Long past are the days of stating what your product does when trying to make people want to buy it. For every one innovative idea there are numerous imitators, some of whom will do the thing in a better way, and then that will be imitated. After a few years of competitive imitatery, the thing becomes as good as it can be, at which point it is no longer the product itself that is the focus, but the songs, actors, visual effects, trademark phrases and superficial data associated with them. Customer's reaction to or recollection of these irrelevant bits decide the purchase of the actual product, and then friends of these customers think "I must also have one" after being exposed to it, not realizing that their friends only have it at all because they're morons, which is really quite odd if you think about it. I think about it a great deal.

It is not known how many people respond directly to advertising. Fewer than twenty percent are known, at least, to click internet banners, which is easily tracked. However, a website that gets one thousand visits theoretically will grant 200 ad clicks, which theoretically is good business and worth the price of annoying 800 other people. Especially if they buy something and show it to friends who don't understand that they're dealing with a moron who bought it for a dumb reason.

Legality prohibits advertisers from lying, but only in regards to things which cannot be one-hundred percent proven as false. Despite the name, truth in advertising laws create no such need to prove honesty in anything.

Every year in November, from approximately not anywhere, the same two products make themselves seen once again: Chia Pets and The Clapper. Their companionship isn't surprising; they are produced and sold by the same company, Joseph Enterprises. What is surprising, is that they both make a great gift. The advertisements say so, and why would they lie? (see: rest of this document) A less condensed version of the message is: You don't want this, but someone you know does. Don't worry about who, figure that out later. Buy now before the Rush! Don't concern yourself how it would be possible to suddenly sell out of an easily manufactured product with 20 years of sales records pinpointing almost precisely how many need to be made to meet whatever demand there is. And I guess there is a demand. Although in any instance I can think of, a Chia platypus would not, in fact, make a great gift, since no human can provide evidence that it never would, like not ever, for all of humanity's past and potential futures, Joseph and his friends can say such silly things all they want.
Nikea can show people running faster than garbage trucks or jumping over the Golden Gate Bridge and then flash their logo and accomplish about the same as if they had claimed such a thing, which they don't do because, as before, legality forbids them from doing so. While certainly no one believes they will be able to jump over the golden gate bridge, they don't have control over their subconsious making absurd associations between things. Much of advertising is psychological, in that rather than try to sell a product, businesses sell unrelated stimuli, using mental trickery which people cannot control their responses to. The only way for rival brands to combat this is to educate consumers or do the same thing. Since smart people might know better than to fall for junk like this, we get lots and lots of ads that don't say a whole lot. What does this guy jumping off a waterfall have to do with the fat car in the background?

Shoe? Why would anyone think of Nike if I said shoe?

Not just Nikey, but pretty much every maker of fine sneaker shoes frequently show people playing basketball, and rather well as a direct result of wearing the shoes. This has gone on long enough that I must assume this scheme works and is lucrative, despite the skill improvement only affecting players' ability to throw a ball accurately, an act entirely beyond the jurisdiction of feet, let alone the funny looking rubber boxes they are contained within. I'm surprised no one's tried selling athletic gloves.

Brands that are already well known use exposure to remind people that they exist. I can't think how this works because if you're in a domain of shopping's aisle in which many brands offer similar products, you don't need to have thought about one recently to see that it is there. I know that sometimes I'll see something from a few years ago and think 'hey, whatever happened' to that [noun]? Then I may look up or have interest in it again. However, in my lifetime this has happened almost exclusively in regards to things which are no longer sold. The one exception occured when I saw a non-updated doritos truck, with a picture of one of the old bags [of doritos], like from 1987, painted on it. The one that had the orange and yellow rectangles behind the letters in DORITOS and didn't say "nacho cheesier" on it anywhere. And... I actually wanted doritos, for the first time in years. The instant I see an actual bag of doritos, however, I'm certain I will no longer desire them. Perhaps I just like the unattainable. Or old product logos.

I saw just the end of an advertisement for the Tri Tek hair shaving object (not now, but just before I wrote this part). The announcer promised, since Tri Tek's costs $19.95, "you don't have to pay $100...!" for a competitor's product. Well of course not. Most of them don't cost that much.

Although not based on a televised advertisement, I think the following is still a fairly rampant example of unscrupulous marketing: Most moderately sized edible things will claim at least four servings to a container and then reduce the fat, sodium and calorie point totals to a fraction of what they actually would be if you consumed the total contents, which it is assumable that many people do. A perfect example are Freschetta's frozen sauce-stuffed-crust pizzas. 920 millograms of sodium they contain, which is half or less than that of many Hungry Man XXL offerings, widely regarded as the worst possible things you can eat {if you try}... or is it? Servings per container: 5. Freschetta's 920x5=4600 (it's all right, I'll wait while you type that into your calculator) is equal to or more than that of its colleaugue, and I still feel like I could eat another pizza afterwards. I'll usually coat one in a layer of whatever fried and breaded bite-sized horrors cohabitating my freezer unit at the moment more plausibly state an odd number of servings. Again, that's 5, for the one pizza. I shouldn't be surprised, right there on the front of the box, almost proudly displayed, is “serves five.” Nevermind what a horrid, unfeasible lie that is; when I bother to, I cut the pizza into eighths, just like 98% of pizzas I've ever seen, so unless Freschetta assumes that 3 of my hypothetical group want two slices and 2 only desire one, this box sincerely suggests cutting the barely-medium sized disk into ten slices and... have you ever tried to do that? You'd cut it in half and then have to make eight more cuts to seperate each tiny, individual piece and additionally make sure that they're all even so that no one complains. That's enough extra effort that you'd have an easier time clobbering out diner number five for the duration of the meal and justifying your actions afterwards. Fortunately, you wouldn't really do that, and Freschetta doesn't really believe you will, because they only make such a claim as an excuse to divide some very big numbers and hide the fact that they're selling a thing every bit as anti-nutritious as a product that some speculate is little more than solid lard. I like to think the pizzas taste better, though. It's pretty hard to excuse myself for continuing to eat them, otherwise.

Luckily I have my gram scale right here.


Raymour and Flanigan, a [hopefully] regional business, but one with enough money that I can't tell that from the film used in their advertising, not long ago forwent their usual endorsement via dead historical figures to warn furniture shoppers of the perils of shopping at liquidation sales. Certainly there's plenty that can go wrong at one. As the coincidentally furniture business not holding a liquidation sale proclaims, warranties won't be honored and products won't be delivered, but one line at the end, “and remember, I love you we'll be here tomorrow, but those other guys won't. made me realize and subsequently wonder something: Isn't that any business's goal? To succeed while the competition fails? Why are Flanigan and Raymour so worried about going-out-of-business sales that they, in all likelihood, made happen? Can't that only possibly mean more business for them? The attitude just seems greedy.
After, I'm told, eighty-seven years in the region, Wayside of Huffman isn't running away to set up and rip-off elsewhere; it really and truly has run out of money. Why can't R&F let it die with dignity?

The message appears not just on television, but also in a needlessly bloated (701 kib) pdf file available from their website which I can only imagine anyone downloading for the specific purpose of taking issue with it.
Somewhat furniture related: Sometimes I wonder how it's possible that there's such a big market for mattresses that there are businesses which sell nothing else, seeing as I've never had a new (as in not formerly used by another family member) mattress in my life and only officially journeyed to the depths of lower class within the last four years. I shouldn't wonder about that, since there's an even bigger market for new cars, which cost easily ten times as much, are easier to share among several persons, and have more trauma associated with the purchasing and maintaining of.

One especially baffling advertisement from 2003 for those Hummer cars --you know, the ones built for the army that inexplicably started getting purchased by non army members-- managed to sell the things despite showing some dofely kids in go-carts instead. It is worth noting, if only for my own referencing purposes, that Hummers are manufactured by something called AM General LLC, but marketed to the public by similarly ranked General Motors. Now, I don't believe the military go-carts are sold to civilians, and merely attempting to attract the attention of go-cart drivers so they'll see and want to buy the real cars won't do General Motors any good, because none of them looked old enough to have driver licenses. All the Humming folk have accomplished are showing random nonsense and their specifically nonsensical name.

Many automobile marketeers attempt to increase the appeal of their movement machines by showing the things having crazy adventures or overcoming inhospitable terrain (while others show go-carts). And yet every time you will find a caption which warns you not to dare try such a thing. I seriously doubt the Gorton's fisherman would sell any of his... things if there were people putting fishsticks in their ears captioned with "professional eaters, do not attempt."

I can't even remember what company it was, I'll just say Saturn, because I like the way the ring looks. One generic member of a generic TV married couple gives the other a Saturn car as a gift, as fake TV married couple members often do. Nevermind that probably less than 2% of the audience who will see this could afford a new car, even with pooled resources, right? Ehhh. It's one of those long, red, "hey, look at me" cars that can hypothetically move at a maximum speed far greater than that of less expensive cars, and the day the government falls and full anarchy breaks out and all the speed limit signs are uprooted to be made into boomerangs you will see this for yourself. Back at the advertisement, suddenly, without warning or logic a large computer generated bird descends from just beyond the top of the screen bearing an unclothed human baby that I must assume was stolen either from one of those diaper ads that consistently get away with showing small naked children or the Neverland Ranch. Rather than call tha police, the married mopes inexplicably decide to keep the baby and, I must again assume, forge a birth certificate themselves. Inexplicablyer, they exchange the new pretty car for a dumpy bloated van. The messages here are: 1.) It's not at all irrational for married women to expect and demand automobiles as gifts from their husbands. 2.) Any husband who can't spare the change to spend on a frogjammed car is a failure. 3.) Don't question arbitralily conceived, media assigned gender roles. 4.) If you have one child, then you need room for six more because your fate is officially sealed and you'd better get on over to Wal-Mart and jump start your preferenceless human-spawn's mere exposure to Disney junk that you're actually buying for yourself.

Slogans are often vague. "I'm lovin' it." Who's lovin' what? Is it me? Am I lovin' it? Is it McDonald's? If I said that I'd be a twit (I may be anyway). Mcdonald'ses slogan does not declare or suggest anything. It doesn't do that because there's not a whole lot of good that they can claim about themselves without justifying several lawsuits. The slogan's only reason to exist is to be immediately associatable with McDonald's without "McDonald's" actually being said, thus deepening the effect, much like a joke is funnier when it isn't explained (I know that because it was explained* to me, not because I have experience). That "McDonald's" always is said probably doesn't sabotage the plan because, and I haven't seen the figures, but I doubt anyone feels welcome by or anything but loathing for that phrase, if they feel anything at all. Indeed, I've never encountered it beyond the context of a McDonald's promotion unless it's being used in a way that specifically mocks McDonald's. But in a way, that's what they want, because that's more exposure. Bah.

*and therefore not funny.

“Always drink responsibly.” Define “responsibly” and I'll think about it. I would otherwise infer from this that I should drink water and nothing else. It's funny, though not the laugh-at kind, that if Coca-Cola, whose products are arguably more health-inhibitive than hard liquor, began urging customers to do such a thing, within a month they'd fire the designated scapegoat of whoever came up with the idea, and fair enough. If McDonald's encouraged responsible eating, they'd go quite out of business in the event anyone listened.

It's not all about McDonald's. They just deserve it the most. Howevah, Subway will have you believe that the effect of eating one of their sandwiches is equivalent to bathing in angel urine (with Mentos as soap), at least for the remainder of the day. “It's okay, I had Subway!” Nevermind that their “6 grams of fat or less” sandwiches are hardly the only things on the menu; you can get bacon and cheese if you ask, and that's much of the problem. I'll always take bacon over lettuce if I can get it (preferably without the lettuce).

Hey, how does product placement work? Why would businesses pay filmmakers to display certain logos in the background? Will people really go to a Blockbuster Video store just because they saw [1998 American] Godzilla step on a person standing in front of one? I would remark that such an event seems like a reason to stay away from the business, if anything, but Godzilla is just one example. It has been said that during I, Robot, the character portrayed by Will Smith mentions the company that constructed his shoes (and many others) on occasion. Why would this sell more shoes for Converse if they are preferred by a fictional character I'll never meet? Why would this sell more anythings if they are preferred by a factual celebrity who I'll still never meet? It turns out, who is not important, only how visible that person is. It is the mere exposure that is sought. It turns out that Will Smith is very visible.

But if this premise is true, why, when a company has not paid money, will their product often still appear, with its label only slightly altered? I've noticed that unless the camera specifically zooms in on the item, it's hard to tell that Beer brand beer cans don't say Budweiser on them, so anyone who recognizes the design is still reminded of the real brand.

While other sponsors will likely complain and possibly even withdraw their funding if they see a competitor's product displayed for free during the actual show, for some reason they don't mind a convincing imposter which performs the same task. It is hard to say whether there are inconsistencies in advertiser mentalities or if I'm just confused. I know I am, but I don't know that my confusion is working alone.

(not actual scene from film)

It is possible that the brief exposure works better because you'll think about something without realizing it has been suggested to you. You think, if you don't know otherwise, that it is your own thought. I don't know whether these advertising mind games work or not, only that I can recognize when they're happening and that I don't like it. Why do political candidates kiss babies? Nevermind that I think kissing is gross and hate babies, because most other people disagree. Politicians go about with this kissery because it makes them look kind and nurturing, even if they obviously aren't and such an attribute has nothing to do with the office sought. Yet that such a thing was ever common meant that some people got together one day and declared this was an important thing to do. Trial prosecutors will often disparage the "character" of the accused to make them look more like someone who would have committed the crime, which to some extent makes sense. But how does not kissing a baby make someone unfit to allocate budgets?

People Bob meets are impressed by Bob. Or rather, Bob's hardened phallus. Forget that Bob's a perpetually smiling idiot with no known skills. Forget that his current condition is unsightly, not helpful to and probably just the opposite, really, to the task at hand and due entirely to the ingestion of some pills that anyone can buy. Forget about that horrible, repetitive, fake whistling that comprises the background music. Forget it all, if you can. It's too late for me. I understand that it's hard to say outright what a product that performs this task does on broadcast television, but I think if what you do instead is even more repulsive, then there's a definite problem with the system that I'm not going to bother asking my doctor about. I object to the allegedly not indecent terminology "male enhancement." I think if the most important and primary aspect of being male is the thing which is assisted by Enzyte (that being the product eventually mentioned), then why do any mans paint pictures, sculpt ice or write poetry? Is it all in the pursuit of the sex? Why is prostitution illegal then? Aren't 80% or more of lawmakers also mans? They must all own Enzyte stock. Eventually they will sell that stock and use the money to move to Amsterdam and pay prostitutes. That is the most logical conclusion I can reach.

Maybe I'm just old, but I find the blatant, repetitive discussion of erectile dysfunction rather bothersome. Even the official Federal Communications Commision-approved words for it I don't like to type. Recently, an advertisement for Viagra was forbidden from airing. “Remember wild man? He's ba-ack...!” But it was not banned because it was creepy and disturbing, but only because, the reason given, at least, being that it advocated recreational use of the drug. And I guess the other ads for stuff like that don't. I would definitely appreciate if you could tell me who, in a field other than the production and selling of it, has ever gotten work done after Viagra enters the situation.

Perhaps I'm paying too much attention, but the actors portraying Wellbutrin users mention the “low risk of sexual side effects,” always those words in that order, the same way a lottery user might mention the low chance of winning. It really sounds like they're betting on that risk. The emphasis is on "nice" instead of "low," where it should be. The complacent attitude of the people saying it along with the frequent repetition of the phrase makes it sound almost like some kind of additional benefit. Maybe the target market is made up of people who enjoy buying Viagra and Enzyte.

How do these things happen? Why are they allowed to happen? Who decides that? When will it stop? What's the point? Where am I going to find a way to work "where" into this?

At Raymour and Flanigan!