These three commercials have gotten under my skin. I’m sure each of us has some pet peeve about the way commercials misrepresent the world. Mine tend to be around inaccuracy and the assumption that we viewers are gullible.
Here’s my list:
Principal Financial Group’s “Dream Car”
This Principal Financial Group ad represents three generations of a family as family priorities change.
This ad always feels sort of contrived to me. I usually think, “if Dad’s incredible job offer is worth missing his kid’s senior year, it must be pretty lucrative. Could he not help out here and help keep his dad’s dream alive while providing for his daughter’s transportation needs?”
(This commercial may also grate on me because I hear it more times a day than I can count. I listen to CNN streaming on my laptop throughout the day and whatever deal they have for ads, this one is queued up to play constantly, it appears.)
Why is the father asking if she can spend her senior year with the grandparents in front of the daughter? Could he not have held this conversation in private to give them time to adjust (and the opportunity to decline)?
But the scene where the grandfather and the granddaughter both are wearing face masks is adorable.
I did a bit more poking around and discovered some cool facts about Annamarie Kasper, the actress who plays the granddaughter.
For one thing, her Instagram handle (piranhamarie) is cute. I’m sure she doesn’t need our help, but her feed is fun to follow and gives an enlightening glimpse into the life of an actress at the front end of her career, so I still recommend it.
She is also a college graduate and a cellist. This is one of the most unique cello performances I have ever seen:
EverlyWell (for anyone who has been under a rock or who watches zero television) is an at-home testing kit. It was also a Shark Tank winner. This is their ad for food sensitivity testing.
My main “observation” is: I am skeptical. Turns out I have company in this skepticism.
StatNews calls the EW $199 food-sensitivity test “dubious,” noting its reliance on testing for immunoglobulin G, an immune protein, runs counter to findings and recommendations from the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology and the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
A TechCrunch reviewer found the $79 EW ovarian reserve test “fine … [but] it’s not very useful unless you’re thinking about trying to get pregnant in the near future.” (And I realize I strayed away from the food-sensitivity topic, but I appreciated the thoroughness of this review.)
This is another one that I end up hearing so many times in a typical day. Apparently I am on the same algorithm as the YouTube commenter who said, “They play this commercial, every commercial break, on my streaming channels.. At first not so bad, but it becomes a cruel form of torture.. ” Like that commenter, I may not be sensitive to dairy, but I am 100% sensitive to overplays of this ad!
I am all for convenience and saving myself the annoyance of going to a doctor’s office and/or lab. I’m also grateful that our health insurance covers most of these types of tests for a reasonable copay. I just don’t see the medical rigor in many of these at-home tests to merit dropping a couple hundred bucks on them.
I could have written this entire post about this commercial alone. (But The Senior List did in Open letter to Home Care Companies- Stop with the Guilt Trip Already, so I’m off the hook because they saved me the work.)
Here it is:
While I realize this is a very subjective thing to say, the images in this ad of health care paraprofessionals and professionals seem so perfect. Although we had some very competent home health care providers during the time Dad lived here, everything (in general) was messier, more hit-and-miss and required a great deal of oversight on our part.
The worst part, though, is that last line “Because Dad made us promise we’d keep Mom at home.” Decisions about caregiving in general, and about whether a loved one should remain in the home or go to assisted living, are difficult. They should be evaluated objectively in a way that incorporates factors including economics, what type of supervision the older person needs and what resources the grown children have with which to provide care.
It’s a tough enough decision as is. No one needs to be guilted by a commercial (although I realize — ironically — that the final line in that ad may make it more effective than it would have been otherwise).