What I’ve Learned Watching Football

The most important thing I learned watching football this year has little to do with football itself. It has more to do with who watches football: men of all ages.

Over the past few months, NFL telecasts have overflowed with ads for sexual performance products. Actually, that’s just a guess, because ads for Levitra, Cialis and Viagra never mention what the products are for.

I know that Joe somehow looks different, though he hasn’t lost weight, gone to the gym, gotten tan or anything else other than walk out of the doctor’s office smiling. In another commercial, a football can’t be thrown through a tire on a string until the protagonist has taken Levitra. In the Cialis commercial, a couple is sitting (seemingly naked) in twin bathtubs.

Originally, when the statesmanlike Bob Dole was pitching Viagra, this seemed like help for a small portion of the population who needed it. Now, it’s just another ride at the Magic Kingdom!

What bothers me is the frequency with which these ads are presented, and the implication that drugs are somehow necessary in the pursuit of good sex. I’m sure these three potions, and others like them, help lots of people. But the ads seem targeted toward the virile. Otherwise, why not mention exactly what the pills are for? And, why use actors who are younger than the mean age of the most likely affected population?

Truth is, I just don’t want it in my face, every few minutes, as I watch TV. I’m finding it more and more distasteful.

2 thoughts on “What I’ve Learned Watching Football”

  1. I have a friend that is a BioTech analyst in NYC and he let me know that pharmacutical companies can not tell what a drug does for a period of time. I believe it has something to do with the drug trials that are going on. The reason they put the commercials on the air early is to get the name in your head. My question is, why does the commercial end with “Ask your doctor is Levitra is right for you”. You didn’t tell me what it is for!

  2. Geoff

    Did you get an advance copy of the 01/22/2004 WSJ?

    Page B-1 has a story about what you are talking about (with a picture of Mike Ditka).

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