Annoying ads and “button pushing” loved ones. Welcome to your Thanksgiving!
November 24, 2010
“Stop mumbling, Harry. You know how irritating that is.”
“Fuck off, Martha.”
Ah, Thanksgiving! Time to get together with family and push each other’s buttons. It took my brother and me a little over two hours to get into a major penalty. The topic of our fight was so stupid I’m embarrassed to print it here. And yet, while we were fighting, I could feel the rage like a virus running through my veins. You know that movie, The Crazies? Like that. And he was no better. So there we were yelling at each other in front of our kin, kind of ruining everything.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t the first time. My brother and I have pushed each other’s buttons since we were little boys. Little boys being the operative phrase.
I’m wondering: Does everyone have a button pusher like that? In turn, is everyone a button pusher for somebody else? After all, these things are usually a two way street.
Thanksgiving puts all the buttons on the same panel in the same room, sometimes for days. It’s a nuclear missile launch waiting to happen.
Trying to relate this to advertising I began to wonder if brands could be button pushers. Snuggie anyone? But if a brand pisses you off you just avoid it. End of rage, right? Harder to do with friends and family.
Advertising pushes buttons. And how. For me, Flo, the weirdly perky spokesperson for Progressive Insurance drives me nuts. Is she the crazy aunt who won’t shut the f— up about the goddamn birds in her yard or what? My biggest advertising peeve during the holidays are public domain Christmas carols turned into jingles: “Deck the halls with lots of savings…” Kill me now.
Ending on a positive note maybe being irritated is, well, okay. It’s a feeling after all. And we’re told that feelings are good. Even bad ones. This Thanksgiving, if a button pusher irritates you just go out on the porch and smoke a cigarette. Or walk the dog. Run a dumb errand. If it’s a commercial pushing your buttons do the obvious: push the button on your remote!