You know the ones I’m talking about. Back in the day it was an ad with an old lady who had fallen and couldn’t get up. I’ve seen another one called Advantage Alert and I wish I could find the actual commercial online, because I’d absolutely share it here. Unlike the old school Life Alert deal (or whatever it was called), you don’t just have one emergency button. It has a second, non-emergency button that you can push if you just want to get in touch with a nurse. That’s a pretty good idea, I guess.
But in the commercial, they make a point to show you that they have a nurse on call 24/7. And how do we know she’s a nurse? She’s wearing scrubs and a stethoscope as she sits in front of a computer while wearing a headset. Okay, I can let the whole wearing scrubs thing slide. I’ve never actually worn scrubs myself, but I imagine they’re pretty comfortable. But the stethoscope? If you’re a nurse whose job is to answer phone calls for eight hours a day, are you really going to need that stethoscope?
I don’t have a DVR anymore. So I can’t let a show run for a while then catch up by skipping the ads. And now that I’m forced to watch these ads, I’m catching those annoying little things that shouldn’t bother me, but they really, really do.