Every Christmas (or Thanksgiving, or Veteran’s Day, or …) we encounter the same tactic from marketers. We are presented with specials that give us the expected message of that particular holiday. Mind you, there are some specials I have seen that have been reworked to give a particular politically approved message (sometimes conservative and sometimes liberal). But, generally, the specials are presented in such a way that they present the story mostly as one expects to see it. Generally, that is acceptable to the vast majority of people.
Marketers know that consumers will not buy goods if they are angry with a program. So, I will argue that they sponsor a program that will soothe you and make you feel good more often than not. I am not saying that marketers will not sponsor a controversial program on TV. But, if they are trying for mass sales, then I would conjecture that they will sponsor a program that will appeal to the vast majority of people. I would conjecture that controversial programs are usually sponsored when they want to appeal to a particular segment of the population.
So, we watch a non-controversial program. Then, we watch commercials during the program that often contradict the message that is being communicated by the program. So, we will watch programs that point out that poverty with love is better than riches without relationships. We watch programs that point out that self-sacrifice even to the point of losing your life is better than a life lived in safety.
And then we watch commercials for how spending vast amounts of money on food and gifts will magically transform our house into this warm cozy place full of wonderful relationships. We watch commercials for insurance or safer cars or for extremely expensive clothing that will make us happier, or even for hair growth products. All these commercials contradict the message of the very program that we are watching. And, we miss that we are being messaged that somehow by buying the opposite of what the program message is that we will somehow end up like the people in the feel-good holiday program. You have to give it to the marketing specialists of the world.
p align=”justify”>I am not either angry or upset enough to try to make some big point. But, I will make the small point that we are often not aware of the small marketing manipulations that get us to think that doing the opposite of what we idealize will somehow make us into the people we idealize.