One Channel to Rule Them All …

Humph. I thought it was Fox News, but it turns out that TNT is the evil Lord Sauron.

With apologies to JRR Tolkien.

One Channel to rule them all, One Channel to find them,
One Channel to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of TV where the Ad men lie.

TNT is advertising their upcoming broadcast of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. The opening shot of the commercial shows the TNT logo superimposed upon Sauron’s eye atop the tower of Barad-dûr. This gives me a chance to rip on one of the things that we are seeing way to much of on our TV screens. Stupidity in advertising.

For the most part this kind of thing really gives me a good chuckle. It is like the people creating these ads think the rest of the world is stupid, when in fact they are showing their own depth of knowledge.

Take the TNT ad I just described. Visually it is kind of interesting, and it did grab my attention. But, really, any Lord of the Rings fan will wonder if TNT really meant to associate themselves with the Evil Lord Sauron. I guess the shoe fits. TNT cuts in at bizarre moments–sometimes in the middle of dialog–to run a commercial. They have restarted the practice of running the movies they show at a low volume which makes the commercials blare in comparison. They still sometimes start a show five minutes before the hour. They saturate any upcoming TNT produced film for six months prior to the actual air date. OK. I exaggerated. Four months.

Hmmm, I guess they are evil. :)

But what really bothers me is that so many commercials fall into this category. Misuse of music is the biggest culprit. That blue jean commercial that uses the Credence Clearwater Revival song Fortunate Son is a laugh. Anyone that knows the song has probably continued the snippet of the song that they use and realized that those jeans must be for somebody, but “it ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate son.” :)

TV dramas are doing it as well. CSI:NY is a very graphic and adult show, yet the theme song is The Who’s Baba O’Reilly and I instantly start think the show is “only teenage wasteland”.

Then there is that computer commercial. It uses the Beatles song Getting Better. “I’ve got to admit it’s getting better (Better), A little better all the time” which is where they cut it off. However, the very next line of the song is “It can’t get no worse”. Either this is the most honest attempt at truth in advertising, or just stupidity. I am sure that it is not the message the computer company really wants us to be taking away from their commercial.

I wonder if college students have made a drinking game out of this phenomenon?


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