Smart Kids, Dumb Guys

TSTIn a recent comment, my blogging friend, thesinglecell, noted that my posts have been reflective lately, and looking back, they have.  Oh, yeah, my Inner Curmudgeon has slipped in a thought or two but I haven’t let him take charge of a post lately.  That’s not good for me or him.  Top Sites Tuesday, the meme where we get to offer Two Thoughts on Tuesday, has been my Inner Curmudgeon’s playground so today, the keyboard is his.   And, as usual, one of the things bugging us is TV commercials.   Have you considered that somewhere in the country, advertising agencies are being paid millions to use Smart Kids and Dumb Guys to sell us stuff?   I guarantee, I have never bought a single thing because a precocious kid or a sweaty athlete said I should.  No, I’m not saying that all athletes are dumb … they’re certainly smart enough to make lots of money for starring in dumb commercials.

Let’s start with the kids.  I like kids.  I even like Smart Kids … I have three grand-smart-kids.  But as much as a I love kids … and this is Thought Number OneI don’t understand why advertisers think my buying choices will be influenced by what the little buggers have to say about a product.  A while back, Microsoft had kids showing us how easy it was to use Windows.  The way I see it, if you’re computer-savy, it’s insulting that they are using kids to demonstrate Windows’ benefits … and if you’re not, well it’s probably annoying to see a bunch of kids doing what you can’t.  There have been numerous commercials showing how impressed the kids are when Mom picks up Heather or Jeremy from school in her over-stuffed, gas-guzzling Behemoth SL.  Laws should be changed immediately to revoke the driving privileges of anyone who chooses a vehicle based on the opinion of their kids’ friends.  But the most annoying ads … at least for the moment … are AT&T’s ads populated by preciously precocious children hyping (sort of) AT&Ts products.   For example, there’s this:

What the heck is that kid talking about?  In case you missed it during all the terminal cuteness, this is supposed to convince you to use AT&T’s larger 4G network.   It’s more likely to make me change the TV channel … or sign a petition for easier access to birth control.  Not cute.

OK.  Coming up with a Dumb Guy commercial wasn’t much of a challenge.  Try almost any light beer commercial or Dr. Pepper’s uber-annoying Dr. Pepper Ten Not for Women commercial, which pretty much demonstrates it’s not for anyone with an IQ over Ten.   I wonder if they thought of that: Dr. Pepper Ten … It’s Not for Smart People.  But today’s choice is one of Old Spice’s Believe in Your Smellf commercials.  Haven’t seen one?  Here:

Jeez.  Thank God no one’s invented Smell-o-Vision.  Just so you know, my Dad used Old Spice so I already associate it with being a man … just not a dumb one.  So, can you count the Dumb Guy Talking Points in this fifteen second spot?  There are four: (1) Jocks can sell anything to men; (2) Making fun of self-improvement techniques (other than weight lifting) sells to men; (3) Gross is good (I assume you agree that watching a man pull a Post-It from his sweaty armpit is gross.  Or is it just me?); and (4) Guys only appreciate dumb humor.  Thought Number TwoI don’t know what scares me more … that the advertising world thinks we’re all Dumb Guys or that I’m mistaken and we are.

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10 Comments on “Smart Kids, Dumb Guys”

  1. “A while back, Microsoft had kids showing us how easy it was to use Windows. The way I see it, if you’re computer-savy, it’s insulting that they are using kids to demonstrate Windows’ benefits … and if you’re not, well it’s probably annoying to see a bunch of kids doing what you can’t.”

    that is 100% true!

    And also, I really think commercials, in general, are getting worse and worse and worse. And more and more annoying.

    • oldereyes Says:

      I often wonder f commercials just stopped for six months would anything change? Then again, I now (younger) people who really think some of this stuff is funny. And they’re probably the target.

  2. liggybee Says:

    Oh yeah! That WAS gross! I dunno about it, but a lot of TV commercials these days can be pretty darn gross…to the point where you never want to watch TV while you’re eating. Seriously. But I agree with you…I just don’t know what goes thru the minds of advertisers these days.


  3. I know how much you hate “Dumb Guy Chic.” I don’t really like “dumb” anything as an angle for promotion – I find it insulting to either me or the people represented. As for the kids… hmm. I hadn’t ever thought about it. I like kids but as a former smart kid, I tend to think the smart ones are in trouble. 🙂

  4. Wolfbernz Says:

    Hi Bud,

    The funny thing is that even though the commercials were awful, you did remember them.


  5. cherperz Says:

    I rarely watch commercials unless I am traveling. (I hope the day comes that DVRs are in hotels) I have caught a few of the commercials that portray men as being dumb. I don’t see how that appeals to buyers in any way. Of your examples, I had never seen either of them before. I truly don’t understand marketing firms and how they think these would entice us to go out and buy their products. Maybe Wolf is right. We remember them because they are annoying…therefore causing us to retain their brand.


    • oldereyes Says:

      I wrote a post some time ago about how the target demographic for men in between 18 and, say, 30, since after 30, men have made up their minds. That may explain the level of the marketing pitch.

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