Monday, December 18, 2006

I'm Not Buying It

Sears is running a TV commercial right now for their diamond jewelry. The jist of the ad is that even though the two of you decided not to exchange gifts this year, you know that means that you'll be getting each other something anyway to surprise each other with. This bothers me. As suggestible as Americans are, you know that someone who has made an agreement with his or her significant other not to buy presents this year will see that commercial and think "I'd better get him/her something anyway just in case he/she surprises me, and then I'd look stupid if I didn't have something for him/her." It's a ploy by the retailers to sell more, and it will work.

Another ad that's getting on my nerves is one for Directv high definition programming. Jessica Simpson is in her Daisy Duke role (her Southern accent absolutely sucks, by the way) telling some technical information about the resolution of the programming, and she says, "I totally don't know what that is, but I want it." This is about the stupidest thing that I've ever heard, but Americans will buy into this as well. If it sounds like the latest and best, we'll go out and buy it even if we don't know what it is or what we'll do with it.

We've been conditioned to respond to these ads, and it's obvious that they work because we're lined up at the stores to buy whatever we see. We see an ad and suddenly the stuff we have is no longer good enough, even though we liked that stuff yesterday. We need to get smart and stop being manipulated into parting with our hard-earned money every time we see something new.


crittermer said...

Yeah, consumer culture definitely calls for a good dose of discipline on our part. We've created a culture in which materialism and greed are most easily excused and unrecognized sins. I think it's because the livelihood of so many is dependent on the marketing and selling of crap. I don't know you "undo" a society that's so deeply entrenched in consumer culture, but I do believe the individual can train himself/herself not to get caught up in the madness.

And yeah, I'm always amazed at how impressionable some people can be, too.=)

Tony Arnold said...

I hate commercials. I don't listen to radio, just CD's because you don't get any music on the radio. I watch very little commercial TV. I mostly non-commercial movie channels just to avoid the commercials. I wish I could buy a cable package that carried only the non-commercial channels.

What I really hate is when a network keeps advertising the very show I am watching. I am watching it for pete's sake, show the show, not 30 seconds every 3 minutes showing me what is coming up next. For crying out loud. Isn't that a big waste of advertising dollars too. Wouldn't they be better off selling that spot rather than using it for themselves? You get about 10 minutes of show in a 30 min. slot.

I really dislike that Jessica Simpson commercial. She gives dumb blonds a bad name.


JMG said...

I wish that there were more TV and radio channels like public TV and radio. The only ads you hear are "This program is paid for by (company x)."

On another note, have you seen the series of Bart Durham commercials "Coach Foster Fights Back"? I absolutely hate those commercials. Actually, I hate all lawyer commercials, but those are absolutely stupid.

Tony Arnold said...

Haven't seen that one.

Public radio and TV is better, but you get the fund-raiser stuff, which I know is necessary.

They would be very effective if they said, "we will not broadcast anything but fund-raiser messages until we exceed our budget this year. They would be back to broadcasting regular programming shortly.

I love books: no commercials, no one interpreting the characters personalities for me, start and stop as you please, instant playback is you want it.

One of my worst fears is that print books actually go away at some point. Reading on the computer is hard and you know they will eventually make it like DVDs--you can't get to the actually content without being forced to view the ads.

Greed, greed, greed. It is ruining too many things and taking the relax out of supposedly relaxing activities.


jettybetty said...

I hope PH isn't expecting this to work for him--'cause if he does--he's going to be very disappointed. ;-)