File footage.

Tuesday, March 24th, 2020

One of the things I’ve noticed since watching (arguably?) more television during our period of Staying At Home is how many commercials we’re seeing now contain footage from…back then. Before the crisis. before the great Distancing. The commercials, be they for cars, lawyers, prescription drugs or banks, show a delighted multicultural America hugging and hanging on each others’ arms as they walk down a crowded street or go off on a refreshing cruise.

Maybe only in the bast few days have I seen any ads themselves (unless you count news promos—network, cable, local) that discuss the new normal. One I saw today was for an Atlanta heating and air contractor, who wanted us to know three ways from Sunday that their crews practice distancing, are super-sanitary, and will wipe down everything they touch with gallons of sanitizer.

I picture these ad agencies and production companies with vast reserves of this sort of happy footage, asking themselves if they get to use it again in the months ahead.

I sure don’t know, but it might be as anachronistic as pre-9/11 episodes of shows that show families greeting and dropping their loved ones off at airport gates.