In 1969, psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross first introduced the “five stages of grief” in her book On Death And Dying. Initially based on her studies of patients facing terminal illness, many professionals have generalized the stages to apply to any negative life changes or losses, such as the death of a loved one or the realization that the “Scoop, There It Is” Geico commercial is nearing the end of its television run.
At first, it will be hard to come to terms with it. You may tell yourself things like, “This can’t be happening to me,” or, “No, no, NO — they’re going to play that commercial forever.” But it doesn’t work that way, and deep down, you know it. Sure, every year they re-play that M&M’s commercial where they scare Santa, but it’s reckless to assume that applies to every other advertisement. It’s rare for an ad to have that long of a shelf life, especially one as great as “Scoop, There It Is.” In the words of Robert Frost, “Nothing gold can stay,” no matter how hard you try to deny it’s happening.
It’s no one’s fault that a commercial stops airing. These things just happen. Unfortunately, it will be hard for you to understand this about a commercial you love. You will direct your anger at GEICO, the television, and even at the “Scoop, There It Is” commercial itself. You will say things like, “I’ve never liked this stupid commercial anyway,” even though that’s a lie. We all say stuff we don’t mean during this stage. This is okay as long as we don’t let our anger affect those around us.
There are no deals you can make to prevent this, but you will try. You will plead to the heavens, “What if I double my GEICO insurance?” and convince yourself that if you never turn your TV off, the commercial will never stop airing. But these efforts will be futile, as the end of its advertising cycle is out of your control. One of the hardest parts of dealing with loss is realizing you are helpless and that there is nothing you can do to stop the inevitable.
You will be sad. You will not want to do much of anything. Even the littlest things will be triggering: eating ice cream; listening to your favorite Tag Team album; watching a ’90s kids movie montage set to “Whoomp, There It Is.” None of these things will bring you the joy they once did. Try to confront your feelings in a positive and creative way. Over time, these triggers of sadness will turn into reminders of the fun times you had watching the mom and dad dance in the “Scoop, There It Is” commercial.
At some point in the process of grief, you will say to yourself, “I am at peace with the fact that the ad is no longer on TV.” This won’t mean you are happy that it’s gone; it means you are happy to know that for a brief period of time, you were fortunate to have this treasure in your life. It’s true what they say: nothing is ever really gone as long as we keep its memory alive. Take comfort in knowing that someday down the road, someone will say the words “French vanilla, Rocky Road,” and you will finish “chocolate, peanut butter, cookie dough…” and just like that, the commercial will be stuck in your head again.
So cherish “Scoop, There It Is” while we still have it in our lives, because you never know when it will be the last time you see it on TV. And when its run finally does come to an end, please remember there is no typical response to loss. Everyone experiences grief differently. What is important to understand is that while the grieving process will be unique to you, know that we all are experiencing the loss of no longer being able to watch the “Scoop, There It Is Commercial” together. So dance and sing and enjoy it while you can. “Choco-laka, choco-laka, choco-laka…”