Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Why This Commercial Bothers Me So



"Pretzel"
    
     
     If you watch any TV, you've no doubt seen the above AT & T ad.  If not, do me a quick favor and watch it.
     Now, I do not have a problem with AT&T.  Currently, I don't use any of their services, but I have in the past, and they were great in every aspect.  Just different times call for different products; and there's only 24 hours a day, and sometime I may find time to weigh which company is the better value all around; but today is not that day.

     What I do have a problem with, is something that is more subtle, but I feel is prevalent in our everyday lives, or more to the point -our thought process.

     When the AT & T spokeswoman demonstrates the getting 50% more for the same price aspect, she tears the male companion's pretzel in half, to make her point.  Did you catch the look on the man's face?  Not happy.  Who can blame him?  Half his pretzel is gone, not to mention it's been fondled with and squished by a complete stranger.  I love, warm soft pretzels with the crunchy rock salt; particularly in fall; something so quintessential about them.  Yes, the AT&T rep asked, but I doubt if the fella had any idea of what he was consenting to.  If that had been my pretzel, there would have been drama; no doubt.  Not surprisingly, the man winced questioningly, as to imply, WTF?!  Even if AT&T would have used a woman, it would have still given a mixed message.  The fact that  AT&T chose to use a man; I find curious.  More about that thought... sometime.

      I'm not talking about the intended message of " With AT&T, you get 50% more data for the same price."- I'm referring to the subconscious, omnipresent, ubiquitous, message that is EVERYWHERE:


     If someone, somewhere gets something; someone, somewhere, has to pay something.  Or, do with less; or worse: totally give up an essential something.


     In other words, if someone wins; someone has to lose.


     It's complete and utter bulsH.


     The fact that this is an orchestrated, rehearsed commercial with actors working on a set script, to me, makes it even more maddening. They could have demonstrated the concept of getting 50% more for the same price in some other way; so nobody had to give up a yummy pretzel or anything else.  It could have been pulled from thin air, from a cartoon cloud; in order to entertainingly demonstrate the perk.  I mean come on, we have cartoon bears telling about the benefits of toilet paper; sasquatch teens gossiping about roadsters; and lunar moths conveying the benefits of sleep.  Surely to goodness, AT&T ad creators could have come up with another way to sell the concept without driving home an already hammered in assumption, that if somebody somewhere gets something; YOU are going to have to give something up.  


     Here we are in 2015, and we still have folks that have yet to grasp, that when one demographic gets civil rights, we all benefit.  Point is though, that the notion, that somebody has to pay, is so ingrained in our emotional thinking, not sure what it's going to take to change.  


     For instance, let's just imagine for a moment, that men and women are valued equally the world over.  Wouldn't that lead to a greater amount of knowledge and talent contributed to the greater good?  


Just something to think about.


Since starting this post, AT & T has released a new commercial-

Now, that's more like it.  I knew they could do it.