I watch commercials. Sometimes. I dislike the narrative disruption they bring when I’m watching a TV show or movie (though I almost never watch movies that are edited altered or interrupted anyway), but I do enjoy the wit and style of the really good ads. At times, they’re better than the show they’re disrupting (I’m sure there were a few examples of this during the last season of Heroes).
Bad ads are generally just bad, hardly worth a cringe, made to scan past on the ol’ DVR.
Recently, though, there are some ads that I consider abominations. They hurt me inside when I see them because of what they say about at least a segment of humanity. John McCain’s ads fall into this category, and, upon reflection, I guess a lot of political ads in the past have as well, but you expect Rovian tactics from Rovian politicians, and it’s easy to dismiss them.
But the ads I’m really addressing today are the two new ads for American Express’s small business gold card. These ads are chilling in their lack of humanity, their embrace of business class values so goose-stepping and mean they’re on an ethical plane with kicking puppies. Continue reading