Monday, November 14, 2005

A Thought About Advertising

I saw a commercial for Target -- a store, by the way, that I like very much -- called "The Gathering." (The only reason I know what the commercial was called was because it was pretentious enough to have a title card.) Usually, Target commercials are full of fun, happy models laughing and dancing and generally having a good time.

This commercial, however, was full of living grotesqueries. Hideous, rubber-faced lunatics and wild-eyed, maniac children right out of
The Shining, gathering for a demented Thanksgiving dinner with pets running wild and caked-on make-up and garish colors and---

Urggghhh... It was a nightmare.

When you see a commercial like that, remember:

That is what the advertiser thinks of you.

That is how
they see you. How they think you see yourself.

In other commercials,
they live in a fantasy world of beach parties and chocolate-covered biscotti and beautiful snow bunny models.

You, on the other hand, live with your aunt with her whore's lipstick smeared across her face and your evil cousins plotting to kill you as your food falls on the floor. And you all laugh, because you don't know any better. Because you're idiots.

Or you eat at Carl's Jr., shoveling an entire triple cheeseburger whole into your mouth, dribbling it onto your shirt. Because
you actually like getting it all over the place, or else it doesn't belong in your face, right? At least that's how they think of you. While they use knives and forks.

Or when a woman walks into AOL with brownies to thank them for protecting her from viruses and spyware, and she talks in the voice of a mentally challenged eight-year-old, because that's what AOL thinks of the people who are stupid enough to use its service, right?

Next time a set of commercials comes on, instead of zapping through them, watch them. Really watch them. Get a sense of how these companies think of you, whether they actually respect you, whether they think you respect yourself.

It might make a difference the next time you make a decision how to spend your money.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Okay, now I don't know if you'll actually believe me, or if you'll think I'm just jumping on the ol' Mike Markowitz bandwagon... but I saw that Target commercial yesterday and was beyond DISTURBED by it! I thought it was freakish and off-putting, and now you've gone and done a brilliant synopsis of WHY I found it to be so. What would I do without you explaining my feelings to me? I am so grateful I check in to your blog eight times a day. You sir, rock!