Have commercials taken it too far?

Christmas eve, 2013.
The whole family is in front of the television watching Home alone.
We are already now laughing for what is going to happen in 5 minutes.

But what actually will happen in 5 minutes is a 10 minute “commercial break”.
“Let’s just continue watching on Netflix”, dad suggested.
That was the last time I ever watched actual television.

The nostalgic in me misses the moments when you would say NO to a social activity because your favorite show was on the telly.
When you would wake up 5:30 in the morning to watch your favorite cartoon.
When you would be happy there was a commercial break because you’ve been holding it for too long.

Yet, my impatient character is thankful for YouTube Premium and Netflix.
A very small percentage of commercials has the ability to remain funny after watching it  15 billion times.
But the majority makes you want to put lemons in your eyeballs after the first time watching it.

I spend a monthly amount of 50 euro’s to keep myself entertained without commercials.
But you can’t avoid them all.


Yesterday I decided to pick up the “Wow, No Cow” Oatly “milk”.

(You gotta give it to them, it’s an original way to call your Vegan milk.)

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You’re probably not going to read the picture, so let me sum it up for you.

Oatly challenges you to try to “make it” 72 hours without milk and use their product instead.
If you have survived 3 days, then surely you would survive the rest of your life, right?!
Because as they state: “Is it important to cut out greenhouse gas emission by 2/3rd every time you are thirsty or feel like a latte?

When has milk been promoted as the “thirst reducer” anyhow?



A language app called “Duo lingo” is taking the guilt trip a little further.
Each time I skip a day of practicing, I get 2 emails with their cute, crying mascot – Duo the Owl.

The Verge
investigated more of the guilt trip method Duolingo is using.
It conclude on the following post on twitter:

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Not only the poor dear is crying of depression.
He is also strongly considering eating a poisonous loaf of bread.

At the same time, once you actually do your daily 5 minute exercise, Duo will be cheering for you in its most adorable way.

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Do you have an example of when commercial are using a method to make you feel guilty?

Do you pay much attention to commercials?

33 thoughts on “Have commercials taken it too far?

  1. That poison bread thing is just awful! I watch Netflix a lot of the time but I do watch YouTube and their ads are getting way to overboard. I’m trying to watch a 10 minute video and there’s three 15 second ads in it! And you can skip them and they’re the same freaking ad EVERY TIME. I’m always saying, “if I see this effing ad one more time…” lol I just get mad.

  2. The commercials on YouTube bother me a lot.
    I use it a lot, so I decided to get a paid account. No more annoying commercials and I can save video to listen to offline.
    I ended my Spotify and use YouTube instead. 👌 best decision ever.

  3. My favorite guilt commercial was many years ago, when the comical National Lampoon Magazine had a cover that pictured a cute dog with a gun to its head and read “If you don’t buy this magazine, we will kill this dog.” They sold out. (Just Google National Lampoon kill this dog to see the cover.)
    P.S. The next month they said that they had sold more copies of that issue than any other, but sadly, (they joked) not enough to save the dog. Next time they make a threat, buy more copies.

  4. I’ve only started watching commercials again since moving to Australia because my housemates still have cable and don’t always watch Netflix. To be honest, it is a bit refreshing after YEARS of not seeing any commercials but I do prefer just watching TV shows without any breaks.

    The only guilt I feel about commercials was being a little brat when I was a kid and making a fuss about not getting the latest Polly Pocket set, haha.

  5. I never, ever watch TV that has adverts as they drive me crazy and it’s getting that way with YouTube. They have quite a lot of meditations on there and I was listening to one a while back when all of a sudden there was an advert for toilet paper or something – totally killed the mood xx

  6. That’s the same for me. I can’t fall asleep without meditation.
    So I just purchased a premium account and nw I am commercial free 😀

  7. I don’t even know which commercial are popular these days!
    But there is something nostalgic about them. I especially remember those before Christmas, promoting all the toys!

  8. Anything that you don’t pay for has commercials these days, it’s sad. I don’t watch tv so the only ads I see are on YouTube and I don’t watch that much anymore either! I saw you paid for YouTube, I just don’t know if I watch it enough to pay for it. I get a student discount for Spotify that includes Hulu and Showtime but Hulu still shows commercials so I avoid that as well. I just watch my Netflix and stay happy.😀

  9. I know! It’s too much!
    I think I once heard rumors that Netflix is going to commercials as well! But luckily that hasn’t happened!

    I was in between Spotify and YT, but chose the latter because I actually watch some series and I can download music.
    But whatever works best for you 😀

  10. My son loves his Spotify and the commercials don’t seem to bother him on YT or Hulu so whatever! 🤣
    I heard that they are testing it to people that don’t have a subscription on Netflix. I pray it doesn’t happen!

  11. I don’t really watch TV anymore, so when people talking about ads I just listen.
    “So you know this commercial with [insert actor’s name]?”
    “Umm…”
    “He [insert what he does]…?”
    “Aha, yea…maybe?”
    and I just let them talk without having an idea.

    But when I gather with family and we watch TV to socialize (lol), breaks are good to refill drinks, get more snacks, etc.

  12. YouTube ads are the worst when they come in the middle of videos. I tried a guided meditation once and was all into it when the volume doubled (my very favorite marketing trick 🙄) and some unrelated product ad came on.

    In the middle of a meditation.
    How brilliant is that?

  13. The absolute worse!
    I cannot sleep with meditation, so I needed the paid YT account.

    But isn’t so that content creator decides whether they incorporate commercials or not?
    If so, I want to blame them a little as well 😑

  14. I think the content creator chooses, and that’s understandable, but I also believe they must have a choice in when the videos play because most don’t have interrupting ads.

    Now I need to know for sure about ad timing. If the mid-video ads are voluntary, there’s one creator who has great stuff but needs to know it is INEFFECTIVE with distractions, which leads people like us to find other content.

  15. I remember some really funny commercials from the past. I always hoped those would just come up. But like you, I have no clue what’s “hot” these days.
    It’s also why I stopped listening to the radio. Every 15 minutes, come on!

  16. I can’t believe the Duolingo’s guilt trip method…wow! I’d never received this emails from them. I guess it’s because I turn off the email notifications off and because I haven’t used Duolingo recently.

    This post reminds me of the WordPress and Grammarly ads I constantly see on Youtube to the point of annoyance since I don’t have premium. I already have a WordPress account, so it always makes me wonder why I keep seeing their ads. I also see the grammarly ads, and since I got a degree that covered English grammar, I don’t feel like I’ll need it either.

  17. It’s better to turn off the email notifications! I get too many emails from them.
    And when I see the owl cry, I cry too. Hahah.

    I guess it all has to do with the cookies. I really don’t know much about the algorythm they are using on the internet.
    But lately, whenever I am trying to read an article on the internet, ads keep popping up.
    I really hate it!

  18. The commerical I remember the most was the Always period pad ads. I grew up seeing those and was always fascinated by the blue liquid that would stain the pad, LOL. It was unfortunate that this made me wrongly believe this meant it would be the same color for me. So I got a bit of a shock at age 10 when I started the monthly flow…

  19. Oh man. I always asked my mum why she was buying diapers for herself! I had no clue, haha.
    My mum never really informed me about what will happen in my teenage years.
    So I definitely thought I was bleeding to death when it happened the first time 😉

  20. LOL I thought they were diapers too! 😂 I had a typical sex ed class in junior high school but it was so awkward and of course I was too embarrassed to ask my mom specific questions. I never knew what period blood looked and felt like until it happened.

  21. Haha, he’s got some issues 😉

    Yeah, I would probably also be on my phone during commercials. I also don’t like them in the cinema!

  22. It wasn’t actually a commercial. It was a short motivational clip by a YouTuber called Casey Neistat. In it, he begged his viewers to stop wasting time, idling around and actually start doing something from real. Now I spend most of my time watching his videos.

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