Is it just me or do ads these days make the way we behave the butt of their entertainment? I’ll be the first to admit, they can be funny. A few cripple me in hysterics, but have you given thought to what they are saying?Take the Toyota commercial for instance. Ya know, the one where the college student compares her parent’s pathetic number of Facebook friends to her 600 plus. And then she says “This is living.” I don’t get a kick out of watching this one. I thought it was sad the first time I saw it, because it is true for so many. People are tied to their social apps, spending more time communicating with others through gadgets than face-to-face. Rarely do people even pick up the phone anymore to actually make a “phone call.” And the issue is not isolated to just the young and hip . . . it’s a trend among the mature population as well.
Cox Communications has produced a series of commercials that I love to watch, mainly because the father is a free-spirited guy who acts like a 8-year-old most of the time. The best ones are when he makes the family compete for whose show gets recorded on the DVR. He gets satisfaction in dominating the competition by playing games no one else wants to do, like guess mom’s weight. They are always awkward and uncomfortable, which is why they are entertaining, but the idea that we are willing to subject our loved ones to such shenanigans so we get more time to watch the shows we like, over that of others, is shameful.
Advertisers are mocking the fact that many of us today are self-centered, inconsiderate, lacking in relationships, demanding instance gratification, and failing to communicate earnestly and effectively. When you think of it in those terms, it doesn’t seem so funny any more.
So, what do we do about it? Accept it or work to change it?
How advertisers see us in market terms is an opinion they have elected. The opinions of others shouldn’t decide how we act. However, it’s not something to be proud of and certainly not behavior we should be encouraging within our own families. That said, we can’t go out and suddenly change how members of our society behave or interact with one another with any kind of force. What we can do is educate and practice with intent to be better in our own home and within our own circle of influence. With time, new values will take hold and we’ll see a shift towards a more conscientious and service oriented environment.
Question – How can you contribute to a shift?
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes