As part of a new feature on ...ASAT, I will from time to time take a look at the zany world of local television advertising. From the inspired to the lame; from the big budget to the just plain ol' budget, together we will explore the commercials that briefly entertain us on the way to the john.
Up first, Big Sandy Superstores.
Most adverts for Big Sandy star one of two people. There is a middle-aged, balding man that has been a fixture for years, although his appearances have been less frequent in recently, who I assume is the owner. There is also a younger guy, likely his son (I could be wrong), that was originally called the "Big Sandy Super Pro" (but that moniker seems to have been dropped).
There are also several minor characters that pop up from time to time. These include a cadre of dancing girls with varying levels of talent who, despite their attractiveness, further prove that capri pants look good on absolutely no one (reverse muffin tops are the best way that I can think of to describe the capri effect) and several employees that pretend that they have never used their employee discounts for friends and family (speaking as someone who has worked retail, all I can say is "yeah, right").
The older guy is, by far, the most comfortable in his own skin on camera. Despite knowing damn well that he is trying to sell me furniture, appliances, and electronics at the highest possible profit margin, he always comes across as likable, folksy, and honest. He has scaled his TV time waaaay back in recent years, however, in what is probably the first steps in handing over the reigns to the regional empire that he and his father built over the last few decades. He currently only pops up in the weeks leading up to Christmas in an advert that plays on the whole "war on Christmas" myth (more so in '05 than in '06, when the hysteria was more ripe). In the message, he confuses the intentions of our Deist, Enlightenment-era Founding Fathers with the aims of modern Evangelicals (in reality, such beliefs were only found in New England Puritans and a small Baptist minority in Virginia during the early years of the republic). He also invites customers of all faiths to share a traditional (I suppose that means hiding from the Romans(?)) Xmas with him. I tried to take him up on his offer, but I found my favorite Big Sandy Superstore to be closed on the 25th. I guess he wasn't being literal. While I find that particular commercial to be an act of pandering to the lowest common denominator and mildly insulting to the good sense of people in the Huntington-Charleston viewing market, I am willing to forgive him. He is, after all, in the business of profit maximization and, frankly, that pillow top mattress that we got from them is quite kick-ass.
Moving along, let me preface my critique of the younger guy with this statement: he looks like a really cool guy. I bet he is a blast at parties and would be a fun guy to tag along with to the bar or to the big game. I'm also quite sure that he has an awesome home entertainment center and I would gladly go to his place to watch the Super Bowl or the Final Four. That being said, I really cannot stand to watch his commercials. This problem could be solved, however, if he followed this simple piece of advice:
STOP MOVING YOUR HEAD AROUND SO MUCH.
This guy reminds me of a "Stone Cold" Steve Austin bobble-head. Maybe a halo brace would help. I dunno.
But seriously, keep your head still. Someone's gonna have a seizure.
Overall, while BSS's adverts are often cheesy and sometimes obnoxious, they must be working. Somewhere, a would-be heir to a now-defunct local furniture store who is working at a Par Mar convenience store can attest to that..
Labels: Big Sandy Superstores, Commercials, Tristate