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I Don’t Buy It: Viagra Commercials

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This series takes a candid look at the advertising being crammed onto your television screens and into your heads. Is it really good advertising, or just wasting a commercial break? Reader suggestions are always welcome.

I would like to kick off the series by discussing everybody's favorite advertisements, erectile dysfunction pills (or simply ED for those of you who prefer it).

We see a myriad of crotch-centric ads these days, from getting your genital herpes under control, to naturally enhancing your maleness, to the ever popular pill-based sexual stimuli that have become their own branch of the market – you've seen the competing ads for Cialis, Levitra, Viagra, and Enzyte repeatedly, I'm sure.

I could discuss the fact that these ads (especially Levitra) mention how ED is often a side effect of high blood pressure and/or Type II diabetes. They don't, of course, mention that if you just stayed in respectable shape, you could have a great chance of avoiding those illnesses, and consequently avoid the scourge of ED.

Of course, that isn't anything new. The pharmaceutical companies are all about "have this problem? try this pill!" type marketing, while glossing over more logical (and/or cheaper) solutions.

The male enhancement advertising gurus have really done their best to infuse their ads with anywhere from tame to blatant sexual innuendo, just in case you weren't aware of what their product was all about. Viagra, on the other hand, appears to be steering in a slightly different direction.

I was vaguely put off by their brief attempt at a "There's Only Room for One Passion" campaign, featuring your choice of a) a guy who must choose between sex and the football game because for some odd reason, he doesn't own a DVR, or b) a guy who cherishes his classic car, but is dumb enough to try and hose it down with a lawn sprinkler.

Those were apparently nothing more than warm-ups to see what kind of nonsense they could push past the vegetating male public during a commercial break. Their latest bit, "Viva Viagra," is truly tipping the scales of ridiculous.

Hmm, we've got six middle-aged guys sitting around jamming. Okay, that seems reasonable enough. Hmm, then they hit the chorus! Are these six guys really so excited about their new ED-solving drug that they felt the need to rock out about it? I highly doubt it. Judging by their general age and physical condition, at least a few of the guys probably don't even need Viagra.

Then after a while, if you look close, you'll notice that they are playing in a completely empty saloon in the middle of nowhere. To top it all off, the last shot is of all the guys shaking hands and man-hugging their way out the door, getting in their vehicles and driving off into the sunset.

So let me get this straight. Viagra will help you so much in your sex life and make you feel so good, you'll want to drive to a deserted saloon in the middle of nowhere and sing a song about it with your friends?

Surely the possibility of an erection that lasts a mind-boggling four hours before it is considered irregular would make any man think twice before getting that hyped about his helper drug. Assuming that guy actually wanted anybody to know he was taking it in the first place. Sorry, but I don't buy it.

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