Fun_People Archive
13 Feb
Hair dye, soft drinks and talking boy cows.

Content-Type: text/plain
Mime-Version: 1.0 (NeXT Mail 3.3 v118.2)
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 98 13:21:25 -0800
To: Fun_People
Precedence: bulk
Subject: Hair dye, soft drinks and talking boy cows.

Forwarded-by: Nev Dull <>
Forwarded-by: "Keith E. Sullivan" <>

by Bill Hall, Lewiston, Idaho Tribune, Monday, September 15, 1997

I want to share with you today three more examples of the genius of American
television advertising:

1. The barber who hasn't heard about hair dye.

2. The father and daughter who make good nutrition the focus of their first
conversation on the news that the daughter is going to marry the twit she
has been going with.

3. The male cow.

Television advertising frequently resorts to little playlets to get the
point across of what a swell product somebody has to offer.  But sometimes
the story line is based on a premise so bizarre that it's hard to believe
anybody would go near a product associated with that ad.

The dumb barber, for instance.  I don't mean there is no such thing as a
dumb barber.  However, they are rare because barbers are so well informed.
They hear from every good old boy who goes through the chair on what is
wrong with the world, the government or the Fish and Game Commission.  A
lot of what barbers know is wrong, but they know a lot.

Nonetheless, this barber was pretty strange.  He was cutting the hair of a
regular customer when he did a double-take and then said he had always
thought the customer's hair was gray.  How could it suddenly be such a young

The customer chuckled and told him he had been using hair coloring.  The
barber was amazed.  An alleged expert on hair was amazed that somebody had
found a way to change the color of his hair.

I'm supposed to buy a hair dye because of that commercial?  I'm surprised
that barber has heard of hair clippers.  I wouldn't let that clown near what
little hair I have left.

And then there is the commercial about the daughter who comes to her father
with the glad news that her boyfriend has popped the question and they are
to be married.  Normally, you would expect that situation to initiate an
excited conversation on love and family and what a great guy the new husband
is.  At the very least, you would expect her to say she's pregnant and has
to get married.

But not in this commercial.  The daughter breaks the news and then
immediately begins calmly questioning her father about nutrition --
especially a diet supplement he and Mom use -- because she wants to have
the same long, healthy life that Dad and Mom have found by regularly sucking
down a can of that swill.

Is that a realistic scenario?

Not in my house.  When Mike and Tina recently told me they were getting
married, they didn't come to me and say, "We're getting married and we want
to know what nutrition tips you have to give us so that we might have the
same rosy glow in our checks as you and healthy old Mom."

They said, "We're getting married!"

And then we all jumped up and down for a few minutes.  We didn't so much as
break out the oat bran.  In fact, I think as soon as we had calmed down
enough to eat something, we had a bowl of ice cream with butterscotch
topping, the way Mom and I always do.  (Sometimes Mom rubs the butterscotch
in my hair to keep it from looking so gray.

And then there is the cow commercial.  Actually, it's a soft drink
commercial.  They don't normally sell cows on television.  You may have seen
it.  It's a charming commercial about a sheriff and his deputy investigating
a bizarre crime in which somebody or something has entered a convenience
store and emptied all the cans of a given soft drink.

The portly cop wanders outside and suspiciously eyes a herd of cows.  One
of the cows is heard to mumble, "I think the fat one is on to us."

My problem with that commercial is that the cow speaks in a blatantly male
voice.  I suppose a cow who speaks in any human voice at all is such a
stretch that maybe it doesn't matter much.  But it matters.  A cow is not
a boy critter.  A cow is a girl critter.  There is such a thing as a cowboy
but no such thing as a boy cow.  The people in the ad agency who put that
one together are as dumb as a barber who has never heard of dyed hair.

Actually, I think it's all a bum rap.  I think the soft drink was stolen by
the father and daughter who got so sick of that chalky diet supplement that
they flipped and went on a cola binge.

(I don't like my hair in butterscotch.  I think I'll try chocolate just to
shake up the barber.)

prev [=] prev © 1998 Peter Langston []