Truth in Advertising

On this gloomy, stormy Saturday, I have given my mind permission to wander.

Truth be told, there is not much truth in advertising.  There is however, effectiveness in blowing one’s own horn.  The ultimate goal of advertising is to increase sales.  That is a given.  However, there are some advertisements that are enjoyable solely for their content that may educate, sooth or entertain.  One can appreciate some commercials as a stand-alone experience, with no intent to act on its selling skills.  Some negative and positive examples follow.

Jane Lynch’s Comcast/Xfinity commercials just grate on me.  Lynch, who plays a  sharp-tongued, down-right mean teacher on “Glee”, is capitalizing on that character in these ads.  This portrayal, in no way, shape or form, could never motivate a person to buy the product.  Have a look:

Why would any potential consumer choose to identify with the Jane Lynch in this ad?  Moreover, to a viewer just watching the commercial, the experience is worthless, void of any pleasantries or redeeming features.

On the other hand, I find Kaiser-Permanente’s “Thrive” campaign to be pleasant.  Without giving any credence to the value or honesty of Kaiser’s health care plans, the commercials themselves are thoughtful, soothing and offer advice that is useful.  The message of “Thrive” is to live a healthy life.  The delivery of the voiceovers by Allison Janney is wonderfully soothing.  Eat properly, exercise, reduce stress, be kind to others and take responsibility for your own life are the hallmark messages of this campaign.  Not unreasonable advice.  I am sure you have heard many of Janney’s commercial narrations over the last four years.  In addition to the Janney ads, Kaiser has offered some other effective commercials, which follow:

While there isn’t a chance in Hell that I would subscribe to a Kaiser health plan, I do enjoy their commercials.

Finally, a T-Mobile advertisement has been viral on the Internet.  No, I will not switch my cellular phone service to T-Mobile, but I sure do love this commercial:

There is not much truth left in anything today.  Advertising is particularly susceptible to this unfortunate situation.  I am too old and jaded to believe there is any truth in advertising.  However, as long as I am going to be bombarded by the media, I expect commercials to entertain and enlighten me.

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