Monday, June 29, 2015

We're Not Stupid!... Are We?

Right now, almost every blogger, vlogger (video blogger), and columnist is addressing the Supreme Court's virtual legalization of same-sex-marriage. Don't get me wrong, I'm tickled pink (no pun intended) that institutionalized bigotry has been dealt a crippling blow. However, given the number of opinions, buzzing across the internet, on the topic, there's nothing of any intelligent significance I can add to the conversation.

Thus, I'd rather address something which has been bugging me lately.  It's becoming increasingly obvious that corporate America thinks the buying public is made up of idiots.

This attitude has always been present in advertising to some degree.  In the old west, crowds were amazed when snake oil salesmen miraculously cured the cripple among them; never mind that no one had ever met the poor soul before the medicine man hit town.
Subject: Water | Date: Unknown | Photographer: Walter J. Pilsak |This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

The mid-twentieth century saw doctors endorsing brands of cigarettes and fictionalized housewives looking forward to washing dishes in order to soften their hands.  Yet, advertisers were able to somewhat deny they thought of consumers as moronic sheep.

Today, it seems like they've dropped all such pretenses, and are happy to blatantly treat us like drooling idiots.

One of the most annoyingly obvious offenders is Crystal Geyser Alpine Spring Water.  Their commercial states their bottled water is, "made by nature, not by man."

Ditditdotditditit... NEWS FLASH, this just in, all water, yes, all water is made by nature.

Crystal Geyser means that their water is taken directly from a stream, rather than from a chemically treated reservoirs.  Yet, the slogan conjures up mental pictures of lab coat clad scientists creating water in test tubes for the competition.  IT'S JUST NOT HAPPENING!

True, some bottled water companies have been known to bottle common tap water, which can contain liquefied chlorine, fluorosilicic acid, aluminum sulphate, calcium hydroxide, and  sodium silicofluoride.  That being said, the water itself was made by nature covalently bonding two hydrogen atoms to a single oxygen atom.  That's what water is.

Companies churn out mindless slogans, like the aforementioned promise of natural water, because they make money.  These slogans make money for the simple reason that we don't think about them.  We sit, with Coca-Cola in hand, stare at that thar TV box, and gobble up whatever comes out.

I'm probably one of the guiltiest consumers I know.  There's no telling how many times I've been tempted by the latest snack chip or fast food offering, only to be disappointed by mediocre junk.

Bottom line, if we want advertisers to start treating us like intelligent consumers, we have refuse to buy products from companies that treat us like idiots.  We have to raise the bar by thinking critically.

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