A Couch Potato Way of Self-Knowledge – Part Deux


In the previous post, I suggested that – because ads are carefully focused on their intended audiences – examining the commercials on your favorite TV shows will provide insight into who you are.  I then studied commercials on an episode of my favorite program, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, for clues about my true nature.

I’m going to milk this idea for a couple more posts [If you think it’s easy coming up with brand new stuff every week, just try it]. 

Another program I really like is The Colbert Report.  It would be reasonable to assume that a fake pundit show that runs right after a fake news show on the same channel would have virtually the same audience – and virtually the same ads. 

Well, on that same night, The Colbert Report show and commercials were as follows [products with ads on BOTH shows are in green type; products with ads only on The Colbert Report are in red boldface type.]:

Steven debriefs his trip to Iraq for the USO and offers advice to Kim Jong-Un on “how to be a totalitarian nutjob,” followed by commercials for:

  • Ghostbusters – the video game
  • Public Enemies (movie)
  • Coors Light
  • Nation Association of Realtors (touting the $8,000 1st time homebuyer tax credit)
  • Olay Regenerist (anti-aging face cream)
  • Olay Professional ProX (“resignals” your skin in 28 days?!)

A segment called “Car Shout” mocking GM, Chrysler and the US government’s bailout of same, followed by commercials for:

  • tosh.o (Comedy Central show)
  • Miller Light
  • Quiznos (sandwiches)
  • Away We Go (movie)
  • Zantac (heartburn medicine)
  • Grey Goose Vodka

An interview with Austan Goolsbee [my favorite line of the night: “You sir are one of the chief economists on the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board and you’re a member of the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry – who did you piss off to get those jobs?”] followed by commercials for:

  • Heineken
  • Year One (movie)
  • Kraft Ranch Dressing
  • Dunkin’ Donuts
  • BMW
  • Olay Definity (yet another anti-aging cosmetic)
  • Head & Shoulders dandruff shampoo
  • Olay Professional ProX
  • Olay Regenerist (same ads as before but in reverse order)

Despite perceived similarities, there’s only a 38% overlap of sponsors between the shows. 

So… what can we learn from this? 

  • Clearly, I’ve grown older – even the most youth-oriented product, a video game, is based on a movie that came out in 1984 – and either my gender has changed or I’ve become quite the middle-aged metrosexual:  24% of the ads are for wrinkle creams.  I’m shriveling up and, given the repetition of 2 ads within 20 minutes, I may even be getting senile.
  • Good news:  I’m driving a much nicer car – a Beemer instead of a Nissan Cube.
  • Bad news:  I still have heartburn and I’ve developed dandruff.
  • No news:  I’m drinking real Vodka now instead of Smirnoff Ice but I’m also still drinking (mostly) low calorie beers, though they’re different brands.
  • Weird news:  I’m a first-time home buyer – so late in life.  

What a difference half an hour makes.


[Next week, the third and final part:  O’Reilly versus Olbermann – the answer my friend is blowing in the windbags.]


5 Responses to “A Couch Potato Way of Self-Knowledge – Part Deux”

  1. 1 ted

    … and you’ve been dunkin your donuts in ranch dressing since Year One.

    Metrosexual perhaps. Middle aged? Six more months tops.

  2. 5 months, 4 weeks and 3 days… but who’s counting?

  3. 3 LnddMiles

    Pretty cool post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say
    that I have really liked reading your blog posts. Anyway
    I’ll be subscribing to your blog and I hope you post again soon!

  4. I usually don’t post in Blogs but your blog forced me to, amazing work.. beautiful …

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