Before I begin, let me state publicly that I know how important advertising is to our economy. If you’re trying to attract business, you have to attract crowds — the larger the better, of course; hence, why advertisements are crammed on every open wall and website across this fair nation of ours. We’re a capitalist nation. I get that.

But does anyone else find it the least bit insulting how mind-numbing commercials are these days? Let me be the first to admit that I am not materialistic by nature; I don’t look to commercials to be told what I want.

All the same, I find it difficult to see how people can overlook the constant spew of demographic-seeking, controversy-censored porridge that all our most memorable advertisements slop in the bowl for us.  That people are actually inspired to go buy these products is often beyond me.

I’ll admit it.  The Geico commercials amused me for awhile.  The Emerald Nuts puns of yesteryear were entertaining while they lasted.  But on a different level, I acknowledge that for what it’s worth, these are little more than crafty 20-second salesmen, only as sincere as their white polished smiles.

Padma Lakshmi for Hardee's

All latent stereotypes, overused jokes, and inexplicable celebrity references aside, advertising is supposed to sell a product for what it is. I have no qualms with straightforward, boring commercials that tell consumers up front what so-and-so’s services/products are and why they are better. At least they are honest.

No, it’s the sexy, curvy stereotype holding the hamburger (think Hardee’s), the dumbed-down joke that I’ve heard in five different movies (think cheap beer), the constant correlation between any product and being cool (think pretty much anything), that really bugs me. It bugs me because these ads affect people on levels beneath what they see on their screen, makes them associate material goods with self esteem. And the worst part of it is that all these ploys work so well.

– Tim Freer