Made For Television - MUBI

The power of television advertising.

William Farley‘s Made for Television (1981) is an entertaining, informative presentation of manipulative television advertisements. Leland Mellot is the narrator of the short, and his pastoral southern drawl is active in bringing attention to the dated ads.

The short is over in approximately four minutes, and afterward, you may feel a bit nostalgic after watching the intently hilarious 60s and 70s television ads. Many of the ads featured over the top facial expressions, and you could readily recognize that the dialogue is read from cue cards. If satisfied, motivated consumers to purchase whatever the advertiser was selling in the ads. These still familiar tactics also provide interesting trivia tidbits and are well synced to each related clip provided in the footage to engage viewers. Advertisement companies pay particular attention to pop culture trends and exploit character frailty to sell a product. If a particular advertisement elicits a polite visceral response, then the person viewing that ad will most likely purchase the product.

While the connections between the facts and the footage are a little vague, the theme of mortality is consistent throughout the audio portion of the presentation–some times the average person could have a heart attack–and other morbid reminders of how short life is. Thoughtful encouragements to consume enough of their products while they still can (if you can consume enough of their product that is). An interesting observation was the use the phrase aww man; a phrase that is commonly used in everyday dialogue, and perhaps the most commonly used phrase of the world’s people, and cultures. This may signify certain commonalities between all people instead of focusing on proposed differences.

Farley’s Made for Television–a fascinating look at how people are coyly influenced by television advertising.

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  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 4 stars
  • Excellent

  • MADE
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  • Last modified: 2016-07-14

Review Summary:

A dense assemblage of excerpts from television commercials juxtaposed to a soundtrack of extraordinary facts about human beings, the results of which presents a humorous and critical view of TV advertising manipulation.

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