These are tough times. Many people are in a hole: Unemployed, underemployed, afraid to lose their job, under water, over-leveraged, burdened by debt, afraid of the next dip and crisis.

Looking at the current advertising you wouldn’t know it. Dopey dads, obnoxious children, silly jokes, lame scenarios. No connection to our culture of fear, the reality of living in the year 2011. A lot of fireworks, no substance or cultural insights applied to the advertising message.

When you’re in a hole, you don’t care about fireworks or clowns on miniature bikes. You ignore them.

When you’re in a hole, you are hoping for a lifeline. For a message that elevates you. You’re hoping for a fire truck. Not a clown car.