The Evolution of Commercials

Since being home on maternity leave I have had my first real taste of daytime television in a long time.  The last time I spent any significant time of my week at home was probably the summer after my freshman year of college when I was nursing both a broken heart and a bad case of mono. Me and the TV had a really good time together in the summer of 1993.

I have been really surprised these last few weeks about what I am seeing on TV– between the bad reality and daytime talk shows. Commercials are definitely evolving… in a good way!

In my most recent post I mention the Luvs commercial where the mom breast feeds in public. Shocking! Here that is once again:

I am also seeing an influx of commercials traditionally marketed to the traditional housewife being marketed instead towards househusbands and other commercials featuring dads doing stuff normally delegated to the mommy. Such as…

Tide: Dad’s do laundry!

Huggies: Dad’s test diapers!

Samsung: Dads use mobile devices to figure out complicated stuff like baby swaddling!

Those role-reversals are great and its high time we see Dads portrayed as family caretakers and not juts financial providers. But the king of all surprises was this Cheerios commercial. Watch it first, then let’s discuss:

Notice anything different other than it being completely adorable? Did you? Be honest! Definitely not your typical ready for prime-time family being featured here and I LOVE IT. But of course, since some people just can’t handle that life is sometimes different than a Brady Bunch episode so General Mills had to shut down the comments section of this video on youtube due to some racist jerks.

Meredith Tutterow, a marketing director for Cheerios at maker General Mills, told the New York Times the company stands by the commercial and that the spot will “absolutely not” be pulled.

“There are many kinds of families,” Tutterow said, “and Cheerios just wants to celebrate them all.” She said the comments will be enabled again at some point, though didn’t know when.

Cheers to Cheerios!! I think I might just head on over to the Cheerios Facebook page and give them some support.

The big question I have, who will be the first major brand to feature a same-sex couple in a commercial? If there has been one, I haven’t seen it yet. But I will vow to buy whatever product that is!*

*You know, as long as it isn’t like Porsche, Cartier or some other fancy product that I can’t afford.

Love the Gunn

You may or may not be aware that I love Tim Gunn. The only thing that could make me not like this guy is if John McCain picked him for VP. I love it on the show when, like tonight, Tim tells the class to go caucus with their challenge partner. I never heard anyone talk about caucusing like that, outside of the political arena. I love it so much that just maybe I will ban all meetings in my office (what few we have) and demand for more caucuses. Dig it.


You may or not know that I have a particular love for Tina Turner. In fact, I have been known to sing her songs (particularly, You Better Be Good To Me) at the top of my lungs while driving alone. I have seen the movie What’s Love Got To Do With It numerous times. I dig this woman, her music and her story.

Delighted am I tonight to see her performance on the Grammy’s, which was a total surprise to me (maybe this was well publicized, I am not that plugged in).

Let me tell you: Tina is looking FIERCE! She is in the neighborhood of 70 years old and she was rocking her silver spandex like no one else could. I was so excited, I took pictures of the TV:

I should be lucky to look half as good as she does when I get to her age. Hell, I should be lucky to look half as good as she does…today!

Just when you thought TV couldn’t get worse…

While waiting for my favorite show, Project Runway, to begin I got caught up in this new show (on FOX of course) called The Moment of Truth. Which they say like THE! MOMENT! OF! TRUTH!

This is America’s weirdness at it’s best….err, I mean worst.

Here’s the deal. The “contestant” had to answer 21 increasingly embarrassing and revealing questions which are compared to an earlier polygraph test. If the contestant tells the truth, they get closer and closer to winning $500,000.

The questions aren’t like, “Do you pick your nose when no one is looking?” But rather, here are some of the sample questions, which people WILLINGLY answer on national TV.

– Do you really love your wife/girlfriend?
– Did you help a friend to illeaglly smuggle something into this country?
– Do you see yourself being married to your wife in 5 years?
– Is the reason you haven’t had children yet because you are not sure your wife will be a good mother?
– Did you ever stuff your pants to look more endowed?
– Have you stolen money from a job and let someone else take the blame?

And more often than not, the answer is not pretty… and a support team of 3 (usually spouse, boss, friend) sit near by on the support team bench waiting anxiously for each answer. Before the contestant quits, one or all are seen crying from the sidelines.

But I don’t get this one part: since the contestants ALREADY took the lie detector test prior to the show, they KNOW what questions will be asked of them on the show. Why do they look so surprised when the tough ones come up?

The “good” news is that this show isn’t only America’s shame, but it is produced in 23 other countries, including Columbia, where the show was created. However, they have had to cancel the Columbian edition due to the embarrassing tidbit one contestant admitted to: hiring a hit man to kill her husband. Owning up to that little secret won her $25,000.

So, sure, you can win some cash. But at what cost? Certainly afterwards you will lose your friends, spouse and job. And possibly in the case of the guy who admitted to smuggling… maybe some jail time will accompany his $100,000 purse.


Everyday I walk by the Parson’s New School for Design and have this fantasy:

Scene: Terra walks quickly down 7th Avenue on her way home from a busy day at the office. As usual, she is wearing a boring suit with comfortable commute-worthy footwear, her naturally wavy hair has gone frizzy, and her make-up that was so carefully applied this morning has melted away leaving her complexion colorless.

Man on Street: (yelling at crowd)… After all you’re all just one paycheck away from being homeless!

Terra: (muttering to self) Ain’t that the truth buddy.

Terra: (says to tourists in the way) Excuse me, sorry, um, pardon me. Can you move out of the way please? No, I don’t have time to take your picture right now. I am late for the train.

While Terra waits at the crosswalk she is approached guerrilla-style by a dapper gentleman with grey hair and rimless glasses and a small friendly camera crew.

Dapper Gentleman: Miss Walker?

Terra: (Surprised) What? I mean, Yes, that’s me? (eyes widen with recognition). Oh My God. You’re… You’re…. You’re…

(Dapper gentleman smiles and laughs)

Terra: … TIM GUNN!

Tim: Terra, as you are surely aware, we are filming our new season of Project Runway and we need your help in our next challenge called “Everyday Woman”. We are picking women of the street to participate as our models instead of the gang of gloomy waifs we usually use. Can you help one of our designers to make this work?

Terra: Why, Yes! Yes, I can do that!

(Video montage set to the song Can’t Get You Outta My Head by Kylie Minogue shows Terra meeting her hot designer, Raul… Terra nodding enthusiastically at the sky blue fabric he has chosen to use for the dress… Tim Gunn looking Raul’s shoulder as he sews pieces together clapping approvingly… Terra getting hair and makeup done by the Loreal professionals… cut to Runway Judges critiquing the various designer’s outfits)

Heidi Klum: (Heidi glowing and gorgeous as always) Raul, I must say you were truly inspired today. Bravo! Bravo! Bravo! I would wear that dress out to a Gala Event with my wonderful husband Seal and our strangely adorable children. It looks so expensive even though you created it with the budget of $5.00 we gave you!

Elle Fashion Director Nina Garcia: (gushing) Raul, you have outdone yourself once again, though I have to give credit to Miss Walker for carrying off this masterpiece so well. She really worked it! Doesn’t my hair look great? I got it blown out twice today.

Michael Kors: I copy my designs from other people’s works.

Heidi: Moving on. The winner of this challenge is (beaming) Raul and Terra! Congratulations to the both of you. (Air kisses all around)

OK, so, it’s kind of a long walk that gives me plenty of time for elaborate Project Runway fantasies. I love that Tim Gunn.

Waiting on a Plane

My work week started auspiciously enough on Wednesday morning as I sat in stinky JFK airport waiting for my plane to take off for over two hours (due to terrible storms), next to a wailing baby. Ahh. What to do? There are no fun shops to browse, no CNN to steal my attention. I pulled out my laptop praying to the wireless gods for an internet connection, alas none was to be found. So I opened up my ITunes and started a “Waiting at JFK” playlist. This is what I chose:

1) Volare, Dean Martin
2) Stuck in a Moment, U2 (acoustic version)
3) Such Great Heights, Iron & Wine
4) Wait, Sarah McLachlan
5) Missing, Everything but the Girl
6) The Time is Now, Moloko
7) Spread Your Wings, Robbie Williams
8) Leaving on a Jet Plane, Bjork and PJ Harvey
9) Waiting for you, Seal
10) Waiting in Vain, Annie Lennox
11) Time after Time, Cyndi Lauper
12) Waiting for Tonight, J.Lo
13) Waiting on a Friend, Rolling Stones
14) Time, Sarah McLachlan
15) Standing Still, Jewel
16) Trip Through Your Wires, U2
17) Time for me to Fly, REO Speedwagon
18) Raining in Baltimore, Counting Crows
19) Learn to Fly, Foo Fighters
20) Marooned, Pink Floyd

Ha. That was fun.

Why I love Dave Letterman

Letterman to Bill O’Reilly last night:

I am not smart enought to debate you point to point on this, but I have the feeling, I have the feeling that about 60% of what you say is crap.

Watch the video Here. It was awesome.

I’ve got a fever…

I know it’s getting cliche`. Wait. It probably already is. You know how behind the times I am. But I don’t care. I just cannot get enough of Will Farrell and the cowbell skit on SNL. I could watch it 15 times in a row and not get tired of it. That hairy belly, the intensity, Christopher Walken. It’s a classic.

Click on the picture to see a video of the skit in case somehow you’ve missed it.

Happy Friday, y’all.