Friday, October 24, 2008

Commercials for the Department of E.D., and I Don't Mean Dep't. of Education

The barrage of drug commercials is driving me nuts.

I mean, when I was a kid, before the Internet was even a gleam in Al Gore’s eye, the main drug commercials were for Bayer Aspirin and Alka Seltzer. And I hardly paid attention to those because they generally featured old people over 25 or baby-people younger than I, who really needed to stop whining about a little fever because after all, they were getting to stay home from TV school and have their TV moms make them TV chicken noodle soup while they watched TV kid shows. I, on the other hand, had to face another day with the scary Mrs. Dittmar and her light-deflecting cat-eye glasses of the first grade. Not that I was bitter.

Now, it seems, in spite of having more drugs available than the human mind can comprehend, we’re all unwitting experts in knowing which meds treat what malady. I bet if I said, “Cymbalta” right now, you would not think, “Lion King” but you would immediately think, “Very sad people. Depression!” and you would be right. I have to say that the Cymbalta people portray the best fake depressions I’ve ever seen. They deserve Emmys. Just looking at them makes me want to get therapy.

Some drug names conjure up other scenes in my brain.

For instance, I can totally picture this dialogue in any high school hallway in the year 2030:

“Hey, Celexa! How’s it going?”
“Oh hey, Paxil. It’s goin’ pretty well. Hey, didja hear about Allegra?”
“No! Tell me!”
“Yeah, she’s like totally making a fool of herself over that new kid, Tavist D.”
“Oh him—he just transferred from Questran High.”
“Yeah, but to get to Tavist, Allegra’s gonna have to get by Astelin and Emadine, and they both staked claims on Tavist the first week he was here.”

Etc., etc.

And some of the names sound like science fiction characters:

“Captain Zyrtec—are you aware that the Chlor Trimeton Force is on our heels?”

“Yes, dang it, Sergeant Zocor, I’m aware that we’re under siege! But we cannot overlook the rebel forces of the Lipitor and Crestor factions, either! I need assistance at the helm! Zocor! Get me Lieutenant Prozac! Don’t just stand there … That was an order! Get me Prozac--NOW!”

I might have mumbled that last line a few times myself when my kids were little. Or last week when my 15 year old got her driver’s training manual.

The worst commercials, of course, are for E.D. (erectilus dysfunktionus) featuring Cialis (also known as “tadalafil,” and I’m not making that up … “Ta-Da! lafil”), Viagra and Levitra. Going by the number of broadcasts and duration of the commercials, you’d think this is the number one medical catastrophe in the world.

Really, if I have to hear about marathon … results … one more time, I’m gonna pitch a serious fit--of the infamous Burger King letter-to-the-company kind.

Do you think it would do any good to email the networks/drug companies and tell them how we feel?

All I know is, we’ve come a long way from the Always feminine hygiene ads where women exclaimed: “The darn thing has wings!” to ads for such personal items that they have to bleep out actors’ words and substitute train whistles and waterfalls.

Ridiculous. And now please excuse me while I go get a Bayer aspirin for this headache.

And, is it my imagination, or does this girl have a paint set in her sickbed AND her mom puts on funny glasses?? No fair!

64 comments:

Becky said...

Yay! Shes back! Once again you have brought hilarious to a whole new level. LOL cybalta lion king... yah maybe I did. :-p What a great post SOOO funny!

Heth said...

This is a Linda classic. One of your funniest posts ever. Hahahaha!

Jodi said...

Don't even get me started with Always! I want to write a letter to the company on that one. Their commmercials and even on the pull off strip no less - "Have a happy period". UGHHHH!!!! Are they insane?

I too hate those commercials for all the drugs. I can't stand all the spam email from them too.

Speaking of Captain Zyrtec..he is now an over-the-counter and now I traded him in for Captain Clarinex D. LOL!

Happy Friday Linda :)

Debbie said...

Linda - you have certainly had your mojo return! Quite the hysterical post. Just last night I was totally embarrassed by that Cialis bathtub commercial as my 11 year old son and I were catching up on ED during the news. I'm with you. If you start a letter writing campaign, sign me up!

Chatty Kelly said...

I used to think the most horrifying commericial on tv was the one where the young woman says to her mom "Do you ever get that not so fresh feeling?" And her mom introduces her to a dou*che. PLEASE STOP!!!

But now, those ED commercials. They always appear during sports (evidently men who watch sports drink beer and have ED, cause all the commericals involve those 2 items...maybe if they cut back on the beer, they wouldn't need the pills?)

Anyway - since my husband is a SPORTS nut, that is always on all day Saturday and invariable the commercial comes on my daughters are in the room!!! I usually talk over them. My friend shared how her 4 yr old was singing in a loud voice "Viva Viagra!" *sigh*

DidiLyn said...

This was hysterically funny! I can't even think of anything to add to it, which makes me kinda sad. Maybe I should try that Cymbalta stuff, or is that for when you are watching sad Disney musicals?
I can't remember. Is there a drug for that?

Kimmie said...

That post was hilarious. I first thought you were referring to education, quickly corrected. Commercials have gotten out of hand.

Smilingsal said...

I grew up in the 50s and there was no such advertisement allowed. Now, if you watch TV in mixed company, you're bound to be embarrassed.

Kay said...

Very funny post! But how could you forget the ads for VD drugs??? My husband always says "and she still doesn't" (ok..sometimes he says "not yet" lol) every time we see a certain ad for a certain VD. UGH. Between that and the ladies swimming for the birth control pack... gimme a break.. and yeah... a happy period? Even my daughter rolls her eyes at THAT one! LOL

PJ said...

Hubby and I go into gales of laughter everytime a certain ad says that if its effects last more than 4 hours, contact your doctor!!! and I'm glad that we're watching tv ALONE! And not because of those effects either. Ads these days are SOMETHING ELSE!!!

Debbie said...

Absolutely hilarious post! The perfect laugh to go with my morning caffine!

Cathy Davis said...

We're (meaning the peeps in our church) doing a prayer study by Jim CymBALA but some folks are calling him Jim CymBALTA! I'm sure he'd appreciate knowing that.

So, what I'm going to do is share an extremely embarrassing moment as it relates to commercials ...Gonna need to give you a little background so bear with me.

I was a wee child of 12 or 13 and I was watching a basketball game with my dad (hmmm this might be why I don't watch BB anymore). My parents divorced when I was 2 and while my dad stayed in our lives, he didn't really know how to be a dad...(make sense?) So, anyway, there we are and a Massengil type commercial comes on. My dad proceeds to explain why he doesn't know why women would even use something like this, as every month when they have their periods they are cleansed - oh the horror I can't even remember what else he said! I was mortified! I think I became part of the carpet at that exact moment... Well, if you'll excuse me, I think I'm going to go over to the corner and get in a fetal position for a bit...

Mocha with Linda said...

You are too funny. Oh, and remember the days of Jane Russell and the Cross Your Heart Bra? All clinical with mannikins. Now there is nothing left to the imagination.

That commercial was hilarious. I guess that was before they figured out not to give kids aspirin. And that door with the knob in the middle - a la the old TV show Family Affair. I always thought those were so cool when I was a kid.

Anonymous said...

You are soooo funny. The commericals that these drug companies run are the very reason that prescription drug prices are through the roof!


Erin

lmerie said...

Whooo Hooo - see something did come about to spark your creativity.

Loved the high school scene - cracked me up.

It is not a medicine, but have you seen the newest Axe commercial? Chocolate Axe - you could do it much more justice than I, he pulls off his chocolate nose and sprinkles it on girls ice cream cones(just one of the oddities).

Well here - I found it - have fun with this!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHVx1CODU30

Susanne said...

Cymbalta - Lion King! LOL hilarious. How do you make these connections? You have a gift my dear.

If I am not mistaken, and I might be, who knows, but Canadian channels are not allowed to advertise prescription drugs.

Cyndy said...

hee, hee, hee, snort, ha, ha, ha, ha!!!!!!!

And somebody please save us from the Cialis ads!

Kelley said...

Linda,
You never disappoint! That dialog between Celexa and Paxil is unforgettable! I will watch all of these commercials with a new mindset and people will wonder why I am chuckling at them (secretly remembering your words).

Enjoy your weekend, I am so glad to be catching back up with my blog girlfriends!!!

Greg C said...

I know it is sick but I love the Enzyte comercials with all their puns. The santa one really makes me laugh out loud. My wife says that if men would put the same effort into finding a cure for breast cancer as they do in finding a way to make "that thing" work, it would have been cured a long time ago. :)

Mrs. Who said...

Well, I had a comment all ready about how I REMEMBER the Bayer aspirin commercial because I am so frakin' old - "That's how moms are. Yeah, they are!" and then I watched the Chocolate Man commercial and just sat stupified. How could they POSSIBLY think that was a good idea???

It's horrifying in so many, many ways.

I must use it on my blog.

Michelle said...

You are hilarious!

annie's eyes said...

To live inside that head of yours...do you do research for this stuff or are you just a pop culture icon? I'm lovin' it! Lidna got her groove back. I wished my dry spells were so short. Love ya, A

Gwendolyn said...

If there were a blog award for making people ruin their keyboards because they spit their hot chocolate all over it while reading the posts, I would give it to you. I was laughing out loud and my daycare children have even looked up from their snacks to see what in the world is wrong with me. It takes a lot for them to take their attemtion away from trying to stick pretzels up their noses. :o)

skoots1mom said...

ohhhhh, the little boy at the door is my favorite..."that's what mommies do, yes it is!" how sweet...I so remember that commercial...and the aspirin...when she popped the lid I could smell the orange aspirin...i used to like to sniff the cotton out of the bottle cause it was soooo "orangey"

the glasses were from a plastic medical kit--my neighbor had one of those and it was in the "nice" days of playing doctor...no weird stuff.

i miss the "cleaver" days so much...

Dena @ Green Acres said...

Ah the good ol' days when bras were only shown on mannequins. I love the ones now where a woman walks out on to her balcony in only her bra and panties...oh yea, that's my Saturday morning ritual. And all the ED and VD commercials are great for conversation starters with children who are too young to have to know what those are.
Hilarious post! I will now chuckle when seeing these commercials!

Steph at the Red Clay Diaries said...

I vote that the dry spell is over. My favorites were the sci fi ones.

And my "favorite" (and I use that term loosely) ED commercial is the one with the strange-looking guy with the BIG smile. And his wife's smile is especially creepy.

It's like when you're 12 and realize what goes on behind your parents' door. Ewwwwwww!!!

Becky said...

Linda, I tried to send you an email three times today. I am having trouble with this feature. :-p Anyway, if you get it good ... if you don't I'll put it here.

He And Me + 3 said...

Too funny! You are a genuis. LOL

Growin' with it! said...

ohhhh don't get me started. i just cringe when those cialis commercials come on. i have 2 boys and thankfully even though sometimes i can't hit the "change channel" button fast enough they haven't asked me what that commercial was about...yet. humph.

Merrie said...

You crack me up! Interesting what got your imagination juices flowing! Too funny... and yes, I remember that commercial... and the glasses... didn't YOU reward your children for being sick with giving them nice gifts???
Mother's are like that, yeah, they are!

Merrie said...

oh... I forgot what I was going to say.. just how DO you describe what that is all about to a 4 year old? I asked my daughter when she was going to explain the "facts of life and ED" to her 2 year old, who is well acquainted with Viva Viagra!
I'm with you in writing and complaining!
Maybe when we have Sarah as VP SHE can change it!

Laurie Ann said...

Girl, I had to wait until the tears dried and I caught my breath before I could reply. If I hear, "Have a happy period!" one more time I will write a strongly worded letter to Always and tell them I never had a happy one until the one before my hysterectomy.

Some of the commercials are downright crude.

Rewind: My then 6 year old bonus daughter and I were watching a movie about some fires in California one night back in '91 or '92. This commercial comes on for Vagisil. She looks at me and says, "What's feminine itching?" I'm 22 years old and thinking, "How fast can I run down to the MILs house to get guidance on answering this one?" I'd always heard that you should tell them no more than they asked, so I defined femine as being female and itching as in you need to scratch. She rubs her arm and gets the big eyes and says, "I think I need some Vagisil." With a very straight face, I informed her I had some benadryll cream I thought would work just fine.

Oh, the memories! Imagine now parents having to explain, um, ED. Kids want to know!

PTL the Herbal Essence commercials are over - you know the ones.

a Tonggu Momma said...

Excuse me while I pick myself up off the floor because I fell due to excessive laughter. (Oh, and my somewhat clumsy nature.)

I must admit, however, that I thought Levitra was for cholesterol. No wonder I never understood the commercials. I had no idea it was a kissing cousin to Viagra.

Pam Warden Art said...

I think it's a little doctor or nurses kit. Remember those? And the mom puts on the doctor glasses.
Do you know that before I got to that video I was going to say in my comment, "Is she sick and have a temp-a-chur?" No kidding. Yikes, I'm old.
When I watch the gleam in the guys eye on the commercials where he can have sex for 8 hours-and she does the little dance- I get a little bit of throw up right in my mouth. GAG!!!!
TMI, TMI, TMI! We are bombarded with Too Much Information as in me saying the throw up thing :)
Hugs,
Pam

Chel - An Abiding Branch said...

This has made blogger history you deserve a break today! WOW!
I have the commercial memorized for St. Joseph's children's aspirin. HA ha. And I was in a play called Halcyon Days set inside a sanitorium.(should be daze) I knew people who did the Thorizine shuffle for a while too.
I have been laughing histerically and my brain is going 90 to nuthin!!!! I needed it too!

What ever happened to a little Enjoli doing the trick?

Now there is that book that says you can have a new kid by Friday, so I wonder do you just knock 'em on the head when they mess up? LOL!

The other day my son was walking around singing Viva Viagra!!! We asked him not to sing that at church or school.

Enough rambling ~ tootles gotta scootles
chel

Brenda Susan said...

O yes, thos ED commercials are awful, especially while sitting on the couch with my 22 & 26 year old sons! It's either total silence or one of us starts a really loud conversation! Ha! I love reading you!

Brenda Susan said...

BTW, how did you get your blogs to be listed according to subject in the sidebar, I love that!

Esthermay Bentley-Goossen said...

This is comical fer surrrr! Yes… you win the blog award for spewing coffee out nose in expression of intense amusement.

Everytime that bathtub commercial appears, I tell my husband that it’s just plain impossible in two separate ceramic tubs! What’s the message with TWO tubs. Give me a break!

And when the Viagra commercial comes on in the presence of the 4- and 5-year-old, they sing along and add, “IT KEEPS the BUGS OFF.” Why? Because their clever mother told them that Viagra IS insect repellant! Any and ALL questions regarding 4-hour erections (can I say that in the comment box?) ceased upon the acquisition of this fact.

I was embarrassed in 1978 when Brenda Vacaro came on the b/w t.v. pushing (er….) I mean… advertising tampons. I was in the room alone with my dad. (* gasp! – *) SO embarrassed.

BUT, alas, the media psychopharmacological frenzy will be a thing of the past with the advent of Barak Obama’s health care plan! [Cue: halleluiah chorus.] I am getting so wound up! With the government in control of the pills, the only access will be via handouts and the media just doesn’t target that demographic.

By the way…. You are a blogging GENIUS!
The Cymbalta people may not like you – you make their happy pill look like a WheatThin®

Kathy C. said...

LOVE the video, how cute is that? Oh my, the good ole days - sweet and simple.
I especially enjoyed your bit about Sgt. Zocor and Lt. Prozac!!! ROFL :)

RissaRoo said...

Oh man...you're too much! This is so funny. What a treat to laugh until your face hurts! And esthermay bentley-goossen, you got me started all over again.

Don't even get me going about that Burger King commercial. I seriously pretty much *quit* watching TV, because the commercials irritate me so much.

Melanie @ This Ain't New York said...

I think your dry spell is over, my friend. ;>)

I think Tavist D was a rapper.

Kimberly said...

This is absolutely hilarious! As my man is a HUGE fan of science fiction (all things Star Wars and Star Trek), I especially love Lt. Prozac and his crew! :)

Thanks for coming by my place! Have a terrific weekend!
Blessings,
K :)

Chris said...

Hah!!! Linda, this is the funniest post!! I love the outer space vignette~~Captain Prozac! You are super funny and you really made me start Saturday with a grin~~bless you. God loves laughter!

thouartloosed said...

Oh, don't forget the one about having a feminine itch you can't scratch!

Halfmoon Girl said...

You are so creative and witty! loved that post! I will think of it everytime I hear such a commercial.

L.L. Barkat said...

Now I need something for hyperventilation! [laughing over here... can't breathe... about to faint from amusement]

(Btw, I hopped over from These Three Remain. I'm not sure that you have no poetry in you. Really, you've got a way with words. : )

Julie said...

I totally hear you on the commercials. Being a child born in the late 50's, times have surely changed.
I loved seeing the old Bayer commercial. Do you remember the Aqua Velva ones or the Noxema?

What kills me is when the list the side effects. I'm thinking, what's better, a heart attack or heartburn?

Thanks for visiting my blog and your birthday wishes. You blessed me today!

Julie

Dorothy Champagne said...

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! Are you still working for WW? Would love to chat about it. I REALLY enjoyed your post! I'm so glad you left a comment on my blog, I'll be linking you to mine! Hope to talk soon...

Fran said...

Its so nice when the 10 and 12 yr old sons know this stuff but don't know what it is. They ask me and mom plays dumb too.

Sheryl said...

I lvoe that commercial. I could almost quote it...yes, I'm that old.

Linda said...

Some ad exec just saw this post and is naming action figures after drugs right this very moment. You are sooooo funny!

Tammy said...

Oh Linda...I took your advice and even though I'm not new hear, scrolled down to this post.
Yep- totally one of your top ten!

But that retro commercial...I have to have my mom come over to read your post AND see this, because when I was growing up, she'd always talk to me about this commercial. I think I was too little to remember it, but she'd quote that little boy to me for years!!!
"Mamas are like that, yes tay are!" :)

Kim @ My Journey said...

Ok, this is both totally funny.... and true! My neighbor warned me against watching the MLB Homerun Derby in real time with our son bc of all the Erectile Dysfunction & other ads! How sad is that? Great post!

Heidi Zawisza said...

Ha! God really DID give you a funny one!!! ha!ha! This is hilarious!
Thanks for coming by my blog!
It's nice to meet you, and I will definitely be back!

Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

Okay, my dear friend, I don't know if someone else has said this or not...I don't have enough awake time to read ALL THOSE COMMENTS!!
:-)
But the thing that hacks me off the most about these commercials is when I hear my 8 year old walk around the house singing, "Viva...Viagra!"

Question: How LONG did it take you to write this? Probably as long as it took for me to catch my breath from laughing so hard!

Joanna said...

Viagra - strong enough for a man but made for a woman. hee hee

I have three boys and it was oh so not fun to explain that especially the smiling bob commercials.

Fiddledeedee said...

Muy excellente.

I remember a recent commercial for some fitness product, that promised a trimmer you, but could result in an oily discharge.

Discharge. Oily. Can't get that visual out of my head.

Wendi @ Every Day Miracles said...

Are you kidding me?? You are genius funny.

Debbie said...

Yes, this is my favorite post of yours as well! And to think, you came out with this after you thought you were all posted out. It just shows your brilliance. Thanks for playing along.

Suzie said...

Hey I named my first born Cyalis! Great post

anglophilefootballfanatic.com said...

I often blush at some of the ED spams I get in my email. I just don't want to read such things.

Heather of the EO said...

I love the string of side effects at the end of the commercials...makes me want the meds pronto!
diarrhea
headaches
spinal injuries
nose bleeds
constant erection forever
or you might die
(and the guy says it all so FAST, like it's no big deal!)

Jannie said...

I am so on the same page with you for all these freakin E.D. et al commercials. And spam email. ARRRRGG>

Loved the "gleam in Al Gore's eye" line. ha, ha. Can I please use that??

Rosina at Middle Ageless said...

Hilarious! Hubby and I think Cialis should be renamed Pro-Bono in honor of the four-hour thing...a much more fitting moniker!