Television Commercials FAQs
How did the Commercials Page start?
When I had my old site running back in 2001, one week I made a remark about some of the commercials that were on the air at the time, and the page got a string of hits from people interested in knowing more about the ads they saw on television. It blossomed from there.
What is the top question you have been asked about commercials?
"Is the Flor Restaurant in the Bissell ad a real place?" The caption at the bottom of the screen during the commercial says it is not real, and probably health officials would try to shut down such an operation. However, there are many cultures that prefer not to use tables, so maybe the future will find us reading about a place like Flor being run by somebody like Emeril Legasse!
What is the purpose of your Commercial page? Why is it here?
Despite what some people may tell you, some commercials do draw audience enthusiasm and participation; not everybody leaves for the refrigerator during station breaks. By discussing some of the current ads in an open forum, you may find some answers to your questions about what you saw or heard. Maybe, with luck, advertisers may see this site and contribute information for us as well. So far the page (old and new) has received thousands of visitors, so there is enough interest for the folks behind the ads to pay attention eventually.
The reviews are designed to be informational (answering the question, "What was that ad?") and entertaining (opinions and feedback are always welcome). Remember that these are copyrighted and trademarked entities, so nobody wants any upset on the parts of the ad agencies or product companies.
Commercials, like movies and televison shows, are subjects of conversation. On the Commercials Page I hope to provide accurate information so you can stand at the water cooler and know who is selling what.
Accuracy is a top priority for me, so if I've goofed, please let me know.
How can I see television commercials on the Web?
Many advertising agencies, and the clients they serve, don't put the ads on the Internet (only on television), but some websites may feature information about trademarked characters in their pages (links are sometimes provided to the products' main websites for this reason). Television advertising is a very tight-lipped business, and many ad agencies apparently don't want their work exploited through illegal use of computer resources (hacking, etc.), which is probably why online information is nearly impossible to find. If a company's site has or has had ads on them, I will link to them when possible.
How can I find out about songs, people or other things in commercials?
Every effort is made here to list the names of popular songs, actors or other images in the ads you like, and word of mouth is still the best way to find answers to some questions. As enthusiasm for commercials increases, we may get more information about them. Don't hesitate to email me if you know a song title (especially that Mitsubishi song with the lyrics that sound like "henny in a hole").
Some music is produced just for use in specific commercials and are not available for purchase (Geico's robotic gecko music, for example). Some actors are just regional stock picked players who prefer to keep their privacy. With luck, some characters, if not their portrayers, become icons in their own right. Examples are the ForEyes salesman and Six Flags' own Mr. Six character (the elderly dancing guy).
How do you put together the commercials you list on the page?
The ads that pay for the programming normally appear right at the end of each show's segment, so they're hard to miss; if they're attention getting, I'll add them to the page. I usually leave the television for a break only during the most predictable pieces that are on the air, such as the network previews, the daily local news spot for the 11:00 report that will save my life, or during political ads (one viewing of each is enough for me). I watch the national spots just like you and, occasionally, feel just as guilty about it.