Rage Against Marketing

I hate ads.

No, seriously.  I. HATE. ADS!

I find advertisements/commercials to be nothing more than annoying noise that infiltrates your head space.  They’re insidious little worms that try to wriggle through your brain to turn you into zombies that will believe the latest cereal or car will change your life for the better!  There are a precious few that are funny or sweet (less than 10 in any given year by my estimation), but by and large all they do is try to force junk into your life/body by making you believe you can’t live without said product.

I know the argument on the business end is “we wouldn’t keep making them if people didn’t keep buying into them,” but I think that argument is a load of horse dung!  That’s like someone wearing a fur and trying to assuage their guilt by saying “I didn’t kill it,” or someone who eats meat and uses that same argument.  SIDE NOTE:  I’m not saying it’s bad or good to eat meat or wear fur (that’s a personal call), but if you use that kind of argument to explain yourself to people, then you obviously feel a need to justify your actions, which signifies a little guilt somewhere in your psyche.

Anyway, my disdain for commercials dates back to my youth, when my mom shuddered every time a certain commercial aired.  For those of you old enough to remember the product Sucrets, I’m sure you know the one I’m talking about (where the guy wakes his wife up because he’s sick and then she can’t get back to sleep after taking care of his needs).  For those of you who’ve never seen this one, I’ll give you fair warning now.  It’s kind of funny (in an annoying, stereotype kind of way), but this ad ran every hour of nearly every day through every winter for at least a year or two.  Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating, but it certainly felt that way.

My mom and I were thrilled when the remote control could let you mute your TV.  And with the invention of the VCR (and now DVR), you’re able to fast forward through the crappy commercials and get to your recorded show.  When OnDemand first came along, there were no commercials shown on those programs.  I loved this aspect of having cable and soon stopped watching TV shows at their normal air time.  But companies quickly caught wise to that; so much so that now you can’t even fast forward through the damn things on OnDemand anymore!  So now I use my Mute button more than ever.  Thankfully, there are usually less commercials via OnDemand than if you watched the programs live, but it’s still an annoyance to have to sit through them anyway, muted or not.

And now, we even have to endure commercials DURING the TV shows!  Currently they’re just advertising another show on that network, but I’m sure it won’t be long before they decide to advertise a product at the bottom of the screen.  We have annoying commercials that pop up while you’re reading your personal email, so I know that can’t be far behind.

The ones that get me the most, though, are the medical commercials.  The ads for doctor-prescribed medications are not only ridiculous, but they’re downright scary sometimes, what with the pages of disclaimers tacked on at the end and read fast enough to get them all in: “Have an ugly splotch on your skin?  We can cure that.  You might contract something worse (or die) from our medicine, but hey, that splotch will be gone!”  Ugh!

People who buy into these commercials touting a “better world” if you use their product scare me.  I realize it means that they just want to find “happiness” cheaply or quickly, or through any method other than the taking-a-good-look-at-yourself method, but it also means that we all have to endure crappy commercials that perpetuate stereotypes and oftentimes talk down to us.

It’s getting so bad that I’m very close to renting all shows on Netflix when the season’s over.  I don’t have a dire need to keep up to date on the latest episode of Lost, Revenge or Grey’s Anatomy.  Heck, I don’t even watch those shows.  It wouldn’t be that hard for me to give up TV cold turkey and wait until they’re available on DVD, and if things keep going the way they are, that might be where I end up.

We don’t “need” whatever product the retailers try so hard to convince us is missing from our lives.  You want true beauty?  Stop putting gunk all over your face, start eating properly for your body, and get plenty of rest.  You want to attract amazing women/men?  Be an amazing man/woman yourself and find interesting aspects of yourself to explore so that others will want to explore those parts of you, too.  No cola will bring peace to the world.  No candy or snack bar will bring you ultimate happiness or moments of zen.  No car is going to make a 10-plus hour road trip feel like less than a helluva long time spent cooped up in a cramped space.

Not gonna happen!


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dana Fredsti
    Nov 30, 2012 @ 09:11:55

    I hate commercials. ONe out of fifty actually makes me either smile or interested in buying the product. Most of them piss me off no end. ESPECIALLY the ones on the bottom of the screen during another show. That is cause for homicide.


  2. Malena E.
    Dec 03, 2012 @ 17:06:45

    Alyx, I feel your pain. The mute button is a miracle invention. Of course, we didn’t even have REMOTES when I was growing up let alone a MUTE button. Here’s another reason why things are better now- jingles. Back in the day, most commercials had these annoying jingles for every sort of product. I don’t remember one for tampons, but I bet there was one. They were even more catchy than the worst song of the 70’s- Seasons in the Sun. So, you not only had to endure them while you watched the commercial, but for the rest of the day while they played over and over in your head like some evil soundtrack to insanity.
    Today, they play popular songs behind ads for cars and beer, which may be bad if you don’t like the artist, but is nowhere near as bad as a jingle. Apparently, Barry Manilow got his start writing jingles.


    • Alyx Morgan
      Dec 03, 2012 @ 21:27:08

      I, too, remember life before remote controls, Malena. We had a TV with the two dials on it, & then one of the first cable boxes with rows of buttons that you had to push depending on which channel you wanted to watch.

      I was, however, saved from many of the jingles of which you spoke (though I know of Ipana from Grease), but there were still some in my youth. I can still recite all the ingredients needed for Big Mac, & remember how I “deserve a break today.”

      I didn’t realize that Barry started in jingles, but I can see it . . . his tunes are catchy enough on their own. And I have to admit, I enjoy Seasons in the Sun, within moderation, but I understand what you mean about some crappy songs in the 70s.

      Thanks for stopping by today & sharing in the pain. 😉


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