I’ve only been watching the Olympics for an hour or so at night on CBC for the highlights. The ads in particular have caught my attention. This is because it seems time after time, somebody has failed to do their job adequately. I worry that we are losing the ability to see our own narrow world from different angles. I worry that we are declining in collective intelligence.
I don’t make these judgments easily, nor lightly. But consider these three examples from last night alone:
1. The Canadian Tire commercial with the boy in the wheelchair (if you click the link, scroll down to the basketball). All of his friends find sets of wheels and he comes to play basketball with them. As he wheels around the corner, the narrator emotively speaks: ‘When the best of us steps up, the nation stands a little taller.’ (Cringe. Face palm.)
2. New Greek sandwich wrap available at Tim Horton’s. Voiceover: ‘Come into Tim Horton’s and try a little taste of Greece.’ Looks fine in print. Say it out loud.
3. My most loathed advert: the one from Amazon Prime, here in Japanese. The baby is brought home and cries at the dog, but loves a toy lion. Dog is sad. The dad buys the dog a mane and the baby loves the dog. Message: When you feel displaced, you have to conform to others’ desires in order to be accepted and loved.
So is it me? Or have you seen some spectacular examples of jobs left half done in the advertising industry? Is it a sign of impending cultural decline?