Skipping commercials has become a lifestyle choice now that DVRs sit comfortably in the homes of millions upon millions of Americans. But neglecting the ad spots during TV shows can often mean missing out on some of the best programming.
Case in point: I skipped through most of the commercials during Oprah's coveted, world exclusive interview with Lance Armstrong. This probably wouldn't please advertisers, considering that 30-second spots were running upwards of $250,000 for the interview special. But hey, I've got DVR, so screw it — let's blow past these cumbersome commercials and get to the nitty-gritty, revelatory details and watch Armstrong rub his mouth some more in agony.
Anyway, I forgot to fast-forward through commercials at one point during my recording and stumbled across this gem of a local ad for Rancho Simi Insurance. As a native Angeleno, I have a special place in my heart for local commercials. (The commercial for Westside Mexican food joint Tito's Tacos may be my favorite.) Rancho Simi Insurance commercial has the kind of actors that are either employees, or aspiring thesps who are related to the employees. The acoustic guitar accompaniment adds a dramatic touch. Again, all great. Until we reach the "Call now!" imperative.
A phone number is plastered across the screen…"Call now!"…except…
No area code.
A little bit of googling shows that by dialing "805" before the company phone number, you'll reach the office of Rancho Simi Insurance. But dialing the seven digits show on the commercial will get you nothing but a dead, beeping line, along with a dose of '90s nostalgia.
We'll never know whether this local biz shelled out hundreds of thousands of dollars for this ad spot during Oprah's interview with Lance Armstrong only to realize they didn't insert an area code into the commercial to make its phone number viable. But we do know one thing…
Wait, is that an Emmy on the fireplace mantle?!