I don’t watch a great deal of commercial television. Oh I sit in front of the TV and enjoy movies on DVD and streamed Via Netflix but my viewing of network TV with commercials in between content is not up to statistical norms. According to the A.C. Nielsen Co., the average American watches more than 4 hours of TV each day. I am sure I watch less than half an hour. This has less to do with the content than the commercials. I find reality shows contrived and prefer to watch any shows without commercials. Newton Minow once called TV “A vast wasteland.” He said this back in 1960, when there were the big three networks and no cable networks at all. Newton baby, you had no idea!
So it is I am out of the loop when it comes to the state of the art in TV commercials. I do see enough so that it takes a lot to shock/piss off/anger me. I mean after we have waded through all the ads for feminine hygiene (why do they use BLUE liquid?) and heard for the thousandth time that you should see a doctor if the erection lasts more than four hours what’s to be shocked/pissed off/angered about?
But I must have missed the recent series of ads for Charmin toilet paper or as they call it, “Bath Tissue”. Charmin has been promoting their brand of butt wipe for some reason for the last ten years with bears. Some advertising agency guy must have heard the phrase about a bear pooping in the woods and ran with it. I’ve actually seen a bear do that and let me tell you they don’t use Charmin. But that’s not what caught my eye.
The more recent ads-and they have apparently been running for a year or more- feature a bear cub with a problem. Variously called dingleberries, cling-ons , hangers-on, the bear cub (Billy according to the Charmin website) is shown with white specks of TP clinging to its ass. Momma bear (Molly) chases it around with a broom and dust pan until Charmin “Ultra Strong” comes to rescue to eliminate what the ad calls “leftovers.”
In a word, yuck.
For more than 20 years Charmin promoted the softness of their product with a nice actor named Dick Wilson. Dick played Mr. Whipple who exhorted people not to squeeze the Charmin. I am sure Dick Wilson would have thrown up if he was asked to promote Charmin’s ability to reduce dingleberries. Dick passed on to great grocery store in the sky back in 2007. If there is any justice in life he never got to see the bear’s asses doing his job.