Alright, if I’m watching a WWII documentary on the Military Channel, I expect to be hit with ads for low-cost life insurance, funeral planning and the like.
Lately though it seems that no matter what I’m tuned to, I can’t avoid ads for diabetes equipment (thankfully, Wilford Brimley is no longer blanketing the airwaves to warn us about DIABETUSS) and CPAP supplies (it seems that now every third person in America has sleep apnea).
The topper tonight came when I had the TV on to 20 Most Shocking videos on TruTV (just as a brief interlude before the opera started on PBS, I assure you), and was not paying attention during an ad break when a voice startled me by saying “Believe it or not, THIS is a catheter!!!” “Order now, and get a free catheter travel bag!”
It doesn’t seem to matter what I watch, the Decrepit Demographic is monopolizing the ads. Later I had a repeat of “The Big Bang Theory” on, and got an ad for The Scooter Store (“Be relentlessly mobile, old farts! Embarrass your grandchildren at their sporting events!”).
If I dodge the scooters and catheter hucksters, I get swamped with ads for prescription drugs for revolting chronic problems, alternating with ads from lawyers promising to help you sue over revolting side effects caused by prescription drugs.
I’m so depressed, I’m going to have to take an extra long nap before bedtime.
I am in Canada, so we do not have a lot of “medical” and “drug” ads on TV - guess we have different regulations about such.
However, anytime I watch US TV, mainly for football games, I am appalled by the number of ads for drugs - seems like virtually every ad is for viagra, anti- depressants, scooters or something related to ill-health.
It is such a downer that I actively scroll throughout the channels for anywhere else I can see the game or show on another channel.
I get that the big drug companies spend vast $$$$ on research and have to recoup with aggressive ads- but damn - it makes me borderline hypochondriac just looking at those ads. I really hate them.
ETA - the lawyer ads - just too much for me, they are some creepy folks.
Oh gee, the display ad is for catheter and urology supplies here!
It’s all perception. When I was growing up, I was always struck by just how many denture adhesive ads there were during the evening news. Now dental health is better, but apparently not the plumbing.
Geriatric medicine is subsidized while other sectors are collapsing from deadweight loss in a screwed-up economy. So there’s still money to be made from that market.
Also, you’re looking at a combination of newish products and technologies that need advertising to grow awareness of them, and products and technologies that older adults are now feeling some need for.
And the young set are online more, or outside more, supposedly. There is some difference in advertising on shows for youth. Less Cialis, more video games.
Then there’s the obesity issue in the US. Diabetes and sleep apnea tend to be more prevelent for this demographic, as well as a sedentary lifestyle (many of whom watch a lot of TV) so that’s the demographic they’re targeting.
It’s not so much that these people are sedentary as a lifestyle choice, it’s that they often have medical conditions that significantly reduce their mobility and keep them housebound, or largely so. They watch a lot of TV because they don’t have much else to do.
These commercials are aimed at people who are a) old and most likely on a fixed income, and b) dealing with some complex health problems but still living in their own homes, with or without a caregiver. Going to the pharmacy, which isn’t a big deal to people like you and me, is a huge hassle if it means arranging for a van service to pick you up, or getting into and out of a car. So companies that offer deliveries of medical supplies and medications are a huge boon, and the fact that they do all of the insurance paperwork and deal with Medicare and any secondary insurance is a bonus. Or the Scooter Store and that company that sells the portable oxygen concentrator can make the difference between being stuck at home or being able to leave the house once in a while. (Sitting on the porch also counts as “leaving the house”.)
These companies are really selling an improved quality of life to people whose alternative is probably assisted living or a nursing home. Yeah, it’s revolting to think of some of these products (I get sympathy pains just thinking about catheters! :eek:), but that’s what DVRs are for.
Jackmannii, I know just how you feel. It can be hard. Fortunately, I had a guaranteed acceptance geezer commercials policy from Colonial Penn. The peace of mind helps me sleep at night, especially once I plug in my scooter to recharge.
This peace of mind protection costs just pennies a day, and you can’t be turned down for any reason. Now here’s Alex Trebek, breaking character right at a critical point in today’s *Jeopardy!, *to tell you more about it.
“Remember, you heard it from me, Max, at BlueTax! WOW!!”
I watch Game Show Network quite a bit if I’m home during the day, and I think every bleeping ad is either class action suits for prescription drugs, class action suits for defective hip/knee replacements, commercials for catheters, and debt relief agencies.
ETA: And NorthernSky or whoever the people who will cheerfully lend you money at 249.5% interest, no questions asked.
A couple hours of that leaves me feeling like a crabby old woman in a housecoat.
If I’m not actually in the Decrepit Demographic, I’m in another dubious category because I watch the Fox show “Cops”.
Apparently all of us get a substantial portion of our diet from food at convenience stores, which we drive to illegally because we don’t have any car insurance, then race home to recline on our rent-to-own furniture, watching “Cops” to see people just like us busted, because a stranger threw drugs into their car through an open window.