Wednesday, February 20, 2013

450 Words on Why Mattress Commercials Freak Me Out

Because give me too much time to think about it and I will start ranting about literally anything. 


      Look, I get that they're trying to sell me a mattress, so I have to actually be able to SEE the mattress. But that doesn't mean I don't get just a little grossed out every time a commercial comes on in which a shirtless man and a woman in white spandex shorts and matching sports bra (because that's what we ladies sleep in, dontcha know) are smiling in their faux-sleep as they rub dead skin cells and self-tanner all over their giant unwashable $800 investment. The only places you'll consistently find people sleeping on uncovered mattresses with no pillows are mattress commercials and crack houses. I find that strange.

     But put the uncovered mattress in a sparsely decorated room together with the permanent sleep-smile that whoever's directing these commercials seems to insist his models wear and the creep factor is instantly multiplied by at least a factor of ten. And they are ALWAYS doing the “No, really, I just smile in my sleep because I'm so damn happy with my mattress” routine. There has to just be one super weird guy making the same commercial over and over again for various companies, because every manufacturer is guilty of it. Which only makes it worse, because the more you see it, the weirder it becomes. The satellite cut out during a President's Day mattress sale commercial recently and the image froze on these two overly tanned, underly clothed people smiling placidly as they lay unmoving on my screen. It could just as easily have been a commercial for cyanide capsules. I defy you to find a mattress commercial in which the shot of two people sleeping on a bare mattress couldn't just as easily pass for a scene from a movie about a serial killer who places his victims' bodies in model homes. I half expect a seasoned and brusque older detective and his inexperienced but well-intentioned young partner to burst through the door at the end of the commercial, guns drawn, and lower them with a sighed “Dammit, we're too late” as they lay eyes on the unmoving couple.

     I don't know why these commercials don't just show the mattress with no one eerily occupying it, then use a different take with people “sleeping” the way people actually sleep, with sheets and a pillow at least, to show how comfortable it is, which I can only assume is what they're attempting to convey with this epidemic of half naked possibly dead people arranged on a pillow-top altar. Or they could just show a picture of the mattress with “IT'S COMFY AS SHIT” superimposed in bold type on top. Hey, don't underestimate the power of straightforward advertising.

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