Thursday, January 25, 2007

We're onto you, McDonald's

Advertising is a powerful thing. I've done well for some time now eating food almost exclusively made from scratch, and cutting out especially sugary or processed items. All without overwhelming cravings. Incidentally, when I watch television it is usually recorded on my DVR, and I skip the commercials. Coincidence? This morning I was reminded of how powerful commercials can be when I watched a few minutes of something live and caught an Oreo commercial. Suddenly, I found myself thinking, Mmmm...Oreos. Wait...what!? Where the hell did that come from?

DVR was the reason I wanted cable. It's like suddenly all your favorite shows are on PBS. No surprise that advertisers are not happy with the DVR situation. And television networds can't be thrilled, either--I haven't watched any new shows this year, simply because I don't see the commercials and therefore don't know about them or feel that I am missing them. And not just the new shows. I'm not a great American Idol fan, but in the past seeing the commercials made me feel that maybe I should be, just as that Oreo commercial made me feel that downing some milk and a bag of cookies would make me feel really good.

Now we have proof that television shows and advertisers are teaming up to thwart the commercial-skipping powers of the DVR. This video, posted on YouTube, shows a frame-by-frame view of a Food Network show with a single frame McDonald's ad embedded in it. I have seen our future, and it is frequent, inexplicable french fry cravings.

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