Television Commercials, Avoid Them
The Grizzlies spent the previous weekend, like most Americans, watching the SuperBowl. I’m a Kansas City Chiefs fan, so my interest in the NFL waned a few weeks ago. But like most other folks in the US, we still watched the game. It’s a great tradition in my opinion. A random Sunday in the middle of winter dedicated to eating some delicious BBQ or other unhealthy food, drinking some cold beers, hanging out with family and friends, and watching a pretty good game. Even if my team isn’t playing I can get behind spending a day doing that.
But there’s one big problem with the SuperBowl, but it’s one of the main reasons many Americans tune into the game. There are a huge number of extremely well put together commercials all trying to convince you to buy something that you don’t need. I’ll highlight one example because it both hit a very personal note for me, but is also hocking some very useless crap – an Audi. In case you didn’t see it, here it is!
I love this commercial. Baby bear is amazing. I want her to be the awesome little girl driving a crazy super powered soapbox dragster down what looks like a somewhat treacherous course (her mom might disagree, but this is my post!). I’m kind of all in on the “raising an incredibly awesome and strong little girl” thing. As a result, this commercial really tugged my heart strings. It made me feel an instant connection with whatever it was they were trying to get me to buy. In this case, that thing was a completely unnecessary luxury car.
Advertisers are very good at what they do! They know that people will react this way. They now that people love emotional appeals. They know that a not-insignificant number of rich dads of rich little girls changed their preference for the next luxury car they buy from a BMW to an Audi. Would you want to be the luxury car buyer in San Francisco or NYC that DOESN’T support women’s empowerment? I know I wouldn’t want to be that guy. Advertisers are very good at getting into your head and convincing you that something is absolutely necessary, will support some cause, or will convince people that you’re friendly and likable or better yet – hot. This is one of the big reasons that the Grizzlies avoid almost all TV. It’s far too easy to fall into those easy traps laid for you by the good people of Madison Avenue. They know how your brain works better than you do. They know how to take advantage of its insecurities and quirks. They know the backdoors that can convince you quite easily that you need something that up until a few minutes prior you were perfectly happy without.
The truly unfortunate thing is that these ads can actively undermine those very things they use to hook you in. The above ad is a great example. They use the fact that I want to raise an awesome little girl to hook me into buying an expensive car. However, the best way for me to ACTUALLY raise an awesome little girl is to spend a lot of time with her, teach her things, build soapbox derby cars with her, take her camping, etc. Buying an expensive luxury car is directly at odds with almost all of those things. Squandering money on an $80k car will make it much harder to take her hiking in Yosemite in my free time. I won’t have any free time.
So I hope everyone had a great SuperBowl last weekend. It was a great game. But the most important thing you could do for yourself and your family is to turn off the TV afterward. Avoid the extremely well-crafted pitches trying to get you to tear up right before suggesting you buy a car worth more than some peoples houses.