The Never Ending Campaign

There is an on-going campaign that never seems to end. The players are constantly seeking votes. The constituents are constantly seeking satisfaction and fulfillment of campaign promises. There are stump speeches and celebrity endorsements. There are good guys and there are bad guys. There are those who count the votes and those who design catchy slogans and phrases to get the voters to swing one way or the other.

It’s the campaign to separate you from your money.

The machine (made up of ad agencies and marketing companies) wants you to believe that you simply cannot do without their client’s product or service. They claim to have the secrets that other companies don’t want you to find out about. They claim to know how to make you more beautiful, more youthful, more energetic, more fun, or more attractive.

Sunset on HollywoodThey link their products to scientists or celebrities for credibility. After all, if this shampoo can make that model’s hair look so good, maybe it will do the same for mine! If that new car helped her get a new job, maybe it can for me as well. If some fat 50 year old can lose 75 pounds and look like THAT, there’s hope for me – with that product, of course.

Think about how much advertising we’re exposed to each and every day:

  • Conventional radio
  • Satellite radio (I thought they were ad free?)
  • Television
  • Billboards
  • Newspapers
  • Junk mail
  • T-shirts
  • Wall murals
  • Posters
  • Magazines
  • Pop up and pop under ads on the Internet
  • Online videos with ads
  • Blogs (like this one)
  • Search engines
  • Ads on vehicles (trucks and cars)
  • Ads woven into popular songs
  • Ads before the movie
  • Product placement on TV shows or in movies
  • On clothing (Polo anyone?)
  • On products themselves (no one advertises generics)
  • Bumper stickers
  • Blimps at sporting events
  • Packaging at the grocery store

We have become so desensitized to the effects of advertising campaigns that we hardly even recognize them anymore. We’ve been told what to buy, when to buy it, and are usually given some good reasons to buy it irrespective of our personal budget.

But are those reasons really good enough? Should you buy a new Lexus because a celebrity drives it? Should you wear those jeans because a rock star wears them? Should you buy that home gym because you want to look like that model? Only you can decide. The great marketing machine tells us what’s fashionable, what’s in, what’s cool, or what’s the latest must have thing — if we let it.

The music industry, the clothing industry, the auto industry, the retail industry all bombard us with what’s in and what’s out. They’re continually bringing new products to market and they must try to convince us to buy them. We let them convince us that what was in yesterday is out today. We’re then expected to throw out yesterday’s overpriced stuff so we can buy today’s overpriced stuff, many times by going into debt.

Don’t let yourself be brainwashed. Only buy those things that you truly need, that have real value, and that adequately meet your needs.

Anything beyond that is simply lining the pockets of someone else. I vote NO!

photo credit: zaui

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