hooked on being better than you

I have a few problems with this commercial.

First, why does every waiting room on screen have to be crammed in with loud, boisterous children? As if this is a message to please do not have any children, for all waiting rooms that previously provided ample space for patients suddenly transform into dens of squished, snotty, humans who will bite your ankles if you don’t return that well-thumbed copy of Seattle Woman. And I’m already digressing before reaching what really pisses me off.

In this commerical, the other women in the room take notice of the bright, shining star of a four-year-old and ask how did he learn how to read. And then she smugly shrugs it off with, “We’ve been practicing,” like it’s some ancient Chinese secret when Hooked On Phonics is clearly labeled on the book. Why couldn’t she have just said, “It’s Hooked on Phonics!”? What’s so hard in admitting that it took effort? That you made four payments of $39.95 and “practiced” every day?

I don’t take issue with the product itself; it’s the marketing that unnerves me. The woman had such a great opportunity to share a learning tool that obviously worked for her child and yet, what did she do? Hug her genius son, give herself a high-five for being so smart while the other mothers weep openly, their children forced to wear helmets because they can’t read three-word sentences.

Who is your target audience, Hooked on Phonics? Asshole moms who need to feel superior?

This isn’t Hooked On More Than You Phonics.

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  1. A-fuckin-men!

  2. I HATE that commercial too! The message is totally geared toward asshole moms who want to feel superior.

  3. lauralaylin says:

    Yeah, I thought the same thing. As the mom with a child that still doesn’t speak after the others, I hated it more than I should.

  4. Could not agree more! It’s not a competition. We’re all good moms and our children are all smart and wonderful and will each develop at his or her own pace. Now can we stop trying to one-up each other already?! Damn!

  5. Hooked on Phonics: The College Years

    Alternate title:

    Hooked on Adderall


    My Kid Went to Harvard and All I Got was this Lousy Case of Empty Nest Syndrome

    Let that be a lesson to you, Jessie Spano:


  6. I totally agree with you and Banana: it actually IS marketing to moms who want to feel smug and superior. NICE.

  7. Butrfly Garden says:

    Pretty scuzzy tactics.

    Didn’t the muzzy commercials play kind of on the same theme?

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