I grew up watching about 6 hours of TV per night. I always hated the commercials, and that’s when I’d do my homework or get something to eat. I was always amazed that companies wasted their money on ads because, I thought, who would believe them? In fact, I remember clearly thinking this about the Cascade (with sheeting action) ads in which a young couple, about to entertain, would take down their glasses, find them sullied with spots, and gasp in horror at the shame of it. They’d furiously clean them off lest their guests consider them truly uncouth. "Who are they kidding?!", I would think.
A decade later, my future in-laws were coming over for dinner, and we took down our rarely-used wine glasses. You guessed it. Spots. I looked at them and wondered what his parents would think of me. Although I personally didn’t care about spotty glasses, I was uncertain about whether those spots really did reflect poorly on me. Would my boyfriend’s parents think their son was with a lousy housekeeper? I re-washed the glasses, and actually wondered whether Cascade would have prevented what I now perceived was a problem.
Never again have I doubted the power of advertising.
Take some time to notice commercials and advertising. Beyond the product or service, what are you being sold? What are the insidious effects on your thoughts, beliefs, and feelings? Then notice what is hidden from you: what effects do these products have on other people, the environment, animals? How can you resist, or (as the Borg in Star Trek say) is resistance futile? Should ads for unhealthy, unsustainable, destructive, or cruel products be illegal? Have restrictions? What do you think?