Before you read this list you must understand: The contents of this article are my opinion and do not constitute any wrong-doing on the part of the advertisers. In most cases, the practices noted below work very well. It’s the methods and morals I have to question.
What’s wrong with the in-flight entertainment? Nothing. In fact, I’m in awe of what these touch-screen headrest video screens can do. You can purchase movies, TV shows, and even play video games similar to Galaga (how cool is that)! This is a great way to pass the time when cramped between two linebackers when you’ve booked the cheapest seat possible. Here’s what I object to: Every seat’s TV has an on/off button, but you CAN NOT TURN THE COMMERCIALS OFF. You are subjected to messages about luxury cars and, of course, getting all the benefits you deserve with a stupid brand-name credit card. Help, I’m stuck in this seat and I can’t get up!
These brightly lit blimp-sized posters are colorful, vibrant, and shocking! The are designed to get your attention and it works. It’s the messages promoted on these signs that I had a problem with. Two huge billboards located near the car rental properties, the first place parents go when taking their kids to Disney Land, advertise a local Gentleman’s club. Fortunately, the picture was tasteful without being misleading. The problem was the message at the bottom that announced “Always hiring 18+, No experience necessary.” My experience was certainly negative from seeing that sign.
Casinos (anything to do with casinos)
I live in a city that is within a short 45 minute drive from 5 casinos. You can’t help but see advertisements on billboards, TV, and local print that advertise well-dressed, beautiful people smiling brightly with a cocktail in one hand and holding the one-armed-bandit (slot machine) with the other. It’s worse when you go inside. Not only do they try to draw us in with incredible feasts (we call them buffets around here) but they promise us the “loosest slots in town”. It is hard to dispute that statement when each casino’s address is in a different city (they tend to be on opposite sides of the river from each other), but I digress. There is nothing wrong with them advertising what they have to offer, but the chances of winning large sums of money are about as big as your chance of being picked to perform in American Idol (not the blooper episodes, I’m talking about the actual competition episodes).
Jimmy Fallon and Cash Back Cards
Credit card companies make it sound so easy, that by simply qualifying for their card we will start raking in the dough. However, the only way credit card companies can afford to give cash back is by getting enough people to pay late charges, balance transfer and over-the-limit fees, or interest. Even the IRS qualifies most rewards points as rebates instead of income, meaning your net gain is a loss when it comes to credit card benefits. Another example is blatantly obvious: they play on our emotions. In the commercial featuring Jimmy Fallon, he asks a baby if he wants more cash back from a credit card. How gullible do these people think we are? Put a baby on the screen, throw Cheerios at the funny guy wearing a suit, and we’ll be convinced to sign up for a piece of plastic that will put us into debt? That is the message they are sending but the baby and the comedy make us laugh and feel good. It is extremely important to pay attention to these commercials so we don’t end up with something that causes us to pay interest.
Don’t play and we will make them go away
If you agree with me that these marketing practices and messages are objectionable, possibly leading to the fall of Western Civilization (it kinda feels that way sometimes, doesn’t it) then you can do something about it. Actually, don’t do anything. The simple answer here is to not participate. Avert your eyes during commercials you don’t need to watch (unless you really were in the market for a new Lexus), avoid going into Casinos (at all costs), and ignore credit card offers – no matter how much we may approve of a baby throwing a fire extinguisher at Jimmy Fallon’s head.