Monday, August 15, 2011


I was listening to the radio the other day when they came to a commercial break (they say they play a 20-song marathon, yet whenever I tune into this station, they always seem to be in a commercial break - but I digress). I thought for a moment that I had come across another seemingly ubiquitous cheesy radio spot. However, just a few seconds into the ad, I found myself weeping as the swelling music and contrived pathos turned me into a sobbing, blubbering man-baby ... Well, not exactly. What actually happened was that I found myself calling out "shenanigans", as in "Officer Barbrady, I call shenanigans". There was certainly tomfoolery and overstatement afoot.

The commercial was for a local insurance company. Here is what the ad said (and I quote), "Often passed down from generation to generation, our auto insurance is more than just insurance, it is like a cherished family heirloom." Yep, right up there with grand-grandpappy's ashes, the potato chip shaped like Elvis, and the collection of antique dust bunnies. The sad thing was, there was no hint of humor or acknowledgement of hyperbole in the delivery. The pitchman read his lines like Walter Cronkite on the evening news (and I even got the impression that his brow was deeply furrowed). This definitely was a bit over the top. Shenanigans.