Strange New World: The Dangers of TV Commercials

How dangerous can a TV commercial be you ask? Very! I answer.

TV commercials may last only 30 seconds on average but brands try to cram as much emotion and feeling as they can into those 30 seconds. They want to evoke a reaction from you, for you to form a connection to their brand. They are usually filled with sentimental imagery of the family unit, fairytale like notions of romance and above all highly emotive music that is designed to pull at my currently delicate, little heart strings.

We can control the TV shows we watch, we can pick what films we choose to see but TV commercials are a law unto themselves. They pop up uninvited, unexpected, their narrative is unpredictable and their content is often loaded with potential heartbreak hazards.

In my family home, the remote (or clicker as we call it) is never far from the finger tips of my parents or my sister. We might be happily watching a TV show together and then bang, the ad break begins and what blares out from the TV? A heartbreakingly melancholy acoustic rendition of some 80’s pop love song. Oh my heart hurts.

Everyone looks at each other with a manic glint in their eye. QUICK! WHO HAS THE  REMOTE? DO YOUR JOB! MUTE IT! They search around wildly. It’s near my sister and her fingers move at the speed of light as she hits mute, extinguishing with one push of a button, the welling up of emotion that that pesky advert had evoked within me.

God bless my family for trying to save me from any further sadness, for stopping me from feeling another second of hurt.

Recently the Deliveroo commercial has been doing a wonderful job of stomping all over my heart. It conveniently comes on the TV every hour and although it features scenes of giant fast food, the song that accompanies it feels especially cruel, it’s The Everly Brothers, ‘All I have to do is dream.’

Anyone experiencing heartbreak will know the longing and sadness that is interwoven into the dulcet tones of The Everly Brothers. The lyrics are brutal.

“When I want you in my arms
When I want you and all your charms
Whenever I want you, all I have to do is
Drea-ea-ea-ea-eam, dream, dream, dream”

Enough already!

The commercial very kindly plays nearly two whole verses of this tear jerking anthem. Which ironically gives my family more time to find the remote!

All jokes aside, it is so hard to hear this type of music when your heart is broken. It creates that lump in your throat and quickly brings to the surface that ever present sadness that is just lurking beneath the whole time. The reality is, I can’t avoid sad music forever.

Deliveroo doesn’t care about little old me and neither should they! I am starting to toughen up bit by bit. When I go out into the world I am faced all the time with reminders of my situation, of my loss. I am learning to swallow it down, to shake it off as quickly as I can. TV commercials are just another thing to ‘get through.’

Just lately I have been telling my family not to worry about muting the channel, if a TV commercial starts blurting out a heartbreak hazardous song. I have been through so much, a TV ad isn’t going to make it worse. It might make me suddenly confront the sadness but really,  I couldn’t be anymore hurt than I already have been.

There is so much to get through, so many ‘firsts’ to experience. TV ads are just helping me to slap on another layer of the thicker skin I am having to develop.


I thought I would share with you the Deliveroo commercial I’m talking about. Heartbreak hazard alert, watch at your own risk!

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