OK, so I know this might stir a few folks – but it’s on my mind, so it’s on the blog. There seems to be a sudden trend towards shock commercials. You know the ones – the abused dogs and cats that will rip your heart out? Or the new campaign that Florida’s running to encourage people to stop smoking? I thought the one with the man who lost his wife in her 40s was tough – then I saw the new one.
Honestly, these commercials really push the envelope. For me, they serve no purpose. Our world is filled with so much hatred and heartbreak as it is. For these various agencies to add to that weight with depressing images misses the mark. Seriously, one look at the headlines and we’re properly brought down hard – there’s no need to show us a kid who’s clearly not acting, but who is seriously scared. It’s inappropriate and frankly, it’s infuriating. Not only have I not seen the commercials with the abused animals in its entirety (I change the channel or mute the volume until the commercial’s over), I believe the efforts would better hit their mark taking an entirely different avenue. And if you’re thinking I’m overreacting, take a look at the headlines from just today and then ask yourself how much more we need:
These are just a few and don’t include the Mississippi River’s historic rising, the devastating tornadoes of last week that killed several hundred people throughout the southeast nor does it include the especially difficult realization that I am going to need to make a run for diet Cokes in the next little while (OK…so that’s not such a tragedy for anyone but me…but still).
I think it bothers me too that these problems are never resolved. I know there are abused animals and it absolutely breaks my heart. They’re so vulnerable and rely on the imperfect human to ensure they’re not abused and if we can’t even manage to not abuse one another, those dogs, cats and horses don’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell. And the little boy in the commercial I just saw? Bless his sweet heart – it’s excruciating to watch. That said, I’m including it in this blog post. See for yourself and decide whether I’m overreacting or if we are just too inundated these days with tragedy and heartbreak.
Now that I’ve said all that, let me throw in my efforts of full disclosure: I’m not in any way suggesting the Quit Smoking Florida campaign or the animal rights campaigns (I think there are a few of them running spots) aren’t worthy of our time and energy and donations. What I am saying however is that it’s time to do away with those heavy guilt-laced efforts. They’re not working – not with me, anyway and I believe these efforts would be better served with something else. The marketing folks missed the mark.