Three Wise Guys: Erectile-Dysfunction Ads, Tissues vs. Toilet Paper, More Office Flossing

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Dear Wise Guys:

My question is about the imagery used in TV ads for drugs that treat erectile dysfunction. Why do they end up showing two people in separate bathtubs, outdoors in some beautiful setting in nature? The couple could be in a meadow, in the mountains or at a beach. They also show a couple in an outdoor pool with candles floating in the water. I don't get it! What do a pool and separate bathtubs have to do with erectile dysfunction? Why are they always outdoors? Is this some kind of mysterious guy code that only men can comprehend?


Dan: I, for one, find floating candles to be very erotic.

Justin: Yeah, floating candles are hot.

Joe: Well, that's nice to know, boys, but it doesn't really answer Linda's question. For help we turned to Tom Reichert, a professor of advertising at the University of Georgia and the author of "Sex in Consumer Culture: The Erotic Content of Media and Marketing" and "The Erotic History of Advertising."

"People who advertise products having to do with sex say there's a double standard and that the networks are much tougher on them as far as what they can show," he says.

So on TV they have to imply sex rather than depict it? "Exactly. It has to be more of a veiled reference."

And all the nature scenery? "I'm sure there's a really good explanation," Reichert says. "It's got to be an obtuse metaphor for getting back to the way we naturally are, your true natural self."

Yeah, nothing quite says natural like sitting in separate bathtubs in the middle of a meadow.

Dear Wise Guys:

I'm always pinching pennies. Can you tell me if it is cheaper to use tissues or toilet paper when blowing your nose?

Cheapest Mom in Olney

Justin: You might indeed save a penny or two by using toilet paper, but you'd lose it all on the ointment you'd need to sooth your chapped beak. You might as well save yourself the time and peel off a few layers of skin with a nail file right now. There are plenty of easy was to save money (your kids can live on ramen noodles, right?), but cheaping out on tissue products is not one of them.

Joe: Free advice like that is nothing to sneeze at.

Dear Wise Guys:

In response to Trina [Three Wise Guys, Feb. 10], who had a co-worker use dental floss in his cubicle:

I had a boss who not only flossed in his office, he would enter my office with the floss hanging from his teeth. He wanted to make sure that I didn't take more than 30 minutes for my lunch, so he would rush into my office without completing his hygiene. After putting up with this grossness for a few days, I decided to put an end to it. I waited for him, sitting at my desk with many strings of dental floss hanging from my teeth. He walked in with his floss dangling from his teeth but was totally embarrassed when he saw mine. He never did it again. This is true.


Joe: Well, even if it wasn't true, it's gross enough that we feel obliged to print it.

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