When the warm fuzzies fade…

I notice advertising – commercials, promos, print ads, online and mobile. And I analyze them: What is the message? How are they communicating this? Who are they targeting? What kind of psychology are they using? How is this going to make the consumer feel? Is that going to be effective?

A little geeky, I know. What’s worse is I subject my kids to the analysis and encourage them to decode advertising. Of course, they don’t always listen – which is why we have tubs of Moon Sand and a closet full of must-have dolls, now painted with glitter marker and rocking horrible Fiskar hairdos.

Still, my skepticism regarding advertising not only causes the children to roll their eyes and go cataleptic during commercial breaks: it means I’m rarely influenced to buy, go, do, have or repair anything. Annoying commercial jingles do not even stick in my head… well, this could be because there’s no room left in there – what with all the cheesy 1970 and 80’s sitcom theme songs floating around. The point is: it’s unusual for me to be moved by advertising.

So, you’ll understand why I was shocked when this WBIR promo totally sucked me in:

I could watch this over and over. Seriously, does this not make you want to have a family reunion, eat fried chicken, play banjos, have a hog calling contest, laugh at the children frolicking in the fields and then go over to the high school football game and make beautiful Southern memories – just so we can just get buried in the warm down-home mushiness of it all?

You know, the point was to communicate that WBIR understands and cares about my life, my community and what’s important to me… however, I’ve been so motivated by this promo that I’ve decided I’m just gonna host the family Thanksgiving Dinner.

Then again, if I do host the family Thanksgiving Dinner, my mother-in-law would complain about the food. Uncle Rube would get drunk, tell jokes to which he’s forgotten the punchline and finally pass out in the cranberry sauce. Cousin Eugene would likely pontificate on how “they” put mind-control hormones in Butterball Turkeys. The brother-in-law would undoubtedly fight with the sister-in-law around the same time Marie and I get into a food fight over immigration issues – which really wouldn’t matter at that point…. because those adorable sweet-cheeked children, whose cherubic faces are smeared with gravy and some purple substance that no one can identify, will have already stuck cupcakes to the wall, formed a film of mashed potatoes on the windows, and broken all of the crayons… at which point I’d be disgusted with myself for not knowing: THIS CRAP never works like the stuff they show on TV.

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