When I started doing some writing, I didn't really know how to begin. Although I have written down a few different things now, I still feel the same every time.
There seems to be no decent way to begin this. I had thought of multiple different approach scenarios, but no matter what method of introduction I was contemplating, I really truly was feeling like an addict/alcoholic at an AA meeting. Or, I guess, maybe I am feeling more as if I am at a somewhat embarrassing orientation ritual for a cause or company that I am either not so sure of or not so proud of. I am feeling a little nervous with my palms moist. I have my crappy paper name tag on. My name on that tag is spelled incorrectly and written crooked on the tag so no matter how you adjust it, either my name or "Hello my name is" doesn't look right. Whichever way you want to look at it, I am nervous either way. I am sorry if I am slouching in my chair despite my mother always telling me to sit up straight. Although I intend to appear confident and studious on the outside, on the inside I am laying on the floor in the closet in the fetal position with my thumb in my mouth and my favorite "safe" blanket in my grasp. Hmm. Is this almost an analogy of me in day to day life? Naw. Anyway, here it is. Or, perhaps, here I am. Enjoy. Criticize. Whatever.
I was watching the Discovery channel and a couple other channels the other night (I flip around. I have ADHD. Sorry.) for a couple hours and I am fully disgusted. I saw not 1, not 2, not 3, but 8 commercials for the Chevy Traverse or the GM Terrain. Normally this would mean very little to me especially since these are not vehicles I am remotely interested in purchasing. This time though, I got thinking about it. I was paying attention for a change.
General Motors had 8 commercials in a little over two hours. Ford had only 1 commercial that I saw. Toyota had 1 commercial I saw. So, just so you and I are on the same page here, General Motors had 8 commercials with our bailout money while the two other car companies represented that operate on their own dollar were only able to afford one each. In my jaded view of the world this means that if you have to pay personally (as a company) for advertising and are certain that the law of diminishing returns could be in full effect and you realize after a recent attempted intervention by our government in your industry, you limp in with one ad. If you are operating on money that the people of this fine country have paid and it is likely you can never repay anyway, you buy as much advertising as you can since apparently to General Motors if you are losing money, you can make it up with volume. Nice, right? This pisses me off.
Am I the only one that really is affected very, very little by advertising? I was thinking about this the other night. I think the only way advertising really gains my attention at all is if it is for a new product. But, after I see a commercial once, I don't think I really need to see it again. If there is something I am interested in after seeing the commercial, I usually check it out online. The world wide web really has information about everything on it and all of this information is right there at our fingertips just waiting for our absorption any time of day or night. I really don't think repeated commercials about the product do much for me other than waste my time and irritate me. I was thinking of the commercial for "Bing" (it is a new search engine) and how true it is that we get bombarded with information we don't necessarily want or need almost no matter what we do in this world. It is sad in a way. The advertising elicits emotions either way.
I almost feel bad for some of these companies that are spending huge bucks trying to convince us that we need their "fabulous" products despite our lack of interest in them. I feel almost prideful about some of the other products that I do purchase. I feel almost proud to buy them if they have a good commercial. But, I don't think their presentations of their products really persuade me to buy them. I either like the products or I don't. I don't think I will buy anything just because Mike Rowe or Michael Jordan says it is super, and I respect both of these gentlemen quite a lot. I am not a celebrity and I really don't think their lives relate to mine in many ways at all.
I suppose all of this advertising is necessary to market their products in this competitive world market. One thing that seems strange to me and I am sure it is strange to generations older than mine is that just a few years ago almost none of this existed. I grew up in a time of newspapers, AM/FM radios, and network television that we didn't even watch every day. Where we have gotten now as a society as far as advertising goes in absolutely astounding for such a short time. Now we can get ads for new products delivered constantly to us on our mobile phones while we are in a meeting or on our mobile phone with somebody else. We can surf the internet for any answer for almost any question from almost anywhere in our world. I suppose with this many opportunities, a company would be foolish to not capitalize on many of them. But, their multiple repetitive ads won't sway me. Or, will they? I guess maybe I am a sucker for ads, too. (sighs)
The Terrible Mr. Ug
2 weeks ago