Advertisers Think You Are a Moron: Head On!!

Someone once said "Nobody ever lost money underestimating the intelligence of the American people." That somebody was probably in advertising. This is the first in a periodic series of posts about the many insulting commercials that advertisers foist on the public, assuming the unwashed masses are uniformly stupid. Here is a commercial for some product called Head On that I saw recently:


There are so many annoying facets to this commercial I don't even know where to begin.

First, the voice rapidly screams an obscure directive at the viewer, as if you are a POW in some Kampuchean prison camp. I've seen The Deerhunter multiple times, I know the feeling one has when a foreign prison guard screams at you unintelligibly. An old dictum states that if you repeat something often enough, people start to believe it. But you have to do it more than three time. Three times is just enough to be annoying but not enough to trick you into thinking you must apply something directly to your forehead. The advertisers are treating you like a convict.

Second, why do you need to apply something to your forehead? What is this product for? I wanted to apply the business end of a hammer directly to my forehead after watching this ad, but that wasn't what they were going for. There is just not a lot going on in the forehead region. Wrinkles and acne is all I can think of, but that product looks like a big chapstick. The whole thing sounds a little creepy and is possibly sexual. The advertisers have not even deigned to consider that a consumer would want to know what is being sold to them, expecting that repetition and clear directives are all that the zombies in front of the television screen deserve.

Finally, that green grid in the background slowly folds towards the viewer, as if the robot announcer is lulling you into a stupor so Head On can capture you with his grid-net. The advertisers are treating you as prey.

Read this blog during your lunch hour. Read this blog during your lunch hour. Read this blog during your lunch hour.

  1. Jesus. I thought I was the only one in the world who thought this commercial was ridiculous. No one has been talking about it. I thought, ‘Nobody, even lay people, can possibly believe this commercial.’ I can’t believe the manufacturers of this product even made a useless product like this. A headache is usually rooted from some kind of probelm in the brain. Unless this head’on product has some kind of crazy lidocaine substance that can cross, not only the skin, but bone AND the blood-brain barrier (which is highly unlikely because it would have to have some kind of phospholipid bilayer on it…go back your high school biology folks) to work.
    Thank you, Todd, for giving me some hope in humanity. I reallyhope that people aren’t buying this stuff. I wonder if it’s FDA appproved?

    Annie Mo
    September 20th, 2006 at 7:53 am

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