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Stupid Advertising

It would seem that Television advertising is becoming less intelligent on a regular basis.  Why are American television commercials so stupid?  Are we just cattle that follow along with whatever the media says we should do and purchase things we don’t need?  Granted, that when advertising to the masses, you should write at a level that most anyone can understand, but Americans are not stupid!  At least, I hope not.  Advertisers must think that the average age of the consumer is 15 years old and has a lot of extra money to spend.  In the secret world of advertising, I suspect that there are many levels of marketing.  These levels are built on different factors and they are geared towards specific demographics but, it’s a little more specific than advertising Barbie dolls for girls and toy trucks for boys.  Effective advertising is that which increases the purchase level of a given product and can sway small demographic groups.  For example, kids generally get there money for free, that is they don’t necessarily have to work to get that money. 

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Because of this, it might be safe to assume that many of them do not understand the value of having a dollar and are therefore, easily parted with said dollar.  That being said, if one of the popular kids thinks something is cool, other kids are likely to think the same way and will want to buy the cool thing of the day.  Less experienced people of all ages can be swayed by someone saying that this or that is good and how happy they are for having bought said item. By the time (most of) these young consumers grow up, they learn that not everything is as it seems, and money is sometimes worth more than face value. Now don’t get me wrong, money can’t be (lasting) love, and it is certainly not the end all to everyday miseries, but it can buy you a hot meal, and a safe place to sleep. 

There are advertisers galore, and while they all have to spend money to get these advertisements on television or radio, it doesn’t mean they are going to provide you with the best information.  You can be sure that they are only going to tell you what they want you to know, and possibly believe to be correct.   There are so many different avenues that advertisers can and do use, to get the consumer to purchase whatever it is they are selling.  Advertising commercials, whether they are radio or television, generally have a spokesperson, or narrator, sometimes more than one.  The different spokespersons are occasionally just a celebrity personality, and sometimes they appear to be the owner or otherwise employed at the advertisers facility.  Other spokesperson types seem to be meant as someone who the viewer could relate to or sympathize with, and sometimes they simply refer to a third party who is now more successful or happier since they bought the product or service.  Then of course, there are the commercials that have actors showing how they are enjoying the advertised product and how much better their lives are for having done so.  Very few of these, if any advertising spokes models have ever swayed me into buying whatever it is they might be selling.  Purchasing consumer goods should be based on the quality and reliability of the product and the vendor rather than because of a spokes person or some gimmick.  I take most everything with a grain of salt and evaluate first.

I am to the point where I have my remote control at the ready to hit the mute button when any of these idiotic advertisements begin.  For this reason alone, the remote control is wonderful device. I have even found that I will occasionally search for alternate programming simply because of repeated, advertising of the same product via the same commercial.  It wasn’t that long ago, that there were several of these stupid commercials that would play at a louder volume than what most stations are normally playing at.  Did the producers of these commercials think that a louder volume would make them sound more credible?  I have heard that this tactic is not legal; it is definitely annoying.  A few Television

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manufacturers went so far as to include additional technology into their products that would automatically adjust for these sudden changes in volume in order to reduce the differences in the audio volume presented by these unscrupulous advertisers.  This is where technology, such as the DVR ( digital video recorder ) comes in handy.  Another option could be changing to a DVD (digital video disc), a VHS movie, or if you subscribe to a premium service, a movie channel such as HBO or Showtime. And of course, there is music rather than the idiot box, yet commercial radio can be just as annoying. The CD, compact disk player, the DVD, digital video disk player can also eliminate advertising and radio disk jockeys that seem to just like to hear themselves talk.

An advertised advantage of the DVR (digital video recorder) players offered by Dish Network, Direct TV, and now Warner Cable, is the ability to fast forward through commercials. This feature is only available when you are viewing programs which have previously been recorded on your DVR.  Pre-recording can be done by either setting a timer to record a particular program, or merely tuning to a particular program, as the DVR begins creating a temporary recording immediately.  Leave the room or simply waiting for about 15 minutes then come back and start the show from the beginning.  This will allow for you to skip through most all of the commercials and watch the entire program in peace. 

What is the cost of all this insanity in our lives?  Commercials certainly aren’t worth stressing over, and I generally just tune them out when they play.  I would prefer that they never played at all, but then there wouldn’t be free TV or free Radio.  Consider the option of premium services, no, as the name implies, they are not free but can sometimes be purchased as a group, thus lowering the individual cost of each item. One beautiful thing about premium services is that they do not show or air any of those stupid advertising commercials.  One example is Sirius Satellite music service; all of the stations are

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commercial free! Simply find your favorite genre of music and you just that, nothing but music with some occasional chatter by the DJ.  The DJ’s can actually be entertaining as well.  The DJ’s usually only talk for about 10 seconds, and normally have something interesting or humorous to say.  Beyond that, nothing but music, music, music! It’s a wonderful thing, kind of like having a tremendous juke box playing nothing but the same genre, 24 hours a day.  Commercial radio has to stretch the boundaries of whatever genera they play in order to appeal to the widest audience, and paying for that are those sometimes insipid commercials.  You have to pay directly for the premium services, and for me, that means less stress and peace of mind.  How can you put a price on your peace of mind?  I like music and being able to listen to it without the commercials is so much better, that I like commercial radio even less.

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