Thursday, October 13, 2011

Never: Hyperbolic Marketing

I feel out of the loop when it comes to new songs now that I'm not spending most of my time with teenagers. The only time I listen to the radio these days is when I shower. I realize for many that means daily, but if you know me, you know that isn't my reality.

As I showered & listened the other day, two commercials struck me. The first was for North Face and encouraged me to "Never Stop Exploring." A few seconds later, Lowe's implored me to "Never Stop Improving." [Remember when Lowe's was "Improving Home Improvement"? Now the focus is on the customer. Clever.] Both ads reminded me of Ray Ban's "Never Hide" slogan.

What do these ads say about our culture & society? Americans are traditionally socialized to embrace rugged individualism & continual advancement--more money, things, education, success, power--and these three companies have definitely embraced that. I personally appreciate all three ideas, though I think there comes a time we should ease up on exploring and improving to enjoy what's here and now. I'm sure there are times we should definitely hide as well. Like during Hide-n-Seek or Sardines. I also don't need expensive outerwear, construction supplies, or sunglasses to follow through with these three ideas.

Okay, the sunglasses might help. I always thought it was funny (funny-weird, not funny-ha ha) how some people use sunglasses to stand out, while others use them to blend in. Ray Ban is clearly in the stand out camp. No evading the cops or paparazzi allowed. Nevermind their actual use, to Ban the Rays of the sun.

It's nearly 5 am, and time for another room check here at work. I'm doing the overnight, which means checks every half hour along with late night TV. And you all know what that means: infomercials. Do you have a frying pan that can be used as a hammer in emergency situations? I know I don't, but for a few simple payments I can have one shipped to my door. Now that's Amurrrica at it's finest.

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