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TV Commercials and Your Psyche


TV Commercials and Your Psyche

2010 Northwest Regional Event 1
Three rounds for time of:
135 pound Overhead squat, 10 reps
50 Double-unders

TV Commercials and Your Psyche

Eric and I don’t have cable. We watch movies through an AppleTV that was generously handed down to us. When I’m on the road; however, I usually pass away my last hour of the night watching TV. I’m constantly amazed at what I see from the reality TV shows, to advertisements, to news reports.

Lately, I can’t help but think that the advertisements and logos we see day in and day out play a huge role in our success or failure in the things we constantly strive to achieve – health and fitness. Does our subconscious brain keep a running tally of the food, clothing, and fitness advertisements we see? And at our weakest moments do those sights come back to affect us?  I believe so.

This weekend I logged the commercials that aired during ONE break from the movie Sahara.

Commercial #1: Dave and Busters

Dave and Busters is a sports bar and game room in one. The TV ad showed people having fun a while cashing in on one of the great food deals offered currently. Each food item displayed was some gluten infested, fried mess, of a not-even-close-to-good-quality meal. Did it look appetizing? Sure, at first sight. I’m human. And the people eating the food sure looked like they were having a good time.

Commercial #2: An MMA Get-in-Shape Video Series

Basically, it was the Wii-Fit type program based around a UFC fighter training environment. Thin folks with somewhat showing abs were displayed doing the workouts while real UFC fighters talked through the benefits of the program. A lone man shown doing the workouts in front of his TV didn’t really inspire me. Who wants to workout on their own in front of a TV? Also, there’s no way in hell that those folks were able to look that good by punching thin air.

Commercial #3: A New Kind of Snickers Bar (really?)

This snickers bar put chocolate in the middle, wrapped it with caramel, and then covered it with peanuts. Basically it was a Snickers bar inside out but they failed to point that out. It was “filled with lasting energy” and while I’m not into caramel or peanuts, it made me want chocolate.

Commercial #4: A New Reality Show (sponsored by Jennifer Lopez) Called Miami Tow

The show tracks the real life stories of folks in Miami that have had their car towed. I’m not sure what to think of it but my first reaction is that our country is screwed.

Commercial #5: A Natural Low-Fat Yogurt

Some thin healthy looking woman gracefully ate yogurt from a container like it was ice cream on a spoon. Ice cream…I don’t like yogurt but ice cream sure sounds good.

So there you have it. Five commercials with varying degrees of impact on my psyche. Did I run out and buy chocolate? No.  Would eating those foods have crossed my mind had I never seen those commercials?  No.

I once read a statistic that teenage girls felt depressed and bad about their self image after reading a magazine like Vogue or Cosmo for just five minutes. I suppose the same principles apply for TV commercials and logos and our CrossFit goals.

So what’s the moral of the story? No, I’m not telling you to kill your TV. I am telling you that the ads and logos you’re exposed to everyday have a direct impact on your success or failure in the health and fitness world.

Does your mouth salivate after seeing pasta or some other food you don’t eat on a regular basis anymore?  Post to comments.

7 Responses

  1. “The show tracks the real life stories of folks in Miami that have had
    their car towed. I’m not sure what to think of it but my first reaction
    is that our country is screwed.”  Could not agree more.

    Our subconscious is a powerful tool and companies realized this and began using it to their advantage (read wallets) long ago.  In the end though, we still have the final say in any choices that we make.

  2. Charlie

    It probably sounds kind of stupid, but my approach is to think of myself as “powerful” every time I resist the urges that this type of ad (or my own brain) bring up.   I know the phrase “will power” already exists, but somehow thinking of myself as powerful makes me feel better than just thinking of myself as “having will power.”

    That way, I get to feel good every time I pass by a bowl of candy at work or decline the french fries that “come with” the lunch I ordered.

    And if I can do it, I’m pretty sure anyone can.

  3. Ali

    I love this!  And now I want that Snicker’s bar… 😉  But will happily eat my fresh cherries for dessert instead. 

  4. Caps

    This was the hardest thing about the paleo challenge last fall.  Every NFL Sunday I had to mute the TV and avert my eyes from all of the Pizza Hut ads every commercial break.  The funny thing is, after the challenge ended I ordered Pizza Hut for that Sunday’s NFL games and I really didn’t enjoy it.  Stupid marketing!

  5. Hank

    I don’t really watch TV,  but I did see a fascinating Snickers ad featuring a dude that had turned into a werewolf and bit somebodies head off (figuratively).  Why?  Apparently he hadn’t eaten in a while and his chronically inflated blood sugar was now collapsing, causing him to regress into a very primitive part of his brain.  The solution to the werewolf’s unstable blood sugar was obvious: Snickers!

    Before paleo, I was notorious for such werewolf behavior.  The ad reminded me that a lot of people are trapped on the blood sugar roller-coaster, which totally sucks.  And the way off is by cutting the sugar addiction, not by having another snickers. 

  6. grandpamojo

    Great entry, Nicole. I laughed pretty hard at the “Miami Tow” show description. – Ha! – fricking priceless! – Oh, and I second Caps on the NFL stuff… except for me, it’s the damned beer commercials!