Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Manipulative Advertising

*****Just so you know, if anyone is reading this, I'm feeling particularly rant-y today. Two nights of minimal sleep will do that to a girl.*****

Has anyone else noticed this fairly recent trend in advertising that is designed to make you feel absolutely terrible and then go out and support whatever product they are selling you? Its like radio ads or commercials with a side of guilt trip! WTF people?

In California there is this new radio ad that makes me so mad I have to switch stations every time it comes on lest it spark some road rage action on my part. Its basically this mom talking about how her sons were so happy and each loved their brother but then one gets into a car accident and dies so she has to go wake up the other one in the middle of the night to tell him that his much loved brother is dead. I believe the point of this commercial is to get parents to sign their kids up for a teen driving class but I really don't know because I can never seem to listen to the whole thing. Don't get me wrong, its tragic when a teenager dies, but I don't think we should be guilt tripping other parents into paying money for a class because they are freaked out their kid might die in an auto crash... Maybe its just me.

Oh! And that commercial for the ASPCA that features Sarah McLachlan singing "arms of the angels" and shows a bunch of sad/tortured puppy faces? Really? Animal cruelty is a big issue and while I agree there is a special place in hell for folks that abuse helpless animals I do not appreciate the ASPCA capitalizing on my tender heart strings with the aim of raising money. Maybe its a head in the sand thing? Nothing is worse than watching a football game at the bar with some friends only to have half the room crying when this commercial comes on. Also, TheBoy would REALLY appreciate never seeing this commercial again because every time it comes on I renew my push for a dog.

Or what about that new one for some big gas company that is supposedly your car talking about all the things it does for you and how you shouldn't "repay" its kindness with cheap supermarket or discount club gas? I'm sorry but just this morning I heard a story on the news about how oil and gas companies are continuing to post record profits, even while the rest of the nation is in a recession! Do they NEED more money? Enough to justify this kind of marketing? Because I could use a few extra dollars and so I put the cheap gas in my car and I don't feel guilty. I doubt my car wants to make me feel bad for using supermarket gas and not one with Techron or whatever gimmick they've got these days.

Maybe I'm just becoming cynical in my old age? I feel like every time I see a new commercial or hear a new spot on the radio I can totally see right through the message and I hate feeling manipulated! In fact, generally I feel like stamping my feet and doing the exact opposite of whatever the ad is trying to get me to do just out of spite!

Maybe I just need more sleep.

1 comment:

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