09/05/2009 09:17 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Because You're Too Stupid, Pt. 1: Ads in L.A.

When I moved to L.A. at the turn of the century, I noticed something about this 'industry town' almost immediately. All outdoor advertising -- billboards, bus ads, bus shelters, bus benches, building wraps -- is entirely for entertainment marketing campaigns for TV and movies (save the occasional realtor headshot). You can speculate that this is as much for industry exec egos as market saturation.

But do so many of these ads have to be so awful? And worse: so enduring? When a new movie marketing campaign starts, it is everywhere you look, even if you try to turn away. Look at this ad from the 'Sluttiness is Something Special' marketing blitz for the new Melrose Place: You can actually see a billboard for it reflected in the bus shelter ad.


This is especially painful when the ads themselves are so painful. Did I really need to see John C. Reilly defile classic Jim Morrison iconography every day for several months leading up to the dismal Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, which didn't even offer any Doors parody?

So I do not offer this commentary as cheap shots on pop culture. My psyche has been dragged through bad development decisions with stars of the moment plastered over them for years. And these current campaigns have been staring at me for months now with asinine tag-lines and pathetic pandering. I am sharing this as taking back my personal space that is perpetually insulted by this wall-to-wall dumbing down by the entertainment industry.

This is dubbed "Because You're Too Stupid" because these ads presume you are so stupid, you still need translation to convey what they are trying to say.







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