Jeff and I have a great amount of fun carping at stupid commercials. One of our favorites to harangue is a Rogaine commercial that says, "Does she want you to use Rogaine? Better ask!"
I sometimes wonder if we were dumb consumers to begin with, or if years and years of idiotic commercials like this have—well—brainwashed us into believing that this kind of thinking is all that we're capable of as adults. My year of doing marketing and PR work led me to believe the latter.
Design ads so that the company's message is conveyed even if the reader only sees it for a second or two. What a self-referential surprise that is! The MTV generation has been inundated with ads practically since birth (after all, no name-brand product was ever too good for baby!), and any advertising that is going to catch their collectively jaded eyes has to be subtly different. Most companies choose to go for flashier—faster, louder, harder, more colorful.