Here in Toronto, the weather was so dismal over the weekend that I ended up watching more continuous TV than I have in months. Like me, if you’ve watched any television in the past few weeks, you have undoubtedly been bombarded with teasers promoting the new Fall shows preparing to invade our homes.
It looks like another season of unimaginative drivel, but there were two things that caught my attention:
Observation number one: Though it’s not a TV show, if you watch football, basketball or hockey this fall and winter, you’ll probably be exposed to the latest Aqua Velva campaign during every available commercial break. These ads follow the recent trend of retro commercials that trace their products back to our parents’ generation. Aqua Velva’s ad agency has determined that reminding you that your father used the product makes slathering your own self with it suddenly Mad Men trendy again.
All I could think about was the fact that Aqua Velva gained a reputation as one of the favoured intoxicants of destitute disenfranchised alcoholics. I couldn’t help but imagine a different spin on the campaign. Picture a homeless guy sitting under a bridge with that familiar ice-blue Aqua Velva in his hand and dozens of empty bottles scattered at his feet. “My daddy drank Aqua Velva, and now I drink it too.” With that, he pours a bottle over some ice, takes a swig, and gives you that “aahh” look of refreshment that you’re likely to see on soft drink commercials.
Here is a chance to diversify and expand Aqua Velva’s market, by reaching those yet untapped fringe consumers that most advertising planners haven’t yet thought of. You can have that idea free of charge! It’s on me, so don’t be surprised if you tune into the first Monday Night Football game and see my commercial running during every timeout.
Observation number two: “Survivor” is back, and I have come to realize that until people stop watching it, this show could quite possibly continue for the rest of our lives. The one glaring portent though is that they’re running out of ideas for the program’s themes.
This season, it’s Old versus Young, with one team comprised of people over forty and their opponent team consisting of people who are under thirty. People that fall into that unwanted thirty-something age group may have cause for a class action suit, but merely joining in that litigation would automatically label you as a loser with no life.
I once again have some ideas that I’m willing to share with the producers of Survivor, free of charge.
How about Convicts versus Guards? You could have special appearances by stars from “The Longest Yard” like Burt Reynolds, Adam Sandler, and Chris Rock, along with a surprise cameo by Dog the Bounty Hunter to spice up the action. One thing to consider: you definitely want to present this one on an island. If a bunch of desperate incarcerated jailbirds have access to the mainland, no contestants from the Con team would even make it to the first tribal council.
Then another season could be Porn Stars versus Strippers. Viewers are now desensitized by all the near nudity already present on the show; that’s the only reason I’ve ever sat through an entire episode. Why not turn it up a notch and give the public what they really truly want?
Political parties could be incorporated. Republicans take on the Democrats. You could picture the Republican camp, where only the privileged get any rice. Meanwhile, the Democrats would be appropriating shares of their rice to local tribesmen, feeding their fish to threatened wildlife, and changing the term “voted out” to “reassigned”.
Ralph Nader could be allowed to participate, but he’d be the first kicked off. That twit would be complaining about the unsafe shelter structure standards and the unsanitary bathroom facilities. Dick Cheney would have to be flown out by air ambulance within three episodes with a coronary condition. George W. Bush would start a war with the normally peaceful locals, and then get voted out, leaving the problem for the rest of his tribe to deal with.
If Canadian politicians competed, the challenges would be a bore, because the Conservatives and Liberals would just argue, and the challenge would never get finished. The NDP contestants would get voted out first, because no one would be able to stand all their whining. The Green Party contestant could actually win it all, because no one would ever think to vote for them.
Regardless of what direction they go in next, I would never want to compete on Survivor during an Old versus Young season. The reason is that I would have to be relegated to the “Old” tribe.
If I were going to participate in thirty-nine days of dishonesty, showboating and egotistical head-butting, I want to at least be sitting across the campfire from a nubile scantily-clad young yoga instructor/former Playboy model, rather than a fifty-eight year old used car dealer from Indiana who can’t stop talking about his prostate and keeps me up all night, running into the jungle to urinate.
In fact, I’ve determined that I’m just not Survivor material. I’ll contently spend the fall and winter months sitting on my couch, witnessing the noble pursuits of Super Bowl bids and Stanley Cup Playoff berths, while watching the Aqua Velva people try to convince me that their cologne is cool again.