February 3, 2009

I am sick of being pelted with advertisements everywhere I go.  From coupons on the backs of store receipts to flashy animated ads on my ISP’s email page, to pop up windows on my dekstop and “product placement” in the movies, there are a dozen different ways products and services are thrust in our faces every day.

And yes, I’ve blogged about this before.  Nearly three years ago, as a matter of fact, but it’s gotten even worse.  I admit that although it irks me, I have grown somewhat accustomed to it in the same way that I have grown accustomed to seeing fine lines developing around my eyes… it is unappealing but a fact of life nonetheless.

When I went to see “Dancing with the Stars: The Tour” last week, I felt like the advertising world was my opponent in a boxing ring.  Bam!  Uppercut to the right jaw.  As soon as my bleary eyes began to focus, I’d get hit again from the left.  Then again from the right.  And so on.

First of all, the show was not merely titled “Dancing with the Stars: the Tour.”  Its full and proper name was “Samsung Eternity Presents Dancing with the Stars: the Tour.”  And it was held at the Verizon Center, where a ribbon of flashing LED lights encircled the arena, advertising Sprite, Chipotle, Stub Hub, The Green Turtle and a half dozen other entities.  But before we even got to our seats, we had to make our way past an unending display of advertisements.  Cars that had been brought in (Volkswagen and Hyundai, I think).  Young women dressed as old time cigarette girls with a tray full of Samsung Eternity cell phones.  Arthur Murray Dance Studios had a table advertising classes for wannabe dancers.  There were so many vendors that I found it hard to concentrate on looking for my section.

Inside the arena, we waited for the show to start, trying to ignore the aforementioned bright LED “ribbon.”  Then at 7:30, just when the show was about to start, the lights lowered and a voice boomed over the speakers….  Unfortunately, it wasn’t the emcee, but an actor in the commercial that was being shown on the three large screens.

Then there were a few more commercials, and then Fabien & Kym came out to let us know that some local dance instructors and students were going to compete for a prize (naturally, the prize was a pair of Samsung Eternity phones).  They made a big show of having all of the dancers mention their lessons at Arthur Murray, who was sponsoring the little competition.

At one point in the show, Marlee Matlin was joking with her dance partner, Fabien, about how he was in her deaf ‘hood (because of Galludet University) and the whole time she was talking to him there was a State Farm Insurance logo up on the screen!

I understand that advertising helps pay for things and (in theory, at least) keeps the consumer’s cost down.  But seriously, this was just way too much.  It is not unreasonable to ask big business to limit the amount of advertising they push on us, the consumer.


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