Kids’ TV ads: Burials, lawyers, cellular service, men’s hair coloring …

We don’t watch much children’s programming on television, and when we do it’s 30 minutes or so of Qubo in the morning (which leaves me longing for the days before Emmalee said she outgrew Sesame Street — but that’s another story).

Perhaps someone can explain to me the selection of ads that run in the morning on a TV channel geared specifically to children.


Burial insurance. Will your dead husband take care of you by providing for his own funeral expenses before he slips away? Poor Betty. You know the government pays only an average of …

Malpractice lawyers. If you’ve been in hurt in an accident, even if it was your fault, you might be entitled to … And you don’t pay unless we collect. It’s a good idea to get kids in on this early, you know.

Discount catheters. First-person testimonials. I didn’t even know what a catheter was until I was in my 30s.

Cellular service endorsed by AARP. The ad chronicles the carefree adventures of an older couple having the time of their lives, while remaining in touch with the grands for pennies a day on an easy-to-use phone with great service. Why heck, Grandma is cool enough to have has figured out how to text — otherwise she’d never be able to keep up with the kids! The performance by the teen bystander/witness to this phenomena provokes unintended laughter.

Expensive toys you’d never buy for your own kids. But these ads help Gram and Grampa figure what Junior really wants — an oversized but empty stuffed animal kids can use to stash a bedspread in, half of their socks, a baby sister, the dog, your car keys … There is a series of these Gifts from Grandma ads. Good thing the oldsters are tuned into Qubo every morning.

There’s one ad that really hits home, though. It’s for a men’s hair-coloring product (again, I question the product placement and timing).

It’s not like those old commercials, where you gently and gradually removed as much gray as you wanted to.

No, this guy goes from gray to gorgeous. It’s not just a subtle change of hue. It’s a total makeover. His hair changes, his life changes. Everything is good, now.

“Why don’t you do that, Daddy?”

The man on television is running a small brush through his hair, converting gray to brown in an instant.

I know what happens when guys my age try to restore color to their growing crop of gray. You see them out in public, at the store, at the ballgame.

They’re they who look like they poured liquid shoe polish over their hair. It’s an obvious mismatch. The wrinkles and facial wear make it even more obvious.

“Do you think I need to do that to my hair?”

“No, Daddy. I like it just the way it is.”

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