Had a chance, over the past few days, to watch a broad slice of American Television and, after confirming the widely-held opinion that the programming in the States is twice as bad as anything inflicted on British audiences, decided to watch a reference selection of the advertisements!
Apart from the vast divide between our feeble efforts in the United Kingdom, and the slick presentation afforded the truly gullible in America, I am forced to wonder at the mindsets behind just about all Commercial Television advertising both over the Pond and in Britain.
We see adverts clearly aimed at the lowest possible common denominator; both in content and in message. In Britain, there are a preponderance of adverts aimed at the truly credulous market which comprises women of a certain age who are convinced that with only another preparation smeared all over their silly, stupid, cretinous faces, they will once more attain the clear, trim, glowing features which they believe they possessed a long time ago! Despite the clear scientific advice which states that they may as well smear vegetable oil or salad cream all over the afore-mentioned facial features, they continue to pour vast quantities of cash into the pockets of the industrial conglomerates who masquerade as cosmetic vendors!
In America, the tendency is towards a mixture of gadgets, depilatory creams, internet connections, cars and mortgage companies, but the hammering message, unrelenting in its’ ferocity, is even worse than that in Britain. The timescale for adverts on Commercial Channels in Britain are bad, allowing for up to eleven minutes and more in any one hour, but at least we do have a Regulatory framework to help govern and control the thieves and vagabonds who continually bombard our senses and families with glossy pictures of what life would be like if only we purchase their products. In America, there is no such animal, as the Federal Trade Commission, which claims to oversee at both Federal and State levels, is nothing more than a toothless tiger! If an advert is deemed too near the knuckle, from either a taste or sensibility standpoint, a defence of the ‘First Amendment’ is sufficient to see off any crusaders, so the vast television audience in the States gets all the worst, unfiltered even by standards of decency or good taste!
As Advertising in America is so big, taking approximately two percent of G.D.P. in the U.S.A., it is a huge and formidable industry, aimed solely and totally at influencing consumer tastes, habits and purchasing might!
The message is clear, be careful what you watch, you may end up spending more money than you have on something you don’t really need!