It All Ads Up….

I am not up to superstar status with the TV remote but I am not bad either. I can tell when my flipping has reached astronomical proportions when Kathy’s sighs are not those of romance but of impending destruction of my brain. Listen we have 137 channels of TV to be watched. I just can’t let them sit idly by. I don’t have Dish TV so I have to screen out the ads by a flick of the fast forward button. 

 

There are times when you can’t avoid the barrage of subliminal messages. I don’t like watching football on tape and ditto for the news. While working out it is tough to zip from one channel to the other so I am stuck being sold to. And of course I now have to wait for the ads on my computer while bringing up Yahoo Mail or checking my account balances. Kathy does question the popups for “Meeting Singles in Your Area” or “Beautiful Women Over 50 are Dying To Meet You.” Dying might be the operative word. Anyway, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

 

But how did they find me? Aha, a little thing called demographics. By responding to ads of any sort you are now caught in a web that is far more sophisticated than the NSA. It’s that little slice of society you belong to that is defined by your age, sexual preference, income, locale, party leanings etc. Several years ago at Vail I was delighted I didn’t have to carry cash or a credit card because it was imbedded in my ski pass. Then this mental giant discovered that they could trail me all over the mountain and Vail Village. You can’t erase it. You are a marked man or woman. 

 

Now this isn’t just hoidy toidy ski resorts. It’s your gas station, food store, church. You name it. If you look online or pay by card you are in the loop. But why go to all that trouble? Well it seems we spend over $500 billion on advertising every year. Right now about $100 billion of that is spent on line and growing. The more direct it can be the more successful it is or at least the theory goes. Ask an ad man how much you should spend on advertising and you get the Buffalo Shuffle. 

 

Enough about theory, what strikes me about advertising is manyfold. Getting back to that demographic thing it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out football selling. Booze,Brats and Broads. Oh yeah and big ass pick up trucks. Testosterone is in the air and on the TV. But then as I watch Fox News the products of the day are scooters for the disabled, gold bullion, and of course my favorite, portable catheters. The latter is a sleek new design and they will send you a free sample. Ugh! Rounding out the lineup are reverse mortgages and disability lawyers. Hmm I wonder what that means about Fox watchers? CNN is bad but not quite as.

 

Speaking of lawyers you gotta love the unabashed commercialism of auto accidents and supermarket falls. During the local evening news there is not one but several slime balls coming on the screen with heartfelt sympathy for your pain. “Frank Azar will get you the money you deserve”. “Frank got me $2.5 million.” This of course by an industry that places their standards so high they put Esquire after their name. 

 

There is one product that seemingly transcends every program genre. Erectile Disfunction tablets or more specifically Cialis and that little blue bomber, Viagra. This obviously crosses the line between privacy and incredulity but it actually is pretty funny. As any hot blooded American male will agree what else would you think of when you are cleaning the garage, painting a room or that old stand by doing the dishes? We then pan from that to dual claw foot tubs looking off into the sunset. I tried to get my old neighbor to go joint account with me on two of those babies(the tubs) but he turned me down. He’s a lawyer and was concerned about the liability aspect. Which brings up another touchy subject. “If you have an erection that lasts over four hours seek medical help.” Forget calling the doc. If it was me I’d be calling a press conference.But I digress. 

 

The basis of all advertising is to try to sell you something you don’t really need. They prey upon the basest of instincts, your ego or taken to the adverse, your lack of self esteem. You cannot get the girl without drinking this beer or driving this car. Want to look like a movie star? Dye your hair, lose weight and get a Victoria Secret push up bra. It’s easy. On the other hand if you want to remain a slug or a hag feel free to do so. I think there was one company that was using real live ordinary people for their ads for soap or shampoo. I wonder how that went? 

 

The bottom line is simple. We get bombarded day and night with messages to buy STUFF. That’s okay. It is the American way no matter how seedy that seems. It is for the most part never never land. You are not going to shoot 75 with your new irons. You can’t lose weight overnight. The rush from new car smell or a new dining room set is fleeting. You don’t need things to define you. Things don’t have soul. You do. I wish we would advertise that but then again there is no real money in it.

 

As Always

Ted The Great

 

Factoids:

Definitions.. YUPPIE of course a young urban professional. DINK…dual income no kids. SINK…single income no kids. SUNK….single income, lots of kids. Boomerang kids…leave home and come back. 

 

New products and promotions are best introduced on TV. Reselling of old products to loyal customers is best accomplished on social media. Nobody talks of radio anymore. 

 

2/3 of consumers say the best medium is TV. Only 1/2 of marketers agree. What do we know? 

Advertisers spend $168 per phone in advertising. They spend $230 per TV. The most effective advertising of all is personal recommendation from a friend. This can account for over 75% of all sales. 

 

 

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