I’ve been listening to ESPN radio all day at work so I hear the same commercials over and over again in between show segments. A new one popped up last week starring none other than Chuck “I used to be Famous” Woolery. You know you have a small advertising budget when you’re doing a radio spot, not TV, and the best voice guy you can afford is a) a game show host and b) hasn’t been popular in 20 years.
“We need a recognizable voice for our commercial. Who can we get?”
“No, too expensive.”
“They cost more than actors.”
“A game show host?”
“That’s it. Get me Wink Martindale.”
“Already tried, he turned us down.”
“Shit! All right, call Woolery.”
“He’s been in the lobby for a week looking for work.”
The product is Australian Dream Back Pain Cream. Not making that up, it’s an actual product for sale everywhere currency is exchanged for goods. My favorite part of the commercial is after the Chuckster names the product, his next words are “It’s real medicine.”
You hear that? Those are alarm bells. Those are Klaxons blaring, warning you about this product. When you see a commercial for cough syrup, medicated powder, Viagra, cholesterol meds, whatever, at no point do they ever say the words “its real medicine!”
If you have to tell me that it’s legitimate, you’ve actually told me it’s not.
“Hi, I’m Dr. Smith and I’ll be doing your surgery today. These are real surgical instruments!”
“I’m Mary, your nurse, I’m here to check your blood pressure. I have a license! I know what I’m doing!
“Hello, my name is Roger and I’ll be doing your taxes. I can count!”
“This is Captain Thomas and I’ll be your pilot today. I know what all these buttons do!”
Do all Australians dream of medicated ointment? Is the manufacturing of unguents a large part of the Aussie GNP?
“Oy, pass me another tube of non-greasy, anti-fungal, extra strength formula elbow joint cream.”
All these years my picture of Australia was blue water, beautiful women, kangaroos and Crocodile Dundee. It turns out, their providing employment for washed-up American emcees and curing our aches and pains with clean, no odor balm with a capricious rhyming name. They should have gotten Paul Hogan to do the commercial though.
“You call that a tube of arthritis cream? This is a tube of arthritis cream.”