Big Marketing, the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

How long since you bought any Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner?

Me neither! (Although I looked and it's still available.)
Marketing is huge in our world, and sometimes it flops, either because the product is useless (as I'm guessing the automatic shower cleaner is) or the campaign is badly done. Pringles' latest tag line is "You Don't Just Eat Them." Really? Should I make little castles out of them first and THEN eat them? Does that line in any way make me want to run out and buy some Pringles?

Sometimes I look at new products and think, "Who is going to buy that?"As someone dear to me says, there are people who must have them, possibly because they're new, possibly because they seem like fun. The Rotato, the Egg-tastic, the Purse Pouch, Flex-Steel, Card-lock, Tummy-tuck, Pocket Hose, Chillow...I could go on, but you get the idea. They sound good, and many of us don't stop to think whether we really want another gadget we use once a year that isn't as wonderful as promised.

The hawked-on-cheap-TV-time items are pretty easy for me to resist, so I don't own any of the above. But think about things that advertising makes us (at least some of us) think we need (Start with make-up: Why don't men wear it if it's so great?)  We're afraid to smell like human beings, so we buy 20 different deodorant things, from deodorant to deodorant soap to flowery fabric softener sheets. (Gave them up when I learned a few years ago that they clog up the fibers on your towels so they don't dry as well.) We make shopping lists of items we "need," but many of those needs were created by advertisers who make us think the world will stop if we don't have the next $850 phone.

The scariest to me are the prescription drug ads that try to convince us we need more medicine.That
"ask your doctor" line they use makes my angry every time. If your doctor is so dumb that she doesn't know which medicines you need, get a different doctor.

When ads are good, it doesn't mean the product is. We all know that actors, sports figures, and other celebrities are paid to read copy and often don't even know what they're representing. Some are cautious; others are like prostitutes, selling themselves to the highest bidder.

It's hard to escape marketing, since it's everywhere. All you can do is ask yourself IF you really want/need the product and try to separate the product's reality from the hype surrounding it. And if you must have the Personal Pedi, use it somewhere I can't see you. Those things make me want to vomit.


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