The world of TV commercials. It’s life – but not as we live it


Would you like to live in a world of TV commercials? You know, the one where women are drawn to men who dye their hair, use a certain type of deodorant, after-shave or hair gel? Or where men are smitten by women who use a specific shampoo, or perfume, or a brand of tampon that makes them feel fresh all day?

It is a world of easily pleased people, who tend to praise each other for not having dandruff or ask persistently what sort of washing up liquid others use and why. These people get together around a table, for a family lunch or dinner, and rejoice when mother surprises them with a ready-made meal that took only a couple of minutes to prepare in the microwave. There they go, chewing and smiling broadly at the same time, as if the food came from a Michelin star restaurant. Who needs home cooking when you can get a frozen TV dinner and enjoy it just as much? In fact in the world of TV advertising most people can’t tell the difference between home-made food and some ready-made meals. They are that finger licking good

A toothpaste, a mouthwash or a face cream seem to cheer up people immensely in TV commercials. Not to mention the washing liquids and detergents that excite whole families and even whole neighbourhoods. Look mum, how white my whites are, a beaming child would tell his mother, who in turn would feel so proud that she has chosen the right detergent and conditioner. Whole districts rejoice at the softness of their washed fabrics. And how about large groups of people breaking into song and dance routines to celebrate the quality of some potato chips or chocolates? Not forgetting the happiness that befalls on them when they realise that spreads are actually much better than real butter.

In the world of TV commercials unremarkable, bordering on shitty, cars attract everyone’s adoring glances. Some two-door monstrosity that no one would give a second glance in the real world would draw stunned crowds of passers-by. Just look at that beauty, they’d be saying. Who needs a Merc or a Jag or a BMW when you can have a tiny car for a fraction of a price that everyone would admire?

And how about people who save money on car or home insurance? Just you watch them become ecstatic when they learn that they can knock a tenner off their premium. They just cannot believe their luck. Wow, I can actually save money on my car and home insurance by going online and comparing quotes, they say. How cool is that! My life is complete now.

And what about the feeling of satisfaction that people get in TV commercials when they save some money on their groceries, or on a new bed or sofa, or on some rubbish that they do not need but buy anyway because everyone else is buying it. They are the happiest people in the world, only compared to the ones who got a second loan on their house on top of their mortgage for a punishing rate of interests. Men and women tell their wonderful stories of how easy it was to get a loan that pushes them into debt even deeper. Just one phone call, they say, their faces glowing, and I got the wonderful people to give me the money.

In TV commercials people go through miraculous recoveries all the time. There they are at first, sneezing and blowing their noses, having splitting headaches and looking miserable generally. But once they pop a couple of pills, it takes them a moment or two to get better and look healthy and radiant. And off they go, enjoying life and smiling at everyone.

Some of the happiest people you see in TV commercials are the ones who fly with airlines that seem to treat them like celebrities. You would not see them queuing at the check-in counters and security stands. They are on to the plane immediately, attended by smiling stewardesses before they even take off. There is no turbulence, no annoying neighbours in the next seat but pure and endless enjoyment, even in economy where the service, as we are told, is as great as in first class.

Even pets in TV commercials are always happy and looking like they just had a bath. You see them eating their canned food and really enjoying it. And then they jump merrily around their owners, praising them for choosing the best possible tins. These very same animals can just as well become all excited about other products, like soft bed linen or toilet paper.

It never rains in the world of TV commercials. But somehow I feel that not too many people would want to live there.