You cannot watch a televised sporting event without an onslaught of Viagra, Cialis and Levitra commercials. It makes sense that the target market for said products would be males living vicariously through big, strong athletes doing stuff most men never got close to accomplishing outside of their fantasies and backyard they had when they were ten. Frustrated, wannabe, could’ve been athletes watching the real thing, drug makers unrealistically marketing a product that mimics a real thing. It’s a package deal.
‘Erectile dysfunction’ is one of those quintessential American phrases that entered the lexicon to titillation and ridicule and has now become mainstream in its conversational usage, if only for its catchy initialism, E-D. It has become such a part of conversation that I rarely even hear parents having to try to uncomfortably explain to youngsters just what ‘E-D’ is. The ads are ubiquitous, and most people, I think, just tune them out – except for those who are fantasizing about and/or ridiculing the people and situations depicted in them. But…
Ever pay attention to the sales pitch wording and the disclaimers?
For the sake of this piece, in place of actual product names, we’ll just use the generic ‘Boing!’® as a surrogate, made-up trademark. Plus, as a generic, available over the Internet placebo word, it is less than ten percent of the cost of the name-brand words.
Ask your doctor.
I wonder if those who put together these ads for E.D. products realize just how counter-intuitive their copy proclamations (especially the disclaimers) are for most men. To wit:
“Stop taking ‘Boing!’® if you have any sudden hearing loss or decrease in vision.”
This one is immediately problematic for most men as hearing loss and fuzzy vision are natural byproducts of the attraction to someone being strong enough to require a dose of ‘Boing!’® to begin with.
Especially on a Saturday night at last call.
“You could be more confident in your ability to be ready.”
I really like this one. It makes a totally illogical connection between a man’s confidence level and his ability at much of anything. Oh yeah…that’s why the ads target couch potato sports fans and DIY home improvement shows and rarely on Dancing With the Stars’– though I have seen a few pop up during presidential debates.
THAT is an entirely separate post.
Man-logic sees this as a neutral proposition; not being able to perform gives you the headache and upset stomach, actual performance gets you the delayed muscle and backache.
Pick your poison, guys.
My favorite part is where the serious-as-all-get-out announcer says,“Ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sexual activity.”
This one sounds reasonable, in a medical-professional way, but…come on, most men lie to their doctors about their diets, level of physical activity, sleep patterns and vitamin intake. How many men will actually bring the ‘hey, doc, if I get lucky tonight, will I have a heart attack?’ up in doctor conversation? Is there such a thing as talking-to-your-doctor Boing!’® because I’m pretty sure the traditional ways men get up the nerve to talk to anyone about anything serious/sensitive/personal is not appropriate here. Showing up to see your doctor with Jack Daniels breath is going to pretty much negate any virility advice – especially if you start hitting on said physician.
And of course, there is the best medication-disclaimer-punchline ever:
“To avoid long-term injury, seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than four hours.”
This one actually seems tailored to the psyche of the modern American male, who if he is still going after four minutes is going to know something different is up.
An hour into such a situation, most guy’s bravado will supplant any rational medical thought and go straight to braggadocio potential. They are going to want to document the experience, and will take to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Vine – pretty much any social media with prominent time-stamps to share the progression (or, really, lack of regression) with the world. Even the more introverted or shy types will simply use their phones to take sexting shots they will then later share surreptitiously in health club locker rooms, with their pals on their over-fifty softball teams or the barista at their neighborhood Starbucks.
You think I’m kidding? ‘Boing!’®
Use this post only as directed.
Now, about those ridiculously unsafe hillside bathtubs…