Brain Fun During TV Commercials

by chefkeem

Watching TV commercials is no fun for the brain. Don't waste your time. Here are some ideas for creative and productive things to do instead.

Really, why would anyone want to watch TV commercials?

They are boring, redundant, annoying, and disruptive!

tv commercialsTV commercials always come on when we have the most fun with the program. Whether it is right before the pivotal point of a contest show, or at the most suspense-laden moment in a crime drama - you can count on getting ripped out of your mood with some irrelevant nonsense. The worst part? Commercial time is in the meanwhile much longer than the actual show time. But we don't have to be victims of this greedy scheme. We can do something about it.   

In the following sections of this article, I will suggest a few creative activities for those otherwise wasted minutes after the announcement, "We'll be right back...after this!" (We might not.)  

For the next commercial break...

have pen and paper ready

This time, we carefully watch the commercials, and we jot down some of the strange, stupid, funny, or quirky stuff we notice about them. For example...

  • Cosmetic products are presented by people who don't need them - for people who'll never look like the models anyway.
  • Allstate's roadside assistance - you never pay a dime unless you use it. Huh? What's so darn special about that?
  • Why are sandwiches always assembled in slow-motion with feathery bread slices spraying crumbs in the air?
  • During those mock interview scenes, why do people look at an invisible, mute interviewer instead of straight at the camera? Proof of authenticity? Come on...
  • Are women really pleasantly surprised and cheerful, when they come home from work, and somebody has turned their living room into a computer store?
  • Ever seen this mission statement? "We believe...together we can make the world a better place, one pet at a time." (Pets are not what's wrong with this world. Some marketers are.)
  • If I would switch from State Farm to Geico to Nationwide to Progressive, I'd eventually get paid to have car insurance.

By looking at commercials in such an irreverent way, you rob them of their hypnotic power of
suggestion. You'll free your mind from fear of depression, financial ruin, and mental incontinence.

Human Brain

normal state
Human Brain, Specimen Cerebral Hemispheres View

Human Brain

during tv commercials
Human Brain Colorized

Re-train your brain

5 minutes at a time

If you have a computer handy, check out the following links to free brain games online. You might as well test your brain age first. It's fun and a good warm-up exercise for things to come. 

I'm thinking. (It hurts.)
I'm thinking. (It hurts.)

Who needs an iPad if you can read a book

Considering the ultra-low "used" prices, it's a no-brainer!
The Big Book of Brain Games: 1,000 Pl...
Workman Publishing Company
$27.47  $1.99
Brain Training: Boost memory, maximiz...
$11.66  $32.95
Brainfit: 10 Minutes a Day for a Shar...
Thomas Nelson
$14.44  $4.0

More fun for our brains, bodies and spirits

while the pitch man roars...
  • Jot down ideas for your new blog post or Wizzley article
  • Start a painting and add to it during every commercial break
  • Have a quick trivia quiz with your companion(s)
  • Call your mom and tell her you love her
  • Do an exercise routine
  • Kiss your wife/hub like you mean it
  • Turn the damn thing off

Puzzles are better than jingles

and doing is better than watching, right?
Solid Wood Brain Teasers - 7 Different Brain Busters

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Cardinal Industries
Only $29.99
ThinkFun Gordians Knot

An ancient mystery is reinvented for mind-bending, modern-day fun. Gordian's Knot Brainteaser Challenge from ThinkFun is based on the Gordian knot tied by Midas. The Great ...

Only $49.99
Six Puzzle Gift Set

The ultimate puzzler's variety pack, this beautiful wood crafted collection contains some of the most popular and challenging puzzles of today. Including Falling Star, Star ...

Monkey Pod Games
Only $41.95
Updated: 07/03/2011, chefkeem
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What are YOUR favorite brain games during commercial breaks?

Only logged-in users are allowed to comment. Login
DerdriuMarriner on 10/16/2018

chefkeem, Thank you for the alternatives and the products. Perhaps a commercial is a good time to work on perfecting your dancing and singing routines so the hat, shirt, shoes and shorts need to be included in the product line. In particular, I like your saying that "Pets are not what's wrong with this world. Some marketers are."

katiem2 on 03/10/2012

My cognitive therapist will love this, thanks for helping me out on my homework, I condition my brain all the time. My injury has been a blessing in many ways, I now believe in the need to work the brain throughout my entire life, brain health is a must we all need to embrace. Great Wizz

traveller27 on 09/26/2011

I usually do a bit of housework - for example, go wash the dishes or at least some of them.

dustytoes on 08/05/2011

I try not to waste time in life - and watching commercials is a big waste of time - so during commercials I usually do some stretching and breathing exercises. I sometimes do some soduko or just talk with my son. I honestly don't watch much tv.

happynutritionist on 08/04/2011

What fun ideas....I have to say that the commercial in the list that gets me the most is the woman coming home to a computer store as a home makeover...huh? Looking for the humor in them is a great idea...the other is tape and fast-forward:-)

Pastiche on 07/07/2011

I agree we must keep the brain busy to avoid commercial spot atrophy. I like to mute the TV sound and crank up the stereo when the commercial spots intrude on the programming. I often watch news programs and sports with sound off and caption vision on. Sometimes the caption errors are quite amusing ... Multi-tasking like this is just a way to fight the adverts ... works for me!

Cace on 07/05/2011

I don't watch a lot of tv, but I love puzzle games.

theherbivorehippie on 07/05/2011

Loved this! Yeah..I'm puzzled by those commercials turning the home into a computer store. Was this suppose to be funny, interesting, something else? Commercials are typically my time to do proof-reading, let the dogs out, let the dogs in, let them out get the picture. It's hard to sit still for long over here. Does this count as an exercise routine as you suggested? lol

tandemonimom on 07/05/2011

Lots of fun ideas for what to do in commercial down time! Thanks Chef!

nightbear on 07/04/2011

I usually buzz through the commercials, as I only have time to watch recorded TV. So no issues with that. But I do watch all the Superbowl commercials to see which commercials I won't ever watch again. lol.

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