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Ovation: Radio Shack’s Back-To-School “Protection Plan” Commercials.

08/05/2014

RadioShackNowadays, I don’t watch many commercials on television.  As long as the batteries in my remote control are relatively fresh, I can usually zoom past all the advertisements in a program that I’ve recorded and I’m learning to ignore them when I’m watching something “real time” or, as we call it at our house, “live”.  The only commercials that regularly catch my attention are the ones that use off-colored and unexpected humor.  That’s why, despite the outcry from the likes of groups like “One Million” Moms, I get a kick out of the recent Radio Shack Protection Plan commercials.

In one example, a dad enters the room with a laundry basket and says to his son, “Mom just finished laundry. Anything you want to tell us?” which prompts the boy to confess what could be interpreted as a personal and sexual story.  The dad responds with an uncomfortably surprised look on his face, almost speechless, but saying “Uh, you left your phone in your jeans and it went through the wash.”

In a second commercial, a dad approaches his son and says, “I think it’s time we had a little talk about ‘protection.’

Humor is a powerful tool and Radio Shack has cleverly harnessed the notion of “protection” to garner tongue-in-cheek attention for their product.  The notion of “shock value” has existed in advertising for decades but this shouldn’t even qualify.  Frankly, I find it shocking that anyone finds these commercials to be indecent or “sex-laden advertisements”.  I’d call them effective.

I’m more shocked to learn that Radio Shack is still around.

I’ll keep fast-forwarding through all the commercial that I can but, if a commercial wants to catch my attention, it needs to be beautiful to look at or clever enough for me to ask “What did they just say?!” … like these Radio Shack commercials do.

What do you think?

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5 Comments
  1. I share your shock that they are still around. To me, if a commercial is funny and you remember the product, then it is a good commercial. If you cannot remember the product, then the people wasted a lot of money entertaining us. On the flip side, the better the commercial usually means an inferior product. I know one company with a clever commercial that has very high margins on their product while another is guilty of hiring unscrupulous telemarketers who will land customers anyway they can. But, they have a nice commercial….

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    • I’ve always assumed that when you see the same commercial over and over it’s because they can’t sell the product.

      I’m not at all offended by these Radio Shack commercials and I might be more inclined to patronize a Radio Shack as a result of having seen them.

      Those distasteful cartoon Charmin Bears, however, have made me a loyal Scott Extra Soft customer for many years now. (TMI) I think those commercials are just gross.

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      • Agreed wholeheartedly on the Charmin ones. The latest AFLAC one with the cheating duck on the golf course to me imply the company cheats. I don’t know that they were thinking.

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  2. Those ads are hysterical! I hadn’t seen them.

    As for the critics, you know what you should do with people who can’t take a joke …

    Like

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