Friday, March 23, 2007


I distinctly remember sitting around the house for years, watching TV and never being able to answer what I thought was a simple question: why are local commercials so god-awful? It didn't seem so difficult. You write a commercial, it's good, so it gets produced. The end. Right?

Not even close.

It wasn't until I graduated college and actually got a job writing local commercials that I realized that they were inherently bad--it's the nature of the medium. Business owners do not trust you. They know what they want, and what they want is for their neighbors to say "Oh, I saw your baby on TV. She is adorable!" You can try to steer them in a different direction, you can cajole, you can tell them outright that they are wasting their money if they put what they want on the air. 99 times out of 100, they will not listen to you.

Invariably, customers will choose to have all of their employees out in front of the store saying, "come visit us today!" in unison. Never mind that you can never understand what the hell people are saying in unison, they want their employees in the spot, dammit! They also want their daughter with the speech impediment to list every single thing they have in their inventory in thirty seconds. It'll be amazing.

After a while, you die inside and you give up. You forget how to write anything that doesn't include the phrase "for all your ________ needs." This is why local commercials suck. This is why local commercials will always suck. It's a depressing fact, but a fact nonetheless.

It's been nearly two years since I've written a commercial, but there's still a small part of me that hurts every time I see a bad one--because I know what the people went through who made it. So when I went to the UCB Theater earlier this week and saw the video below, my first thought was "FUCK YOU."

Not fucking funny. Except, totally funny. Damn you, Krohmpf.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Painfully on target. Perhaps the producers share your history of working with local businesses and just had to vent.