Back when I was a brand new mom, my mother me something after seeing the numerous issues of Child, Parents, American Baby, Baby Talk and Parenting magazine piled on the coffee table and throughout my house. She said, “It’s great to have a subscription as a new mom but after a while you’ll see they just run the same articles again and again.” Of course they do it with new pictures and a few word changes, but she was right! She was right, even though I am sure I rolled eyes at that time. I soon discovered she was so right and as the magazines filled with the predictable recycled articles filled my mailbox, they were immediately stacked or given a brief skim for any special offers before being donated to the pediatricians office. Now, even though we read mostly in digital form you still see the same redundancy.
The predictability of advertising and media can make me crazy. How many of us wish for election day to come and go so the ugly lawn signs and the attack ads will stop. Then we are bombarded with Black Friday ads and commercials that don’t just tell us of upcoming deals, but that we will never see prices this low, and we should leave our families at 6 pm on Thanksgiving Day to go out into insane crowds only to fight and scream while trying to buy presents for a season that is supposed to be filled with joy and good will toward man.
After that, we are bombarded with ads that Black Friday pricing is extended right through to Cyber Monday which turns into Cyber Week and then Green Monday and Gold Monday! The message is to buy, buy, buy, because we will never see prices this low and that our family will love us more for the gifts!
The predictability keeps coming as the ads that air on Christmas Day tell us that we need to shop the next day and “get what we really wanted.” Prices will never be this low! Everything is half price! Without a bit of reprieve we are thrust into resolution season. We know as sure as the sun rises, we’re bound for a month of weight loss ads, articles, infomercials along with White Sales, and sales on organizers to clean up all the stuff we had to buy to make our families love us!
Then the ads for life changes starts, make more money, go back to school, get a new career, start a new business, stop smoking, stop drinking and more. After that, the Valentine’s Day Massacre starts. He doesn’t really love you unless he gets you the eternity bracelet, ring, necklace (insert whatever piece of jewelry they’re promoting) from Kay Jewelers! Let’s not forget the roses and that a proposal on Valentine’s Day is the way to go as long as he goes to Jared! I won’t bore you but the cycle continues month after month and year after year.
Now, don’t misunderstand me, I don’t see anything wrong with someone wanting to make a new start in the New Year, but it’s just the way we’re hit over the head again and again that drives me insane and is the reason I’m glad I hardly ever watch TV. However, that doesn’t shield me, the radio, the news, in the stores, everywhere I go it’s there. I know why they do it, it’s because just like with the recycled parenting articles there is always a new mom reading it for the first time. Alas, even though I know it is coming, it still makes me cringe.
It’s not that I don’t appreciate a good bargain, because I do, and I share good deals I find. I just take offense to all the high pressure and words they use that make it sound like their target market is 2 years old. As a person who is in the media and who works in advertising, promotion and marketing I feel that a change is way overdue for less hype, less predictability and more insight and fresh approaches. Is that too much to hope? Sadly, as I hear another ad on how I better hurry and get to Toys R Us for the lowest prices of the year on the toys my kids HAVE to have, I think it is!