Column: With another election behind us; enjoy the end of negativity in TV commercials


Thank goodness that’s over.

I realize elections are a necessary evil in America. But do they have to be so tedious, and depressing and vicious?

Does anyone in Ohio actually know what Sherrod Brown or Jim Renacci stand for? How about Jim Jordan or Janet Garrett? Troy Balderson or Danny O’Connor?

I didn’t think so.

Any more, I don’t even know what Mike DeWine or Richard Cordray actually stand for.

I know who is a Republican and who is a Democrat. But their platforms? I don’t have a clue. No one talks about platforms anymore. They just snipe back and forth, for months.

By the time Tuesday night rolled around, I knew every dark, evil, dirty secret of all these candidates. It’s disgusting and tiresome.

But this past weekend, I had had enough. I was tired of watching all the name-calling and back-stabbing and lying on campaign commercials. Doesn’t anyone with any good traits ever run for office?

I needed a break … from all the evil. So I looked for something less offensive and vicious to watch than campaign ads. Under my TV, in a dark corner of that cabinet, in a place I tell no one about, I found a couple movies that — until now — I never admitted to anyone that I enjoy. I watched “300” And after that, with my appetite whetted for more wholesomeness, I watched the sequel, “300, Rise of an Empire.”

These are two of the most colorful (bloody) movies I’ve ever seen. There is more red in these movies than any Hallmark Valentine’s Day or Christmas movie.

There are stabbings and decapitations and body parts flying across the screen. Still, these movies were a lot less offensive than the final four weeks of these TV campaign commercials.

But those are finally over.

As I write this on Monday afternoon, I have no idea who won any race. I’ve quit listening to TV talkers who predict election results and pollsters who report on political trends. After 2016, it’s obvious those well-paid guessers haven’t a clue to what is going to happen in the future.

I do have my political favorites, but that’s for a different column.

For now, I’m just grateful this election cycle is over. Please Lord, let there be no recounts or runoffs.

Pretty please?

Still, despite how politicians are trying to destroy them, commercials are often the best thing on TV.

For decades, TV commercials have entertained me. They still do, even those from half a century ago: Lawson’s orange juice, Mr. Clean, Ivory soap, Cracker Jack, the Jolly Green Giant.

Ads run in cycles.

There is the election cycle … and then there is all the good stuff.

For a long time beer ads ruled: Miller Lite and Schlitz battled some 40 years ago go. Budweiser’s Spud and the Swedish Bikini Team followed. In recent years Corona and Michelob Ultra are spending millions to recruit new drinkers.

For a while I was entertained by gorillas throwing luggage around or suitcases being dropped off trains and out of airplanes. Hertz and Avis had a pretty good battle for a lot of years.

Cigarettes were king for a long time, until being booted off the small screen.

TV commercials have often been the best thing on TV. The Maytag repair man had a long, long run, as did Mr. Whipple, who couldn’t stop squeezing the Charmin, and Marge, the manicurist who kept soaking hands in Palmolive.

Even on TV shows, actors spoofed commercials because they were so clever. Carol Burnett, Harvey Korman, Tim Conway and Vicki Lawrence were the best.

And commercials can still be great today.

They are worth millions on Super Bowl Sunday. On that day, many don’t care a bit about the game, they want to see the commercials. For years, there were even Super Bowl Ad parties. Those folks ate during the game and turned on the TV when it was time for commercial.

Today, commercials for insurance companies are best. The General with Shaquille O’Neal are good, and the Mayhem commercials for Allstate are classics.

But the best of the bunch are the folks who write and produce ad material for Geico and Progressive.

Every commercial featuring Flo is fantastic. Jamie is another great character. I just watched a YouTube video of Flo and Jamie and their top 10 ads.

I recommend. Do a search for funniest TV commercials and see what you find. I bet it will bring back some really great memories.

I turned to YouTube to do a little research on Geico ads. There are hundreds.

Everytime I see that lizard, I smile. Most times I crack up. The little guy fly fishing, the long walk on the air craft carrier. There is a commercial featuring that gecko and a gorgeous chocolate M&M and the “hump day” camel. I also saw — but don’t recall — one featuring Bullwinkle and Rocky the Flying Squirrel.

But they made me laugh. So thank you.

And then my 8 minutes and 45 seconds of fun came to a crashing halt.

As soon as that top-1o list ended, Barack Obama appeared on my computer screen at work, imploring me to find out where I should vote so I could elect Richard Cordray to be Ohio’s next governor.

Yes. that really happened.

Is there no place one can hide from campaign ads.

God, I’m glad this election is over!

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Russ Kent

Galion Inquirer

 

 

Russ Kent is editor of the Galion Inquirer. Email him at rkent@aimmediamidwest.com